Aug 08, 2003
Repeater Power Plays
By: Ray Taulbot
Ask yourself a simple question: Do you have the
temperament to lose nine out of 10 playseven if the tenth is a winner at a $30.00
mutuel? Most horseplayers can't stomach the idea of a zero-for-nine streak. In addition,
they don't mind getting a low price if they get a high percentage of winners. This may be
due in small part to the fact that many ATM readers are progression players.
The angle with the highest winning percentage that we
know of is a repeater angle which we outlined to our readers some years ago. Over the long
term, its payoffs will average a little more than 3-1 but it snags a double-figure payoff
We are sure that the vast majority of our readers
realize that current condition is the one factor which most strongly affects race results.
This is true, of course, because it is current condition which actually governs the
effectiveness of class and speed. We certainly do not argue that it is simple to determine
the exact class of a horse. However, the horseplayer must attempt just that in order to
produce the desired results.
However, we won't ignore class entirely. We'll attempt
to handle this factor through weight conditions rather than through the lengths and
complicated work of class graduation.
For example, you know that if a horse drops weight
after a winning effort, the drop in weight usually indicates that the horse is moving up
in class. But if the recent winner goes back next start carrying the same poundage it
carried in its recent victory, or additional weight, then you know generally that the
horse is not actually stepping up in class, regardless of what the claiming price or grade
of the race indicates.
Thus weight is employed as a general yardstick of class
shifts. And that is what we shall do in making the selections for the "repeater
method" given here.
To begin with, we know that any horse that won by as
much as two lengths in a race that was run very recently is a sharp horse.
Therefore, if such a horse is not overmatched next
start, it is logical to assume that it is, at least, one of the best prospects in a given
All such horses do not win their next start, due to
many reasons. But a good percentage of them do make the grade, and a very high percentage
of them finish in the money.
Considering these facts, it is difficult to think of
any spot-play method which is likely to produce a great number of winners, not to mention
a higher percentage of in-the-money horses.
One of the strongest features of this method is its
reliance on the date of the last race. It would be foolish to back a horse simply because
it won by two lengths or more last start, regardless of when this victory took place. Such
a race indicates sharp condition as of the date of the race, but it offers no assurance
that the horse is equally as sharp today. Therefore, if we do not limit the number of
elapsed days between the victory and today, we are not taking due note of the condition
One day and a night is sufficient for a horse to lose
its sharp condition. Hence, every elapsed day between the most recent race and their next
start did not exceed 10 days. This same study revealed that the majority of all repeaters
were horses that did not drop weight off the scoring effort. That is, the majority of
repeat winners were horses that started within 10 days of the initial victory, and did not
drop weight next start.
Some of the successful plays repeated under a poundage
identical with the weight they carried in their winning race last start. Others were
horses that picked up anywhere from one to nine pounds next start.
There were, of course, some repeaters that dropped
anywhere from one to 10 pounds in the race following their scoring effort. They were in
The very fact that a trainer moves his horse down
following a two-length victory indicates that he is none too sure that the horse is
capable of another victory. This lack of assurance may be due to any one of several
factors. The horse may not be sound, for example, and its trainer fears that it cannot run
back to its previous race unless it is entered with cheaper animals.
Or again, the last race may have taken more out of the
horse than meets the eye in the charts. Knowing this the trainer is aware that if it is to
repeat it must go back against cheaper stock.
However, since our research showed that among claimers
there were quite a few winners which dropped only a pound or two we will allow a horse to
drop as much as two pounds provided it is moving up at least 25 percent in claiming value.
This increase must not be the mandatory one after a claim.
Following are the rules for making the selections.
1. First, we consider only those horses that won their
last start by two lengths or more.
2. Second, this scoring race must have been run within
the past 10 calendar days.
3. The horse's weight today must be the same as, or
more than it carried last start in its winning race in allowance races. In claiming races
a horse may drop as much as two pounds providing it is moving up at least 25 percent in
value. This increase must not be the mandatory one after a claim.
4. There is not play on handicap or stakes races.
5. We never accept a horse that is just one race
removed from the maiden ranks. This means that we never back a last-start winner that has
not won at least two races during its lifetime record shown with the past performance
6. We accept no qualified horse that lost more than one
length in the stretch run last start. For example, a horse may have been leading at the
stretch call by three lengths, winning by two. That is okay. But, if the horse lost more
than one length during the stretch run then we do not accept it.
7. The race today must be within one furlong of the
distance which the horse ran last start.
8. Track conditions today are not considered but we
never accept a horse to repeat that did not win last start on a track that was either fast
9. Further, we have found that it does not pay to back
horses that are running more than 1-1/8 miles. These grinds to not produce a sufficient
number of repeaters to warrant bothering with them.
10. It pays to confine our action to horses that are no
more than 7 years old. These types do repeat sometimes, but generally speaking they are
not profitable investments.
Now, a bit of final instruction on Rule 3. Remember
that apprentice allowance are actually a part of the weight. Hence they must be included
when qualifying the horse on the weight factor.
For example, suppose a horse carried 112 last start.
Here a small "5" after the jockey's name informs us that this horse received a
five-pound apprentice allowance. Therefore, the conditions of that race demanded that the
horse carry 117 pounds. The higher weight must be employed in figuring today's weight
You should also determine whether the horse is carrying
overweight today as this might qualify an otherwise eliminated horse on the weight
requirement. If you stick strictly to the rules and pass up all marginal plays and races
where there are two or more qualifiers, we think you will be more than satisfied with this
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