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Feb 23, 2007


The following is an informative angle from Ray Taulbot and can be used in selecting horses while at the track or at a simulcast outlet.

This angle was originally devised for the purpose of getting a price on a fit, well-meant horse. Its one weakness, however, is that horses frequently are dropped in class or claiming price for reasons other than a trying effort next start. This being so, the handicapper is frequently hard put to determine the true meaning of this move in any given instance. In short, some horses that were dropped in class last start are well-meant today, while others are not.

This situation has made this angle most convenient for the horseman because of its uncertainty of intent. This is especially true when the horse displayed an apparent lack of sharp condition in its dropped-down race. Anyone who doubts that this device serves the horseman should study their local result charts for a week, noting how many of the really high-priced winners are horses that were moved down in class in their most recent race. Winners at prices from $30 up to as high as $90 are frequently horses that were dropped in class last start.

The point of confusion is the entered price today. Some horses that moved down last start are dropped again today; others are re-entered at the same price in the race following the initial drop.

With this in mind, the handicapper is at a loss to distinguish a well-meant horse of this type from one that has been dropped for reasons other than preparing it for a trying effort today.

A great deal of research was required in order to discover a factor which separates the well-meant horse from the horse that was dropped last start for no apparent reason.

The reader knows that a horse that was dropped in class and also showed a corresponding drop in odds was probably sent out to win. If the horse lost last out, what are the trainer’s intentions today?

In researching this part of the angle, we have come upon a training tip-off which we believe reveals the trainer’s intentions quite well. Not only do we consider it a positive factor for those horses that tried and missed but also for horses that remained at their own claiming level in their last two starts and which today may remain at that same level, move up in value or be dropped—it seems to make little difference.

The trainer who tried and missed knows he did not send a razor-sharp horse to the races and therefore takes a little time to fine-hone his charge for the next trip. The trainer who has been racing his horse at the same claiming level knows he has a horse that is almost ready but he, too, takes the same method of fine-tuning before he goes for the money.

The training tip-off you should look for consists of two parts, and both parts are equally important. First, the horse must have been leading or running not more than one length off the leader at the pre-stretch call of its last race. Second, the horse must show at least two workouts since is most recent try. Here are the selection rules:

1. Horse must have been leading or running within one length of the leader at the pre-stretch call of its last race.

2. It must have run recently, i.e. within 30 days.

3. The horse must show two or more workouts at any distance since its last race. Time of the workouts is not important.



TEUFLESBERG was a wire to wire upset winner of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on Monday February 19th, Presidents day defeating heavily favored HARD SPUN who lost his first race of his career. The plan is to run him in the next two preps and then on to the Kentucky Derby if things go well. HARD SPUN on the other hand had a tough post and was forced wide throughout and never really seemed to get hold of the track. Look for him to bounce back but at a much better price.

            In other Kentucky Derby news Todd Pletcher sent out a good one at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday in the Sam F. Davis Stakes for three year olds. ANY GIVEN SATURDAY stalked the leaders and took over for an easy score; this well bred colt by DISTORTED HUMOR out of an A. P. INDY mare can only get better. After that win PADUA stables bought an interest in the horse but the amount was not specified.


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