Monday, January 10, 2011

Lend Me $7K? I'll have a 20 for 20 horse. And Betting Maxims

Zenyatta just missed going 20 for 20, but one horse completed that task at the Meadowlands this weekend. St. Elmo Hero won his 20th in a row. He has been chalk all but once.

The interesting part of the story is the fact that this gelding was claimed out of his first career start (a win of course) in a $7000 maiden claimer. Checking his lines, there was nothing in them that showed he would go on to be a good horse, so that $7k plus allowances seems to me to be a shot taker.

It paid off: The horse has now won $145,000, racing primarily at lesser tracks.

See screenshot below for a snapshot of his career, courtesy the link to Track It stats.

One post today that won't surprise you folks in the least, since most of you are bettors, comes from the Horseplayers Association. A dude on a Hold em/Sports betting chat board or two or three asked a simple question to those players: "Why don't you bet horse racing?" Their answers are here.

I think my favorite was this one: " It just seems impossible to beat. I'd love to see someone have a great day at the track. Like "Trotter" in the movie "Let it Ride." But, that seems like great fiction."

When our target market thinks it is nothing more than a pipedream, or pure fiction to beat our rake, we don't have much of a gambling game do we. I wonder if Chris Moneymaker thinks the same about poker? How about Alan Boston with sports betting? I guess the article on "Positioning" speaks to the concept.

It is something this business does not want to discuss. We'd rather gloss over it, deny it exists, or call them names, but it is there, and there is little chance to fund $1B+ in purses long term by selling t-shirts, so it better damn well be discussed. It is something you will never read in a trade mag and it is on the reading list.

More required reading for industry watchers who have a devil of a time understanding the market: "Maxims of betting life" by Scott over at his blog. A couple:
  • Losers think of selecting the winner and beating a race. Professionals think of betting for value and beating the races.
  • The best handicapping literature in the world are your own records.
  • If you want to make money ... big money ... do what nobody else is doing.
The whole list is good, and things we all do every day when we bet horse racing.

The Serial Horseplayer kills me. His "Onion-type" satire site is funny. He is interviewed via a blog here this week. He is calling for more drug testing in racing, but not on the horses. I admit, I laughed. It's impossible not to laugh at a lot of his stuff.

Wild rescue of a standardbred here.

Lines of the $7k maiden claimer, St. Elmo's Hero. Want to go back in time? Click to enlarge.

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