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Jan 19, 2007

Is The Trainer Trying For A Price

By: Ray Taulbot

The basis of this month’s angle is a step up in entered claiming price

 following a good race last start. Most racing fans believe that when a trainer

 raises his horse in claiming price it means that he is not sending the horse out

 to win, much less planning to back its chances with his own money. But

 many trainers supplement their incomes by backing their horses under

certain conditions, and these conditions should be a signal to the player also.

Few trainers will lay their own money on the line at odds of less than 4–1, and to

 increase their charges’ odds a trainer will often step up a clearly sharp horse in

claiming price. As a general rule, the factor that permits one to distinguish between

a sharp horse which has been stepped up for further conditioning and one that

is well-meant and is being stepped up to increase its odds is the date of its last race.

If a horse is stepped up in claiming price after turning in a good race 20 days

 ago, it frequently means the trainer is giving the horse a conditioning race. But if a

 horse is stepped up no more than 20 percent higher than its entered price last start

 and turned in a good race within the past 12 days, the move generally means the

 sharp horse is well meant and the trainer is after a price. In almost all instances, the

 horse that has raced most recently is the correct choice.

The following rules will guide you when making use of this trainer betting angle:

1) Consider only those horses that are moving up in claiming price today.

2) Eliminate any horse that qualifies on Rule 1 if it was claimed last start.

3) Eliminate any horse that has not started within 12 days; that race having taken

place at the same track as today’s race.

4) Eliminate any remaining horse that has won both of its last two starts.

5) Finally, eliminate any contender that is entered to go more than one

furlong farther, or one furlong less, than the distance it ran last start.

6) After making the above eliminations, any remaining contender that finished

in the money last start is a final contender, provided it is not moving up more

than 20 percent in entered claiming price today.

7) Where two or more qualify, choose the horse that has started most recently.

 If two horses have raced on the same date, choose the one going off at the

highest odds today.

November 11, 2000

6th Meadowlands 6 furlongs

Claiming price $16,000

Zi Pep g.6 $15,000

31Oct00-4Med fst 6f Clm 12,500 5 5 4 1no

13Oct00-2Med fst 6f Clm 12500 5 5 4 36¼

We found a good example in the sixth race at Meadowlands on November

11, 2000. Three horses — Zi Pep, Pal’s O K, and Rey de Copas — qualified on

 Rules 1 to 5, but the latter two starters were moving up more than 20 percent in

claiming price.

Note that the entered claiming price is not necessarily the top claiming price of

the race. Zi Pep, therefore was moving up only $2,500 (or 20 percent) in

 entered claiming price rather than the full $3,500 (28%), which would have

disqualified him.

Zi Pep, who had finished in the money in his most recent race and who had not

won both of his top two tries, was a perfect single qualifier. He returned $12.40 to win.

Ties are the exception rather than the rule with this effective angle, and we found

 other winners — some at higher payoffs — during the month. Look for these

 angle plays in future races.

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