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Jan 09, 2009

Class Moves and Those Suspicious Odds Patterns

By: Ray Taulbot

There are several reasons for shifts up and down in claiming price. For example, when a horse is being raced into condition the class in which it is entered from time to time has little meaning. The horse needs racing, and a race of almost any classwill serve the purpose.

However, once the trainer is convinced that his horse is beginning tocome to hand, he will not as a general rule enter it below its actual racing value. To doso is to invite a claim from sharp-eyed stables who are waiting to snatch a horse that isready to win a race.

This month, we"ll examine an aspect of claiming price shifts where in the shift is made to insure good future odds on an "undercover horse," one thatdoes to appear to be in good form. This type of claiming price shift can be turned to goodprofit by any racing fan.

First, let"s examine an imaginary example and later examine the chart of the horse where the angle was present.

A trainer has a $10,000 claimer, one that can win at this level when fit and ready. At the moment, this horse is not sharp. For the past month or so, it has been raced consistently at the $10,000 level, showing nothing to attract the attention of the general public.

Suddenly the horse is entered for $12,500, and again turns in a poorrace at long odds. Next start it is dropped back into $10,000 company, and again shows nothing, and again the odds are long.

The trainer is now ready to look for a suitable spot. He may find it atthe track where the horse has been racing or it may be spotted in the condition book at aneighboring track.

This selected race may be at the same distance the horse has been racing, or it may be contested over either a shorter or longer distance, depending in each instance upon the advantages the trainer believes the race offers his horse.

At any rate, the horse will be entered at or very near the price at which it was entered last start. The claiming price line of such a horse might look something like this:

Last start $10,000 1211

Next-to-last $12,500 89

Third back $10,000 107

Fourth back $10,000 68-1/2

Fifth back $10,000 715

Now, remember that in this series of races the horse has been racing atlong odds and has been showing nothing that would attract the public"s attention.

If this horse"s odds today are only half, or less, the odds at which it went to post in its last race, you can be sure that someone is backing the horse and thatsomeone is not the public.

At this point the reader may recall an angle we brought you some time ago, which had to do with a drop in claiming price one race before the stable intends to crack down. The horse above, however, does not qualify in every respect on that angle, for it has not shown any signs of form in any of its recent races. Therefore the dropin price one race before a trying effort angle does not apply to the above example. Theclaiming price move is the same, but this horse cannot qualify on that angle because of norecent form.

In the move we are discussing it is the odds today as compared to the animal"s odds last start that qualifies the horses for action. You wish to make sure that someone other than the public is backing the qualified angle horse.

Before turning to example races, we have on comment for newcomers and fans who do not understand the development of trainer betting angles.

We have offered a hypothetical example of how a horse had been racing at its own level, moved up, dropped back, and, without reason in the past performances, suddenly received heavy backing at the windows.

To illustrate clearly, we made all the claiming prices an even $10,000 except for the move-up. You should understand that you"ll seldom, if ever, find cases inthe past performances as simple as that.

The chances are that in most cases there will be slight variations orno variation in claiming stages, but the conditions can be such, with allowances and topand bottom figures, that the horse has remained at its own level even with differences of a few thousand dollars.

To be successful with trainer betting angles, the player must develop,thorough practice, an understanding of the intent of such trainer moves. This sixthsense, such as it is, is not difficult to acquire but you"ll miss many moves if you lookonly for blatantly obvious ones that show up in the past performance charts.


We are bringing you several examples to show the slight variationswhich can exist in the required past performance patterns.

Note that Julie La Rousse in the second at Philadelphia on October 17had shown nothing in her two previous races at uniformly hefty odds. After she was movedall the way up to $18,000 in her top race she was returned to her original $5,000 leveltoday. her odds plunged to 9-1 and she paid $20.60 to win.

After running out at double figure odds when entered for $4,000 in histop two races Yankee Express came back with the same claiming price today in the firstrace at Suffolk Downs on October 23. His odds dropped sharply to 5-1 and he paid $12.20 towin.

Beaten soundly in his only two races, See the Warlock was entered for aslightly lower claiming price in the tenth at Laurel on October 31. His odds plummeted to 6-1 today an he broke his maiden, returning $15.40 to win.

When a sharp drop in odds has no apparent class or form explanation,the likely alternative is a trainer betting coup.

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