Handicapping Tip of the Day #19 – Some Longshot Identifiers

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

by Glen S.

A time to use a horse as a longshot is when a horse in question has the potential to improve.  Here are a few scenarios for horseplayers to look for:

– horse has only one start and is eligible to improve in a big way.
– runner had a troubled trip that affected his outcome and disguised his true form.
– horse is trying something new that there is a sign that it could be successful, e.g. trainer angles, pedigree.
– the race shape sets up for him – lone speed in a paceless race or a closer with lots of other speed in the race.

You may ask yourself, how can in both the above situations have the same situation and one time you bet the horse and the other you do not bet the horse. It is simple; it is all about value compared to the horse’s chance to win. A horse that is at 20-1 but has enough angles to take a shot, then you only need to hit these types a few times to be profitable.  A horse at 1-1 but only has about a 30-percent chance to win, then in the long run you lose betting these types.

Understanding when a longshot can win and when the favorite is going to win really helps you out as to when to take a shot. Taking a longshot in every race and saying you never bet favorites instantly reduces your chance to make money at the races.  Accept that favorites do win, but when you find a chance to beat one, be ready and make it count.

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Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com


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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.


  1. Can you help me find long shots!! i been betting on horse for some time , I have my up and down, my problem is sometime i have all the horses in a superfecta but in the wrong spots. I would like to to more about finding long shots, if you could help me it would make me happy!!!!!

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