a runner is NOT READY to run his best race, the
final 2 minutes of the pre-race warm up period when all entrants begin
their long walk to the starting gate can be a very “telling”
120 seconds! Unwilling participants not only offer new
dissenting signs, but also confirm their earlier negativity.
they had a whisper of kidney sweat in the post parade, one of two things
the “whisper” disappears completely as the horse gets away from the
crowd, lights, noise and countless other distractions and settles back
down. or it begins to worsen.
“wet and worried” beast knows that it won’t be long until
he’s asked for everything and if not offering enough, will be whipped
for a quarter mile----hardly an encouraging future for a horse who would
rather be back in the solace of his stall taking his afternoon nap dreaming
about open pastures!
only will his kidney sweat worsen, but massive
body sweating can be viewed at a few body locations. This wetness
will not only be evident if you’re on track, but will also jump out
at you if viewing over a clear and legible TV monitor at a simulcast
his kidney sweat is now “dripping” down the inside of
either or both of his rear legs, chances are he also has heavy
your eyes on his jockey. He’ll be continually removing the white frothy
lather with his whip using it as a “Squeegie”. Additionally, front
leg sweat is usually a given. In fact, if you look very closely
at the saddlecloth itself, you’ll notice a white outline. That “white
outline” is known as saddle sweat.
this negative sweating has its price!
nervousness is sapping essential energy needed for the
upcoming race. A horse can’t be wasting any
energy BEFORE the race, as he only has so much
in his “tank”.
of it in terms of your automobile. If you fill it up before you leave
for a long journey, you can only go so far on that single tank of gas
before stopping or refilling. If before you left on this trip you allowed
your car to idle in your driveway for 30 minutes at 3000 rpm, you would
obviously be wasting gas. You wouldn’t be able to travel as far as you
could have if the car hadn’t wasted all that fuel or energy.
that’s exactly what happens with the racehorse.
only has so many “ergs” of energy before the gates open and if he squanders
any of it from the time he leaves the solace of his stall until loaded
into the starting gate, he does nothing to help his chances of winning.
wet horses are a no-no. Stay off them!
ON THEIR FEET
horse isn’t hard to spot in the 2 minute walk to the starting gate.
He’s the one kicking up dust with each slow and lethargic step. Chances
are he’s NOT wet---not even a little bit!
doesn’t have the energy to sweat!
head is probably low and bobbing and never goes over his
tail is most likely flat against his rump.
ears could be flopped over.
about this horse remotely suggests readiness!
horse looking this bad will offer little, if any, resistance during
the actual running of the race. Most often they quickly fall to the
rear and remain there for their entire race.
extremely easy to spot in any crowd to include the last
2 minutes of the pre-race warm-up period He’s the one acting like a
complete nut. He could be constantly wheeling or rearing
up in an attempt to free himself from his outrider and/or his
fractious horses are frightened and their ears will continually
flicker. It is obvious that the animal is not
concentrating on anything in particular and surely not the upcoming
his ears are pinned, he’s excessively angry and could
easily “bolt” for the outside fence as the gates fly open.
fractious horses are additionally “hot and washy”!
east/west tails indicating high states of irritability are usually
is not uncommon for them to carry their heads abnormally high.
Sometimes when they can get their heads high enough, the outrider will
lose control of them and they can run off.
caveat is in order. I’ve seen many horses look perfectly normal up
until the last 2 minutes when they near the starting gate and
the reality of the imminent race REALLY sets in.
Almost instantly they go from “calm” to “crazy”!
This doesn’t happen all that often, but you should be aware that it
does occur and it’s negative significance.
closing, those who spend those last 2 minutes or most of them with their
binoculars or satellite monitors will find the time spent well
worth the effort!