Seabiscuit and Direct Marketing
In horse racing, you have to get inside the heads of:
The owner/trainer: The majority of horses are in a race for reasons other than to win. For example, a dirt horse in a turf race is probably out for the racing experience and to be toughened up. A six-furlong horse is in a mile race for the same reason.
The crowd: The odds are not determined by the quality of the horses. Rather they are set by the amount of money bet—the perceived value of the horse by the horse players. You can't make money betting a favorite that pays 2-to-1 or 3-to-2. Dig deep into the numbers to figure out why a horse is the favorite, and find something that the majority missed that will cause the favorite to lose.
In direct marketing, dig deep into the datacard of a recommended list, and figure out why a list may be wrong for you.
The horse: How is the horse feeling? If the numbers in The Daily Racing Form point to two entries as being likely winners, go down to the paddock and examine the horseflesh at close range. Are the front legs bandaged? Bandages on the back legs usually are all right, because often the front legs can clip the back ankles in the running process. Front bandages could indicate a weakness.
Is the horse sweating and acting up? Last week at Delaware Park I had two contenders in one race and went to the paddock. The No. 9 horse was being saddled up pretty much out of sight. The No. 3 horse, on the other hand, was surrounded by caring people—a trainer, owners, a jockey, stable boys—all fussing over him the way mechanics would baby an Al Unser, Jr., car before the Indy 500. At the last moment the stable boy unwrapped the bandages from the front legs and everyone stepped back as the jockey was given a leg up. "That horse is the winner," I said to myself. And he was.