Sunday, February 24, 2008

One of My Favorite Trifecta Bets

After years of watching hundreds, if not thousands, of races there is a pattern that occurs quite frequently. It is a pattern that the horse player can look for and spot by doing some homework ahead of time and then watching the tote board from 16 minutes before post up to 2 minutes before post. During this time you record the tote odds for each horse every 2 minutes. This is how you confirm the pattern.

The homework you do ahead of time is to look at the morning line (M/L) of the races at several tracks several hours (or even a day) before a race goes off. What you look for is a race that has 2 superior horses in the race. Looking at the M/L you may spot a race where these two horses have ,say, an M/L= 6/5 and 8/5 respectively. You also notice that the other horses have M/L at 3/1 and higher. Usually these races are allowance or stakes races where the quality of the horses is superior. You can further go to the Daily Racing Form (DRF) online or the printed version and see who these two horses are and look at their past performances (PP) compared with the rest of the horses in the race.

As you watch the tote board and record the odds you want to see if these two horses continue to be the two favorites up to 2 minutes before post time. Now here is a favorite trifecta bet that I have won hundreds of times over the years. Let's assume that there are 10 horses in the race and that 3 and 8 are the heavy favorites. The trifecta bet would be placed as follows: 3,8/ALL/3,8 (and 3,8/3,8/ALL as a hedge).

Let me explain this bet. Over the years I have found that there is a high probably that either 3 or 8 will win. Further it is likely that these two horses will duel for the lead around the track with one of the two winning out in the last quarter or eighth of a mile to the finish line. There is also a good probably that the second horse will weaken toward the end and one of the longer shots will come on to place second. To discover whether this pattern is true, I suggest you test this out a few times before you ever bet it. See for yourself.

As a hedge bet you can use 3,8/3,8/ALL in case the second horse doesn't tire out and stays with the winner to take second.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More Profits by Eliminating Bad Bets

What is a bad bet? It is a bet that you have no idea of the chances for winning it. Why would someone want to make such a bet? When a horseplayer goes to the track there is the strong tendency to bet on every race just because you are there. It is just plain difficult to not bet every race. The emotion of it all is just too consuming. Many bets are made on pure emotion. These are bad bets.

There is a case for betting over the internet. When you go to the track you have the tendency to bet on all your local track races. You may also bet on a simulcast track or two. This leaves a lot of room for placing bad bets. However, when you bet over the internet you can remove most of the emotion associated with being at the track. You can look for and pick and chose the races that have a high probability of winning. Leave most of the races alone. Just don't bet them. Bet just those races that you have the edge in. I am planning a future article where I will chose
races from many tracks and I'll explain why I chose each race. This approach will allow you to remove the emotion from your betting and allow you to control the amount you bet.

In a previous article, "A Day at the Track using Tote Analysis", I explained why I did not bet 3 of the 9 races on the card that day. If you are using tote analysis it is a good way to prevent bad bets.

It takes courage not to place a bet on a race. Every bad bet you eliminate is money you keep in your bankroll. Your return on investment (ROI) can be much higher at the end of the day. The difference between a winning day and a losing one may be the bad bets you have eliminated.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Starting Point for Betting Simulcast Tracks

Several years ago I set up a web page for myself that would allow me to go to the resources that I needed to get ready for a day of racing. It became popular by word of mouth to others, especially those horseplayers at Remington Park my home track, who also started using it. That web page has had over 125,000 hits in the last several years and is reached at

There is a selection bar on this page that includes the following: Race Tracks/E-ponies/Equibase/Handicapping/Twinspires/Brisnet/TVG/Racing Channel/Daily Racing Form
A click on "Race Tracks" takes you toUSA Horse RacingTracks - Listed by State.

A click on E-ponies takes you to Computer-based handicapping - the best source for free picks

Official source for thoroughbred racing information

To listen to daily free audio selections/ race of the day free selection

A Churchill Downs Corp. Wagering Site

Bloodstock Research Information Services

TVG Interactive Horseracing

Provides Toteboards for Thoroughbreds, Harness Racing, and Greyhounds

America's Turf Authority Since 1894

I have found that the favorite link used by many horseplayers is the E-ponies link with the free computer-based handicapping free picks. I have done some studies on the E-ponies picks and can offer some advice. Just picking the top choice in each race is a losing proposition over the long run. Choosing the top three choices will get you close to making some money in the long run. The best advice is to use some handicapping tools along with the E-ponies free picks. I like Brisnet's Ultimate PP's.

