For years the big deal in horse racing handicapping was pace capping. Then along came speed and everybody was talking figs and exploiting that angle until everybody and his barber knew about figure handicapping and it was no longer profitable. Then came bloodlines and breeding and sire handicapping. Armed with a list of turf sires and two year old sires a handicapper could simply pick un-raced or lightly raced horses from the right sires and profits could be made. Like all good and easy things, however, that ship has sailed and will never be seen again.
For the last few years trainer angles and moves have been the hot topic when it comes to picking winners in horse races. Because human beings are usually creatures of habit, and most horse trainers are human, well okay, I guess all of them are, but you get the idea–trainers repeat the things that make their horses win. The only problem with using trainer angles as a handicapping tool is that everyone is on to them and they rarely pay well anymore.
If you don’t believe that it’s almost impossible to make a profit with them, try this little experiment. Many racing programs and forms list trainer angles in them for each race. Many show the ROI (return on investment) for each angle, as well. So doesn’t it seem like a simple way to make a profit betting on horse races would be to just bet those angles that show a positive ROI? How can that fail?
If an angle shows an ROI of 150% and $3.00 then all you have to do is bet that angle. Admittedly it won’t work all the time, but over the long run it should, right? You will find that if you do this you’ll lose your shirt. Why? Because that positive ROI is history. It shows that the angle did show a profit, but that was when very few people were onto it. Another problem with this plan of just playing angles with positive returns is that things change.
While the trainers may keep making the same moves, it doesn’t mean they will continue to win with the same frequency. Statistics are subject to change and variation, just like anything else in life. Another problem is that you don’t know all the conditions that were met. You only see one particular figure or angle, not all the conditions that were present on the day when the other horses won. There are no shortcuts to horse racing handicapping success and all factors must be considered before betting.
write by Jessica Reeder