American Turf Magazine
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Jun 24, 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 a

level 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 good

race first time out. However, few of them win their initial start following a rest of

one month (31 days) or


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 anunprofitable level. That"s why so many fresh and fit horses

appear to weaken

during thestretch 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 retiredthe

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 8and 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 SantaAnita, Corrie Kayhay $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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