Dec 31, 2004
Is The Trainer Trying For A Price
By: Ray Taulbot
The basis of this month’s angle is a step up in entered claiming price
following a good race last start. Most racing fans believe that when a trainer
raises his horse in claiming price it means that he is not sending the horse out
to win, much less planning to back its chances with his own money. But
many trainers supplement their incomes by backing their horses under
certain conditions, and these conditions should be a signal to the player also.
Few trainers will lay their own money on the line at odds of less than 4–1, and to
increase their charges’ odds a trainer will often step up a clearly sharp horse in
claiming price. As a general rule, the factor that permits one to distinguish between
a sharp horse which has been stepped up for further conditioning and one that
is well-meant and is being stepped up to increase its odds is the date of its last race.
If a horse is stepped up in claiming price after turning in a good race 20 days
ago, it frequently means the trainer is giving the horse a conditioning race. But if a
horse is stepped up no more than 20 percent higher than its entered price last start
and turned in a good race within the past 12 days, the move generally means the
sharp horse is well meant and the trainer is after a price. In almost all instances, the
horse that has raced most recently is the correct choice.
The following rules will guide you when making use of this trainer betting angle:
1) Consider only those horses that are moving up in claiming price today.
2) Eliminate any horse that qualifies on Rule 1 if it was claimed last start.
3) Eliminate any horse that has not started within 12 days; that race having taken
place at the same track as today’s race.
4) Eliminate any remaining horse that has won both of its last two starts.
5) Finally, eliminate any contender that is entered to go more than one
furlong farther, or one furlong less, than the distance it ran last start.
6) After making the above eliminations, any remaining contender that finished
in the money last start is a final contender, provided it is not moving up more
than 20 percent in entered claiming price today.
7) Where two or more qualify, choose the horse that has started most recently.
If two horses have raced on the same date, choose the one going off at the
highest odds today.
November 11, 2000
6th Meadowlands 6 furlongs
Claiming price $16,000
Zi Pep g.6 $15,000
31Oct00-4Med fst 6f Clm 12,500 5 5 4 1no
13Oct00-2Med fst 6f Clm 12500 5 5 4 36¼
We found a good example in the sixth race at Meadowlands on November
11, 2000. Three horses — Zi Pep, Pal’s O K, and Rey de Copas — qualified on
Rules 1 to 5, but the latter two starters were moving up more than 20 percent in
Note that the entered claiming price is not necessarily the top claiming price of
the race. Zi Pep, therefore was moving up only $2,500 (or 20 percent) in
entered claiming price rather than the full $3,500 (28%), which would have
Zi Pep, who had finished in the money in his most recent race and who had not
won both of his top two tries, was a perfect single qualifier. He returned $12.40 to win.
Ties are the exception rather than the rule with this effective angle, and we found
other winners — some at higher payoffs — during the month. Look for these
angle plays in future races.
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