I just received a letter from a fellow handicapper that I thought all
his letter and then my reply.
Hello Mr. Takach, first of all I like to say that I've enjoyed all your
articles on handicapping, particularly the ones on physical handicapping
Which leads me to my questions:
I've notice on a horse that it had like a yellowness on both of its
shins. I asked the trainer---he didn't know and told me to ask his assistant
who was helping him saddle it and she didn't know or they both pretended
not know. Do you know what this is for? I'm guessing that it's not good.
On another occasion I saw a mare with a white bandage underneath its
looked like it was covering its vagina. I first thought the horse was
they say in season but I was over there again (about 2-4 weeks later)
still had it on in that area. Can you give me any info on this.?
Also, I've been writing down which horses, while their in the paddock
stalls, keep going around in circles. Is their a rule of thumb here
rotations is O.K. or about 8 in a row is a sign of nervousness?
Finally, I read in one of your articles about jockeys that have their
out of their stirrups leading to the gate. I've noticed that has his
lot and he's a top 5-10 jock. Can you give me an explanation on why
Thank you on any info that you can give me.
answer JJ’s questions one at a time in the same sequence in which asked.
“yellowness” on both shins, it was most likely one of
the horse in question had white hair on his legs from the knees down
and was standing in ice all morning for the therapeutic benefits derived
from same, his white hair will have a yellowish hue to it as long as
it stays wet. To keep the therapeutic benefit right up to the very
last minute, cold water front wraps are added for the walk from the
backside to the paddock and are kept on until fully saddled and ready
for the walking ring. So when you saw yellow on the shins, it was most
likely due to wetness.
only other thing that comes to mind is iodine whenever it is placed
on white hair. This will also give you a yellowish hue or tint. (Additionally,
some iodine gives off a deep purple color).
reason the trainer and assistant trainer played “stupid” is because
they had no idea who you were and therefore saw no benefit to themselves
by answering your question.
your seeing white adhesive tape covering a female’s vagina,
this is allegedly done to stop a female from sucking in air when she
few females do this, but those that do can be helped by this
tape. If you were wagering in Southern California, you’d quickly notice
that every female raced by Jack Van Berg is adorned
with this vaginal tape. Evidently Jack thinks that every female sucks
in air whenever they race, which they positively don’t!
a wagering standpoint, I’d prefer not to see it
because it only implies another potential problem
(either real or imagined) or more “excess baggage” that a female can
bring into a race. She’ll encounter enough problems during the running
of the race---she hardly needs to bring any more with her.
horses moving in circles in their stalls or walking ring,
this is just another way of keeping horses calm
before a race so that no energy is wasted thru
excessive sweating, nervousness, or the worst case scenario of total
you keep a horse moving, you keep his mind off the upcoming race or
so the theory goes. If a horse isn’t thinking about the race, he isn’t
worrying about it. And if he isn’t worrying about it, he isn’t
wasting precious energy that will be needed
for the actual running of the race.
far as counting the number of times a specific horse circles before
you label him as “nervous”, there is no specific number of times. Nervousness
is more easily distinguishable in other ways such as front leg sweat,
heavy kidney sweat or overall washiness.
all horses are individuals, some need this “circling” to keep them calm
while others are calm no matter what the situation.
regarding a jockey having his legs out of the irons during the walk
to the starting gate, perhaps it would be better to tell you what
the horse “reads” from this. He sees this as “relax”
time because his rider is “relaxed”! How’s that for some
intricate “Rockey Scientry”?
don’t know about you, but I don’t want any of my wagers
“relaxed” 1 or 2 minutes to loading. I want
him to know he’s about to compete and be asked
for everything. I want him to be ready
when the gate opens and not coming off a 2 minute state of “mental relaxation”
where he thinks he’s out for a Sunday stroll! I want him
fully prepared to win! (There are exceptions to this rule but
are very few and far between).
a top jockey you mentioned who is usually in the top 5 to 10 riders
at your track were to change his pre-race “methodology”, he just might
find himself as one of the top “3 jockeys” at your oval
rather than just another “commoner” in the top 10.
I’ve answered all your questions to your satisfaction and good handicapping!