Joe Takach

Article Library



And now to the 2nd tier of IMPORTED turf trainers on the Southern California circuit.  Before proceeding, please be aware that the 2nd tier trainers are fully capable of winning races.  They simply don’t belong on the “A/B” list.

On the other hand, EXTREME CAUTION should be exercised when employing the 3rd tier imported turf conditioners.  Their wins are very few and very far between and you better be getting a “fantastic” mutuel reward for financially backing them before risking your hard earned cash!  We’ll get to them next week.

Here’s the 2nd tier:

BEN CECIL (C) Ben is a former assistant trainer of the late Rodney Rash and is married to Jenine Sahadi (that alone would be ample reason to fear his runners in certain “imported” situations).  Along with Ian Jory and Kathy Walsh listed directly below, Ben heads up the better of the 2nd tier IMPORTED turf trainers. 

He very recently lost the entire Gary Tanaka stock----for who knows why, as they aren’t exactly setting the world on fire in their new barns.  He’s currently “rebuilding” his entire stable and it will take some time for him to get back to his normal strength.  But when he does, he’ll once again begin winning at his normal clip.

The first thing I’ve always noticed about Ben’s runners is that they are well taken care of.  Very rarely does Ben bring a horse to the paddock in need of flesh and/or muscle or vitamins.  If they aren’t close to being in racing shape, most likely they are laid up on the farm awaiting a rebirth.

From a handicapper’s and/or wagering standpoint, the time to bet Ben is unquestionably off extended layoffs of 120 of more days.  Lasix is a necessary must as well as an uninterrupted and evenly-spaced worktab.  Frequently these worktabs are sprinkled with 2 turn workouts of a mile, which only adds your favorite “icing” to the cake.  His returnees rarely come up “short” no matter what the distance of the race.

Never be afraid to bet him off a layoff (with lasix) if he’s not facing any of the “bigger” boys who might also have their runners in top shape.  If any of the “A” list runners looks the part in any given race, Ben’s horse is usually 2nd best----not because Ben can’t train, but rather due to the intrinsic quality of the comparative runners.

IAN JORY (C-) While perhaps not bringing in as many as others, Jory does import his fair share.  How does he do?  Obviously not as well as my “A/B list”, but he does win races now and then with imports in the lower level allowance races and cheaper 40 and 50K claiming races.  I can’t remember any “Graded” imported turf winners from this barn, so unless I’ve missed something in the past 9 years on this Southern California circuit, handicappers would be best served sticking with the cheaper races if considering a Jory-trained imported turf runner at the mutuel windows.

One thing I must complement Ian Jory on is that his horses always seem to have both good flesh and color, strongly indicating that he cares greatly about his shed row and that they get the best of everything.  In fact, if he imported better stock from overseas, he’d win mores races as he does know how to train.

One of his major drawbacks is his use of 2nd and 3rd tier riders who often not only cost him 2nd and 3rd slot placings, but frequently the race itself!  Brice Blanc’s frequent and incompetent mindless rides quickly come to mind.

However, when he uses “capable” riders, he’s usually quite serious and the import’s worktabs are excellent.  Whenever he uses a “Brice Blanc” type rider, keep in mind that you’ll be correct in tossing this specific horse out 95 times out of 100, as his inferior riders greatly hinder positive outcomes!  

KATHY WALSH (C-) Brings imports nearly all of her stock, but most are problematic and/or a tad “cheap” and in search of “legal” drugging in the form of both “bute” and lasix.  After watching her for a number of years, I must admit it’s hard to get a “handle” on her stateside debuters outside of the fact that very few win in their initial U.S. outings and seem to be raced into shape. 

From a wagering standpoint, if she’s in with any of the “big boys” in any turf affair, she’s rarely anything more than an also-ran!  However, when turfing with the 2nd tier of turf trainers, she can hold her own and has beaten me on more than once occasion in the past.

I wouldn’t worry about her entire barn in “Graded” affairs on the major Southern California circuit, but up North in the “Bay” area, she suddenly becomes Bobby Frankel or Neil Drysdale.  She’s a much stronger “player” in the “Bay Area” with her less expensive stock that suddenly don’t look all that bad against has-beens that can’t even walk, let alone run!

She uses a lot of different 2nd and 3rd tier riders as does Jory and like Ian, if you see a “name” rider on any of her mounts, most likely that runner will run perform well on that specific afternoon.

I have 2 major “knocks” on Ms. Kathy Walsh.

First off, she’s an overachiever with EVERY SINGLE ONE of her imports.  She continually races them way over their heads in hopes of every other horse falling down during the race except hers, which will somehow land her in the winner’s circle.

Secondly, I’ve seen her bring undeniably “unsound” horses to the paddock positively knowing that the track veterinarian is always under strict instructions that everybody entered actually runs to keep these 5 and 6 horse fields intact so that there is no negative impact on the track’s mutuel handle.  And unless the horse in question breaks a leg in the pre-race warm-up (if in fact the animal in question ever receives any kind of a pre-race warm-up at all) he races along with any other “questionably sound” entrants!



Copyright © 2001 iCapper.Com