Taking Your Professional Skills to the Racetrack
Frank, a large man with a florid face and curly hair—and a serious penchant for not leaving the cork too long in a bottle lest the contents spoil—would walk into the vast main betting room of the Aqueduct clubhouse and survey the scene.
“What a wonderful thing for a publisher to see,” he would exclaim. “Look at all these readers!”
The Making of a Handicapper
In the 1970s, when I was working for a living, every one of my insecure bosses threatened to fire me if they found me moonlighting. “We expect 110% of your time,” one told me.
Fishing bores me. I found early on that, with golf, my eyes are so bad every ball was a lost ball, no matter where I hit it. So I took up horse racing.
I bought “Ainslie’s Complete Guide to Thoroughbred Racing,” hit the typewriter, reduced his 352 dense pages of information to 28 pages of notes and memorized them.
Then I started buying The Daily Racing Form every Saturday to study the past performance data for the cards at Belmont, Aqueduct or Saratoga. This was not for serious betting, but rather a mental exercise to try and make sense out of myriad facts and numbers—much the same as crossword or Sudoku aficionados.
The bottom line: In one or two races a day, the winning horse with attractive odds would pop up through the vast clutter of data and whinny rudely, “Bet me! Bet me!”
Sometimes I would spring for $2 on the phone; mostly it was just fun to see the next day how I did.
Direct Marketing and Horse Racing—A Few of the Common Rules
• Choose Horses the Way You Choose Prospects: R-F-M.
Always think R-F-M: Recency, Frequency, Monetary value. Horses need workouts and races to get into winning condition. For example, in claiming races (where anyone can walk up and buy the horse before the race at the claiming price), Ainslie says:
-Be wary of any claimer with no race or workout within 12 days.
-Should have two races or two workouts or one each within 17 days.
-Any horse with two races in the past two-and-a-half weeks need not work out.