Handicapping Tip of the Day #13 – Hometown Handicapping

Handicapping Tip of the Day – November 6, 2015

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

When simulcasting wagering really took off in the late 1980s into early ’90s, the game of horse racing betting changed dramatically.  Today, younger horseplayers have no idea what it was like in the past when one had no other choice than to focus on just their home track.  With the exception of major events like the Kentucky Derby, wagering on other tracks was not an option.

King's Swan claimer

Former claimer King Swan, copyright Agameofskill.com

There was a lot to be said for the time when a handicapper could only play his hometown track.  You were forced to know the trainer and jockey colony inside and out.  You even knew the horses by name, what their abilities were and in what type of races they fit.  I would watch the  Harvey Pack show many nights with my father after coming home from school and taking a break from homework.  Oftentimes I could pick the winner just by looking at the entries they would flash on the screen prior to showing the race replay. “Well, King’s Swan should handle that field,” I would state, and all too often that’s exactly what would happen. Good luck doing that today in the age of simulcast wagering.  Many horseplayers are all over the map, trying to conquer tracks from coast to coast.  Consequently, they are not as familiar with the trainers  and jockeys or how the track plays at particular distances and surfaces.

If you’re not getting the results you want, take a step back and look at how many tracks and races you are playing each week.  It might be time to focus on your hometown product.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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