While horseracing handicapping has sometimes been called a science, probably because it involves using data and math to compare the contenders, it is probably best described as an art. Other people see it as an intellectual sport that requires skill and luck. However you describe it, one thing is certain, there are two ways to measure your success at handicapping horse races.
One benefit of paying the races is the enjoyment and relaxation that a diversion can bring to you. If your goal is enjoyment, then relaxing and enjoying the art of handicapping may well be your success. Sitting down with a racing form or some other past performance data can absorb your interest and while you concentrate on the runners, you are not thinking about the usual cares of life. So as a hobby, handicapping is helpful and perhaps even healthful as a way to relax and unwind.
The second possible benefit or way to be successful by prognosticating the races is financial gain. It is possible to turn your hobby into a part time or even full time job. If you look at it as a business and realize the risk involved, you may be able to succeed. But as any small startup company, there are many risks with your handicapping business, and also, like most small, new businesses, it isn't likely you will show a profit right away.
For that reason I always advise you to start small, plan well, manage your money carefully, and expect some unexpected expenses and the usual ups and downs. Even if you decide to try to show a profit, it doesn't mean you won't be able to keep getting the benefit of a diversion. You will still be immersing yourself in the past performances and comparing runners. Of course, with the added pressure of trying to show a profit from your wagering, you may be putting more pressure on yourself.
That is why keeping a healthy and realistic attitude is so important. If you need money badly, starting any new business and trying to instantly show a profit is not a good idea. Most startup companies and new businesses do not make money, so why would your new handicapping business be profitable? It probably won't.
Stick to win bets only at first and get your experience picking winners and comparing horses to find the contenders and separate them from the pretenders. As you do that, keep records and see how often your second tier horses make up the exactas and trifectas. Then, when you have shown a consistent profit, it is time to consider whether you want to try your hand at the exotic bets or to confine your horse racing handicapping to win bets. The profit motive and the amount of pressure you want to deal with will help you to make that decision.
The most consistent horse racing systems have to have the basics and a handicapper must understand the basics. I have been around horse racing for 50 years including as an owner. Without the basics the rest is not going to do any good. If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to http://williewins.homestead.com/truecb.html and get the truth.
Bill Peterson is a former horse race owner and professional handicapper. He comes from a horse race handicapping family and as he puts it, “Horse Racing is in my blood. " To see all Bill's horse racing material go to http://williewins.homestead.com/handicappingstore.html Bill's handicapping store.