May 01, 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 class will serve the purpose.
However, once the trainer is convinced that his horse is beginning to come to hand, he will
not as a general rule enter it below its actual racing value. To do so is to invite a claim
from sharp-eyed stables who are waiting to snatch a horse that is ready 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 that does 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 thechart 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 poor race 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 at the track where the
horse has been racing or it may be spotted in the condition book at a neighboring 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 eachinstance 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 atwhich 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 at long 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 itwent to post in its last
race, you can be sure that someone is backing the horse and that someone 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 drop in price one race before a trying effort
angle does not apply to the above example. The claiming price move is the same, but this horse
cannot qualify on that angle because of no recent 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
The chances are that in most cases there will be slight variations or no 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 ofa 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 sixth sense, such as it is, is not difficult
to acquire but you'll miss many moves if you look only for blatantly obvious ones that show
up in the past performance charts.
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