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Sep 21, 2012

Another Addition to Your OTB Arsenal

By: By Ray Taulbot

Many readers that wish to take advantage of off-track betting and simulcasting have written to ATM asking for a method which will enable them to make decent selections with the least expenditure of time and effort. Accordingly, this month we are offering a method we gave our readers not too many years ago because it is fast and gives a great number of winners at nice prices.

As might be expected, the date of the last race reveals itself as an important factor. In short, 15 days is the most profitable date spread between a horse’s last race and today.

The reader may wonder: Why 15 days? Why not seven, eight, 10 or 12 days? Fifteen days proves to be the optimum time frame because it allows the trainer a one-week margin in which to find a suitable race beyond eight days, which is generally accepted as the ideal rest period following the last race.

When all tracks are considered, regardless of their class, we find that the highest percentage of winners consists of horses that started within eight days. This means that to take full advantage of this feature, a trainer must find a race within that period where his horse is eligible for entry. This is not always possible. Research reveals that in a number of instances, a trainer often needs additional days in order to find a suitable race. A careful examination of this situation shows that in almost all cases, a suitable race is found within 15 days.

However, research also reveals that if the date rule is extended beyond 15 days, the runs of consecutive losers increase. Hence, it was decided that while the date limit of 15 days since running the last race deprived us of a few winners that might otherwise have been backed, the increased number of consecutive losses actually reduced the margin of net profit over an extended period. So 15 days becomes our rule.

After extensive study, we found that where separation is necessary, it was better to use a point credit separation than it was to attempt to apply one rigid rule. We found that five factors, each of equal value — namely, one point — produced better results than could be obtained by using one hard and fast separation rule. These are:

1)      Latest date last start;

2)      Fastest time in which the winner ran the qualifying race;

3)      Highest speed rating earned by the contenders;

4)      Highest class last start;

5)      Finished closest up in qualifying race.

When each of these factors was given a value of one point, they proved successful in separating contenders.

Price proved troublesome in that a qualified horse often went off at short odds. After experimenting with several ideas, it was finally found the only possible way the player could be sure of obtaining 4–1 or more on his winning selections was to make a price demand part of the qualification for play.

To meet the request for a non-time-consuming method, we had to eliminate pace ratings entirely and depend upon the time in which the winner ran each contender’s last race.

The final method, which follows, is by no means the best way to make thoroughly sound selections. But it is the best so-called “lunch hour” method developed to date. It is easy to use, it points out a reasonable good percentage of winners at odds of 4–1 or more and does avoid unreasonable runs of consecutive losers. Following are the selection rules:

  1. Play no added money races and no turf races. All other types may be played.
  2. First, eliminate all horses whose last race was run more than 15 days ago and all horses that won their last race.
  3. Eliminate any nonmaiden that has not won in the two years shown in its consistency record.
  4. In order to qualify, a horse must have been leading — that is, running first — at one of the first two calls in its last race, it must have been within one length of the leader at the other of the first two calls.

Consider the following examples:

            First Call          Second Call

A)        1          3hd

B)        21         1

C)        1          1


  1. The selection must go off at odds of 4–1 or more.

If two or more horse qualify, separate them according to the following points:

  1. Earned highest speed rating last start: one point;
  2. Last started on most recent date: one point;
  3. Fastest winner’s time in last start: one point;
  4. Entered in highest class last start: one point;
  5. Finished closest up in last start: one point.

The contender with the highest number of points is the final selection.

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