Get Your Books In Order

It’s mid-April and you should already have an idea of how you are doing with your harness racing bets. If you aren’t aware, be aware that there is still time to get your books in order and to use them so you know how you are doing with your bets and, moreover, why you are doing it at all.

Two things that never get enough hammering into the skull of a pari-mutuels bettor are the matters of keeping records of money being wagered, won and lost, and that this is not an exercise—it’s a campaign to profit from the play.

If you keep up with the stakes action, which is gearing up, as well as the overnight races, you’re going to lose all sight of where you stand financially if you don’t set up a simple accounting system soon. If you want to make it complex, be my guest.

I keep simple and complex records because, good results or bad, they let me know my financial condition. And when that condition is positive because the ink is black, it is satisfying for the ego as well as for the pocket.

For instance, I have followed, wagered and shared my activity publicly concerning the George Morton Levy Pacing Series at Yonkers. I put some of my statistics together as week four approaches and have been very happy with the results.

Through leg three, there have been 15 races. I played five winners (that’s a 33-percent hit rate). Two of my 15 wagers finished second). None finished third. Eight of my 15 wagers finished off the board (53 percent).

The average win price for my winning horses was $13.00 (three of the five winners paid double digits). On a $2.00 win-bet basis, the cost of playing all of my selections was $30.00 and the return was $65.00.

I am thoroughly on top of my plays. I continue to play the series with confidence, knowing that how I choose to find wagers in each of the divisions every Saturday, is working and when I am doing my best I don’t change horses midstream, so to speak.

To be fair, when my records are spewing red ink I take a close look at the races I lost and look for reasons these bets did not produce profits. Most of the time that is easy and I come away from study realizing that I did nothing wrong, I just lost for reasons I can attribute to mathematics, trips and all of the countless elements that are beyond my control or knowledge or handicapping and wagering skills.

May will launch with three-year-olds added to the stakes season and there will be sires stakes and Grand Circuit events that will soon include freshmen. The stakes-load will offer many races to play and to pass and it is imperative that you keep a close eye on the money as well as you maintain the goal to make money.

Remember, just cashing tickets does not mean you are winning money.

by Frank Cotolo

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