1. #106
    str
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbeFroman View Post
    A fantastic write up STR, thanks!

    Lets talk about something other than the ponies for a second. How rough is the backside, is it as bad as portrayed? Also, how common is it to see blocking, that is when a trainer has two horses in the race he instructs the jockey to have one horse block so the other horse has a clearer trip.
    I ran an awful lot of entries in my time and never tried to block. It would be quite hard to do. The stewards would take a pretty dim view if a horse was going out and in to constantly impede another horse . Because the jockey has to answer to the stewards , I would not have tried that. More so than the stewards, the jocks have to answer to one another. Those guys police themselves pretty well. Remember, if a jock pins you on the rail and his horse is dead , the rolls will be reversed at some point. Those guys will move out of the way for one another if the horse they are on is dead. Not always, but most times. Now, if they are both on live horses, and I do not mean favs. or longshots but horses that still have run left in them, then of course not. Both are trying to win but jamming up a guy with a dead horse will come back to bite you in the butt down the road. I would think that blocking is big in harness but really have no clue about it. I did witness at least one winner getting taken down once because the entry mate bothered several horses through the lane. The winner was well in front and the entry mate lugged in and bothered 2 or 3 horses making a run at the winner. The rules state that the stewards can do that if they deem it as interference by an entry mate. The winner bothered no one but was DQed and taken out of the money. Both halves of the entry earned no money. I am sure it happened more but that one comes to mind.
    If any of you ever have a chance to watch a race from the far turn, you should do it. There is usually talking going on and you can hear it very well. With horses switching leads in and out of the turn, the horses are moving 3 feet in or out when that occurs. Plenty of jocks are screaming back and forth , especially if they are in trouble. Won't happen every race but if you watch ten races from the far turn, you will definitely hear what I am talking about.
    As far as the back side is concerned , I am not sure what you mean. As a hot walker and groom , I lived on the back side for a couple of years at Laurel, Bowie, Pimlico, Del Park and Monmouth. At the time, I liked it. I never felt threatened in any way. I mean, there were certain people that you learned pretty quickly not to fool with but for the most part , the people were great. Obviously not a high rent place but some very decent people. Every track has it's share of nuts on it but there are many many good , honest people that live back there. A few years before I left , Mexican people started working at the track. I would think that there are many there nowadays. Some were jerks and would steal from you if they had the chance but again, many were nice guys or girls. Same as anywhere I guess.

  2. #107
    mattd83
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    I'm sure some of you guys are familiar with brisnet right? Well I use their PPs a lot to handicap races. They have a rating called "Prime Power." From my understanding, it's a combination of all sorts of ratings (pace, speed, class, etc), all in one number. I read an interesting article on brisnet.com that discussed exploiting scenarios in which top horses, with seemingly inferior prime power ratings (compared to other horses in the race), may be entered in a race that's too cheap for them. Most of the time, this should be a red flag that something's not right. I attached the article so you guys could read it for yourself.

    I'm really interested to hear what str and JakeLc think about this.

    I also attached an article about Prime Power.


    Thanks,
    Matt


    Prime Power.pdf

    vulnerable fav prime power.pdf

  3. #108
    str
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattd83 View Post
    I'm sure some of you guys are familiar with brisnet right? Well I use their PPs a lot to handicap races. They have a rating called "Prime Power." From my understanding, it's a combination of all sorts of ratings (pace, speed, class, etc), all in one number. I read an interesting article on brisnet.com that discussed exploiting scenarios in which top horses, with seemingly inferior prime power ratings (compared to other horses in the race), may be entered in a race that's too cheap for them. Most of the time, this should be a red flag that something's not right. I attached the article so you guys could read it for yourself.

    I'm really interested to hear what str and JakeLc think about this.

    I also attached an article about Prime Power.


    Thanks,
    Matt


    Prime Power.pdf

    vulnerable fav prime power.pdf
    Jake can speak to how solid the numbers might be. They were not around when I was.
    The claimers and drop downs I am all over.
    The easy answer as to suspicious drop downs is Yes, they are a red flag . Understanding the trainer or owner involved is key to trying to figure out what is going on. When I was claiming a lot , and a horse was dropped for seemingly no reason plenty of homework was involved in trying to figure out what was going on. From the betting side, the info I had available will not be there for you. So try some of these:
    1. See if the horse has recently started wearing front bandages in it's races. Should be in the form as a "f" before the "b" for blinkers just after the weight carried. Front bandages are, as a rule, not a good sign of soundness. Will explain that later if you would like. If they were just put on in the last couple of races , that is probably not good. If not, look at the horse in the post parade and see if they are on for the first time.That is really not a good sign. If they have worn them for a long period of races, don't worry about it. Do not pay any attention to the hind bandages. They are no factor as to soundness. Only the fronts.
    2. Watch the horse warm up. It would be better if you always did this so you would have it's typical routine for comparison but you probably won't. If the horse is very jumpy early, is washy or sweaty early that is not good . If the horse looks like it as vanilla ice cream between it's hind legs as it gallops away from you, that is not good either. Now, if this is how it normally acts , you have probably outsmarted yourself , but knowing most do not do this the law of averages is with you .
    3. Does this trainer do this very often? Most smaller trainers do not. If they do not do this very often , that is a huge negative.
    4. If it's a large outfit, they might do it more. If you are following the condition book, did the last race at the price it should be running for fill and run? Or did the race not go? If it did not fill, a larger outfit might simply be running it wanting to win and if it gets claimed, so be it. I talked about that in this thread about a week ago.
    5. If it is a turf horse, running at a track that only can run turf from May until Oct. or so, it is not necessarily a negative at all. With only several months to earn a years worth of earnings you can not always afford to wait for the perfect race.Late in the year , this is quite common. Who wants to claim a horse and have to give it 6 months? Nobody. So dropping down makes perfect sense
    Again, the condition book would easily answer that question. Not in Calif. where it is year round.
    I guess the real problem is that most players do not want to take the time to figure all this out. Let's face it, if your betting 20-30 bucks a race, most won't be bothered. They just want to know what to do when it comes up. So, if I had to answer that I would say that if the horse wins or runs nowhere , I would throw it out . Try to beat the fav. and move on. If the horse is ultra consistent, I would use with another horse or 2 as a saver. I would not blindly bet on the horse dropping down at 6-5 or something way low. I would sooner pass the race or try to beat the drop down. Too much risk for too little reward. Go against and hit now and then and it makes up for a lot of mistakes. However, if you can identify that it is 1st time bandages in front , the horse is washy and the ice cream is visible, too me, that is a solid play against.
    Hope that helps.

