One of the biggest kicks in life may be backing a long shot and seeing it cross the finish line first. making a big score is good for the spirits, not to mention the wallet. However, as any experienced horse racing handicapper can tell you, trying to cash tickets on longshots is a one way ticket to the poor house.
Long priced horses are usually considered the bait for gamblers who want a shot at a big price for a little investment. Their greed is usually rewarded with the usual payoff for greed, poverty. They have a low probability and high risk which inflates the pools, but most handicappers stick to the more consistent racers. If you want to succeed as a handicapper you better learn the difference between handicapping and gambling because there is a difference. You must consider each bet an investment and estimate the rate of return compared to the risk. Of course, like a lot of good advice you will receive in life, it sounds good but is a little more difficult to implement and stick with.
But if you do consider it an investment and compare the amount of risk to the rate of return, you will have to have an idea about how likely the horse is to win. Here are 3 situations that will afford you that opportunity to assess longshots.
1. The Phony Phavorite. The first place to look for wagering opportunities is the favorite because that is where the biggest single concentration of money is found. If your handicapping indicates that the favorite is not worthy of being the favorite then the other more likely contenders should be considered. I am talking about the horses that are going to go off at fairly low odds because they look like they could win the race. These types are not long shots.
If you eliminate those horses then the longshots are worth considering as possible winners. Try to find a longshot who has actually won at that level and on the surface and distance that it is going in the current race. Believe it or not it does happen that the only horse who has ever done what is being asked of it in the race is a long shot. It is a very under rated angle in horse racing handicapping.
2. Familiar trainer moves often produce big winners. Each trainer has his or her own favorite moves for winning. Familiarize yourself with trainer moves and then look for them in connection with longshots. Here is an example of a trainer move that paid $87 for every two dollars bet to win on his horse.
Apple Talk raced in the 2nd race at Tampa Bay Downs on February ninth of 2008. There were some indications that the horse might fare better in the race than he did in his previous races. A mutuel pool evaluation method showed that there was inside money wagered on the runner, probably from the stable. That is an obvious sign that the stable and trainer had determined that he was ready to score.
The racer was entered in a Maiden Claiming sprint event after two races in Maiden Special Weight races. The class drop off two long conditioning races at a higher grade were also an indication. It is a familiar trainer move. One important thing to bear in mind is that in any maiden race, a horse is being asked to win at a distance and surface that it has never won at before. So all maiden racers meet the requirements of case one, a phony phavorite, but many maiden favorites actually do score.
3. Equipment changes can improve a racer’s performance in a big way. The addition of a Cornell Collar, tongue tie, blinker’s or some other equipment as well as the addition of lasix can make a big difference. Of course, it is always a good idea to confirm your suspicions by checking the mutuel pools for inside money.
One of the best situations to identify is an event with a phony phavorite and find a horse who meets the requirements mentioned previously, i.e., an equipment change with action in the pools and a good trainer move.
Adding it all up, the first place to start is with the favorite. If it is a phony then check out the likely contenders. After going through all of these you may find a longshot is actually the best bet.