Joe Takach

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Most speed and/or pace enthusiasts believe that their “numbers” are the way, the light, and the truth.

Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not!

When their “figure” horse gets beat, what are the valid reasons for the fastest horse not visiting the winner’s circle?

There are many and we’ll touch on the more obvious.


Simply put, should the fastest horse come in to today’s affair with negative equipment, he’s most likely a loser long before the gates open. 


That’s simple too! 

You based your “number” on his best race to see exactly how fast he ran that specific day in the past.  If he can run that “number” again today, you think he’ll win.  But when he ran his good or best “number”, most likely he didn’t do so with the new negative “baggage” that he runs with today.

For example, suppose he shows up today with a barshoe and a covered frog on his right front. 

Unless he had this EXACT SAME negative equipment on him the day he ran his “best number”,  expecting him to duplicate the past is sheer folly!  Most likely with a barshoe added, he’s an instant throw out, not any kind of a valid contender!

Other examples of negative equipment would include blowouts and stops (adhesive bandages for horses who “hit themselves” when running---ouch!), martingales (leather breast strap that attaches to the cinch to keep the saddle from slipping backwards), and run-out bits (extended bits that offer the jockey more control of a horse who lugs in or out and/or who is too headstrong).

If they show up with any of the above named “no-nos”, you can throw them out with utter confidence!


I could spend days explaining this category, but my BEAT THE BEAM 90 minute video does a better job visually, than I could ever do verbally.  But since I can’t run my video in this space, I’ll offer you some of the more obvious signs of “incorrectness” that even a novice can see.  All this terminology is fully explained in my 13 part “Physicality Made Easy” series.

Any one of the following could cause a politically correct “numbered” horse to offer only a sub-par performance.  They are offered in no particular order as all can and do bury the “figure” horse at every racetrack in America every single day.

If your selection shows up in the paddock and for the first time is walking short, or wide, or tenderly, his back-numbers suddenly become totally meaningless! 

If he can’t walk properly, it is a given that he won’t run properly (how’s that for Rocket Scientry?).    

If he shows up with an enlarged front ankle for the first time, or he has visibly lost weight since last time, he won’t repeat the past.

If he pins his ears when walking into the paddock and they stay that way, he’s mad and the last thing on his mind is running his eyeballs out no matter how much money he’s taking at the mutuel windows.

If he walks with NO energy and a flat tail, where will he find the needed energy to run against others who show life and an genuine interest in participating?

If he appears to have lost weight since last out and lacks visible muscling, others will surely dominate.

If his color is poor and absorbs sunlight rather than reflecting it, perhaps his red blood count is lacking. 

Does he walk with head erect while checking out his surroundings, or is his head low and bobbing with an east/west tail indicating zero energy and high irritability?gy depletion needed for the upcoming race?

Does your “number” or “figure” horse fit any one or more of these very negative pre-race physicality profiles?  If he does, he better be facing other horses with even greater problems than his own if expecting to get his picture taken in the winner’s circle.


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