you did your homework last week as I suggested, your comparative
table should look something like this:
MAIDEN LEVEL SUGGESTED NEXT LEVEL
IN “OPEN” COMPANY
Special Weight Allowance other-than-1
Claiming 80K-75K Open claiming 32-28K
Claiming 62.5K-55K “ “
Claiming 50K-45K “ “
Claiming 40K-35K Starter Allowance/nw/2/life
and broke maiden 40K or less
Claiming 32-28K Open claiming 16-14K
Claiming 25K to 22.5K “ “
that we did to come up with this chart was to compare winning maiden
purses to those of “open” company. And, as with everything
and every angle in our great game, there are exceptions
and suggestions to the above chart that we’ll delve into
OR BIG WINS
is not uncommon for a maiden winner to run a “monster race” when victorious
for the 1st time, be it his initial outing or his 15th
start. This occurs for any number of reasons to include first lasix,
blinkers on or off, level of competition, barn change, jockey change,
new shoes etc.
“strong or a big win” occurs when a maiden puts up a “number”
that is impressive and good enough to beat much better,
or the win itself was done so easily that it took nothing
out of him.
knows what “big numbers” are and when they occur-----even the “hot dog”
lady! But more subtle wins that are equally impressive
are sometimes overlooked because the “number” earned in the race itself
wasn’t all that huge!
would include any maiden who gains ground at every running call,
or who wins with a very comfortable hand ride while well
within himself, or who was being throttled down (under
wraps) when out by so many lengths in the stretch that nobody could
catch him. These maiden-breakers could and should be regarded
as “strong” or big winners.
this “big maiden win” came at the Maiden Claiming level of 32-28K.
Under normal circumstances, he’d be entered with “open” 16K company
next out. But if he ran a winning maiden number that day good enough
to beat Maiden Claimers at the 62.5K level, then it isn’t out
of the question to enter him against “open” 25K stock (see our
new chart). Not only is it NOT out of the question,
you’ll find that many of these step-ups are grossly “overlaid”
on the tote board. This is due to “Tom Ainslie Era” warnings never
to bet a horse going into “open” company off his maiden win if entered
for more than ˝ of his winning maiden claiming tag.
better discard that antiquated thinking!
the number earned was “legitimate” and not
the end result of a perfect trip behind a 3 horse speed duel while travelling
over the very best part of the track, a victorious 32K maiden with a
“big win”, frequently humbles 25K open claiming
company in their next starts at very fair mutuel prices-----that is,
if the big maiden win was all and everything that it appeared
weak or poor win is the other side of the “big win”. In other words,
if that same maiden 32K winner directly above only ran a race that day
good enough to beat lesser Maiden 25K Claimers, then instead of
going to “open” 16K next out, he should actually drop to “open”
12.5-10.5K foes. If he doesn’t, he’ll most likely get his clock
cleaned at 16K, let alone stepping up as our “big winner” did to the
“open” 25K level.
examples of weak wins would be “blanket finishes”
of 3 or more maidens. If they are that close, it speaks
more to the inferiority of the entire field, rather
than to the superiority of the close finishers.
When you break your maiden, you better do it with authority because
you’re only beating other non-winners. Next out, you’ll
be facing the “real” things!
FAST DOES A “BIG WINNER” TO RETURN?
the trainer of a “big winner” will confirm what you think you recently
witnessed by quickly returning their maiden winners in a hurry.
a hurry? It all depends, but a good rule of thumb would be to return
him within 21 days along with a few morning maintenance
drills. If the horse is as good and tight as you believe him to be,
waiting any longer than 21 days suggests problems or your misreading
of the horse himself.
THERE ANY CHANGE OF JOCKEY, DISTANCE, OR SURFACE FIRST OUT OFF THE BIG
often tip their hands simply because they have no choice! Unless
experiencing momentary insanity, they wouldn’t go to an inept rider
to get 5-1 on their horse instead of taking 6-5 with a
Hall Of Famer in the irons. The odds don’t ride the
horse the jockey does! If you go to a lesser rider, you
should expect a lesser ride! (How’s that for some Rocket Scientry!)
distance changes off maiden wins, I treat them as I would
any other horse. If a maiden winner is stretching out in his first
start with “open” company, his pedigree has to be “up to snuff” and
indicate that additional yardage will pose NO problem.
if shortening up from a maiden route win to “open” company going short,
he’s most likely a loser!!! He’ll be facing other
prior sprint winners who are NOT coming
off route efforts where early speed is frequently dulled somewhat with
much slower opening fractions.
once in a great while you’ll come across a horse
whose route fractions are as good as or only a tick behind the best
pace figure in today’s “open” race. If this maiden winner
shows a few quick morning works, he has a decent chance
of winning if properly placed and warming up strongly in the pre-race.
You’ll be amazed at how many times the public quickly
dismisses these maiden route winners when dropping back to a sprint
the other side of that same coin, I love maiden sprint winners stretching
out in their very first starts against “open” company provided that
a few factors are present.
pedigree fully supports today’s route distance.
makes a relatively quick return off his maiden sprint win and hopefully
that initial victory was a “big win”!
pace figure in his winning maiden sprint places him far ahead of the
6 furlongs (1/4 pole or thereabouts) in this upcoming “open” 2-turn
jockey is good at stretching speed out to greater distances and not
just someone who breaks well. It is one thing to get a horse cleanly
out of the gate in a hurry, and it is quite another thing to take that
same sprinter and “nurse” his speed around 2 turns. Jockeys
like Pincay, Flores, Stevens and McCarron are “masters” at this on the
Southern Cal. circuit.
you can get ALL 4 of those requirements satisfied,
you could have a very healthy 4 digit mutuel return if all else is correct
about the runner.
after a maiden win, I don’t like surface changes. After
all, you just got the horse to win for the first time---why try and
teach him a new surface in his very first start against prior winners?
It’ll be tough enough to beat them without throwing a new surface into
the equation! You do see diamonds in the rough on occasion and this
primarily occurs when maiden dirt winners with excellent grass
breeding move over to the turf.
a particular last out maiden winner still has your eye when moving from
dirt to turf after handicapping the entire “open” field, only one thing
is absolutely essential and in a word it’s breeding!
Sure, post position is important as are all other handicapping factors,
but WITHOUT breeding, a last out maiden dirt winner
showing up on the turf is just out for exercise! Trainers usually don’t
try to complicate a last out maiden winner’s life by immediately trying
to teach him a new surface, but some trainers had this as a “plan” all
along and the initial outing against winners on the turf is nothing
more than sticking to a program.
final clue on a surface change comes with front running
dirt maiden SPRINT winners showing up in turf routes.
If their pedigree is totally acceptable, look out! The
trainer is going to try and “steal” this race by telling
his jockey to go to the front at once and just keep going! Look for
this angle-----it’s a DOOZY!
you use this writing as an overall guide, you’ll find
yourself cashing some enormous mutuel tickets as well as having very
solid mid-priced “singles” for your pick 3s, 4s, 6s and pick-alls!