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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 are many types of races which the race-goer should avoid.
First and foremost in the undesirable class are the steeplechase or hurdle races. It is difficult to handicap them. And once the jumper stumbles or fails to clear an obstacle, you lose all chance of winning. There probably is no more disgusting experience at the race track than. to see your horse enjoying a comfortable lead almost all the way around, only to take a tumble at the last obstacle.
The next type of bad race is a maiden race. (For the benefit of beginners, a maiden race is one in which none of the starters ever has won a race.) Here you have the unknown quantity to the ultimate degree. None of them has any form to speak of. It is worse than a raffle.
A common situation in a maiden race is where one horse has been in the money in his last race, or in several races, and the others have shown little or nothing. The horse which has shown some signs of so-called form promptly is made the favorite, and generally loses again just as he has done before. These maidens which have been knocking at the door should be avoided like a racegoer on the day before he gets paid. They seem to be always a bridesmaid but never a bride. They may go along for years always threatening, but never winning.
Almost as bad as a maiden race is a race for nonwinners of two races. This information may be found in what is known as the conditions of the race. The con ditions are given at the top of the past performances for each race in the racing paper, in small type right after the number of the race. These events for nonwinners of two races are not to be confused with races for other types of nonwinners, such as nonwinners of two races since a certain date, or at a certain class, or at a certain distance. However, almost all of these "nonwinners" are too inconsistent for our rules.
Next on the doubtful list come races for two-year-olds most of which have won one or more races. Some people like these races while others have no use for them. One trouble with them is that you have to a large degree the element of uncertainty which is present in a maiden race.
Many trainers do not even try with a two-year-old in its first two races. They want the green youngster to learn how to break from the gate and other tricks of racing before they ask him for his best. As a result, when one of these youngsters is turned loose, most race-goers will be looking out the window because there was nothing in his past form to recommend him.
Another hazardous feature of races for two-year-olds is that when one of these youngsters finally does find out what it is all about, he may start to improve so fast with each start that there is no telling how good he may be. And this fellow will be the one who will beat out your apparently solid selection.
Many owners of the better two-year-olds do not want to ruin their expensive youngsters by sending them to the racing wars at too tender an age, so they do not even start them until summer or early fall. As a result even in the last part of the summer season a race-goer may think he has a solid wager in some two-year-old which has been showing good form all year, only to see him beaten by some well-bred youngster that has been kept under wraps all season.
Two-year-old races may be all right very late in the year but the writer, for one, will avoid them.
A race on a turf course is another hazardous proposition. A turf course is laid out on the grass, which is vastly different from running on a hard track. If all the good horses in a turf course race have been running on such a course, it should not be too difficult to handicap the race. The trouble comes in when a good horse which has been running on the flat is entered in a turf race. If he likes the course, he should win, but there is no certainty about it. Therefore, we shall leave turf course races strictly alone.
Next on the list of races to be eliminated from consideration in claiming races are long-distance races. And by long distance is meant races of 1-3/16 miles and over. Stamina rather than speed or class counts heavily in these marathons, and it is well to avoid them in claiming races. However, we will take on high-class colts in races as long as 1 1/4 miles, because these steeds are bred and trained for those distances.
If a race-goer wishes to play one of these races, he should pick a horse which has been running at approximately the distance of today's race. However, there is always the danger that some horse which has been running at shorter distances may, because of his breeding, take a fancy to the longer route.
But the most important type of race to be avoided is the cheap claiming race. The beginner has noted by this time that the claiming price of the race is given in the last part of the conditions, in the fine print at the top of the past performances for each race in the racing paper. It is not to be confused with the amount of the purse, which is given in the first line of the conditions.
After checking many thousands of races through the years, the writer has found it to be a losing proposition to bother with races carrying a claiming price of $2,000 or less. Not only that, but we have taken certain precautions even with claiming races of less than $3,500 in value. As suggested in the title of this chapter, the race-goer will find it expensive to play these cheap horses. A low claiming price indicates that the horses in the race are unreliable. Many of them cannot hold what little "form" they have, for even one race.