The key skill you need to be a winning horse player is the ability to recognize horses that are being undervalued in the wagering, which are known as “overlays.”
There are many reasons this can happen: Maybe a horse has been running poorly but was claimed last time by a sharp trainer who figures to improve him. Or perhaps a speed horse has been facing tougher, faster horses and today catches a field where he is the only runner likely to go to the front. Or maybe this horse has been running on the dirt and now is trying the grass for the first time, a surface he is bred to relish.
Whatever the reason, once you’ve identified the overlay, the real work begins as far as developing a wagering strategy.
Of course, you can bet the horse to win – and should do so with a portion of the bankroll you’ve allocated for the race. But perhaps there is a heavy favorite in the next race who looks likely to dominate and a field in the preceding race with just a few contenders. In that case, you might want to construct a Pick 3 ticket.
Or perhaps your speed horse figures to put away the horses who try to chase him in the early part of the race, setting the table for the lone closer in the field to ramble up for a second. Then you might want to bet a trifecta, using the speedball over the closer and hitting the “all” button for third – meaning you have every horse covered in the third spot.
If your overlay scores and the other horses run the way you expect them to, you could have a very good day!