American Turf Magazine
View Cart
0 item, $0.00

May 13, 2005

How do you eliminate horses when handicapping? (Part 8)

By: Joe Takach



This is never an easy call, but one that all of us make every racing day.  Inevitably we’re confronted with a last out maiden winner facing other prior winners for the very first time.


Where does the last out maiden winner “fit” in the horsey hierarchy?


This has never been a tough call for me because in most cases in order for me to bet a last out maiden winner, 3 factors are positively essential.


First, his speed and pace numbers that he put up in his last out maiden win, must be at least as high as the par for today’s event and preferably much higher.


Second, he must have gained ground at every running call, or minimally, have gained ground from the quarter pole to the wire.


Third, he has to physically pass muster in the paddock and warm up well before loading.


I don’t bet all that many last out maiden winners because so few of them meet my stringent demands.  While many of them can fulfill one or 2 of my requirements, hardly any meet all 3 necessities.  But when they do and I bet them, they usually perform quite well.


If you religiously stick to my 3 guidelines you won’t bet that many last out maiden winners, but you also won’t throw away too many losing tickets!


Just keep in mind that if you lower your standards and pick a last out maiden winner possessing only 2 of the 3 requirements, you move from “upside risk” to “downside risk” in a heartbeat and dramatically decrease your chance of cashing! 





I don’t know about you, but I have a short list of totally incompetent trainers on my Southern California circuit that literally couldn’t train a fish to swim, a bird to fly, a dog to bark or water to be wet.


Give them lemonade and they’ll hand you back a lemon.


It positively amazes me that they can get their state trainer licenses renewed every year. 


But what is even more astounding are the moronic owners that continue to give these know-nothing conditioners even more horses to train or allegedly train.


Whenever I see their name as the trainer of record for a horse in any given race, I just toss the horse out. 


If I get beaten by these impotent imbeciles, I get beaten! 


At least I know that my loss comes about not because they’ve suddenly learned how to train a horse, but rather because their horse got a dream trip of some kind after the other better horses were somehow compromised by a bad break from the gate, a spill, or some other kind of negative racing luck.


Put another way, the only time these so called “trainers” actually win a race is by default, or during the end of any given meet known as “getaway week” when the “bizarre becomes the norm” for 7 days.  “Getaway week” miraculously allows incompetent conditioners to visit the winner’s circle to reward them after they went 0 for 45 for the entire meet while helping to fill fields during the days leading up to closing day!





Much like my list of non-trainers, I mentally maintain a list of anti-jockeys. 


These alleged riders couldn’t ride a wooden horse on a merry-go-round, let alone a real warm-blooded thoroughbred.


You know who these jockeys are on your own circuit if different than mine. 


They can’t break a horse from the gate or if they do, they burn their mount out in the first 2 furlongs of the race in an all-out nonsensical duel.  They can’t “rate” a horse.  They always have their mount on the wrong “lead” down the entire length of the stretch.  They gravitate to traffic in a race so that they have to sharply steady their horse at least 4 times in a six furlong race.  If the inside is good, they are on the outside.  If the outside contains the best paths, they are pulled to the dead rail like a magnet.  If speed is holding today, they drop their horse to last and try to close.  If closers are winning, these fools have to have the front to make sure their mount is going backwards passing the ¼ pole.


As soon as I see their name listed as the rider of record for a specific horse in an upcoming race, I toss the horse right out.


If the trainer doesn’t care who rides his horse in an upcoming race, why should I pay any attention?


(Continued in PART 9)

<< Back To Newsletter

Redeeming a gift certificate or promotional certificate? We'll ask for your claim code when it's time to pay.