  4. #109
    AbeFroman
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkelly110 View Post
    Love the stories str, straight from the horses mouth.

    Penn is my home track also. I could go there and win money at ease, until they upped
    the win amounts and brought in better quality horses. I can't win there anymore.

    I use E-betUSA and wager other tracks. I've been liking Harness racing for easier wins.
    In my 30 yrs at horse racing, I've learned my lesson at wagering. I will look at all tracks
    with a few mtp, pick a top 3 fav with a good jockey and tier my bets for WPS on one horse.

    If I win, I'm done. If I lose, I'm done. Lost too much money chasing. I was on an 80%
    win rate for a while, until the derby's come up, then I lose a big chunk.

    I like the horses compared to sports betting. To quote the game show, Minute to win it,
    that's all it takes, instead of 3 hrs chewing on your finger nails.
    Hi RK,

    Do you got out to Penn often? Always love Governor's Cup weekend

  5. #110
    JakeLc
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattd83 View Post
    I'm sure some of you guys are familiar with brisnet right? Well I use their PPs a lot to handicap races. They have a rating called "Prime Power." From my understanding, it's a combination of all sorts of ratings (pace, speed, class, etc), all in one number. I read an interesting article on brisnet.com that discussed exploiting scenarios in which top horses, with seemingly inferior prime power ratings (compared to other horses in the race), may be entered in a race that's too cheap for them. Most of the time, this should be a red flag that something's not right. I attached the article so you guys could read it for yourself.

    I'm really interested to hear what str and JakeLc think about this.

    I also attached an article about Prime Power.


    Thanks,
    Matt


    Prime Power.pdf

    vulnerable fav prime power.pdf
    I can't add much to what str posted.
    I can't speak to the quality of prime power but overall I don't like all-encompassing ratings. You have to learn over time what trainers win off of "suspicious" drops and which ones don't.
    When I was a kid there was a trainer who routinely dropped horses off a win and she won often. It was just what she did. Win for 7500, put them in next start for 5000 and win again.

    Today's first at HOL is an example of dropping to get the win and if the horse gets claimed all the better. They claimed her for 20k, had her for a couple of races and now drop for a win. Add up the claiming price today of 12.5k and the winners share of the purse and it's little above the 20k they paid for her.

    I could throw various stats out there from big drops but they all have losing ROIs.
    Using only a big drop as a handicapping factor the best scenario for them comes back for non-maidens on artificial sprint surfaces. It comes back 18% winners with a .90/1.00 ROI.

  6. #111
    str
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    Going to Laurel to watch the Pimlico races today. Probably my 4th or 5th time back in 10+ years but my 2nd time in 3 weeks. Oh My!
    I get kind of sad when I go back there but my friends from high school and I can not make it to C.T. like we usually try to do.
    Hope everyone has good luck playing the Preakness. Going to download the Form soon . Have not looked at the races yet.
    Looking at the charts from yesterday, both the dirt and turf seemed fairly even. No obvious bias. The turf should not change at all from that. I would be very surprised if they did not grade the dirt last evening so as to have a quicker track today. I would watch for the inside, especially early in the card to possibly have an advantage but we will see.
    Pimlico does not have the same pitch to it as Laurel so if the grader operator takes just slightly too much dirt away from the rail, it can mean a lot. Let's hope not, but do watch for it.
    If any of you guys like Animal Kingdom @ 2-1 I might suggest playing off shore , a future to win the triple crown @ 7-1. If he wins today, and unless he hurts himself to some degree he will have to run in the Belmont where he will probably be 1-1. You could follow up with a "will not win the triple crown play" at roughly 4-5 or so and have a run at break even or win 5+ dollars for every dollar bet. Of course , there is some exposure within the play but not 5+ dollars worth. Again, that is if you think he will win today.
    Perfect weather today .
    Best of Luck.

  7. #112
    rkelly110
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbeFroman View Post
    Hi RK,

    Do you got out to Penn often? Always love Governor's Cup weekend
    I go out about 2 times a week to play Roulette and some simulcast.
    I prefer to bet the races at home in my underwear.

  8. #113
    balls2wall
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    Just my luck. I take a little break from the horse forum for a week or so and look what I miss!! I am going to go back and read the thread from the start. Hopefully I will have some questions for you, but I want to read the thread first so I don't ask something you have already answered.


    Anyway, as a newbie, thanks a million STR!!! It looks like you have put a lot of time into your responses.

  9. #114
    str
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    Quote Originally Posted by balls2wall View Post
    Just my luck. I take a little break from the horse forum for a week or so and look what I miss!! I am going to go back and read the thread from the start. Hopefully I will have some questions for you, but I want to read the thread first so I don't ask something you have already answered.


    Anyway, as a newbie, thanks a million STR!!! It looks like you have put a lot of time into your responses.
    No problem. Happy to help anytime.

