Disability of the horses – Intention of the trainer – The preparatory race

If you look at past performances, you will sometimes notice horses that, for one reason or another, don’t seem to belong in the field. They seem overwhelmed, having competed at a distance they’ve never run well on, or even on a surface they’ve never run well on. This is where the coach’s intent comes into play. Is this horse entered here to really try and win, or is this race part of the preparation for a future race?

The horse may have been put out for a while and come back a shorter distance than it normally runs well. You can go back into the PPs and see where they did their best – sprinting, stretching, dirt, turf etc. When a horse is a real turf grinder and comes back after a 3 month layoff and is at 6 to 7 furlongs on the today Dirt reported, you can bet this is probably some kind of prep race. Trainers will sometimes telegraph their intentions, and you’ll get better at recognizing these things as you gain experience.

Sometimes they use two or even three prep races to get their horse into competition shape. There are some other keys to watch out for when you think the prep is over and this is the real thing:

–Horse is reported today at a reasonable distance.

–Horse falls back in class to where it was competitive in the past.

–Horse will switch to a jockey they previously won with or the trainer’s favorite jockey.

–The horse changes to a better jockey than he was on board during the preparatory races.

Some trainers will win with the route to the sprint angle, but that’s very rare after some sort of stoppage. Unless the horse is at least an outstanding type. This is usually the stakes level horse that has been absent for some time and is entered in a qualifying race only to be brushed up before another stakes event. These usually go at very low odds anyway, the kind of bets I avoid and I advise you to do the same.

The prep race angle is just one of the ways to handicap when looking for value. I will discuss others in future writings.

Thanks to Joey D. | #Disability #horses #Intention #trainer #preparatory #race

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