Reaching for the Right Tools
by Kaye Childs
My first blog found me cautiously taking my first steps into the world of handicapping, having gotten ankle deep and enjoying myself tremendously. I’ve played $1 and Points games at any track that offered them. This should provide me with tons of insight, experience and lots of wins to report in this blog, right?!? Not exactly.
While I did gain lots of experience, my insight came in the form of a big reality check. Where were my wins? What was I doing wrong? Time to get familiar with some of the “tools of the trade.” Part of the answer to my questions became more obvious after picking up the first “tool” and using it.
I read, or should I say reread, the blog by fellow TTE contributor Nicolle Neulist, “Play What You Know.” I know my “handicapping method could probably best be described as “Ready, Fire, Aim.” How to follow Nicolle’s advice was a bit more elusive, because really, what do I know? This brings me to another invaluable “tool.”
The second “tool, simply enough, was plain, old-fashioned good advice. TTE’s Anthony
Trezza (youare2020) imparted this wisdom….pick one track and play it only. In short, FOCUS! Belmont, also his suggestion, is the one I’ll be concentrating on. The track offers runners who are consistent, affording the opportunity to learn a horse’s form. My goal will be to study the jockeys and the trainers to learn who does well there. This is a short term goal that will enable me to branch out into other tracks as I improve game play.
That strategy will take time, but it’s do-able. It’s a good foundation to build on, and I will be exploring other tools as time goes on.
Am I disappointed to not have lots of wins to report this time? Yes, am I discouraged? Not a bit of it because it’s no longer true that I know less than nothing. Progress has already been made! I’ve learned you have to walk before you try to run, that a foundation of basics is necessary, that focus is key and that you can learn just as much from a loss as from a win.
But the most important thing I’ve learned is to just relax and have fun. Learning to handicap is a journey, not a day trip. Here’s to continuing on my journey!