  10. #115
    str
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    I was approached by an elderly man and asked to train his 2 horses. He seemed very nice and I gladly obliged. His son , along with the sons family took great interest in the game. I ran the first of the 2 horses and had some success. We won a race or 2 with the horse. Just a claimer. No big deal. They were having a lot of fun. The other horse was an unraced horse that had been purchased at a 2 year old in training auction by someone else. They named the horse and in doing so, there was a big attachment to that horse compared to the other horse they had claimed. Anyway, I am working to get this horse ready to run. No small feat. The horse has conformation issues and as a result, problems are popping up. Nothing major, but problems that will likely stay with the horse to some degree as long as he races. As a result of these problems, I am in need of vet assistance several times. Trying to make sure that I am doing the right thing for the horse as well as the owner, I xray his ankle and knee and start slowing down the training process so as to keep him at his level of fitness, but make sure he does not hurt himself along the way. So a month later, the owner and his son are getting excited and antsy as to when he will run. The delay in forward movement, along with the vet bill that detailed an xray , ultra sound for his suspensory and tendon, and some , but not much, legal, therapeutic, medication for the horse, started to bother the father and son. I explained the what, why and how of everything as I did it. They did not like having to pay the vet bill in excess of 200.00 . I told them that typically, it costs ( back in the day) about 50.00 to run a horse each race over and above the roughly 60-100 monthly vet bill that will normally appear.
    As the horse started improving physically after a few more weeks, we were back on track. But , before the horse can run his 1st race, the old owner has a heart attack and sadly, within a couple of days , passes away. Very sad.
    So the son takes over as the owner and about a month later the horse runs and wins his 2nd or 3rd start. Horse is worth about 15K and goes on to win a couple of races and eventually get claimed. The son decides to stay in the game and claim another horse. All is well as we claim a few horses and do fine. No great shakes, but he did not lose any money, actually showed a profit on most of his claims.
    There was a new young trainer who was winning at a phenomenal clip who people were talking about. His dad had trained without much success but the new kid was doing well in the claiming game. Having had a ton of success at an early age myself , I had no problem with that. But as time went on, he started getting positives . Not for a bute overage or mistake drugs that can happen when a foreman screws up and does not oversee the orders to take the horse off of whatever because he is going to run in a week or whatever, but drugs that other horseman know have NO PLACE in the barn area.( there is definitely a difference from drug to drug) They are in no way therapeutic, they are simply drugs that would only be used to gain an edge.This kid proceeds to get 5 positives in less than a year. With the legal process he keeps on running and winning and quite frankly , cheating.
    Meanwhile this son as become friends with another owner of mine who had recently come to me. New guy had a couple of horses that had come from a barn that never won. We did O.K., winning a few and losing a few . Hell, he won more races with me in 3 months than he did with the bad trainer in 3 years. This new guy has a horse in on the 4th of July at Pimlico. Having 3 kids of my own from about 6-10 years old, missing the 4th of July parade and things like that were tough but a sacrifice that had to be made because I had to work. So we win the race and new guy decides he wants everyone back at his house for fireworks and a party by the pool . I respectfully decline because I want to spend an hour with MY KIDS doing the firework thing, not with his family. That pissed him off and about a month later, after tasting the winners circle more than ever before, he fired me and went to the young kid with the 5 positives.
    The son of the other owner stayed with me and we kept doing fine but he went in partners with his friend who had fired me, on a claim with Mr. positive. 3-4 months later, he claims a horse with Mr. positive on his own, so now he has 2 trainers in Md.
    So you can fully appreciate who this son is, he was and still is a high power lawyer with political ties throughout Md. He loves the racing game at this point and becomes a board member of the horseman's board and a few years after this story, a state racing commissioner. He calls me one day and asks me why my vet bills are so LOW. Having never been asked that question before( it was always why are they so high), I asked him to clarify what he means. He said that my vet bills were about 150-200 a month if the horse ran once and his other trainers were about 1000.00 a month. He concluded from that , that the other guy was taking better care of his horses than I was . I told him that I don't know what Mr. positive is doing but I do whatever is legal and necessary to have my horses in peak condition. That was it for that conversation. About a month later, his horse wins, and gets claimed from me. He informs me the next day that he will not be claiming any more with me. As far as I know, he still has horses with Mr. positive.
    Here is a guy that went from wondering why his vet bill was as high as 150.00 a month one year to asking why his vet bill is ONLY 150-200 a month the next year.
    Mr. positive was able to reach a settlement with all his positives and serve them out concurrently, roughly 60 days. He got a few more in the next year or two. Since then, they I think they have slowed way down and his percentage has come down from the 35-40% range to 18-20%.Have paid no attention though , the last 10 years. Now, I am not saying that this trainer does not know what he is doing. What I am saying is that he cheated more times than anyone should ever be able to get away with.
    Being a trainer is very much like being a coach. The day you get hired starts the period of time before you will be fired. Certainly not with all owners, but most assuredly with plenty of them. I was never bitter about being fired by the owner that wanted me for a show pony for his friends to salivate over on the 4th of July. I was very bitter about being fired by the future racing commissioner. Was not the money or the horses that mattered , it was the principles involved that bothered me. In hindsight, that was the very beginning of a lot of negative feelings towards drugs that would eventually be one on a short list of reasons I left the game.
    I could write a book on drugs as they relate to horse racing and what goes on . Unfortunately, due to the nature of the business, drugs are understandably way over played by those that do not really understand it . And while testing has caught up to many of these problems in the last 15 years where they could not in the 80s and much of the 90s, things could and should be better. Bettors need to know that people are trying to solve these problems and stay in front of future problems.Many are . However, do not be fooled by organizations like the N.Y.R.A. They have a political agenda a mile long, very little of which has to do with doing the right thing in my opinion. What they have done for decades is to give players the perception that they are interested in right and wrong. I do not feel that fairness has anything to do with what is announced by them publicly.
    99.999% of races are not fixed. 99.999% of jockeys try there hardest on every mount. But until the game can be cleaned up by people that understand it instead of politicians or appointed racing delegates , drugs along with several other key elements in racing will continue to hover over the game like the black cloud it is.
    Nomination(s):
    This post was nominated 2 times . To view the nominated thread please click here. People who nominated: jw, and Dark Horse

  11. #116
    scratbandit
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    Best bets dollar for dollar are the pick 6 california, pick 4, and pick 3. exactas are pretty much for action bets.

