Sir Winston Churchill once said “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” That thought can be applied to any endeavor, including horse racing.
All great players of sports in golf, baseball, football, soccer, basketball, running, or bowling to name a few, have slumps. Horseplayers are no different. Here are eight ideas to help you break out of your handicapping slump.
1. Change of Scenery. You have been toiling over the past performance sheets of your favorite track, but just can’t get a bead on a winning horse. Perhaps it is time to freshen-up by exploring a new venue or track. Visit a different Off Track Betting (OTB) parlor free of the distractions at your usual place. Also, take a breather from your usual track. If you’re big on the East Coast tracks switch to some West coast tracks.
2. The 10 CENT Superfecta. The second most popular wager in the world of horse racing is the Exacta. Take a peak at the tote board at any given track and look at the amount wagered on the Exacta versus the Win wager. More often than not the total dollars wagered will be close for both. Switch to a 10 CENT Superfecta for all the races on the card (provided one is offered). Wager solely on this exotic wager. This will help you exercise you handicapping mind and allow you to make some adjustments not only as you move through the card, but on your next venture to the OTB.
3. Review your best handicapping plays. Look at your past successes and see what you did right. Often times we forget the small details that lead to a success. Examine what worked in the past and apply it to your races today. Make a top ten list of each wager success and file those handicapping sheets you used for future reference. Just as important review the race just ended immediately. Look for the angles you overlooked. Make mental notes or program notes in order to move forward towards future successes.
4. Go to Low Budget Wagers. Yes, bring in a smaller bankroll until you can regain your handicapping footing. Allocate only four dollars for each race and see how you do.
5. Study Hard. There is nothing better you can do than some solid pre-race day preparation. No which races you will take a pass on or which you will emphasize before you purchase the track or simulcast program. The Daily Racing Form (drf.com) site offers a plethora of information including the day’s entries for all tracks.
6. Don’t wager every race. At minimum, skip every other race to allow more time for your handicapping. It is very difficult to get a good bead on a race when you only have approximately twenty minutes between races to handicap. Allow yourself more time to go through the past performances of each horse in a given race. Better yet, as part of your preparation, only pick two races for the day and take great care in analyzing these races.
7. Featured Race Exercise. Examine the featured race across multiple tracks in multiple time zones. For example, take the eighth race of four different tracks in four different time zones and take your time handicapping each. This exercise will allow you ample time to give much thought to each individual race, but will give you a nice multi-track handicapping experience. Apply what you learn from each for future handicapping success.
8. Change Celebratory Beers. Yes, that’s right. As humans we are creatures of habit. We have a tendency to stick to a brand we like and trust. Perhaps making a small change can create a new perspective. Hey if nothing else is working, why not.
These are just a few ideas you can deploy to make the necessary adjustments to get out of your handicapping slump. Changing things up a bit can help. At least it is worth a try. Good Luck in all of your handicapping.