03/28/2017 5:08PM

Goldfeder: Using churn to positive effect


There are many approaches to take as a horseplayer. It doesn’t hurt to mix things up to prevent getting into a rut and to keep your approach fresh. Last week I discussed the topic of churn and mentioned that I would be reviewing my play each week as I to try to raise my handle and improve my play. My goal is to churn 50-100 percent of my bankroll and end the day with a positive ROI of +.10/$1.00. I usually try to bet around 5 percent of bankroll on any individual race. If I have a strong opinion I will raise that to 10 percent. The initial approach is to try to attack with simple methods, such as betting basic win-place and then jabbing with exactas and doubles.

I use Barry Meadow's scale from Money Secrets at the Racetrack to set my win-place goals:

I prepare a list of horses that I think have the chance to be potential keys and put them in chronological order based on post time.

This past week my list had 27 possible plays. I played a total of 14 races. I had to stay focused and look at all the pools available to view because many of the contenders were too short-priced to play straight up. These were the plays:

Review of some key plays:

Tampa 1: The 7 was unplayable to win at 2-5. However, the 4 in race 2 was a contender so I played a $25 double. The double will-pays made it a 7-1 shot. The 7 won easily but 4 was rank in second and took a while to settle. In previous races he acted similarly but showed talent. If he learns to relax he’ll win some races.

Gulfstream 4: The 7 was 9-2 as they loaded in the gate. When they left the gate he was 3-1. The strategy I suggested in my DRF Bets e-mail was:

7 win-place. If short, look at exactas 7 with 3-4-5 and trifectas with 2-3-4-5-6.

I liked overall value so I bet 7 percent of bankroll with small exacta and trifecta.

Tampa 6: I pushed the issue keying even money choice on top of 4 horses in exacta. I turned even-money into 1-2. Although not the wisest play it served to push the churn. Two of the four horses will-pays would have made it a 3-1 play.

Tampa 7: Wanted to get alive to the 3 in the next race so I used four logical contenders in $5 doubles. The win on the 3 would make no sense due to a likely short price. The winner of the first leg paid $27 and the will-pay to the 3 was $54 for a $1 wager. The 3 finished third but this was a good bet.

Aqueduct 6: At 9-5 the 5 didn’t offer win value but if he got me past this leg I felt good going forward. He didn’t.

Aqueduct 7: The 6 was game in defeat at almost 6-1. Didn’t care for the winner so $7.20 place payout was a positive outcome as I would have not considered the winning exacta.

Aqueduct 9: The 12 was on my list and I had used others in pick 4. Played both place bet and exacta as place bet. May have been illogically redundant play but $6.30 place price alleviates some of the second-guessing.

I felt lucky to lose only $27.25 for the day given that I only was 1 for 8 in win bets (12.5 percent). My place bets (50 percent) did help keep the bankroll churning but overall I was saved by the exactas, where I netted a profit of $94.40 from $42 wagered.

Win                                          Profit       ROI      

12.5 percent average mutuel $1    -50%     ($0.50)


50 percent average mutuel $5.38    34%     $0.15

I lost .08/$1.00 so the ROI goal was not attained. However, maintaining my strategy and keeping to the discipline of bankroll management afforded me opportunity to take some shots while making it relatively easy to wager over 50 percent of bankroll (66 percent). The list is only a guide. It is not something that I have to adhere to literally. Like a set list for a comedian, you know the path you want to take but a heckler can throw you off and you have to use your wits to stay on point. In racing I have to stay alert and watch the board like a hawk. I made mistakes and will most likely do so again, but with a plan it’s easier to keep my head in the game and focus on what matters to churn, to learn and to ultimately make my bankroll grow.

Every Tuesday I will write a brief "What Was I Thinking" review of the weekend's races. In addition I will be sending regular e-mails to DRF Bets customers with strategies and potential key horses to look at before the weekend races.

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