  12. #117
    AbeFroman
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    Wow str, fantastic post! Very interesting read.

  13. #118
    scratbandit
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    This thread is the best I have read on horseracing ever. Thank you so much for your insight. I learn something new everyday about horse racing..

  14. #119
    robmpink
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    When I think horse drugging I think of Lake and Dutrow.

  15. #120
    Dark Horse
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    The darker side of horse racing. I was just wondering, str, how many times you've heard of a horse stepping on a safety pin. What are the odds. (Refers to Spectacular Bid).

    Anyway, this thread has been a huge lift. The only thread on SBR I've ever told my wife about. She didn't quite get it at first, so I told her I was chatting with the trainer from the movie 'Seabiscuit'.

    Can you tell us something about the stables before the race? I've never been in there, of course, but they were describing the Preakness stables as some very close quarters, where CD offered much more space. Do the horses know the race is getting close? Is there a lot of nervousness going around? In close quarters, do the horses affect each other more? A last check of everything? Crazy stable stories? Just a look inside, where the public can't get.

  16. #121
    str
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Horse View Post
    The darker side of horse racing. I was just wondering, str, how many times you've heard of a horse stepping on a safety pin. What are the odds. (Refers to Spectacular Bid).

    Anyway, this thread has been a huge lift. The only thread on SBR I've ever told my wife about. She didn't quite get it at first, so I told her I was chatting with the trainer from the movie 'Seabiscuit'.

    Can you tell us something about the stables before the race? I've never been in there, of course, but they were describing the Preakness stables as some very close quarters, where CD offered much more space. Do the horses know the race is getting close? Is there a lot of nervousness going around? In close quarters, do the horses affect each other more? A last check of everything? Crazy stable stories? Just a look inside, where the public can't get.
    Very good questions and I promise to answer them all as well as Rob's comment on the 2 trainers. I will not be able to today. Will be working very late. Will do my best to get to some of these tomorrow.

  17. #122
    zebra58
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    Quote Originally Posted by str View Post
    Very good questions and I promise to answer them all as well as Rob's comment on the 2 trainers. I will not be able to today. Will be working very late. Will do my best to get to some of these tomorrow.
    also was reading more about the churchill sponging incidents of 96, any evidence of that crap going on before 96

  18. #123
    str
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmpink View Post
    When I think horse drugging I think of Lake and Dutrow.
    Anytime a trainer finds himself with multiple positives , problems exist. Anytime a trainer finds himself with a very high win percentage that defies logic and multiple positives , the perception of cheating just has to surface.
    There are positives and there are positives. Certain drugs , in certain forms can be mistake overages. It happens . Other drugs , while used by all vets to treat certain things could be mistake positives , but I would classify those mistakes as very reckless and look at them with great skepticism unless persuaded otherwise. Still other positives are drugs that , in my mind , have no business in the barn area except in the most critical of situations when the possibility of running the horse soon after or giving it to the WRONG HORSE would not exist. Lastly, there are positives where it is clear that cheating was the only possible motive.
    Being left to draw our own conclusions, and barely , if at all, understanding what really happened, bettors will undoubtedly , and understandably, be inaccurate with there conclusions . It is not there fault. We all do it based on what we know.
    Too me, this has to change. The people within the game, need to lend support to those that MAKE IT A GAME, namely , the bettors, to allow them to better understand what is really going on. As it stands, this does not exist.
    I will need to do a lengthy write up on this subject and promise I will very soon.
    Great topic Rob!

  19. #124
    str
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Horse View Post
    The darker side of horse racing. I was just wondering, str, how many times you've heard of a horse stepping on a safety pin. What are the odds. (Refers to Spectacular Bid).

    Anyway, this thread has been a huge lift. The only thread on SBR I've ever told my wife about. She didn't quite get it at first, so I told her I was chatting with the trainer from the movie 'Seabiscuit'.

    Can you tell us something about the stables before the race? I've never been in there, of course, but they were describing the Preakness stables as some very close quarters, where CD offered much more space. Do the horses know the race is getting close? Is there a lot of nervousness going around? In close quarters, do the horses affect each other more? A last check of everything? Crazy stable stories? Just a look inside, where the public can't get.

