One of my brothers has always been lucky at cards. Whenever we play, it seems like the winning cards just naturally go to him. Not me. I win sometimes and lose sometimes, but I wouldn’t say I’m lucky.
I know other people who seem to be lucky at the dog track. They look at a program, don’t make a mark on it and say, “I like the 8” and the eight comes in. Must be luck, right?
Maybe, but I think it’s more that they’re people who think lightning fast and can handicap much more quickly than you and I can. When they look at the program, things that we have to look for just “jump out” at them. They don’t have to judge and weigh the different factors like most handicappers do. They just “know” which dog will win.
So, maybe we should stop thinking of luck as something that you’re born with and start thinking of it as something you can create for yourself by practicing your handicapping until you can pick dogs quickly also. True, you may never be as fast as some people, but you can get better.
It’s been my experience that – as the old saying goes – “Luck favors the prepared.” One of the reasons that people are “lucky” is that they’ve done the preparation behind the scenes and all you see is the result. This is especially true of people who live at the track, know all the dogs and trainers and live only for betting.
They don’t have to pore over the program, because they’ve probably been at the track helping trainers since before the track was open that day. They probably talked to all the dog men and looked over the dogs and maybe even know something about what medical conditions some of the dogs are dealing with.
They may know which dogs have been wormed and which dogs are out of form, according to their trainers. This kind of inside information often looks like “luck” to outsiders who don’t have the same information.