PART 4 and conclusion.


Joe Takach

Article Library




8-----BAD TRIP

While this is often the most obvious reason as to why a horse doesn’t run back to his best “number”, it won’t necessarily translate into high yield returns next out, as there are far too many good “trip handicappers” these days to include public selectors and track program line’s makers.

All too often, even the “hot dog lady” is aware of any horse who encountered serious misfortune last out.  These evident “trouble horses” are always overbet and therefore underlayed in the wagering. 

Financially backing such animals proves to be nothing but “downside” risk, especially when it comes to “beaten favorites”.

If a horse was literally “ready” to run his best race or close to it last out when having a problematic “trip”, he won’t necessarily be exactly that “ready” next time.  Yet, the public bets him like he’s as safe as opening up a savings account insured by the FDIC. 

This is not to say that “legitimate” trouble horses don’t win next out with better trips, but that’s only because the trainer has managed to keep the horse “on edge” and maintain top fitness for another try at the winner’s circle.  If he’s really “ready” to win after his  troubled race, he’ll look the part in the paddock and the pre-race warm-up. 

If he’s not in “top shape” physically and doesn’t get at least a 4 furlong cantered warm-up, his troubled trip last out is of little consequence this afternoon.  Unready horses are just that--------“unready”! 

Past trips (good or bad) ALWAYS take a back seat to race day “physicality”----period!


While you would assume this to be quite obvious to “seasoned” or hardcore players, it positively isn’t! 

All too often I’ve heard “alleged” pros state that this or that “frontrunner” would literally have to loose his jockey to lose this upcoming race.  These words were spoken on days when it was painfully obvious to a blind man that frontrunners were collapsing inside the 1/8 pole and getting overrun from behind!!!

What’s a running profile? 

It’s a specific style of running that produces winners on any given afternoon over either the dirt or the turf.

Every track is a bit different with its very own idiosyncrasies.

We at the SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HORSES TO WATCH have been offering our clients exclusive tabulations on 4 very distinct running profiles at each of the 3 major Southern California tracks for over 9 years! 

One thing is absolutely certain—my clients wouldn’t be “caught dead” betting a closer on a frontrunner’s track or vice-versa!

If your last wager was trying to “beat the running bias” on any specific afternoon no matter what that bias might have been, I’m sure he failed to run to his best number regardless of final finish position.  He was more or less running into the wind. 

You don’t need to be a Rocket Scientist to understand that it is much easier to run with a tail wind rather than fight a head win. 

Trying to beat a strong or established running bias is a big time “no-no”!!! 

You’ll go “blind” trying to do so!

While you’ll sometimes see Graded, Stakes and high-priced classified allowance horses  beat a running bias, the bottom-feeding stock at any racetrack very rarely accomplishes similar feats. 

That’s why Stakes horses are Stakes horses and no-legged cheap claiming horses are just that---cheap!

In closing, I haven’t tried to cover every possible reason on earth as to why your selection didn’t run back to his career best “number” on any given afternoon, as it could be something very simplistic such as having too much dirt thrown in his face down the backstretch. 

And yes, it can be that simplistic!!!

But what I’ve offered you in this 4-part series is a good starting point to which you can surely add based on the local “nuances” that govern your home track(s). 

Good hunting!


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