May 18, 2012
Assessing Across-the-Board Action
By: By Ray Taulbot
The following is an article by Ray Taulbot that may come in handy for those that want to try a new system or for those that just play on the weekends. If you would like to order any article by Ray Taulbot, go to our website at www.americanturf.com or call 1-800-645-2240.
Wagering across the board is often a trap for the uninitiated player because a wager of $2 across the board is bound to show a loss in the long run. Across-the-board wagering, however, is popular with many players and can be approached in a sane manner, provided the bettor concentrates on selections that will probably pay good place and show prices, and provided they use a wagering scale like $2.00 to win, $4.00 to place and $12.00 to show.
Wagering on such a scale prevents the player from taking the worst of the shorter place and show prices. It is also in accordance with sound wagering principles because the smallest amount is placed where the greatest degree of chance is involved and the largest amount is placed where the chance of success is greatest.
Successful across-the-board wagering depends largely upon two basic factors:
1) The proper division of each wager.
2) The selection of horses that are likely to return good place and show prices.
This writer has made a long and careful study of across-the-board play and of selection methods that may be used successfully in conjunction with this type of investment. Our present purpose, therefore, is to present a selection method that has proved its value over the years. This method is based on current condition, probable odds and trainers’ intentions.
The one thing we seek above all is a sharp horse. The first rule of the selection method demands that the player consider only horses that were running first, second or third at every call in their next-to-last race. Further, the next-to-last race must have been run within the past 30 days. This basic rule insures the player against the weakness of playing horses that are not currently sharp.
Now, most of our readers are aware that a hard race last start, one that taxed the horse to its limit or near limit, is very likely to dull rather than sharpen its current form. Therefore, the second basic rule demands that the horse was running fourth or farther back at every call of its last race and that this race must have been run within the past 20 days.
You will note that these basic mechanical rules point out a horse that has had two races within the past 30 days. One of these races — the next-to-last race — is one in which the horse showed sharp condition by maintaining a running position of first, second or third throughout the entire race. The other outing — its most recent race — is one in which the horse was probably not pushed to the very limit of its ability.
This most recent race also serves another purpose. Since the horse finished out of the money, this race is very likely to result in reasonable odds today. As a general rule, the public gives its heaviest support to horses that finished in the money last time out.
However, the player can, of course, govern the odds factor themselves. That is, they can pass any qualified play that goes postward at short odds. If they pass such plays, they will avoid the danger that is always involved in backing short-priced selections. This is a real danger, especially in across-the-board play. No matter how clever the selector may be, they are going to play some losers, and these losing investments must be overcome through higher prices.
Following are the rules for making selections in accordance with principles that we have found to be entirely sound:
- The horse must have been running first, second or third at every call in its next-to-last race. This rule does not include the start call given in Daily Racing Form. It pertains only to the fractional calls.
- The horse must have been running fourth or farther back at every call in its most recent race.
- The most recent race must have been run within the past 20 days.
- The next-to-last race must have been run within 30 days.
- In claiming races, the horse must not move up today more than $500. In non-claiming events, the horse must not move up more than one grade. For example, a horse that qualified in allowance races is acceptable if entered today in an overnight handicap, but it would not be acceptable if entered in a stakes or other handicap race.
- Play only races run over standard distances. Common sense dictates that we also avoid maidens.
- In event of ties, the play is the horse that qualified next-to-last time out in the highest class race. It always pays to favor a horse whose qualifying race was run over the same circuit as the track where it is to race today.
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