A Q and A with TVG Host Matt Carothers

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

This week's The Player's Edge Podcast guest, TVG's Matt Carothers (@MattCTVG) was gracious enough to spend a little time with Horse Racing Radar before the show for a Q&A primer.

HRR: In a video, you said you learned everything from your father, what's the number one or most important lesson he tried to teach you?

Matt Carothers: To not play afraid. If you love a longshot go all in. If the price goes up, don't worry that others disagree, as it just means more money for you.

HRR: Your father also said he picked up some insights from you, name one thing – or more if you would like - you taught your dad that he tries to take credit for? In a loving way, of course.

Matt Carothers: He was just being kind in that. I really haven't taught him anything. That stated, if I tell him that I love a horse in a race that he hasn't looked at, he will play it blindly. That means a lot.

HRR: You also said your dad was the best Pick 6 player, maybe in the world. Is that why Pick 4s and 5s appear to be your favorite bets? And, what's your strategy for building race to race tickets?

Matt Carothers: I'm all about trying to hit a home run. As a price player, you're going to have many more losing days than winning ones, so you have to make the good days count. The pick 6 has become so watered down that the pick 5 is my favorite play. The takeout is generally lower and you have that chance to win big. The best sequence for me is when I find a price I can single. That gives me the ability to spread a bit in the other races, and if I'm right and get lucky in one or two of the other legs, I can potentially make a lot.

HRR: You are known for taking prices, what's the first thing you look for when you analyze past performances? And why?

Matt Carothers: You're probably thinking my answer is going to be pace of race, but it's not. I do what most do, start with the 1 horse and proceed. Finding out whether or not I think that the favorite is weak or not is very important.

HRR: You mentioned that getting prepared for your TVG show is as much fun as doing the show. How long do you prepare before each show?

Matt Carothers: It depends on the card. The more difficult the card, the more fun the work is, but at the same time, it can take a long time. I would say I can get through a mediocre card in two hours, while a really tough one with full fields might take 4 hours or so. There's only so much time in the day, so I don't dive into every track that we are showing. I also find it very disingenuous to turn in selections for a track that I really haven't looked at. On a weekday, I might dive into 2 tracks, and on a weekend 3. I don't always have to handicap an entire card, so the preparation probably takes between 3-7 hours.

HRR: Do you set your own odds? If so, how do you arrive at them?

Matt Carothers: I do not. I'm pretty good at this point of knowing bad morning lines, and knowing what price my horse is going to be come post time.

HRR: We are in the business of making horse racing picks. It's impossible to pick winners all the time. Often, we don't get the credit when we are right but take criticism when we are wrong. Being a public figure, you are doubly exposed. How do you handle the critics and how does it drive you to be better?

Matt Carothers: As long as the criticism isn't personal, it doesn't bother me at all. I have been doing this way too long to care about an insult from someone I don't know on social media. I know that this is one of the few things that I'm actually pretty good at, and I put in the time. Whether or not my picks are great or awful on a particular day, I think that most players can tell that I've done the work, which is the most important thing.

HRR: Your wife, Ren, is called the Pedigeek – you should trademark that by the way and sell merch - and it fits her perfectly. If you had to create one catchy word to describe your handicapping, what would it be? I'll have a suggestion on Thursday's show, just remind me in case I forget. Mick Jagger was right, it's a drag getting old.

Matt Carothers: C-Note

Make sure you listen to this week's The Players Edge Podcast to hear more from Matt. He and the crew will, in Matt's honor, make their Pick 5 picks for Gulfstream Park's Fountain of Youth card.

Matt, we thank you for your time and may all your picks, especially the ones on TVG, be winners.

Be sure and follow Matt on Twitter @MattCTVG and listen to this week's Player's Edge podcast when it airs later this week.