There’s always tomorrow

When getting ready to bet a race, I use Beyer Speed Figures, replays, profiles, pace ratings, trainer angles and race models. While I am looking things over, I am constantly trying to figure out who will run big at a price that is better than fair value. For example, if the runner has a 33 percent chance of winning, then I am looking for 3-to-1 or better because then the money won will make up for the horses that lose.

I marvel at horseplayers who can walk into a betting parlor, grab the racing form, then pick winners all day long. Some people know how to read between the past performance lines. I can’t do that.

In my opinion, a horse’s running lines are just a blueprint and much more work must be done to become a successful bettor. The information on this blog will probably help you show a profit over time, but trends come and go and I might lose due to poor analysis or bad luck. Besides, when a horse has a 40 percent chance of winning that means it has a 60 percent chance of losing.

Many times in a race, several horses have money-making angles going for them and I might choose the wrong one. So, in theory, I may lose money over time while wagering on what the numbers show to be overlaid horses if I make the wrong choices, I use bad money management or I somehow encounter longterm bad racing luck. 

Anything can and does happen in horse racing: jockeys fall off, runners get severely bumped and horses fall down. 

Sometimes, promising trends produce duds. For example, since 2006 trainer Jack Carava won with three of his last five 2-year-old first time starters that were less than 20-to-1. The winners paid 9-to-1, 12-to-1 and 18-to-1. So, on Nov. 6, 2011, Carava appeared to me to have a good shot with Thunder of India as he legged up jockey Martin Pedroza at 9-to-1.

However, Thunder of India broke slowly, trailed down the backstretch and had no rally. Sometimes, that’s how it goes.

Nothing is guaranteed. And there are no sure things.

So, I try to bet the same amount every race, however if I am going good I slowly increase the wagers with each race that I hit. I don’t get too excited when I win, or down when I lose.

If you decide to bet based on what I say on this blog, then please do so conservatively and remember there is always tomorrow. And if you disagree with my outlook, I welcome your comments as long as they are civil.

4 Responses to “There’s always tomorrow”

  1. Nick The Greek Says:

    Dear writer,
    For 25 years I have been following, handicapping and betting on sporting events. With the exception of the big 3 I never found much interest in learning or betting the ponies. Since moving to Vegas and finding myself in betting parlors throughout the city, I have acquired a new found interest in the nuances of betting the horses. Obviously I am way behind but everyday I try to learn something new about the sport and more importantly how to win money betting the sport. I watch and speak with many different people of horse race betting world and to this point have found that most people do not put the necessary time in to be succesful horse bettors. I have found that because a guy reads the DRF for hours at a time does not mean he his using this limited acquired knowledge to his advantage. I cant tell you how many times I have heard a player cry the blues as he is telling me what a great handicapper he is but just a terrible money manager. I have others that tell me how well they do with their finances but they just cant pick a damn winner. Be that as it may, I read, listen and learn as much as I can on this sport which I have come to love. I find many peiodicals informative, I find many people to be opinionated but not knowledgable. Now that I have found and subscribed sort of speak to Maiden King, I am finding your opinions to be extremely informative and useful as I begin my quest to become a succesful horse bettor. Your columns are well written and witty at times with a certain sarcasm that could only come from a guy who may have snuck into the ” Gahden” a time or two. The information as well as theories and betting techniques keep me glued to the Maiden King web page as I anxiously await your next column and piece of advice. Keep up the good work Mr. Maiden King. Cant wait to sign on tomorrow….


    Nick The Greek
    Pgh, Pa

  2. Dave Mckenna Says:

    Before you get to far in over your head with your pretend money and lose it all
    why you make a sport so easy to win at , so more difficult than it should be.

    Since your using pretend money just find live horses who are not the favorite
    to show for $300 to 1,000.

    I just happended to look at Aqueduct for thursday Jan 5th , here is one race number 2
    horse number 5 GANADOR. $400 TO SHOW.

  3. Dave Mckenna Says:

    another one for thursday at the Fairgrounds
    race 7 number 4 SIMPLY DELIGHTFUL $600 TO SHOW.

  4. maidenking Says:

    Thanks for commenting Dave,

    By no means have I found the only way that works and I am glad that you’re making money in the show pool.

    Of course I am betting real money every day and have been for almost 20 straight years. The only reason I use “pretend” money on the blog is because it’s a good way to keep score. Don’t you think it would be helpful if the all-star lineup of Daily Racing Form handicappers did the same thing? Then all of us horseplayers could see at a glance who is worth following and who is not. Do you think for a minute that any pay service would keep a running tally like this? There is no way because most of them lose money and they’d be quickly out of business.

    You say that horse racing is easy to win at, but if it was then everybody would be doing it. I have worked in the horse race betting industry since 1996 and know first hand that only a couple of people out of every hundred are showing a long-term profit.

    Dave, keep reading this blog because I am a virtual lock to show a 10 percent profit this year, I’m even money to win 30 percent, and I’m a 2/1 shot to make 50 percent or more on my bets. I will follow your horses at Aqueduct and the Fairgrounds and if they pop, maybe we’ll all be reading your blog soon at Just remember to publicly track your wins and loses because talk is cheap.

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