Joe Takach

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The following 6 trainers are infrequent winners with imported turf newcomers, but they frequently hit the board.  When and if they finally do get their pictures taken, it is usually at the lower rungs of the turf class ladder.  We’ll continue with our A to F gradings in this installment and this will complete the IMPORTED TURF NEWCOMER’S trainer’s list.

TIM PINFIELD (D) Tim wins races every now and then and is a capable conditioner (of Big Jag fame), but he just doesn’t get enough really good runners to make his presence felt on this circuit.  His imported turf runners are rarely any factors past the conditioned allowance races of other-than-1, 2 and 3 or the mid-claiming ranks.

His horses usually hold excellent flesh and color and are obviously well cared for.  He uses a lot of jockeys, but Jose Valdivia seems to end up on many winning horses and surely more than other riders.

ROGER STEIN (D) Stein brings in his share of imports from “down under” (New Zealand), but none have turned into “stars”.  Like Tim Pinfield directly above, Roger can get a horse to win.  But also like Tim, his winners are on the bottom and mid rungs of the claiming ladder.

Roger can use any jockey at any time!  There is no rhyme nor reason necessary.  When Stein does win, the mutuels are usually more than generous! 

JIM CASSIDY (D-) The only thing that saves Jim Cassidy from our “F” classification is an outstanding ride now and then by Eddie D on an afternoon when Eddie D happens to “feel” like riding, and just happens to be sitting upon a member of Cassidy’s endless and nauseating stream of cheap imports! 

Unless Cassidy gets these horses for a “song and a dance”, whomever sells to Jim, sees him as a walking “fire sale” capable of buying anybody if the “Price is Right”.   

Over the past 9 years of publishing, very few of his horses have ever stood out “physically’ and earned high marks in our weekly SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HORSES TO WATCH.  If anything, most have been highly problematic and usually in need of more flesh and muscle. 

Additionally, they are ALWAYS placed so far over their heads that they stand very little chance of winning. 

Since Jim Cassidy isn’t making a living from winning purses, one can only assume that his per usual gyrations up and down the class ladder without winning, only serve to keep him in “day money” (flat training rate per day/per horse) at the expense of his extremely gullible owners. 

They seem to take it all in stride and more or less expect this nonsense before the horse is eventually dropped to a winning level and Eddie D shows up to ride.

PAT GALLAGHER (F+) Before going out on his own, Pat Gallagher was first assistant trainer to Bill Shoemaker.  When Bill Shoemaker gave up conditioning, Pat picked up a few clients, but never seems to get too many good horses.  And the few he gets, all seem to be run so far over their heads (like Cassidy), where defeat is a “given” to all but Pat Gallagher and his owners. 

But even a “broken clock is correct twice a day” and Gallagher wins now and then.  However, you’d be well served to keep you wagers to the lower claiming ranks and the first allowance condition of other-than-1.

One thing of note is whenever a “named” rider shows up in the saddle out of nowhere!  Eddie Delahoussaye normally has first riding call, so there is nothing strange seeing him on most of the Gallagher runners.  But whenever a McCarron, Stevens, Nakatani or Pincay shows up on any of his horses, loooooook out! 

These will run very well on that specific afternoon and it’s not uncommon to see these “special” situation horses win races and do so at generous mutuel prices!

BRUCE JACKSON (F) It seems that this trainer has far too many problematic imports (almost as if he were a bad ankle “magnet”).  This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if he had the rehabilitative skills of somebody like a Vlado Cerin or a Bobby Frankel (who can get horses to run from “memory”).

When handicapping any turf race with a Bruce Jackson entrant, I toss his horses right out of wagering consideration.  Should one of his runners beat me, they beat me! 

But in over 9 years of daily play on the major Southern California circuit, it has never happened and I’m not holding my breath for it to occur sometime tomorrow.

SANDY SHULMAN (F-) It is too bad being so close to Hollywood that we can’t get some movie people together and film a flick entitled “Whatever Happened To Sandy Shulman”?   

We’ll get Sandy to play himself, because only he has the real answer!

It wasn’t all that long ago that Sandy was winning training titles!  Forget his win percentage in the high 20’s, he was literally winning training titles and Clear Valley Stables (his main client) was a very powerful force to be reckoned with-------especially with their turf imports! 

Times change, Clear Valley Stables’ holdings have been greatly reduced and at the time of this writing, Sandy is 0 for 38 thru the early part of May 2001.

Sandy Shulman 2001: A “Trainer” Oddity!

Simply and sadly put, poor Sandy can’t “catch a cold”!  You’d be well advised to toss out EVERY ONE of his turf imports until he “finds” himself once again and starts winning races!

PART 5---Next Week---Putting it all together!


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