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How to Score the Big Dollar Horse in a Chaos Race

July 18, 2023

“Simply put, a chaos race is a race where you can predict in advance that handicapping will likely fail.” – DS

How to Score the Big Dollar Horse in a Chaos Race

The idea for this blog post came from a handful of phone calls I received from our HorseStreet Handicapper software users about this race, from Saturday, November 12, 2016. (I promise this is not a commercial for our software.)

How to Score the Big Dollar Horse in a Chaos Race

It seems that several HSH users had this exacta. I can’t say that they “had it cold” because the way they got it was to apply what we call “The Chaos Process,” a very unconventional way to pick your bets.

What if you knew in advance that the results of a race were not going to match the handicapping?

Who would you bet if you knew that everyone’s handicapping was likely to fail?

You’d bet the longshots, of course! Maybe several of them. And box them. Key them. And wait for the roll of the dice.

Anyone who has ever seen me play, knows that I play a lot of low-priced and medium-priced horses. I hit the occasional $15-$35 horse with real handicapping, but as a general rule, my winners are under $12 or so, with a whole lot of them under $5. I am all about being profitable. I will pull the trigger any time I can eliminate enough of the pool to turn it into high-edge situation.

“Chaos Races” are very different.

The logical question is, “What is a ‘Chaos Race,’ anyway?”What is a chaos race

Simply put, a chaos race is a race where you can predict in advance that handicapping will likely fail.

Now, I know that a whole bunch of you would like to know how to do that. Let’s begin with a look at a few chaos races.

Note that all of these races were drawn from that same day.

Horse Handicapping

I did not just pick the longshot races. On that day, a few of the long shots were “gettable” with conventional handicapping, but most were not. That WO10 race was somewhat gettable with conventional handicapping, especially advanced pace handicapping. But recognizing it as a chaos race up front is really what allowed our players to get into line to cash their tickets.

The Laurel 8th was also an example of a chaos race. People who handicapped that race with the knowledge that it was chaotic, could have simply tossed the low-odds horses or even just keyed the longest prices on the board on top.

Horse Handicapping

The Woodbine 7th was another example of a chaos race. In fact, it was a chaos race for the exact same reason as that WO10 race at the top of the page.

Horse Handicapping

The 8th race at Woodbine was another example of a completely gettable race, but only via the chaos methodology.

There were a total of 6 chaos-winner races like this on Saturday, November 12. SIX!

Horse Handicapping

The 10th at Churchill Downs was the biggest winner on the day at $60.

Horse Handicapping

The key to chaos races is to ask the question, “When does handicapping fail?”

Horse Handicapping

One way can be seen in this summary of those six winners.

See how all of them came from off the pace?When the early pace fails completely the likelihood of a chaotic result increases dramatically

When the early pace fails completely, the likelihood of a chaotic result increases dramatically.

Let’s look at a few facts…

  1. The more reliable the early pace is, the more predictable the race.
  2. The more predictable the race, the more people who will see the obvious selections.
  3. The more people see the obvious selections, the lower the prices on the winner!

Of course, this may seem is obvious to you very astute handicappers. But getting you there will need a more rigorous definition. That will require more time and space than we have here.

Join our Talking Handicapping Facebook Group for more discussion of chaos races. And since the best stuff goes directly to our email community, be sure to join our email list.

We actually have a workshop product that teaches this! The Chaos Race: When Handicapping Will Fail

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