It never ceases to amaze me how many bad “raps” physicality handicapping
has taken over the past 10 years.
it has been badmouthed by alleged professionals who rarely, if ever,
actually attend the races in person to “work” the paddock
on a daily basis. If they did, they wouldn’t be so quick
to run off at their mouths. Additionally, whenever this inexact
science is badmouthed, the naysayer will take one instance where
an aberration occurs and make this aberration the new “norm”.
instance, if a winning horse was walking short before
a race (a situation where the back hoof print does not completely go
over the preceding front hoof print), “walking short” suddenly becomes
a non-factor to this arm-chaired self-proclaimed “expert” who plays
Solomon while off track at a satellite outlet or over his computer.
Funny, when these same “experts” get beaten by a slower horse, they
have a million excuses for their faster animal, none
of which include the possibility that their horse wasn’t at his
absolute physical best for that specific race.
facts, EVERY handicapping angle has its shortcomings and absolutely
NONE are 100% failure free!
horses beat faster horses.
with added weight packages often beat horses carrying less poundage.
speed” horses are certain losers if a specific track is favoring “closers”.
horses often win over the turf for the 1st time although
their pedigree screams that winning is an impossibility!
do win 3,4 and 5 races in a row-----sometimes even 16 straight!
do win races over foreign tracks when running over them for the first
frequently win when coming off layoffs of 180 days or more.
often stretch out successfully around 2 turns for the first time even
though their pedigree says that they shouldn’t be able to do
point to all this dribble is that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
is “carved in stone” when handicapping a race from anysingle angle.
brings us back to physicality handicapping and all the naysayers who
declare that it is too esoteric or only understandable to “insiders”
who have been around horses all their lives.
a load of crap!
I’ve been around horses my entire life, I’ve successfully taught thousands
of horseplayers how to properly look at a horse via my
personal on track instructions or thru my BEAT THE BEAM video.
successful players know that while it is a great edge to have in one’s
handicapping arsenal, it is NOT the only tool needed to
consistently win on a daily basis.
another way, there are many good-looking but very slow animals. Finding
the good-looking fast horses is what “physicality”
handicapping is really all about!
“physicality” handicapping all that hard to learn? Positively
fact, if you gave both myself and Tom Brohammer a brand new “student”
who had never before been to the races and we both had a full day to
teach the neophyte what we knew about physicality and pace, I’ll betcha
they’d retain much more of the “body language”
lesson that the mathematically challenging pace scenarios.
I’m not knockin’ Tom Brohammer------if I had a “pace” question, he’d
be the first guy I’d turn to. The point here is that learning
body language comes down to nothing more than common sense-----learning
speed and pace takes us back into the classroom and working with numbers
and their many interrelationships.
back to walking short, it is so very easy to learn that
I’ll teach it to you right here and right now!
to the paddock the next time you are on track. Once the horses come
in and walk around, pick any one horse and keep your eyes on him alone.
he walks in front of you, look at either front leg. As this selected
front leg leaves the ground, take particular note of the exact location
of the front hoofprint left behind. The horse then brings his rear
leg forward on that same side and plants it. Now take
note the rear hoofprint left behind. Is that rear hoofprint at least
1 full hoofprint ahead of the prior front hoofprint?
it is on both sides, then he’s “walking well”.
not, he’s walking short and should be DISMISSED
at the mutuel windows!
how tough was that to learn vs. mathematically challenging speed and
can further define and explain correct walking by offering
you make an assessment as to whether or not a specific horse is walking
correctly, you must be ABSOLUTELYSURE that
the horse is being permitted to stride in his normal
when a horse is full of energy, the groom might have his elbow or his
shoulder against the horse preventing him from walking naturally.
The groom could also have his horse on a short lead chain with part
of the chain positioned against the horse’s upper gum for greater control.
In both situations, the horse is prevented from walking correctly.
you can view this horse when he is no longer being restricted in his
movements. If you can and he’s walking correctly on both
sides, you might have a bet if he was your selection on “paper” when
handicapping this race!
must stress once again so there is no misunderstanding that the ONLY
TIME to assess correct walking is when the horse is permitted
to walk in his naturalgait. I’ve
tutored many students who completely missed the point of being
allowed to walk freely------if it appears that the groom is altering
the stride in any manner, a proper assessment can’t be made!
won’t bore you with the many ”whys” of walking short. Those interested
can read my POSTURES, PROFILES and PERFORMANCE for an expanded
could never overstate the importance of walking well---it’s
the very first thing that I look for with every horse I view,
contender or not.
week we’ll talk about spotting “short” horses via your satellite monitors
as well as walking wide and/or walking sorely.