American Turf Magazine
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Oct 07, 2011

Speed Prep Angle

By: Ray Taulbot

The trainer who is interested in turf speculation dislikes nothing more than to have one of his fit horses go postward at a short price. From his point of view, such a situation represents nothing more than a waste of time and work; it deprives him of the opportunity to collect what he considers his just profit.

Once the player understands the conditioner's attitude regarding price, it is not difficult for him to understand why so many trainers spend muchof their time devising ways to deceive the public regarding the true condition of their horses. They want a price, and in order to get it they must operate in a manner which willtend to mislead those players who are students of form.

Fortunately for players, however, the devices available to the trainer are few, and any experienced racing fan can soon learn to spot thedifferent moves which are made to deceive him.

Almost every month, this magazine calls your attention to one or more of these so-called angles. The reader who studies each angle presented will soon become highly proficient at spotting these price-getting maneuvers, and will cash inon a number of good-priced winners which the average racing fan will overlook.

The angle we will examine this month is a common one. Nevertheless, thousands of racing fans know nothing about it, and their lack of knowledge costs them many dollars each year. If the readers of AMERICAN TURF MONTHLY miss out onthese good things hereafter, then their hard luck shall be of their own making, for following is a detailed explanation of this common angle:

To begin with, the best bet in racing is a fresh, fit horse. You may have heard your family physician remark that rest is the best medicineknown to medical science. This applies to the horse as well as to man. Constant racing wears down a horse's physical condition, and eventually its reserve strength drops to alevel where it is no longer fit to race.

The trainer understands these points, so we can leave the length of the rest period to him. Remember, though, that a horse eats and it must becared for du ring these idle periods, and that costs money. As a result, the trainer is anxious to overcome the overhead involved at the earliest possible moment after the horseis returned to training.

For this reason, horses that have been taking the"rest cure," as it were, are carefully prepared for their return to active competition. As a result of the rest and the extra care, many such horses turn in a good race first time out. However, few of them win their initial start following a rest of one month (31 days) or more.

Now we come to the angle itself. Many horses that setor press the pace first out following a rest of one month or more are frequently allowed to fade in the stretch run, giving the appearance of "shortness." Such horses finish out of the money, and because they do just that, the public steers clear of themnext out.

That is exactly what the betting trainer wants. Without too much support from the public next out, there is sufficient cushion to permit theconditioner to make a healthy wager without driving the odds down to what he considers a nunprofitable level. That's why so many fresh and fit horses appear to weaken during the stretch run in their first race following a rest of one month or more.

When this occurs, the horse must be given the rest cure. How much rest it will need depends on several factors. If its reserve strength has been wholly depleted, then it may require several months of rest to restore its conditioning level to normal. However, if the trainer has used sound judgment and retired the horse before it is entirely exhausted, then four or five weeks of idleness issufficient to restore it to normal.



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