    The safety pin issue was a very real issue back then. Happened to me as a groom, as well as a trainer. Bandages are put on to help with a horses legs .A medication( over the counter) like absorbine, DMSO( no longer over the counter), poultice, etc. is applied and covered with a standing bandage, similar to the shipping bandages you see when you see a horse coming off a van. Not a very tight ace bandage, those are almost always for racing only. For any number of reasons, a horse can start to chew at those bandages. If they get tampered with by the horse, the pins would many times get ripped out, come open and fall into the straw bedding( or shavings). Probably 9 out of 10 pins never get stepped on with the point sticking up but when they do, it goes up in to the bottom of the hoof. That is a nightmare in most cases.
    The pin is so thin that when it comes out of the hoof, the bacteria that was on the pin gets trapped in the frog or sole of the foot. The frog is the triangle in the center. Either way, because of the texture of the foot, the hole tries to close up, thus trapping the bacteria inside. Once it has a chance to fester, the puss build up has no where to go and the infection can cause excruciating pain to the horse. (Like if you had something puncture through your fingernail. The tender meat would become bruised and infection would start to build.) Within a day or so, the horse , in many cases can be lame enough that they can not put any weight on the foot. Usually takes a week, a blacksmith to carve out a drainage area for the puss to release and drain, plenty of soaking in hot water and epson salts, a foot poultice and 2-3 shots of antibiotics to get rid of.
    That problem has pretty much vanished today as most trainers use a thin masking tape or velcro instead of pins but it was indeed a problem back in the day.
    And, it really did happen to Bid before the Belmont and I am sure that it had something to do with him losing the race. Bud's vet and mine were the same. The main culprit in losing was the very premature move that Franklin allowed to happen going 1 1/2. That was a real shame. He should have won the triple crown and he WAS THAT GOOD! One of the all time greats.
    Stall size is a bit overblown IMO. Too me, there are pros and cons for each size. No big deal at all would be my assessment on that.
    Do they know they are going to race?
    The idea is to keep the horse as normal as possible as too daily routine for as long as you can on race day. Horses that race at 6:00 PM can stay on a normal schedule longer in the day than the ones that run at 1:30 PM. All horses will start to realize that they are going to run , once they know that routine, about 4-5 hours before the race at least. In most cases, the horse's hay is taken away at least that many hours out and they have been given less or no lunch and or breakfast than the others. You want to give them some, but not all. If they are eating oats and sweet feed , I would give them just a hand full of sweet feed to try and fool them but eating the heavy stuff before a race is like knocking out a bowl of spaghetti just before you go play an hour of basketball with your buddies. That won't work out very well most times. I would want to give them the light oats only or "draw them " ( no food ) 5-6 hours before they run. Lasix is usually given 4- 41/2 hours out. No water after that. Also, it might be in a detention barn away from there normal barn so that let's them know.
    Nerves? Really depends on the horse. More often than not , not much in the way of nerves but they are just like people in that respect. Some very laid back, some all fired up. Many ranges of that in between.
    Effect each other more?
    If you mean in stalls, no. In a race, depends on the comfort level of the horse with the rider. Horses want to be controlled. They feel safe when they are. They can get very scared when they feel that they are in control( much like dogs). That's why when you see a horse get loose before a race, many will try and run back to the barn and in to there stall. They feel safe there. Now, the cocky ones with confidence and/or personality and no fear, will be having a ball out there when loose. Too them , it is fun and games time. Again, it depends on the personality of the horse.
    A last check of everything? Not sure what you mean. Help me out.
    Crazy stories? I have 25 years worth of them. Will try to share some in the coming weeks or months.

    Hope that helps .

  20. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebra58 View Post
    also was reading more about the churchill sponging incidents of 96, any evidence of that crap going on before 96
    I first heard about that when the stories broke in the papers just like everyone else.
    Too me, it was one of the dumbest things I had ever heard of. Like a stupid criminal story. You know, guy robs a bank and has his name tattooed on his hand. Just dumb.
    As I have said before, there must be a hundred ways for a trainer to help make their horse loose badly that do not involve sponges, drugs or anything like that. These are ways that you could never be proven to have done intentionally. I would post some of these examples but I don't know what good it would do. Let me say this, if you wanted your kid to play poorly in the soccer game tomorrow, how many ways could you think of that would put that plan in motion without restricting his air flow or drugging him? Answer is plenty. Horses running poorly happens often enough while TRYING TO WIN that it boggles my mind why these morons would want to try to cash a ticket by getting them beat intentionally.
    Never saw it first hand . Don't think it happened where I was.
    Good question though.

  21. #126
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    Much obliged, str. My last check question was mostly related to the stories of horses with loose shoes. But I really have no idea how likely that is to occur during the race.

  22. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Horse View Post
    Much obliged, str. My last check question was mostly related to the stories of horses with loose shoes. But I really have no idea how likely that is to occur during the race.
    A blacksmith and a trainer work very closely in managing the shoes. Because every horse is shod( new shoes) at a different time of the month, as the about 1/2 way in to the 30 day cycle approaches ( how often a horse is shod), the Blacksmith will discuss the future schedule of said horse with the trainer. Let's say I want to run in 14 more days. I might want to have a final breeze 5 days out. If that is the case, I want the Blacksmith to either shoe the horse that afternoon after the breeze of make sure the shoes will be fine until after the race. Many factors will go in to that discussion. Foot growth( feet are made of protein like your hair or nails. They grow more in the summer than the winter). Will the length of hoof and will that 1/4 inch or less potentially bother said horse(possible sore shins mean I want less toe grab on the shoe and probably less hoof. Tendon or suspensory problem means I want less hoof and more heal maybe. And the list goes on and on). 1/8 to 1/4 inch means an awful lot in most cases. I do not want my horse to be freshly shod the day or 2 before the race. Just like cutting your fingernails and especially your toe nails, it might be fine the day you cut them but if you took off just a little too much you can feel it the next day.The old saying, "no feet, no horse" is very true. With the nails being driven in at an angle to hold the shoes on, a 1/16 of an inch can be critical. So if the horse is shod 5 days out , it should be fine. If it is O.K. to run the horse in the old shoes and they still have ample toe to grab the track with, then he will clinch the nail heads down to make sure that the nails will not go anywhere, thus keeping the shoe from coming off. Then, shoe the horse the day or 2 after it runs. Because some horses hate being shod , the event could be somewhat tramatic so the day after the race is best and the horse might be a little tired from yesterdays race and give the Blacksmith's back a break from the strain put on it by the horse acting up.
    Because paying attention to detail separates a average trainer from a very good trainer this was always a big deal too me. Did I have shoes come off in a race? Yes. Was it because the shoes were not thought about in great detail, ? No.
    A horse can have another horse come over at the gate and step down on his hoof at anytime. If the other horses foot catches your horses foot just right( or wrong for you) your horses shoe can be pulled off or loosened ( sprung) as it is. But for me, I was NEVER O.K. with it happening. Maybe happened about once every 50-70 starts I guess. Now it will happen much more frequently if a Blacksmith tries to do the job for less money and uses nails made in China or some other crap country. Again, the trainer has to pay attention to detail.
    The better outfits do this with every horse every month. The lesser outfits might not and there are dozens and dozens of these types of things that help create the gap between the top guys and the bottom guys.
    Lastly, you might have heard of "glue ons" . They were trying to become popular when I was leaving . There were problems then but I have to think they work better now. With those, no nails are needed or maybe only 2 heel nails instead of 6-8 per shoe. For horses that have chronic sore feet these are usually the answer. Might find them more on chestnut horses with white hoofs or Grey horses but not necessarily. Sore feet are a reason that Grey horses or horses with white feet might do better on the grass or mud but not necessarily. A softer surface.

