While I am often heard warning my fellow horse racing handicappers to avoid low priced runners (any horse going off at less than 2-1 odds) there is a situation when I feel it is a good horse betting strategy to wager on a horse going off at short odds. Horse racing tips may leave you cold, but this is not a tip on a specific horse but rather a situation to look for when playing the pick 3.
As I am sure you know, the pick 3 is an exotic bet that requires picking the winner of three consecutive races. Here is a situation I look for when I find a horse going off at a short price that I have spent some time handicapping and want to make a profit for the time I’ve invested handicapping the race. If you locate a horse that looks like it has a better than average chance of winning a race, but is going off at low odds, try to play it as one leg in a pick 3.
The ideal conditions are to have a horse that lays over the field in one race and then two very contentious races that make up the rest of the bet. A typical situation might be your short priced favorite in the first race. In the next race, there are 6 starters and each seems to have a chance to win. In the final leg of the pick 3 there are 8 runners, but only four seem to have legitimate chance to win.
Your bet would look like this…
in the first leg you key on the favorite whom you like to win
In the second leg you wheel all six horses
and in the final leg you key on the four horses that you think are contenders
The bet will cost you $48 based on a $2 pick 3 bet and will cover 24 possible combinations. The fact that you have some long priced horses in your bet will provide a nice payoff if the favorite should happen to falter in either leg of the bet and that is likely to happen.
Of course, there are no sure things in life, but keying on a horse that lays over the field and using this betting strategy allows you to take advantage of an opportunity that might have been missed if you only place win bets and limit your bets to horses starting at 2-1 or better. This simple system has worked well for me as long as I make sure my horse that I single on is a rock solid bet.