Many horseplayers look at a full field of maidens and, with relatively little information to go on, they get a headache and run straight for the aspirin bottle — or worse yet, the whiskey bottle. They don’t know where to start or what to do. But I’ve compiled information that is not found in the Daily Racing Form, so I can tell which first timers are likely to blast out of the stalls, who is a good bet to fire off a long layoff and whether or not the early speed will be around late.
I specialize in maiden sprint races on the Southern California main track. I use pace ratings, data bases, speed figures, profiles, models and race replays. While growing up, I read every book that was ever written on horse racing — twice. Then, once I moved to Las Vegas, I began keeping my own records and turned my knowledge into action.
Of course, everybody in mainstream America thinks that making money betting horses is impossible. And I will acknowledge that it isn’t easy because the takeout is high. But the key is to get your hands on better information than everybody else is using, then have the discipline to bet only when the price is right.
Price and probability are everything to me. I would much rather have a solid contender going off at better than fair odds, than a stickout who is an overbet underlay. Whoever said “a short price is better than a long face” was only half right.
That’s not to say I won’t bet a favorite. I love wagering on 7-5 shots when my records show that horses who look like them won 80 percent of the time. That’s just good business.
Almost all of my bets are made in the win pool, using a rational, value-based approach. But sometimes I wager small amounts on exactas, trifectas and supers.
Originally from Melrose, Mass., I moved to Las Vegas in the 1994. In 1990, I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UMass-Amherst, which included a one-year detour to the University of Georgia. Then I worked as a daily newspaper reporter for three years, writing for papers in Fort Dodge, IA from 1992-94 and in San Diego, Calif. from 1995-96. In 1996, I came back to Las Vegas and have been betting Southern California maidens ever since.