  23. #128
    DaHoss
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    what did you use as a bleeder shot, brochodialator or painkiller.

    did you ever block a horse so it could feel no pain?

  24. #129
    scratbandit
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    THis has become my favorite forum today. Thank you so much for your incredible insight..

  25. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaHoss View Post
    what did you use as a bleeder shot, brochodialator or painkiller.

    did you ever block a horse so it could feel no pain?
    First and foremost I want to make it CRYSTAL CLEAR to everyone that I, myself, NEVER injected any horse ever with anything in the 30 years I was on the backside. Period, end of conversation. The perception of some, I have a feeling, is that trainers are running around giving shots and possessing drugs. This could not be further from the truth. If indeed some are, they should be removed from the game.(Much more on this in a week or two. ) There are possible trick question's all over the trainer's test ( at least back when I took it) that asks what you do if your horse needs immediate medical attention, with several different scenarios. The only right answer to each of these as to how to treat and what to do must start with " Get the vet"! It is how I was taught and how I understood it from day one. That is how I played the game.


    Bleeder Shot: A HUGE TOPIC !
    Lasix is obvious. You had to be on the bleeder list in order to run with it. If you were not on the list , no trace amounts were allowed. If you were on the list, you had to have trace amounts in a post race test. Also, going back to the early years, and keeping in mind that the bleeding problem as we knew it was in it's infancy, the very bad bleeders were given Premarin as well. Not sure exactly of why it helped, but it indeed helped the most severe bleeders continue to compete. It was given before the Lasix was. Another shot that was routinely given was ECP. This was given every 5-7 days and the bleeder pretty much stayed on it most of the time. It's use was to help thicken the blood vessel walls . It worked best in the middle of it's cycle so the optimum time to give it was 3-4 days out for a workout or race. For many years that was about it. I would put bleeders on wood shavings for bedding and eliminate straw. I would also eliminate hay from there diet as well as oats . They would get a larger than typical amount of an all purpose feed that was called New Hope. An all purpose feed mixed with molasses.
    The idea was to try to prevent the constant intake of dust in the horses system. Very much an uphill battle in that environment.
    Into the early 90s or thereabouts came the influx of all sorts of new things to help prevent bleeding. One was Amicar. It was somewhat popular but I resisted using it. This was a very sore subject for me and another of the short list of reasons why I was starting to resent all the drugs.
    Amicar needed to be given about 2 hours before the race( approx.). I had A BIG PROBLEM WITH THAT! The rules of racing clearly stated that NO INJECTION OF ANY KIND be administered AFTER THE LASIX WAS GIVEN. But, it was routine for me to show up to the detention barn before I went over to the grandstand to check on my horses running that day and see a vet going in to stalls to give Amicar AFTER a horse had been given Lasix. Now do not get me wrong, Amicar did not improve the horse to the degree where someone would say fix or doping or any of that crap. The problem I had was very simple. It was a violation of a rule and should not have been allowed IMO. I reached my boiling point when a piss poor trainer beat me a head in a race one day, and I had seen the vet treat the horse two hours earlier in the detention barn after the Lasix had been given. The next day I went up and talked to the Stewards about the situation, not the specific race but in general. There response after discussing it for a while was " that if the drug is legal to be in the horses system, which it was, and the state chemist deemed it NOT to be a positive, which it was not, then they were O.K. with it". I left the Stewards stand in total shock!
    Just a side note for you guys . For those that remember when New York proudly touted that they ran on "Oats and water" and no lasix, I ran a horse up there that was on lasix down in Md. She was not a bad bleeder but had bled before. So I get up there to run and am told by the vet up there that while I was not being able to have lasix given, I could run on these, and he handed me a list of about 6 drugs . Never heard of any of them and a couple were illegal to run on in Md. I passed on all of them.
    What a Joke !

    brochodialator: Used Clenbuterol on one horse that had a bad lung infection for about a month. He had not run yet. Helped clear up the lung problem and ran him about a month after he came off of it. Never used it again. Guys were getting positives with it. I was very turned off by it. Did not want my name associated with it. The whole thing made me sick. It gave me the creeps. Another of the short list of reasons that I retired when I did.
    Back in the day there was this stuff called azmadore. Probably mispelled but that is what it sounded like. Never used it but when others did, it smelled like Cheech and Chong were in the shedrow. Had some grooms that begged me to use it.

    Painkiller: Bute is a pain reliever and low levels are acceptable to run on. Certainly used that. Very helpful when used correctly. Other drugs like Banamine are therapudic in some situations but never for training or racing. Still others are very potent and used only in dire circumstances. Positives with Banamine are shady at best. Would never give that to a horse in conjunction with racing. The others are worse still, as positives. Hard to say those are a mistake under any circumstances.

    Blocking a Horse: That is when you numb the horse in a specific area. Like Novocain when we get a tooth fixed. Needed when pinpointing lameness when xrays are inconclusive and the lameness is tough to diagnose. Anyone that would use this and race on it, should be ruled off for life. No mistakes with that! Not only are you jeopardizing the horse but the jock as well as the other jocks in the race. Jail time would be my recommendation if found to have knowingly tried to race with it.

