Don’t Get Hung Up on Tips at the Track
Before we go any further, we need to clear something up. In the horse racing world, you are going to run into a lot of people (especially at the track) who claim to be experts betting on the horses. They’ll claim to have insider tips or knowledge of a completely sure thing. Here’s the spoiler. There is absolutely no such thing as a sure thing in horse racing unless someone is cheating.
This means that fella at the track is probably just a degenerate gambler blowing smoke up your tailpipe. If they were really geniuses and had the ability to pick “sure things,” do you think they would be hanging out at the track all day with the common folk? Probably not! They’d probably have paid servants betting for them while they sat in an air conditioned owner’s box sipping on mint juleps. They wouldn’t be drinking a bud light with the same clothes on from yesterday and a weird aroma cloud following them around.
We’re not trying to be mean to the people at the track that love to bet on horses. What we’re saying, though, is when they tell you about a sure thing, they are doing you a disservice. You can’t get hung up on these tips even if they happen to pick a winner once in a while. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. It’s fine to listen to their tips, but don’t get so hung up on them that you get away from the strategies we’re going to give you in the coming sections. Fact and statistics will always win out against gut feeling in the long run. If you don’t believe us, you’ll eventually learn that lesson the hard way.
Jockey Experience is Important
Horse racing is way different than betting on dogs for really one main reason. There is a person on top of the horse directing it around the track. For some reason, a lot of novice horse racing bettors like to put all their weight into researching the horse and forget that the jockey in the driver’s seat is extremely important.
There are a few things that you want to look for when you’re researching a jockey. First, you want to look at their history. Are they a winning jockey? Have they been winning recently? Are they staying in shape (some added weight from a lack of discipline will make a difference)? Have they been active lately or are they coming off a break?
Second, you want to look at their specific experience with the actual horse they are on and the track they are racing. Have you ever driven a new car or someone else’s car for the first time? It probably took you a little while to get used to everything even though it’s still just driving a car. This is the same with jockeys and horses. If the jockey has never ridden that particular horse in race conditions, there might be some issues with the two synching up together. While you shouldn’t preclude a horse just because it’s their first race with a new jockey, you should take it into account.
The jockey’s experience on a track is probably the most important part of this equation. Yes, all tracks are ovals and have dirt on them. But, as will talk about more later, they are not the same. An experienced jockey who has run at a particular track a lot is going to know the ins and outs of the track. They’re going to know the good sections of track, the sections to avoid, and they’re going to know when and where to push the horses to get maximum effort.
So, what’s the bottom line? Make sure you research the jockeys. Look at their personal record and then their record and experience with the horse they are on and the track they are racing at.
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