The long walk from the parking lot to the race track entrance can be filled with apprehension, especially for the novice. But near the ticket booth can be heard the shouts of people professing to know all the winners.
Those claims of prognosticating perfection can be intimidating. Which of the five booths offering the area tout sheets are correct?
In an effort to answer that question, The Times will take a regular look at the relative success--and sometimes lack of same--of the five tout sheets at Hollywood Park. The first thing to remember, of course, is if you make every bet suggested, you will not make any money. Matter of fact, if you make even half the bets suggested, you still won't win.
But that's why it's called gambling.
After two weeks of the current Hollywood Park meeting, the best sheet, as far as winning goes, is one appropriately called Winners, which had 25 first-place horses. Baedecker's, Duke's and the Green Sheet each had 18 winners. The sheet called Bob's had only 12 winners. In fact, none of Bob's 20 best bets (each sheet offers two a day) has won a race. That in itself is rather remarkable.
Perhaps the best single race performance was by Baedecker's, which had a $1,819.50 winner in a triple--winners in three consecutive races--in the first week. Of course, to win, Baedecker's asked you to bet $54.
The amount of money that the cards ask you to bet to win the exotic wagers can be large. Baedecker's, for example, has asked its patrons to wager $1,310 just on the triple through the first two weeks.
The only other cumulative wagers that have produced a profit are Winners' best bets. If you had wagered $2 on all the best bets, you would be showing an $8 profit.
The calculations on these sheets give the benefit of the doubt to the sheets. Horses that are recognized in the payoff because of scratches are counted in the winnings. Four of the sheets offer tips on all the exotic bets. Duke's does not offer exacta choices on every race, but for the purpose of this survey the top three horses offered are boxed in the exacta so that all the sheets have equivalent bets.
Some sheets have more success with certain exotic bets than others. For example, Duke's and Bob's do well in the daily double, and Winners and Bobs have had more luck at the triple.