Enjoy and good luck.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Exacta Betting using Tote Analysis

In a previous blog article, "A Day at the Track Using Tote Analysis", I chose Gulfstream on January 24, 2008. In that article I kept it simple and only used win bets. Let's look at how you would have done if you did exacta betting on the same races that day. The tote analysis for the first three races are found at .

In race 1 we do not bet since our analysis showed that any horse in the race could likely

In race 2 the morning line favorite at 9/5 as well as the profit Line favorite at 9/5 was going to also be the tote pick. The exacta bet here was to bet the 3 horse (on top in the win position) along with the rest of the horses in the place position. The bet then is written 3/ALL. As a hedge, in case another horse beats the 3, we place the bet ALL/3. [In summary then the bet is 3/ALL and ALL/3.] The cost of this bet (assuming a $1 exacta bet) is $5 + $5 or $10. The result of this race was that the #1 horse beat out the #3 horse who placed. We won the bet with the hedge part of the bet. 1 - 3 was the finish order. The $1 exacta paid $15.60. A net gain of (15.60 - 10.00) $5.60.

I wrote in an earlier blog article, "One of My Favorite Trifecta Bets", that I liked this bet when the conditions were right. The conditions were right in this race. The tote analysis showed at the 3m mark that the #3 horse was at even odds (1/1) and the #4 horse was at 2/1. These two horses were solid favorites in the race. The trifecta bet then was 3,4/3,4/ALL. The race finished with 3-4-7. The $1 trifecta paid $13.20 and cost $10. This gave us a net gain of $3.20. The $1 exacta box of the two favorites paid $4.50 and cost $2.00, a net gain of $2.50.

[Tote analysis for races 4 and 5: ]

The 4th race had four scratched horses. We don't pay as much attention to the M/L and P/L favorite with all these scratches. This is the kind of race where we pay attention to the tote analysis and where the money is coming into the betting. It can really pay off. At the 3m mark #1 had gone from (M/L) 9/5 down to 6/5. #2 went from 6 down to 7/2. #7 went from 9 down to 7/2. #10 went from 12 down to 7/2. I did a quick calculation in my head. Tote divided by M/L. For the 10 horse this was about .3 and anything below .3333 I like. The exacta bet here is to use all 4 of these horses in an exacta box (1,2,7,10). The race result was 10 - 7. A nice $1 exacta payoff of $27.00. The net gain was ($27.00 - $12) $15.00.

Race #5 had 3 scratches: 5, 8 and 10. Again we can ignore the M/L and P/L and concentrate on the toteboard. At the 3m mark no horse seemed to be taking a lot of money. I decided not to bet this race.

[Tote analysis for races 6 and 7: ]

On to race #6. Again 5 scratches this time including the favorite, the #6 horse. Among the six remaining horses the #1 horse was the tote pick. The exacta bet here was 1/ALL and ALL/1. 2B came on to beat 1 with an exacta payoff of $16.90 and a cost of ($5 + $5) $10.00. The net gain was $6.90.

In race #7 the #4 horse was a very strong pick. The exacta bet was 4/ALL and ALL/4. The result was 4 - 6 for a nice exacta payoff of $34.30. The cost was $18.00. A very nice net gain of $16.30.

[Tote analysis for races 8 and 9: ]

The quality race of the day, race #8, had a late scratch of the #1 horse. The tote and P/L pick was the #3 horse. John Velazquez, Gulfstreams leading rider brought the horse in for the win. The exacta bet was with the two favorites, 3 and 7 both at 8/5 odds at the 3m mark, 3,7/ALL. The $1 exacta paid $18.60. The cost was $14.00 so the net gain was $4.60.

Race #9 had 1 scratched horse and ended up with 12 horses in the race. The tote analysis was in conclusive and didn't show much so I didn't bet this race.

The total net gain for the exacta betting for the afternoon was ($5.60 + $3.20 + $15 + $6.90 + $16.30 + $4.60) $45.60. Not bad for $1 betting.

Note that the net gain for win betting was $15.80. Which type bet do you like?

'til the next article. Good luck and enjoy yourself.