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Apr 02, 2004

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 whenfit and ready. At the

 moment, this horse is not sharp. For the past month or so, it hasbeen raced consistently

 at the $10,000 level, showing nothing to attract the attention ofthe 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 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 beenracing, 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 thatsomeone is not the public.

At this point the reader may recall an angle we brought you some timeago, which had to do

with a drop in claiming price one race before the stable intends tocrack down. The horse

above, however, does not qualify in every respect on that angle, forit 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 theanimal"s odds last start that

 qualifies the horses for action. You wish to make sure thatsomeone other than the public

is backing the qualified angle horse.

Before turning to example races, we have on comment for newcomers andfans who do not

understand the development of trainer betting angles.

We have offered a hypothetical example of how a horse had been racingat 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 $10,000except 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 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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