What is a “Bridge Jumper” in Horse Racing?

A bridge jumper in horse racing is a gambler who unsuccessfully bets a lot of money on a heavy favorite to finish third or better in a race with a small number of horses. The reason they are called bridge jumpers is because they might want to think about jumping off a bridge when the bet they thought was a virtual sure thing didn't come through.

Making it even worse for so-called bridge jumpers is that in addition to placing a losing bet, they wagered a lot of money for what would have been a small payoff if their horse had finished in the top three.

Prior to the race, bridge jumpers are extremely confident their bets are a sure thing (a.k.a. a lock) and although there won't be much of a payout, the plus side is they are sure they collect at least a small amount of money. When they learn the hard way there is no such thing as a sure bet in horse racing, it only makes them more distraught and more likely to take a plunge off the proverbial bridge.

While bets by bridge jumpers are successful the vast majority of the time -  stats show it's at least 90 percent -  the flip side to this is you can make a killing by betting against bridge jumpers. And the reason is the odds are extremely high against the favored horse to at least show. This results in very high payouts for bettors who correctly pick the favorite to not even place in the top three.

To put it another way, as a bridge jumper is betting a large amount of money for a small payout, if you bet against a bridge jumper you are wagering a small amount of money for a large payout. This is possible because so much money was bet on the favorite by bridge jumpers it creates oversize show payouts for the other horses.

Keep in mind the chances of bridge jumpers making losing wagers can hinge on the number of horses in the race. The fewer entries in a race, the more likely the favored horse will at least show.

To wager against a bridge jumper first look for a race with a huge favorite. Then look to see if the odds on a favorite make a big move, which means a lot of money is coming down on that horse. Make sure the show pool is loaded up with money and then make a bet on a decent horse in the race to show. You can track the odds on a big favorite at the track, websites with their own tote boards, and televised races where the odds are posted on the screen.

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