Jan 10, 2014
By: RAY TAULBOT
Ask yourself a simple
question: Do you have the temperament to lose nine out of 10 plays—even if the
tenth is a winner at a $30.00 mutuel? Most horseplayers can’t stomach the
idea of a zero-for-nine streak. In addition, they don’t mind getting a low
price if they get a high percentage of winners. This may be due in small part
to the fact that many ATM readers are progression players.
The angle with the highest
winning percentage that we know of is a repeater angle which we outlined to our
readers some years ago. Over the long term, its payoffs will average a little
more than 3-1 but it snags a double-figure payoff on occasion.
We are sure that the vast
majority of our readers realize that current condition is the one factor
which most strongly affects race results. This is true, of course, because it
is current condition which actually governs the effectiveness of class and
speed. We certainly do not argue that it is simple to determine the exact
class of a horse. However, the horseplayer must attempt just that in order
to produce the desired results.
However, we won’t ignore
class entirely. We’ll attempt to handle this factor through weight conditions
rather than through the lengths and complicated work of class graduation.
For example, you know that
if a horse drops weight after a winning effort, the drop in weight usually
indicates that the horse is moving up in class. But if the recent winner
goes back next start carrying the same poundage it carried in its recent
victory, or additional weight, then you know generally that the horse is not
actually stepping up in class, regardless of what the claiming price or grade
of the race indicates.
Thus weight is employed as a
general yardstick of class shifts. And that is what we shall do in making
the selections for the "repeater method" given here.
To begin with, we know that
any horse that won by as much as two lengths in a race that was run very
recently is a sharp horse.
Therefore, if such a horse
is not overmatched next start, it is logical to assume that it is, at
least, one of the best prospects in a given race.
All such horses do not win
their next start, due to many reasons. But a good percentage of them do make
the grade, and a very high percentage of them finish in the money.
Considering these facts, it
is difficult to think of any spot-play method which is likely to produce a
great number of winners, not to mention a higher percentage of
One of the strongest
features of this method is its reliance on the date of the last race.
It would be foolish to back a horse simply because it won by two lengths
or more last start, regardless of when this victory took place. Such a race
indicates sharp condition as of the date of the race, but it offers no
assurance that the horse is equally as sharp today. Therefore, if we do not
limit the number of elapsed days between the victory and today, we are not
taking due note of the condition factor.
One day and a night is
sufficient for a horse to lose its sharp condition. Hence, every elapsed day
between the most recent race and their next start did not exceed 10 days. This
same study revealed that the majority of all repeaters were horses that did not
drop weight off the scoring effort. That is, the majority of repeat
winners were horses that started within 10 days of the initial victory,
and did not drop weight next start.
Some of the successful plays
repeated under a poundage identical with the weight they carried in their
winning race last start. Others were horses that picked up anywhere from
one to nine pounds next start.
There were, of course, some
repeaters that dropped anywhere from one to 10 pounds in the race
following their scoring effort. They were in the minority.
The very fact that a trainer
moves his horse down following a two-length victory indicates that he is
none too sure that the horse is capable of another victory. This lack of
assurance may be due to any one of several factors. The horse may not be
sound, for example, and its trainer fears that it cannot runback to its previous
race unless it is entered with cheaper animals.
Or again, the last race may
have taken more out of the horse than meets the eye in the charts. Knowing this
the trainer is aware that if it is to repeat it must go back against cheaper
However, since our research
showed that among claimers there were quite a few winners which dropped only a
pound or two we will allow a horse to drop as much as two pounds provided it is
moving up at least 25 percent in claiming value. This increase must not be the
mandatory one after a claim.
Following are the rules for
making the selections.
1. First, we consider only
those horses that won their last start by two lengths or more.
2. Second, this scoring race
must have been run within the past 10 calendar days.
3. The horse’s weight today
must be the same as, or more than it carried last start in its winning race in
allowance races. In claiming races a horse may drop as much as two pounds
providing it is moving up at least 25 percent in value. This increase must not
be the mandatory one after a claim.
4. There is not play on
handicap or stakes races.
5. We never accept a horse
that is just one race removed from the maiden ranks. This means that we
never back a last-start winner that has not won at least two races during its
lifetime record shown with the past performance consistency box.
6. We accept no qualified
horse that lost more than one length in the stretch run last start.
For example, a horse
may have been leading at the stretch call by three lengths, winning
by two. That is okay. But, if the horse lost more than one length during
the stretch run then we do not accept it.
7. The race today must be
within one furlong of the distance which the horse ran last start.
8. Track conditions today
are not considered but we never accept a horse to repeat that did not win last
start on a track that was either fast or good.
9. Further, we have found
that it does not pay to back horses that are running more than 1-1/8 miles.
These grinds to not produce a sufficient number of repeaters to warrant
bothering with them.
10. It pays to confine our
action to horses that are no more than 7 years old. These types do repeat
sometimes, but generally speaking they are not profitable investments.
Now, a bit of final
instruction on Rule 3. Remember that apprentice allowance are actually
a part of the weight. Hence they must be included when qualifying the
horse on the weight factor.
For example, suppose a horse
carried 112 last start. Here a small "5" after the jockey’s
name informs us that this horse received a five-pound apprentice
allowance. Therefore, the conditions of that race demanded that the horse
carry 117 pounds. The higher weight must be employed in figuring today’s weight
You should also determine
whether the horse is carrying overweight today as this might qualify an
otherwise eliminated horse on the weight requirement. If you stick strictly to
the rules and pass up all marginal plays and races where there are two or
more qualifiers, we think you will be more than satisfied with this
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