American Turf Magazine
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Sep 09, 2005

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 theirhorses. 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

 good things 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 alevel where it is no longer fit to race.

The trainer understands these points, so we can leavethe length of the rest

 period to him. Remember, though, that a horse eats and it must becared for during

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 goodrace 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 themnext out.

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 hasbeen 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-stretch 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 price $40,000

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 thefifth 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 $45.60.

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 Kay hay $65 at Oaklawn Park, and Sherunsfornanny $35 at Hialeah in

 allowance races.

 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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