by Cyrus Rahimi
Today I approached the track with the mindset of perfecting my betting strategies.Throughout the process of learning the craft, I have been trying to figure out a system that would yield results. Obviously there are no guarantees in horse racing, but with my finance background, I want to at least hedge my bets or wager on races that I feel are easier to spot the winners.
In the past, I would simply go through the book and choose horses that I liked in each race. I have slowly figured out that this isn’t the best strategy. Especially since some races can contain multiple favorites and some races one heavy favorite. With this being said, I have decided on betting the races that have a strong favorite. Since I enjoy betting trifecta boxes, having a strong favorite is important for me. The key is to have the favorite horse on top, meaning they have to win for my ticket to win. I then try to pick out three more horses based on a variety of factors. Overall, I decided to pick a strong finisher, stronger starter, and a semi-long shot. This way, if the semi-longshot wins, my payout also goes up.
Every race is a chance to watch a range of ages and racing styles compete, which also brings unique challenges for a bettor, like me, to predict the winner. With that being said, I am constantly changing my strategy due to the fluctuation of the races.
As I combed through the program I found that I liked race seven. In that race, I bet the nine horse on top, who I thought would win along with the 2-3-5. This followed my strategy so placed the bet and walked outside to watch the race. Unfortunately, the one horse, who was a strong horse that I personally didn’t like, came from the back on the last leg and blew up my trifecta by winning the race. I was disappointed and decided to keep with my strategy but with a twist.
For race eight, I bet a trifecta box again with the five horse on top with the 7-2-3 following. However, I also purchased another ticket with the seven horse on top with the 8-2-3 following. I calculated that the payout for this, with either ticket hitting, would be more than what I initially wagered. My winnings wouldn’t be as high, but I also minimized my risk, since there was two very strong horses in the race. Unfortunately, I lost again and started to realize that I might just be overthinking the process.
I stepped outside and saw a lady walking around with a “BET?” pin on. Given my luck and poor picks today, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask her what she thought. I struck up a conversation with her and explained to her my betting technique. After I finished she said that she doesn’t really pay attention to anything other than their strides as they race. She gave me the advice that the most important factors are the horse and driver in the given race. Explaining that watching the horses and getting to know how they run is a good observation to understand, she also included that it could protect your money when you are betting. If you know six out of eight or nine horses racing, then you minimize your chance of losing.
It is still hard to predict if the horse might just have an off day, but at least you are implementing another factor into wagering. I decided to call it quits for the day after losing all my money, took her advice to heart and will be watching old replays of races and figuring out what races to bet by looking at the next day’s program. Hopefully I have more luck choosing winners in the near future!