I grew up in Maine and was around harness racing at a young age. I was handicapping well before I could ever place a bet. My father would buy the programs that I used to review the night before and check the results in the paper the next day.
Are you an analyst?
I get that question all of the time and consider it a compliment. I am not a professional data analyst however I have always had the ability to take large amounts of data and find ways to simplify with the same results. I’ve always enjoyed sports stats and with horse racing there is no shortage of data.
I first became interested into thoroughbred handicapping when I found Beyer on Speed in a bargain bookstore. Where thoroughbred racing hooked me was the different distances, surfaces and learning about pace. As a casual fan I knew nothing about running styles and the herding dynamics and how the impact with a horse racing. I’ve spent the past decade studying the topic and how it can improve my handicapping skills.
I enjoy being able to simplify data. I’ve been able to introduce many people to this game and help them understand it’s more than betting names, number combinations, zip codes and jockeys. It’s alway’s more fun to win than lose.
Always working to improve
Horse race handicapping is one of the more challenging puzzles to solve. What makes it great is there is not one answer to achieve results. Every good handicapper will tell you the learning never stops, learn from others and their approach, ask for book recommendation, connect with someone on social media. I’ve met a lot of great people who have been generous with their time and sharing knowledge. I find that other horseplayers seek others who have this hobby in common.
How do I horseplay?
I will be the first one to tell you that I don’t enjoy gambling hard earned money. When I first started it was mostly Win/Place/Shows bets for a few dollars. I would handicap an entire card and needed action each and every race. Today I have evolved into a player who finds the best opinions in a card (usually 2-3) and only plays if there is value. Ever since making this transition I have produced positive ROI consistently over time. Like anything in life stick to what works and have discipline when horseplaying. Most importantly have fun, enjoy watching the race and respect the horses who give so much to this game.