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Horse Racing Wagering System:
The Food Payers Of Horse Racing
Beginner's Luck At The Racetrack
Backward Is Forward In Racing Systems
The Good Old Summer Time At The Track
Came The Rains - And Disaster At The Racetrack
Cheap Horses Are Expensive
Females Are Unreliable In Horse Racing
The Long Trail Of Horse Racing
When Is The Trainer Trying With His Horses
Three Old Reliable Horses
More Horse Racing Tips
( Originally Published mid 1950's )
There is an old saying among race-goers that "Winter racing is hard to beat."
In fact, many Northerners lose all interest in racing as soon as the nags head southward for the late fall and winter.
New Orleans racing generally is unsatisfactory for several reasons. One is that the grade of horses which race at that track usually is considerably lower than at the northern tracks. Another is that the New Orleans track seems to have a habit of being muddy a great deal of the time.
However, California and Florida are satisfactory. Years ago the California tracks listed A allowances, B allowances, C allowances, D allowances, E allowances and even F allowances. By the time a race-goer got through with trying to evaluate those assorted class standards as compared to claiming races, he became highly confused, but today the Coast tracks have done away with those extra allowance races, and claiming events there can be handicapped just the same as anywhere else.
The spongy New Orleans track should be passed up.
However, there seems to be no special reason why racing at most of the higher-class Florida tracks should not be formful. The horses which race there are prac tically the same ones which compete at the larger northern tracks in the spring, summer and fall.
There are, nevertheless, two reasons why turf enthusiasts should wait two or three weeks after the Florida season opens before beginning operations there. The most important reason is that you have horses converging on Florida from almost every part of the country.
This is bad on three counts. First, many of the horses in a race will have recent racing backgrounds that are different, coming as they are from various parts of the country. Second, many horses need some time to adjust themselves to their new surroundings after being shipped a long distance. Third, others have to get used to the sudden change in climate.
Another lesser difficulty with Florida racing is that only a few weeks after the season opens at Tropical Park or at Gulfstream Park, the horses have to shift over to Hialeah Park, which is entirely different in construction. As long as a horse has been racing in the same section of the country, the writer does not necessarily throw him out of consideration when he makes his first start at a new track. However, there is an old race track saying "Horses For Courses," based on the fact that a horse would take a fancy to one track but might not like another racing strip even though the latter is located only a few miles away.
So a shift from one track to another does present a minor hazard.
Many Northerners were smart enough, in past years, to ignore winter racing. But what many of them fail to realize is that when spring racing begins up North, racegoers are faced with the same hazards that were encountered at the start of the Florida season. You still have horses coming together from all parts of the country. Some of them may have shipping fever after a long trip. Some may not yet be adjusted to the snappy weather after the warm Florida sunshine. And all of them are making their first start of the spring season at a new track.
On top of all this, a great many of them have been idle all winter. Under these conditions, fast workouts do not mean too much; a horse has to have two or three races under his belt to get into real racing condition.
At this stage of the season, and to a lesser extent at other times in the year there is another factor, an imponderable one, that may trip up the handicapper. It is that equines of both sexes, during the mating season, may lose all interest in racing and as a result turn in a very bad race although they figure to win.
Love is so sweet in the springtime, and romance is all right in its place. But its place is decidedly not at the race track. When a race-goer has a deuce riding on the nose of a handsome colt, he wants to be sure that the colt has his mind on his business and not on the gorgeous filly standing a few feet away from him. And the same goes for the little lady. So no action is advised before the third week in May at the earliest. The summer months have been aptly called "The Golden Months of Racing." In other words, "Look for Gold In The Golden Months."
We now are faced with few or none of the hazards previously mentioned. In addition, the race meetings during the summer usually are long ones, which makes for formful performances.
However, after the summer and early fall, seasonal hazards again crop up. It is during the latter part of October that the danger signs are flying high, and they begin to appear even as early as September. At this point we have fresh, well-rested horses coming on the scene to upset tired, jaded steeds which have been raced all summer and perhaps all the preceding winter and spring as well.
At this season, a horse which has been racing consistently well all summer may suddenly become fed up with it all and go into a slump without warning.
In addition, weather conditions deteriorate in the late fall. Rain and even snow make the tracks rough. At this point the really rugged horses, generally hardy old geld ings who win practically all of their races at rough tracks like Bowie, start to come into their own and knock off their more delicate rivals despite the latter's superior records.
"The Good Old Summer Time" is no idle phrase as far as the race-goer is concerned. He will do well to limit his activities as far as possible to the five months in which all the conditions are in his favor, with the least likelihood of upsets. That stretch runs from late May to late October. However, Florida racing is all right from around the middle of December all the way through most of April when the season closes.
The only time of the year when no activity at all is recommended is a period of approximately seven weeks starting in the last week of October, and ending around the middle of December, and another month from late in April until late in May.
In this chapter we have begun our process of eliminations by suggesting "when" to play horses as far as the various seasons of the year are concerned. In the next chapter, we will go into the problem of fast tracks and muddy tracks.