  26. #131
    VegasAddict
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattd83 View Post
    I've had luck a few times recently, watching for horses whose M/L odds were middle of the pack or rather long. I bet those horses when the odds drop considerably, when there is no apparent reason (ie track announcer picks them). Example - last time I was there, one horse's m/l was 16-1, but rapidly dropped to 3-1. I bet 3 times my normal bet, and it paid off.

    I guess my philosophy is that when this happens, someone with a lot of money must know something really good about this horse...

    These opportunities don't come up on every race, but when they do, they seem to pay off.

    Am I on to something? Or just dumb and really lucky???

    Thanks
    I've had some good returns doing this as well. I finished a small amount ahead at the 2010 Saratoga meet using this as part of my strategy.

  27. #132
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    str, what do you know about linesmakers? Does each track have its own? I know they just set the morning line, but it's still a statement. I love the guy that opened Animal Kingdom at 30-1 for the Derby. But I'm looking at Parx this Saturday, and of the 9 races there's just one race that doesn't include a 2-1 favorite. Obviously, there are fewer horses per race, but that boring kind of uniformity seems a little on the lazy side. If linesmakers do come with the track, are there tracks were they are more 'alive' in terms of value on the board? I understand the morning line gets bet into a more proper closing line, but the correction still starts out from the morning line. For instance, Animal Kingdom was bet down to 20-1, but another linesmaker may have opened him at 20-1, and he might have been bet down to 12-1. For someone looking to bet exotics, things get a lot more interesting with a Mine That Bird at 50-1 or a Jazil at 38-1. In a field of 11 horses, Afleet Alex won the Belmont a 1.15-1, but numbers 2 through 4 had odds of roughly: 12-1, 20-1, and 17-1. That kind of value in an 11 horse race is hard to find in tracks across America. Usually, the range of odds is rather limited, as if the linesmaker didn't really take the trouble to look deeper. Do they use some standard odds templates? Are they protecting the track by not putting up anything over the top? This whole world of linesmaking in horse racing looks very nebulous to me. Did you ever wonder about the odds your horses went off at? Did you ever talk to linesmakers?
    Last edited by Dark Horse; 05-27-11 at 03:51 AM.

  28. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Horse View Post
    str, what do you know about linesmakers? Does each track have its own? I know they just set the morning line, but it's still a statement. I love the guy that opened Animal Kingdom at 30-1 for the Derby. But I'm looking at Parx this Saturday, and of the 9 races there's just one race that doesn't include a 2-1 favorite. Obviously, there are fewer horses per race, but that boring kind of uniformity seems a little on the lazy side. If linesmakers do come with the track, are there tracks were they are more 'alive' in terms of value on the board? I understand the morning line gets bet into a more proper closing line, but the correction still starts out from the morning line. For instance, Animal Kingdom was bet down to 20-1, but another linesmaker may have opened him at 20-1, and he might have been bet down to 12-1. For someone looking to bet exotics, things get a lot more interesting with a Mine That Bird at 50-1 or a Jazil at 38-1. In a field of 11 horses, Afleet Alex won the Belmont a 1.15-1, but numbers 2 through 4 had odds of roughly: 12-1, 20-1, and 17-1. That kind of value in an 11 horse race is hard to find in tracks across America. Usually, the range of odds is rather limited, as if the linesmaker didn't really take the trouble to look deeper. Do they use some standard odds templates? Are they protecting the track by not putting up anything over the top? This whole world of linesmaking in horse racing looks very nebulous to me. Did you ever wonder about the odds your horses went off at? Did you ever talk to linesmakers?
    The track handicapper at Parx is Lou Zagnit. Know the name but don't think we ever met. Look on the 1st page of the program of any track or thereabouts and there should be a list of officials. Towards the bottom it should identify the track handicapper. It used too.
    The "in house morning line guy" in most cases sets the line in the same general way for each race. I never paid much attention to it with the exception of playing pick 3,4,6 or plays before the money started to show. Obviously, when someone plays a pick 3 and the 3rd leg horse is 2-1 in the program , he will be used much more than a 5-1 even if they are of equal value. This is especially true today. Guys betting multiple tracks are not setting up a playing scheme for a certain track like a veteran or pro player might. They are grabbing a program and jumping in with both feet right from the start.
    If you save your programs, go back and look at how the guy sets the race up. Let's say it is an 8 horse field.The odds maker probably starts with 5-2 as a favorite. If that fits, he will plug that in to the horse he feels will be the favorite. Next will be the 2nd choice. Probably 3-1. Next will be two 4-1s . Maybe an 8-1 next, followed by 10-1, then two 15-1s or a 15-1 and a 20-1. But in an 8 horse field 20-1 is high so the horse must be really terrible to earn 20-1 instead of 15-1. Now you have a basic template of odds. So if the guy feels stronger about the favorite, he will need to adjust that horse down to say 8-5. In doing so, he will need to adjust somewhere else so the odds stay in line. Maybe, 8-5,3-1,4-1,5-1 two 8-1 , 15 and 20-1. Something like that. It is really just a basic formula that most are working off of.
    Because they are set the day before, so the program can be printed, too me, they will become stale if anything like weather, bias, scratches( these, more than anything else can totally change the complexion of a race by creating a solo speed horse for instance), etc. take place.
    Usually, odds in the program follow basic rules. First time starters are usually made 8-1. It is a safe place to start. If the trainer is Pletcher and the works are splattered all over the place, that will likely change and will be far less. Again , each case is different.
    Opening Animal Kingdom at 30-1 was a little high but in that large a field setting middle odds is very difficult. And while 20-1 and 30-1 is different , for the odds maker, it is only one slot different in most cases. I do not recall seeing 22-1 or 25-1 or 27-1 on programs. Once it got past 8-1 it went 10,12,15,20,30,50. That is what most used for there template. At least it used to be.
    I do not know if the template is just boring or if the guy is trying to be consistent. I would say, consistent. I just never paid much attention and I do not think you should either. I mean, who cares what he liked yesterday. I don't. And if he made a mistake, and they do, it might throw you off completely.
    They are definitely not protecting the tracks. They might get paid by them but they have a bettors mentality just like anyone else.
    With smaller fields, I think what the odds maker is trying to tell you is the 2-1s are going to be short odds horses in most races. How they go down from there is him telling you how much more favored one might be instead of another. Again, 2-1.9-5,8-5,(rarely saw 7-5),then 6-5, even or less. Kind of hard to pinpoint it a day before but it is an attempt to give you an honest feel for how the day is going to play out.
    Depending on each tracks guy, he might be great or terrible or clueless or has done it for so long he just throws numbers at it with no real effort. Again, I would not pay very much attention if any to it. Like buying a "stable boy" or one of those tout sheets. Please save your money. Those guys know nothing! No inside info or any of that crap. A total waste of money.
    It's not really nebulous. I think they really try to be uniform in what they do but they only know so much and isn't it like picking a football game several days before it is played. You don't not know the weather, wind, who starts, injuries at key positions, all sorts of stuff. It is smarter to know exactly what you are dealing with before you predict. They do not have that luxury.
    Rarely cared why my odds were what they were. They were usually about right but sometimes I was WAY over bet IMO. Other times , I felt very confident and was 3rd choice. It came down to me knowing things that others could not read in the form. But that wasn't that often.
    Yes, I knew the handicappers. Did not really talk to them unless I ran in to them. Every now and then they might ask about a popular horse as to when they might see him again but never quizzed about " who do you like or that stuff". The guys hanging around the paddock looking for a winner always did that. I understood it was just part of it but it as irritating after a while.
    Of all the guys I knew , Dick Jerardi was my favorite. He is a brilliant handicapper . Really liked him a lot. He has been at Parx for many years. Is he still there? If so, he is one guy that I would say , listen too. Plenty to learn from him.
    Quick Story : Had a guy tell me after I went 2 for 2 one day that he knew, that I knew, I was going to win before the race and that he bet on both horses. So I had to ask how he knew I knew because while I was hopeful , I really did not know anything for sure. Nobody does! He said it was because I had brand new shoes on that I had not worn before. I did. Guess he caught me.
    Hope I answered them all. If not, let me know.

