Perhaps you’ve had this experience when handicapping horse races. You start out with a plan to pick winners in a certain way and develop your own little method. It starts to show promise and then starts going sour on you. You started out by winning a little or perhaps even a lot, but then you watch your winnings dissolving and even start to lose money. You wonder if you should stop or if the method you were using will start working again. Does this scenario resonate with you?
One of the most common responses you’ll get when you ask a horse player how he or she is doing is, “Up and down.” Gambling on horses is a roller coaster ride, both financially and emotionally. The problem is that it is hard to tell if you’re winning or losing at the moment. One way to solve this problem is to work in modules. You can set aside your next twenty bets as a module, for instance and just keep track of them and see if you make money.
Whatever the length of the module happens to be, if you continue using the same criteria and start to have a history of modules to look at, you may be able to determine if you’re really winning or losing. It may also teach you other things about your career as a horse player. If you find twenty races too cumbersome, you can always use fewer races.
The same method may be applied to the race results at your favorite track. You can use it to spot trends and those trends may be the very reason you are losing that money back. Just be careful when looking at trends or setting up modules that you don’t start over reacting to normal fluctuations. Knee jerk reactions will set you on a course of chasing the normal aberrations in statistics as though they were a long term pattern.
On the other hand, if you see that in your last three modules over a two week period a certain factor, say early speed, has lost a lot of its clout, you may be able to change your method slightly to account for that. Weighting factors formally or informally, depending upon how rigid your guidelines may be, will adjust your method of picking winners according to changes in the track as well as the changes in the horses themselves.
One example of this adjustment process if the natural maturing of horses that occurs every year, but gets little notice by the bettors. I’m talking about how a horse that is three weeks away from becoming a four year old is considered a three year old, even though it is nearly a year older and about to be considered a four year old. While stewards make weight allowances and adjustments throughout the year as the horses mature, how many of the bettors won’t bet a three year old against older horses, even when it is just weeks or even days away from becoming a four year old?
If your modules show more and more three year olds beating four year olds, it is just because they are maturing and learning how to race as they also become stronger. How many other trends do you think you could spot if you had a month or two of modules to compare?
If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to http://williewins.homestead.com/truecb.html and get the truth. Bill Peterson is a former horse race owner and professional handicapper. To see all Bill’s horse racing material go to Horse Racing Handicapping, Bill’s handicapping store.