Tuesday, October 24, 2006

handicapping tips for horse racing

1. Use a checklist.
There's a lot of information to process. Use a checklist to make sure you've covered all that's important.

2. Learn from every loss.
No matter how proficient a handicapper becomes losing races will happen much more often than winning. What a great opportunity to improve our game, not to mention pattern recognition skills.

3. Do not take a loss personal.
A lot of the time you will make an excellent bet but the outcome will be bad---good bet, bad outcome---don't beat yourself up. It's the nature of the game.

4. Remain dedicated to your handicapping approach.
If you researched it then stay with it. Nothing is more disgusting than watching a winner go by because you changed your game plan---and knew better!

5. Check your objectives.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? What is an overlay? Where the hell are you going?

6. Plan your bets and follow through on your plans.
Is the number 3 horse a prime bet or just a contender? What odds do you need on the contenders? Know it and do it!

7. Make commitments and keep them.
Handicapping the races can be a tedious process. Before you go to the track make the commitment to handicap the card no matter what...every single day.

8. Make a commitment and take the plunge.
This one is connected to a couple of the guidelines above. If you decide to play a horse at a certain price then take the plunge. Be brave.

9. Once you decide---act!
Later on I plan to write an article about an old nemesis I call Uncle Bob. He can play some pretty sorry tricks on you in the head department. Till then just remember when you decide to act on a bet then do it. Don't let Uncle Bob change your mind.

10. Do your homework.
The truth is this, as I see it: No tout can deliver you to the Promised Land, only hard work along with some good information can do that. If you want to succeed then you've got to do it yourself.

11. Avoid emotion.
You've got to be ready for the next event. If your panties are still wadded up over losing the last race then you've made this difficult game even more difficult. Let it go. Be ready for the next race.

12. Develop winning attitudes.
Use affirmations. Meditate. Sing campfire songs. Whatever. Stay in a positive state. This game can be cruel, why add to the chaos with a piss poor attitude?

13. Don't lose sight of your goals.
Set realistic goals. Say it again! Set REALISTIC goals. And when you've done that don't let them out of your sight, no matter what.

The confession. In the beginning I wrote that these guidelines are good things to practice. And they are truly good. But even after all these years of handicapping the races I'm still working on them. So be kind to yourself and just stay at it. That's the most important thing anyway. Stay at it.

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