a race you intend to bet, what will you be doing with 2 minutes to post?
you are a body language handicapper or incorporate body language into
your overall handicapping methodology as most handicappers today do,
you’ll have your binoculars intently focused on the race’s participants
as they begin their walk to the starting gate.
off, you should try to understand what is going thru the horse’s mind
as he makes his final turn and slowly approaches the starting gate.
He knows it’s the afternoon and this isn’t going to be
a morning workout, as that exercise period ended long ago.
He further knows that if he’s being loaded into a starting gate in the
afternoon, he’s about to race against all the horses around him. He’ll
most likely be asked for everything approaching the lane just as he
has countless times before. And this afternoon, if he’s not moving
fast enough turning for home, he’s going to get his rump repeatedly
smacked----and smacked even harder if he’s out of gas and can’t offer
hardly an exciting prospect for any horse that doesn’t “feel like”
what we now know, we can interpret a horse’s attitude to the upcoming
event as he slowly gets into “numerical” line and walks in single file
to the gate for loading.
let’s play “You Are The Horse”!
generally have 3 types of horses in the walk to the gate.
not hard to spot!
he’s the embodiment of “readiness” he’ll surely have good
flesh, color and muscle. Additionally he’ll have an extremely high
energy level that is hard to miss. At times, he’ll most likely offer
false start is the MOST POSITIVE
visual sign that a totally “ready” runner can offer a visual handicapper.
The body language devotee knows the “false starter” is about to turn
in an outstanding performance.
false start is just what the name implies. It occurs
whenever a “ready” horse gently lurches forward
once he’s saddled. A false start can occur with or without
in the walking ring before mounting, false starts look
something like this. The horse willingly strolls around the walking
ring once under full tack with his neck bowed and turned in towards
the groom. Every once in a while when parading in front of the paddock
crowd, he’ll gently lunge forward into the groom
and might even head-butt him.
operative word here is “gently” and I can’t stress
that enough! This “ready” horse is fully tractable at
all times and willingly responds to
his groom’s every command, even after a gentle false
start. The groom is fully aware of the horses’ readiness and gladly
puts up with the extra effort of trying to keep him calm to save as
much energy as possible for the actual race itself. If the groom’s
horse wins, most likely there will be a hundred dollar bill in it for
him from a grateful owner, not to mention whatever he pushed thru the
mutuel windows once handing the horse over to the outrider.
isn’t charging forward with the groom attempting
to hold on to the lead chain as he’s dragged thru the paddock. “Gently”
isn’t fractious. “Gently” isn’t
rearing up or wheeling in a state of rage while trying to free himself
from his groom. “Gently” isn’t acting like a nut
is gently! “Gently” is controlled. “Gently”
is playful. “Gently” is not only fully acceptable, but
greatly desired. “Gently” usually signals total
what does the “false start” look like once a jockey is aboard and the
runner is handed over to an outrider? Well, one thing is for sure,
if he was offering “gentle” false starts unmounted while being led by
his groom in the walking ring, he’ll begin to get a bit more aggressive
once mounted. He knows it won’t be long until the gates fly open and
he can let it all hang out!
a jockey aboard, the false start becomes even more meaningful. There
is no doubt in the horse’s mind that he WANTS TO
run and the jockey can surely sense this. If the stable is “going”
this afternoon, the jockey will do all in his power to keep his horse
calm. The false starts are quite evident in the post parade, though
on occasion the false starts won’t begin until
that final 2 minute walk to the gate when all the race’s participants
clearly know what is about to transpire.
you catch a false start in the post parade, the false starter will begin
almost rocking forward and backwards as he gently head-butts his lead
pony. But this sign of aggression and total readiness is fully controlled
and measured. The horse willingly responds to his rider
to calm down and does so---at least for a minute or so. Keep in mind
that this ISN’T a fractious horse
tossing his head around every which way in an attempt to free himself
from the outrider and jockey so he can run away and/or drop his jockey
to avoid the rigors of the upcoming race.
a “ready horse” is really full of himself, the horse will be taken out
of the post parade early and be lightly cantered 4 to
6 furlongs during his pre-race warm-up. This good pre-race warm-up,
of course, only further enhances his possibilities of visiting the winner’s
circle as it slowly prepares him for the upcoming event.
a solid 4 to 6 furlong pre-race warm-up, he’ll begin his 2 minute walk
to the gate. If he’s still offering false starts
after he’s seen the starting gate, there
isn’t a better sign in all horseracing. Win or lose,
he’s about to give you everything he’s got, and with a clean trip, hopefully
it will be enough.
every winner will offer you false starts—in fact most
won’t! But most other winners do offer you very similar signs indicating
readiness. Quite a few will be “up on their toes” with good energy,
but not necessarily offering false starts. Their coats will be gleaming
and reflect sunlight. Their muscles will be well-developed. Their
tails will be well off their rumps. Their ears will be pricked forward.
Their overall domineering deportment will be very hard to miss!
can easily see all of these positive characteristics
in those last 2 minutes when they turn and walk to the
NEXT WEEK: PART 2---NEGATIVES SIGNS
2 MINUTES TO POST