Picking winners is the best handicapping strategy

American Pharoah is not like the even-money horse in a $5,000 claiming race at Charles Town, where you might beat the chalk with a farm pet.

Knowing which favorite you can’t beat is a trait that is often indicative of good horse handicapping sense.. But this is no fair weather runner from California like California Chrome and Dortmund.

The goal of horse race handicapping is not to beat the favorite. Here’s what’s much weaker than playing American Pharoah in the Derby and the Preakness: playing something else. For its last three or four races, American Pharoah has been a gimme in any pick 3, 4 or 6 sequence in which it has been involved.

Two streaks held steady at the Preakness. And the “value” jinx was once again a sure thing, as one TV picker said he was looking for “value” and then tabbed Firing Line.

Make us happy.

One of the most costly fears around the horse race track is fear of favorites.

Whereas it is great fun to beat a favorite, there’s this to keep in mind: all favorites are not alike. The goal is to make some money. They’re almost reluctant to recommend something that would pay almost a 100 percent return on the investment in a few minutes. Trendy horses make money disappear. Wet tracks never help an outside horse unless it can get to the lead. You would have to bring something fancy to compete with Pharoah.

What will a Triple Crown winner do for this country?

What’s not to like about a great animal.

It can be more harmful than the fear of the kitchen at the track.

Hopefully we’re past the point where certain of the handicapping set think that the extra distance in New York will benefit a closer. The winner will be near the front.

The place to look for “value” is at the pawn shop.

Sure, Materiality and another party crasher or two will have the speed to test Pharoah in New York. The trendy horse, Firing Line, barely got around the race track. Like all the great ones.

Many public handicappers who would have a hard time picking what day tomorrow is act as though picking a favorite is a sign of weakness

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