Dec 03, 2004
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 much
of 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 will
tend 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 the
different 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 in
on 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 on
these goodthings 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 medicine
known 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 a
level 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 be
cared 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 horse
is 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 set
or 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 them
That is exactly what the betting trainer wants. Without
too much support from the public next out, there is sufficient cushion to permit the
conditioner to make a healthy wager without driving the odds down to what he considers an
unprofitable 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 is
sufficient to restore it to normal.
To give you a clear picture of the sort of horse to
look for with this angle, we have chosen the sixth race at Hialeah on March 17, 1995. Note
that he flashed speed to the pre-stretchg call and was ignored by the betting public at
21-1 after returning from his layoff.
Held at the same odds today he paid $44.40 to win.
Mar 17, 1995 6 Hialeah 1 3/16 miles (turf) Claiming
Johnny North c.4 $40,000\
25 Feb 95 11 GP fm 1 1/8 (T) Clm 50000 2 2 9 9 21.60
20 Jan 95 5 GP fm 1 1/8 (T) Alw 30000 2 6 10 10 18.60
In the first race at Hialeah that same afternoon
Ensign's Blue Rose (1 1 10 10 in her top race seven days agao with a gap of two months to
her previous race on January 12), returned $20.20 in a maiden claiming race.
Another claiming race winner was Snowtin (Arg) in the
fifth race at Santa Anita on March 9. His top race running line of February 18 was 4 5 7 8
and his previous race had been run on January 15. His win payoff today was a generous
While this is primarily a betting stable angle it picks
winners in many other types of races. For example, some other March winners were
exclusively Marked $28 at Hialeah in a maiden special event, plus Sky Kid $40 at Santa
Anita, Corrie Kayhay $65 at Oaklawn Park, and Sherunsfornanny $35 at Hialeah in allowance
In summary, all you need to look for is fresh horses
that had good early speed to the pre-stretch call last out and which finished out of the
money in their initial start following the layoff.
Once in a while, you will find a horse of this type
whose post-time odds are on the short side, say 3-1 or less. When you do, pass the race.
There is always the danger that its trainer will not be interested in such short odds.
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