While most people would agree, after a few trips to the horse races, that long shot bets are where the money is, however, after losing money trying to win a few, most will agree they are also difficult to hit. Handicapping horse races for profit and trying to make money betting on races is hard enough without going after those horses who seem so unlikely to win.
But when a longshot does win, somebody cashes tickets on that winner. Do you ever wonder who had the horse and if it is all the people who just play their lucky number? Does it ever occur to you that someone actually looked at the racing program and picked that horse to win for a reason?
It does happen sometimes, but before you declare that person a genius, find out if he or she is ahead on his or her bets. The goal of playing the ponies is to make money, a profit. So the real secret to making money on longshots is finding a person who can spot a good longshot bet in the racing form or program and then make money from the bet.
There is no one single formula for finding good long shot bets, but there are a few clues. This is the single most important clue to finding a good bet on a horse going off at long odds. Before the races, go through the racing form and find every horse that is in the morning line at 10-1 or higher.
Next, look at each one of these racers and see if it has ever won at the distance, on the same surface, and at the same class level or higher. Now circle each horse that qualifies. Once you have identified horses that have proven they can win at the distance, surface, and level, find out if the horse who is the likely favorite in the race has done the same thing.
It is amazing how many times you will find a race where the favorite has not done what is being asked of it but another horse, going off at long odds, has done it. Now comes the tricky part. Figure out why the horse you circled is now a long shot if it has indeed proven itself capable of winning a race such as today’s race. Is it coming back from a long layoff? Does its form seem to have tapered off?
What you are trying to find out is if that horse can improve today and also if the favorite is a false favorite. If you have the ability to watch the pools and spot inside money it is also helpful to know if the barn is betting that longshot.
Every day, at race tracks all over the world, people are surprised when horses win races even though the horse has done it before under the same conditions. Since horses go in and out of form and also respond to training and equipment changes, any horse that once managed to do what is being asked of it today should be considered a threat especially when the favorite is vulnerable.