Whether you play the hounds or the horses, you’re probably not against having a longshot you’ve bet come in. Longshots are wonderful things when they win, or even place if they’re at long enough odds, but finding them can be tricky. Oddly enough, the races where longshots are most likely to come in, I think, are a type of race where there’s usually a ridiculously low priced favorite.
What type of races are those? Maiden races. It might be a trot for 2 year old fillies at the harness track, a maiden race for greyhounds with a dog that ran a really fast schooling race while the other dogs are either first time starters also or haven’t shown much in a few races, or a Maiden Special Weight for 2 year olds at the thoroughbred track where most of the horses are first time starters, except for one that ran and came in second and is the big favorite at 4-5 in the morning line.
The crowd focuses on one runner and ignores the rest and the smart bettor knows that opportunity is knocking. That’s not to say that the big favorite won’t win. They often do. But, oftentimes they don’t and a longshot comes out of nowhere and passes them in the stretch. I’ve seen it happen many times and if you’ve gone to the track a few times, you’ve seen it too.
So how do you figure out which of the other runners in a maiden race is going to win if the big favorite doesn’t? Well, unless you have inside information, it’s hard to do. If the connections are good with maidens, the odds usually will reflect that and be low-ish, so that doesn’t help all that much. If the runner has shown something in a previous race, the odds will reflect that also. So, what to do?
I just play the three or four longest shots on the board to win or to win and place if the odds are long enough. I hit a horse that paid $70 at Delaware with this method just yesterday, August 9th. The first race was a maiden race for 2 year old fillies at 5 and a half furlongs on the dirt. The big favorite at even odds was You’re Dreamin. It looked good.
The 3 longest shots on the board were the 1, 3 and 4, so I played them to win and place and in exactas with the favorite. The 4 Buff’s In Love won at 34-1 and paid $70.20 and $19.40. The $1 exacta paid $98.20. I had invested $18 in the race and made a profit of $169.80. I could have just put a buck to win and place on the 3 horses, because Delaware has one dollar bets, but I had a hunch that I should play the full amount. I usually listen to my hunches and I’m glad I did.
Of course, you don’t have to play 3 horses in one of these races. You can play as few or as many as your budget allows. If there are dollar win bets, you could play 3 horses to win for a buck and forego the exacta too. I usually play 3 or 4 horses but I don’t always play exactas. The more first time starters there are in the race, the better, and 2 year old races are better for this than 3 or 3 and up, I think. Next time you go to the track, whether it’s the greyhound track or horse track, look for one of these races and put a little bit on the longshots. You might be very glad that you did.