A versatile and resilient breed

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Horseplayers are a very versatile and resilient breed. We can adjust very quickly and the way things have been going, with tracks being shut down, we have just pulled up stakes and moved our handicapping skills to the tracks that are still running.

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As for this bettor, the usual track of my choice had been the-once Great Race Place called Santa Anita which was ordered to halt racing on Friday.

In my younger days, I would be at old Waterford Park handicapping very cheap races and a few short trips up the road to Thistledown for a little better class of racing. I would also make my once-a-year journey to Churchill Downs with a stop at River Downs on the way. So as a dedicated daily horse player, we have no problem moving on to other tracks.

When a player zeros in on one race track or circuit, like I have done for over 40 years handicapping West Coast tracks, we get a feel for the jockeys and trainers. We know which jockeys do well for which trainers and what barns seek out certain jockeys when they know they have horses ready to run a big race. It becomes part of our daily handicapping, which is a big asset in picking winners.

As we move to a new track, a track we don’t play on a daily basis, which is what we as horse players will be doing for the foreseeable future, how do we adjust?

Years ago, this would have been a very difficult situation. We would rely on the Daily Racing Form and hope our handicapping theories held up. But now with the Internet along with social media, we are able to get all the info we need, especially using top horse racing sites like Brisnet.com. We can watch the races and replays on track websites and there are chat rooms where fellow horseplayers can exchange tips, ideas and information.

Horseplayers are a rugged, tough bunch. We all move on, and as they say, there is a winner in ever race and sometimes two, with a dead heat.

I have been asked in the past why do I like Santa Anita so much. The first time I set foot there I thought I died and went to heaven. That was 1977, the racing was as good as it gets, along with the once-great Hollywood Park. 

Things have changed. Times have turned horse racing upside down. But we adjust, just like this handicapper will adjust, win place or show. We will keep finding spots. They can slow us down but not stop us.

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