Handicapping Tip of the Day – the Usain Bolt Lesson
by Rich Nilsen
Once again champion sprinter from Jamaica, Usain Bolt, dazzled the world with his brilliant sprinter performances. Two Olympic Games back, he became the first sprinter in history to win gold in both the Men’s 100 meter and 200 meter races. He did it again in London in 2012, and then he repeated the feat last week in the 2016 Rio Games. Bolt competed in nine events over the three Olympic games, all at distances for him of 200 meters or less, and he won all nine. For those wondering, 100 meters is equivalent to 109.36 yards.
So what lesson could Bolt give to a horse racing handicapper? Well, it came out recently that Bolt, the fastest sprinter in the world, had never run one mile. Huh?
It’s hard enough to beat this game without making wagers with a low probability of success.
It’s hard to believe but true. Usain Bolt has never done the thing that most American high school kids have had to do at some point in their lives. His agent, Ricky Simms, confirmed this amazing fact in a statement to the New Yorker publication.
So why would Bolt never run a mile? Simply because it would not benefit him. His game is all about those fast-twitch muscles involved in short-distance racing – his strength. Usain Bolt has stuck to his strengths, not deviating away from what he does best, and the results have paid off in spades.
As handicappers we are often tempted to tackle challenges where we do not excel. Of course there is nothing wrong with trying to improve your overall game, but too often players can get sucked into playing races, tracks or wager types, e.g. Pick 6s, where they simply are out of their element. It’s hard enough to beat this game without making wagers with a low probability of success. Review your recent wagering actions and determine if the Usain Bolt lesson applies to you. I bet for many reading this, that it does.