“You hear it every day at the racetrack: ‘I’m a great handicapper, but a terrible bettor.’ In many instances that’s true,” said Daily Racing Form’s podcast host and contest editor Peter Thomas Fornatale. “People will spend an hour looking at a race and construct a bet in the time it takes to walk from their seat to the window.”
“The great thing about contests is that the barrier to entry is so small, in terms of money, there really is nothing to be intimidated about,” said Fornatale. “In contests, there’s really (no) limit to what you can win, but there is a limit to what you can lose. That to me is what can make it very empowering. It’s a very safe way and great way to learn the game and compete against the best players without a lot of risk.”
“People taking part in the handicapping workshop should enter with an open mind; there are numerous ways to handicap a horse race, and attendees are sure to hear about many of them,” Bernier said. “That's the beauty of the handicapping game - there's no right or wrong way to handicap a race. Fans and handicappers attending will hopefully see how we handicap the way we do, as well as why we prefer certain styles as opposed to others.”
I didn’t go through all of this not to even try. So, try I did – straight tri in fact. I played Arrogate over California Chrome over Hoppertunity... So it goes in racing. But hey, we live for the thrill that this sport and these animals provide, and I now have the bad beat story that every gambler loves to tell and everybody who knows him has to hear dozens of times. Sorry in advance to all of you when you hear this from me again.
To me, there are two main factors in determining that a bias is useful. First, is it at least based in some kind of fact? Anyone can come up with a theory and support it dogmatically, but no matter how hard I may try to convince you that the moon is made of cheese, you can always just tell me to take a bite of moon-rock and prove me wrong.
It’s cliché, I know, but horses are not just lines on a piece of paper or numbers on a saddle cloth. Horses are living, breathing animals that have their own personalities and tendencies, and sometimes replays can provide an angle that all the number-crunching in the world can’t. As Warner Wolf would say, “let’s go to the videotape!”
To me, betting the Breeders’ Cup is like anticipating the final chapter of a really good book before the author has written it. You’ve had a feeling how the book would end all year and now you get a chance to find out. Sometimes the ending isn’t exactly how you picture it. Many good books, maybe even the best books, have twists. If you can see one of those coming, you might just win the BCBC.