  29. #134
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    There is a great difference in the ability of linemakers. Some are bad like HAW and TUP and some are very good like the NY tracks. Having a good linemaker is important to the public perception of racing.

  30. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeLc View Post
    There is a great difference in the ability of linemakers. Some are bad like HAW and TUP and some are very good like the NY tracks. Having a good linemaker is important to the public perception of racing.
    Jake , you are right. It is important. I guess that because I have seen some really bad ones before , I do not put much stock in ANY of them. That probably is not fair of me. The public deserves good ones that know what they are doing . Knowing if the guy at your track is good or not, is useful information.

  31. #136
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    As always appreciate the insight, str. So the linesmakers do use standard templates. Very good to know that 20-1 and 30-1 are just one slot over. It makes a difference in my preselection of races, before I delve deeper into them (time constraints).

    Quote Originally Posted by str View Post
    Usually, odds in the program follow basic rules. First time starters are usually made 8-1. It is a safe place to start. If the trainer is Pletcher and the works are splattered all over the place, that will likely change and will be far less. Again , each case is different.
    Opening Animal Kingdom at 30-1 was a little high but in that large a field setting middle odds is very difficult. And while 20-1 and 30-1 is different , for the odds maker, it is only one slot different in most cases. I do not recall seeing 22-1 or 25-1 or 27-1 on programs. Once it got past 8-1 it went 10,12,15,20,30,50. That is what most used for there template. At least it used to be.
    I do not know if the template is just boring or if the guy is trying to be consistent. I would say, consistent. I just never paid much attention and I do not think you should either. I mean, who cares what he liked yesterday. I don't. And if he made a mistake, and they do, it might throw you off completely.
    It's not so much if he made a mistake yesterday. If the linesmaker throws out more odds in the range of 20-1, 30-1, 50-1, the chance of finding value increases. Especially for exotics. One of the biggest advertisements for horse racing, to my mind, is that we see 50-1 winners in TC races. I don't know any other sport that, at times, offers that kind of value.
    Last edited by Dark Horse; 05-27-11 at 01:33 PM.

  32. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Horse View Post
    As always appreciate the insight, str. So the linesmakers do use standard templates. Very good to know that 20-1 and 30-1 are just one slot over. It makes a difference in my preselection of races, before I delve deeper into them (time constraints).



    It's not so much if he made a mistake yesterday. If the linesmaker throws out more odds in the range of 20-1, 30-1, 50-1, the chance of finding value increases. Especially for exotics. One of the biggest advertisements for horse racing, to my mind, is that we see 50-1 winners in TC races. I don't know any other sport that, at times, offers that kind of value.
    While I can not guarantee that he uses a template, it has been that way wherever I have gone for 40 years. It might be different somewhere but I would not know where.

  33. #138
    marksinger
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    Are there any good programs that can be used as a supplement to your own handicapping?

  34. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by marksinger View Post
    Are there any good programs that can be used as a supplement to your own handicapping?
    If you mean the programs that are sold with past performance in them that are meant to be used instead of the racing form, I would say no. From what I have seen of these they are not good at all. Maybe there are some out there that are better than what I saw. I went to the Md. tracks for the Derby and Preakness this year and had a chance to look at a program with maybe 10 tracks in it . The PPs that were in it only went back 4 races and too me, were worthless.

    Jake or someone else might be of more help speaking to this.

  35. #140
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    Hi str. I mean the programs where you can pick winners by putting in information. Are they worthless? Alot tof them are sold to you. Mark

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