Letter to a New Horseplayer

Mutuel Respect
By Ed DeRosa, Brisnet.com Director of Marketing

Hello Race Fans!

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but that’s probably a good thing since we’re actually enemies.

See, betting on racing in North America is pari-mutuel, which means that we’re betting against each other. The track where the race takes place pools our money, takes a cut off the top for expenses, and then pays the rest out to the winners. Sometimes we’ll both win, most often we’ll both lose, sometimes you’ll win and I’ll lose, and best of all is when I win and you lose. The latter is the preferred scenario because fewer winners means higher payouts.

Still, don’t let the idea that everyone wants you to lose scare you. In fact, that should be part of what drives you to learn more about the game and excel at it. I often go to the track with my friends, and while we always have a great time socializing and watching the horses run, there is no better a feeling than cheering your horse home and getting in your friend’s face to say, “I told you so!” Except in racing, you don’t point a finger in your friend’s face, you wave a fistful of cash.

As you progress, you’ll quickly learn that picking the winner of a race isn’t enough to be a winner at the races. With a seemingly endless array of ways to bet your opinion(s), structuring your wagers to best support those opinions is as important as the handicapping process itself.

The most important thing to build over time, though, isn’t handicapping prowess or a wagering system but confidence. Scared money never wins and neither do you when you don’t believe in yourself. And speaking of trusting in yourself, don’t forget how I started this missive. That is, the guy next to you at the urinal or the girl behind you in line at the concession stand is your enemy. They may have a sure thing winner, but if you both have it then other people do too. Don’t be afraid to zig when you know others are zagging.

Welcome to the Sport of Kings where $2 and an opinion is all you need to participate.

Ed DeRosa
Director of Marketing, Brisnet.com
Twitter: @EJXD2

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