Cary Fotias

Cary Fotias is the Founder and President of Equiform, a New York City firm that produces The XTRAS and The SHORTS, handicapping products for evaluating current condition and form cycles. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed handicapping book, Blinkers Off, which describes an innovative numerical approach to form-cycle analysis.

After spending eight years as a currency trader on Wall Street, Fotias has spent the last 16 years as professional handicapper. He is a member of the NTRA Players Panel and was chosen to give a presentation to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of New York Racing on behalf of New York horseplayers.

Fotias is a vocal proponent of lower takeouts. He also has a strong interest in the cutting-edge concept of betting exchanges and how they might be developed in the U.S. He feels the game would prosper if it would only adapt to the economic and technological realities of the information age.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


A Short Layoff Can Work Wonders


Horses need layoffs. So do horseplayers.

Whether youíre a daily punter like me or a weekend warrior, you need some R&R now and then. When all the numbers and symbols in the Racing Form start looking like the prose of James Joyce or an advanced treatise on quantum physics, itís time to put yourself out to pasture for awhile.

Even though I bet almost every day, the intensity of my play varies. I spend the first four to six hours of every day making the pace and final numbers for the Equiform XTRAS and SHORTS. Then, I usually spend the last four to six hours betting. Itís a 12-14 hour day six days a week and a half day on Sunday (my wife gets me for Sunday afternoons). Itís a torrid pace, but I enjoy it most of the time. However, every couple months or so, my form begins to tail off. I find myself making poor bets or getting lax in my handicapping. Thatís how I know itís time for a rest.

For the last week, I have been vacationing on the Jersey Shore. With the assistance of my trusted friend, Kit, I am done with my number crunching by 10 or 11 AM. Then, I head to the beach for a couple hours. I just lie in the sun, do a little reading and watch the waves roll in. I havenít seen a race in a week, although I might advance bet a race or two off a good Equiform pattern line.

No matter how good (or bad) things are going at the track, youíve got to take some time to smell the roses. The other night I had a wonderful filet mignon topped with gorgonzola and portabella mushrooms at Lucianoís and Iím looking forward to the rack of lamb at Cafť Loren this evening.

Itíll be back to the daily grind on Thursday, and Iíll be fit and ready. Iíve been working out in the deep sand far up the beach. My form may be hidden, but Iím ready to roll of this summer layoff.

Written by Cary Fotias


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