all in Tips

It will not be long before racing returns to the land of the Ozarks for one of the year’s most popular meets.

Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., raises the curtain on its 2020 meet Jan. 24, bringing with it big fields and even bigger purses for three months of sensational racing.

Winners at the racetrack come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, yet there are a couple of important areas to focus on.

If you wager on horses either in great form or improving form, in the long run you’ll do better than wagering on horses that you hope will wake up and turn in better performances.

If you are like me, you made a New Year’s resolution. Some are personal like beginning a new diet. One that we will stick to this time ... at least until February.

Or maybe we got a fitness center subscription for Christmas. This starts out fine for the first couple of weeks. But then that energy turns into inertia and the visits drop off to zero.

Let me admit to one resolution I made quite a few years ago, one that I revisit time and again each season: Don’t be afraid to use the “All” button when making horizontal bets.

As much as maiden races often conjure up thoughts of a future champion making his or her first start, there are indeed some nice betting opportunities with horses who mature and progress into winners.

A good example of that can be found in the first race at Aqueduct on Dec. 22.

It was a one-turn, one-mile test for 2-year-old fillies bred in New York state.

Playing a longshot takes a mixture of trust and a hunch.

In most cases, there are more reasons to stay away from these horses than to bet them, so you have to have some faith in your instincts that there are valid reasons for a horse to do an about-face and turn in a surprisingly strong effort.

A good example can be found in the second race at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 15, a $35,000 claiming race held on the turf at five furlongs.

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