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Jun 17, 2005

Weight Shifts and Evolution of an Overlay

By: Ray Taulbot

SOMETIMES THE ANGLES WE present to readers stir up a lot of controversy. The one offered may be

one of them but such is not our intention.This angle is based on our experience and research and all we

 ask is that you don’t knock it until you have checked it out on a few hundred races, as we have.

Turf writers have used up a lot of ink over the years in telling their readers about the effect of "weight off."

Since we have studied this subject for a great many years, we have been unable to bring ourselves to

 believe in theold theories concerning weight shifts.
Every factor involved in the winning of a race is related in some degree to some othergoverning factor

or factors. Take weight, for example. The effect of this factor isgoverned largely by both class and current

condition. In other words, the relationship among these three factors is very close. Therefore, it is impossible

 to estimate theprobable effect of pounds on or off without taking full cognizance of the factors to which

weight is related.

The performance of a high class horse, for instance, will not beaffected by a substantial increase in

weight to the same degree that the same number of pounds would affect the performance of a cheaper

horse. Thus, the relationship between class and weight is clear.
Much the same applies to the relationship which exists between weight and condition. A substantial

number of pounds on will not affect the performance of a sharp horse to the same degree that an identical

number of pounds will affect the horse that is short of thepeak of its best form.

Since the above is fact and not theory, it should be clear that under certain conditions (which we shall explain

a bit later,) the addition of from two to five pounds has little or no effect upon the horse’s performance. But

these same increases in weight frequently do affect the horse’s odds.

To put it briefly, weight on tends to increase the odds; while weight off will usually reduce the price the horse

 will pay. We are speaking of onlyhorses that are fit and logical contenders.

For example, take the horse that last raced within the past 15 days and which turned in a good effort, finishing

 within 3-1/2 lengths of the winner. Thistype of horse, if properly placed as to class and distance, will

 frequently pick up nofewer than two pounds and no more than five and win at a price that is far out of line

with its actual chances for success.

This occurs because, as we pointed out previously, the publichas been led to become highly weight

conscious, with the result that the crowd tends toshun a horse that is picking up even a small number of

pounds in a field where other horses are getting in with weight off. In short, the public has reached the point

where itblindly responds to weight shifts without considering the relationship of weight to the other handicapping

 factors involved.

This is all to the good of the player who recognizes the facts and, therefore, is in a position to take advantage

of the public’s common weakness.

There is a wealth of evidence to support the idea that some trainers who relish a good price on their horses

 also take advantage of the situation.They appear to accept pounds on in exchange for higher odds.

The following rules for making selections will produce exceptionally good results for the player who applies

 sound judgment in regard to theclass factor:

1) Check and mark all horses in the field that last raced within the past 15 days. It is among this group that

you will find a play, if any.
2) Discard any horse you checked under Rule One that didn’t finish first or second or within 3-1/2 lengths of

the winner.
3) Of the remaining group, discard any horse which does not pick up at least two pounds and no more than

five pounds over the weight it carried last out.
4) If there is only one remaining horse after applying the rules above, it is a play—provided it is not badly

 outclassed by some horse in the field which also enjoys sharpcondition.
5) If two or more horses qualify at odds of 5-1 or more, the classier horse of the two is the play. Any

qualified play that goes postward at odds of 5-1 or higher is worth yoursupport.

Remember: The horse must pick up no fewer than two pounds and no more than five poundsover the weight

 it carried last time out. Rule Three keys the success of these selections.

Below, you"ll find the past performance data for Cleverly Intended in the fifth race at Aqueduct on January 2.

Note that the filly was picking up five pounds after winning her most recent race, 12 days ago. She also had

received a workout on December 30. Althoughshe was switching from claiming to allowance company, her

easy repeat win by 3-3/4 lengthstoday showed that she was not outclassed. Her win payoff was $20.00.

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