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Mar 08, 2008



On March 1st Santa Anita hosted the Sham Stakes for three year olds with five horses going to the gate. There were two top horses in the race, COLONEL JOHN and EL GATO MALO. These horses are on many of the experts list of top three year olds. COLONEL JOHN ran his record to three wins from five starts with two second place finishes while EL GATO MALO finally lost his first race. With a slow pace up front set by VICTORY PETE and COLONEL JOHN stalking the leader, EL GATO MALO sat in behind in fourth. As they approached the top of the stretch COLONEL JOHN took over into the lane and EL GATO MALO swung out but couldn’t run him down in a solid final 1/8th of a mile, however the rest of the fractions were very slow so they should have come home fast. We still need to see more from these two before we can consider them top contenders for the Derby but they are two talented colts and are part of an interesting crop of three year olds.            

            Next week we will take a look at the Gotham, El Camino Real Derby and Louisiana Derby as the first Saturday in May gets a little closer. The following is a short article by Ray Taulbot about trainers and following those who might be looking for a price, good luck.

We are giving you a trainer’s angle that points out well-meant horses that almost always go postward at exceptionally good odds. It is not surprising that these angle horses are usually held at highly profitable prices, for their trainers planned it that way.

The trainer who backs his charges when he believes they are fit and ready is just like the average racing fan when it comes to odds; he wants a price. This is understandable because for many trainers who make a practice of backing their charges, $50 or $100 might be a sizable investment. Therefore in order to earn a really worthwhile profit, they must get generous odds.

We hear a great deal about trainers making big wagers, and some of the more prosperous may do just that. However, the average conditioner is not in a position to toss around big money. The middle-class trainer handles a few steady-going racers, and in most instances, he either owns the horses he handles or has a percentage interest in their earnings. This class of trainer is the one you want to watch closely when searching for angle plays that are held at good odds. He has a bagful of smart tricks and knows how to use them. We do not mean to imply that such trainers resort to dishonest practices. They don’t. They are simply smart trainers who know how to mislead the betting public without infringing upon any rule of racing.

In days gone by, it was rather an easy matter for the average betting trainer to fool the uninformed racing fans. During the past two decades, the average fan has gained access to a great wealth of material on racing, with the result that all but the most careless players are wise to many of the little tricks the trainers use in an effort to mislead them.

This enlightening of the racing public has forced trainers to develop new and more complicated devices as a means of covering up their intentions.

The device we are going to deal with this month is one that several clever conditioners are using with startling regularity. And we have to admit that it is about the smartest little trick that we have found in many a moon. The angle applies to claiming races, and here it is in two simple steps.

1) Look for horses displaying early speed or a strong closing effort in their top race, then look for the price at which they are entered today.

2) If the horse is stepped up in class but not entered at the top claiming price for the race, you may be sure that the trainer means to shoot the works today; otherwise he’d take the protection of the top price set forth in the conditions.


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