There isn’t any live racing in New York City right now and the local OTB shop was shuttered at the end of July. Recently I paid my eight bucks at the Lincoln Tunnel to make it to the Big M for some simulcast action. Betting on horses, especially at a simulcast center with that many races going off at once is not unlike throwing coins in a fountain and hoping for luck. There are very few virtues in betting like this: never fully prepared for any one race, irrational bets are made on certain longstanding beliefs. Whether it’s a puzzling Penn 5K MCL or a wide-open Grade I, I have come to believe in certain fall back positions.
When in doubt, I will go with the grey or roan horses on the turf, especially if it is a filly or mare contest. Call it simpleton-breeding analysis 101. I don’t have any hard evidence to support this angle but you’d be surprised how often they win turf races. On another note, now that the Meadowlands live flat meet has been canceled I will miss the annual Grey Ghost Handicap held at on the Friday night before Halloween – only gray or roan horses invited to enter.
Numerological betting is comparable to playing a lottery ticket, but with calculated risk. Pick the combination like the # 6 over the #2 and #4. Or the # 5 with the #1 and #4. It can be any combo, but most bettors have a FAVORITE combo that adds up or has another significance such as a birthday or anniversary, etc. The calculated risk comes from watching the board when betting this angle. It is often, but not always, wise (and safer) to add the favorite underneath in the exotics. I might add that harness players, I’ve noticed, are more likely to use this position. The kicker is when a $700 exacta comes in on your favorite combo at 30/1 over 20/1 and you didn’t play it because the odds were too high.
The last example of a 30/1 over a 20/1 may seldom happen, but when it does the IRS wants your name, SS# and 25% withheld if your winnings are over $5,000 or if it is more than 300 times the original wager ($600 for a 2 dollar bet). Many of us repeat $2 bets 2 or 3 times to avoid the possible with holdings. Usually this happens right before a race and my fellow fans waiting in line start to scream “hurry it up” or some other politeness. I don’t think you should bother with multiple tickets for tax purposes, it rarely happens anyway and than there is always someone who will cash it for a small fee…
When in doubt play the dime super. A late addition to the current wagering menu, the dime super is a time consumer at the window. Unless you’re playing a numerology combination, be prepared to spend minutes hunched over a program at the machine going through 360 permutations of a 10-cent bet. Playing dime supers probably won’t make you rich but for 10-cents a pop you get some bang all of those combinations.
There are virtues in all of these opinions, most notably because they are my own. There will always be others who are winning more than I am and those who have met larger defeat on the betting field. No matter what the position I usually fall somewhere in the middle. My final bit of impractical knowledge to impart on comes from Hamlet “to thine own self be true.” When to comes make your picks, who else is better qualified?