Joe Takach

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Last week we looked at hurt horses as well as problematic ones.


Another reason why bad-looking horses win races is because you might find a field, and not necessarily at the bottom, where every single horse looks bad. And face facts, unless they somehow cancel the race, SOMEBODY has to win!† Iíve seen this happen countless times over the years and more often than not at least once a day.†

Nobody looks alive, nobody has an attitude, nobody warms up properly and from a wagering standpoint, NOBODY should be betting that specific race!† But a bad-looking horse does win this race!† You just gotta guess which one.† I donít know about you, but whenever I guess, I usually guess wrong!

I prefer to save my money for a race where I feel I have an edge, not a myriad† of† implausible outcomes!


Whenever I get beaten in a race, there are a couple of ways that really unnerve me.† One of the top ways is the dream trip.

A dream trip occurs whenever a specific runner races in exactly the right path(s) the entire race and/or greatly benefits from a pace scenario in which heís not involved (speed duel in front of him).† He could also get a dream trip if he went unchallenged while the pacesetter thru slow fractions.† Or maybe his closerís style of running, which usually labels him a loser, today mysteriously becomes the running profile that is winning all the races.†

Iím sure if I sat here long enough I could come up with many exacting examples, but suffice it to say a dream trip occurs whenever a specific runner gets it all his own way.† And if you get it all your own way, you can win races even if your donít look that great physically or have the needed numbers to visit the winnerís circle.† This type of horse beats me every week, or at least it sure seems that way.

The most frustrating of the dream trips (at least for me) happens whenever some even-paced and gluey-footed goat sits in the golden path behind a 2 or 3 horse race-long duel and inherits the lead in the final 3 jumps of the race after the pace battle takes its toll on those who were part of it.†

Boy is that aggravating---especially if you bet one of the duelers!†

And what is even more frustrating is listening to the crap come out of the mouth of the trainer and/or jockey if they do a post-race interview with either.† After lighting up the board @ $86.40, they make it seem as if this was their battle plan all along for this specific race after going winless for the last 2 years.† Reality? †They were clueless before the race and as shocked as you after it! †Of course this 3-legged goat conditioned by Mr. Nobody wonít win again until every other horse falls down in a race like they did today!

Moving over to the turf, dream trips come about much like they do over the dirt, but unique to turf racing are the tight turns and saving ground.† Obviously whenever you place one oval inside of another, each time you do it, the turns get tighter and therefore more difficult to negotiate to even the most nimble.

A so-so looking horse getting the 1 or 2 hole as Del Mar has an extreme advantage over any horse breaking from the 9 hole outwards.†† The inside horse gets his dream trip by merely saving ground to his outside foes.† This is doubly true whenever the rails are out anywhere from 10 to 30 feet.†

Every path that a runner is removed from the rail on either turn costs him a length.† If heís in the 5 path on both turns, he loses 4 lengths on each turn for 8 total, while the inside so-so looking horse hugs the rail thruout and saves those exact same 8 lengths that the outside horse lost!

Horses win and lose races by nostril hairs, how huge is 8 lengths???†† The outside posts with rails extended simply assures a bastard trip, as these horses usually run many more lengths than their inside counterparts.

On a final note and the dream trip you might want to look at off-tracks and breeding.

Dream trips could come about by a so-so looking dry-track frontrunner who suddenly finds himself with a wet surface and impeccable wet-track breeding.†

If heís the only speed horse with this desired off-track breeding, a dream trip is not only possible, but most likely the eventual outcome.

If the track is drying out yet muddy and speed-compromising rather than wet and sloppy and speed-conducive, closers are often the beneficiaries of dream trips because of how they evenly distribute their energy during the race instead of using too much too early as do the frontrunners when dueling.†

I could go on and on with specific scenarios, but if you drift back in your own memory, youíll begin to remember countless times when you said that the only reason this or that horse won this or that specific race was because he got a dream trip and that this scenario will never present itself again.



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