The name of this game, of course, is to get an edge over other players. You want other players’ money to find its way into your pocket. Here are two “reading between the lines” clues to ferret out winners that most others will likely miss.

What Does “Evenly” Really Mean?

When you see the word “evenly” in a horse’s previous past performance line, your eyes should immediately light up. That word is actually code for “didn’t try as hard as he might have.” Which means that horse is very live in the race you’re playing.

Take race 6 in Woodbine’s Saturday card, a field of 12 maiden 2-year-old fillies. #10 Collect Dattt at morning line odds of 10-1 had one start in which she finished fourth at 16-1, beaten by #8 Miss Jessel who had finished second at 7/2. Miss Jessel, in fact, was the program selection to win Saturday’s race.

But, hold on, the trouble line for #10 was “even behind horses str.” The meant she wasn’t all out in the stretch in her first start — but didn’t that race set her up nicely for Saturday’s performance in which she came storming down the stretch to win the race at odds of 7-1? The results chart said “found more late” which is exactly what you would expect of a horse that had simply raced ‘evenly’ in her first lifetime start. See the program page for that race here.

When a Horse Doesn’t Fit, It May Be Legit

When you see a trainer has elevated a horse to a higher class level after performing only so-so at a lower level, should you automatically exclude that horse from your bets? No, you should include that horse.

Think about it: would a horse’s connections elevate a horse to run worse?” Hardly. What that kind of move often points to is that the trainer has reason to believe the horse — for whatever reason — is now game enough to win at the new level.

Take #7 Forester Humor, the longest shot at 25-1 in a seven-horse maiden field in race #6 at Woodbine on Thursday. In his first lifetime start in a $15,000 claimer, Forester Humor finished sixth, three lengths behind another horse that was also in Thursday’s race. So why was his trainer, Tedston Holder, racing him in a $25,000-$30,000 optional maiden claimer when he seemingly couldn’t handle $15,000 claimers?

The reason became quickly evident. When the gates opened for the 7-furlong race, Forester Humor soared to the lead and didn’t look back, lighting up the tote board with a $53.70 payoff. See the program page here.

(It will be easy to remember this betting angle if you recall a defense lawyer’s memorable line in the murder trial of a certain famous football player: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Lol.)

Who Took Down the Pick-6 Jackpot at Woodbine Saturday?

Woodbine reports that a U.S. player in the Arlington hub bought a $720 (USD) wheel in 20-cent bets to take down the entire $136,056 (USD) Power Pick-6 in Saturday’s card on the last six races. The winning horses in the sequence, starting in race 5, paid $19.20, $17.50, $10.80, $17.40, $3.10 and $42.70.

Smarty Pants!

Did you see the study that showed high-IQ men are more likely to play the races because it’s a skill-based gambling activity?