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Feb 05, 2004

Cashing in on Lucrative Trainer Ticks

By: Ray Taulbot


This month 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.

Here are three perfect examples at major tracks in February 2001:

February 11 Santa Anita 7th

Claiming price $25,000

Alyaxy g.4  $22,500

20Jan01-3SA Clm 16000

2h 10 10 —

February 15 Turfway Park 6th

Claiming price $17,500

Nita’s Notebook c.4  $15,000

25Jan01-10TP Clm 7500

5 5 32½ 2no

February 25 Santa Anita 5th

Claiming price $20,000

Pride Of The Group g.4  $18,000

10Feb01-5GG Clm 12500

1 1 1 31

Alyaxy flashed early speed in his top race on January 20 and was moved up in class, but entered for less than the top claiming price today. Alyaxy paid $44.20 to win.

Nita’s Notebook was also moved up in class today after a strong closing effort in his top race and was entered for less than the top claiming price. He had shown a strong closing effort in his previous race. Nita’s Notebook won, returning $42.60.

Pride Of The Group had both extensive early speed and a good finish in his top race and was moved up in class but entered for less than the top claiming price today. His win payoff was $32.40.

All of these only qualifiers were tremendous overlays.

When you find a horse that qualifies using the steps shown above, you should find that it was more than worth waiting for. Prove the point to yourself by trying it out on some more races. u



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