When you’re trying to make a living betting on horses, or even just trying to have a good day every now and then, the topic of predictability comes up. The reason for that is that along with getting good odds on everything you bet, you also need to win often enough to maintain your bankroll. Predictability and fair odds go hand in hand when trying to make money picking winners.

Some believe that maiden races are the least predictable because the horses are young and many have little or no racing experience. The statistics tell a different story, at least the winning percentage for favourites. The winning percentage for favorites as well as the average odds for all winners is a good indicator of how predictable, or true to form, the races are at all tracks.

Take a look at a circuit like Florida, for example, you have the higher purses and big name coaches at a big track like Gulfstream and the smaller purses and lesser known coaches at a track like Tampa Bay. Both tracks are nice tracks, and you can enjoy the races on both. Some say the Gulfstream is a better place to make money betting on the horses, while others like Tampa Bay.

The purses are smaller in Tampa Bay and therefore the quality of the horses is lower, but the horses in the Tampa Bay races are as closely matched as the horses at Gulfstream Park. In other words, the races are just as contested and just as fun to handicap and watch.

However, you will find several long shots winning at Tampa Bay that may or may not be attractive to you. The reason for this is that the smaller the bags, and the lower the quality of the horses, the more likely it is that a trainer’s movement will improve a horse. I know many will disagree with me but that is my opinion and I have played both tracks for years.

The top trainers who train at Gulfstream get some of the finest horses in the country. These horses are fitter and in better shape than the horses in Tampa Bay. If you have a horse that can run in the $50,000 stakes, you don’t run it in Tampa Bay. Your horse is just better than those horses, which is why you run it at Gulfstream for higher purses. When horses have fewer defects and have more ability, in my opinion they are more predictable.

Before you Tampa Bay fans get your lynch mob ready to hang this old horse player, let me say that their track is a nice track and the runs are contested. From a handicapping point of view, if you are looking for good gains and are smart enough to see the trainer moves going on, you can find these races on TB very profitable.

When it comes to horse racing handicapping, predictability and profitability are not always the same thing. You need to be able to predict outcomes better than the crowd. Many who try to handicap the races at TB expect these horses to be as true as the GP horses. There are some very good trainers at TB who are experts in finding out what is going on with a horse and making adjustments to equipment and training and getting a win at a good price.

So what I am saying is that higher purses and higher quality horses make for more predictable races, but predictability and profitability are not always the same when betting on horses. If you are good enough to understand the coaches and how they succeed at what they do, you may find a smaller track like Tampa Bay more to your liking. On the other hand, if you need more predictability and you’re willing to sacrifice and take lower odds on your winners, Gulfstream Park has some nice racing as well.

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