LIFE AT THE QUARTER POLE is an ongoing blog dedicated to the awe-inspiring world of horse racing. This site is comprised primarily of articles and feature stories, and our main objective is to showcase the Sport of Kings in the most uncommon of ways.
Quote of the Month
"Immortality has been realized once the roar of the crowd has been united."
Thursday, June 4, 2015
The Handicapper's Bill of Rights
Schoolhouse Rock Bill
the horse players of the United States, in accordance with established gaming
laws and the absurd tax penalties imposed upon us by the federal government, do
solemnly vow to uphold the integrity of our sport by dropping oodles of cash
into betting pools everywhere.
segregate based on class
is much to be learned about people by the company that they keep. The same can
be said for horses. Handicappers must be perpetually on the prowl for the four-legged
friends making a quick jump up the class ladder. This is often indicative of a trainer’s
confidence in their horse’s ability. Horses dropping into lower levels should
also be quickly identified. Class drops are granted for a variety of reasons, yet
the most effective drop is the one intended to boost a horse’s confidence.
Segregating based on class requires precision with your marksman-like eye. Do
not let an unassuming prince among paupers sneak past you!
Right to practice
have you done for me lately? No, Janet Jackson, this is not the racing
community paying homage to your outdated tune from the Reagan Administration.
Horse players must look for positive trends in recent performances. It is all
fine and dandy that Ladybird Thief ran second in the Worthless Miracle Stakes
back in 2008, but she is eleven years old now and has not finished in the money
for over two years. Being able to spot the progression that can lead a horse
back into the winner’s circle is essential for any good handicapper.
lawfully indulge in speed
may allege that the fastest horse doesn’t always win the race, and there may be
some truth to this, but rest assured, the slowest horse isn’t getting their
photo snapped all too frequently, either. Make no mistake about it, whether
your selection runs on the front end or is a dead closer, they will be a force
to be reckoned with if they are the fastest animal in the contest.
age-old tale of The Tortoise and the Hare is worth remembering each and every
time a handicapper envisions the particular pace scenario in a race. Pace
handicapping requires the horse player to look at their selection’s tendencies
versus those of their foes. Pinpointing the outsider, such as a front-running
horse among closers, or an off the pace type versus substantial front end speed
is critical. Get caught napping when it comes to pace and you may wind up as
desperately short as the old hare once did.
exercise basic instinct
gentlemen, but Sharon Stone has nothing to do with this “basic instinct.” We
have all said it and kicked ourselves in the rear end afterwards. “Something
was telling me to use that horse and I still chose not to.” Ignoring a feeling
or a hunch can be a costly mistake when a specific horse catches your eye for
some unexplainable reason. Exercise the right to be guided by your instinct and
the results might be more than just a pleasant surprise.
A special thank you to Claudia Ruiz, editor at Thoroughbred Today, for providing the forum where this piece had first appeared.