Progressive Handicapping, we think the "trainer angle" is
the most important part of the handicapping pie. All trainers
have strengths and weaknesses. Even the great Bill Mott has
a weakness. Know what it is? BZZZZZZZ! If you said "Maiden
First Time Starters," you win a cookie. The beauty of our
trainer stats is that they help you identify these strengths
best approach is to first identify (1) the race conditions;
and, for each horse, (2) any karma changes.
Let’s digress and explain these two concepts as they are very
important. Race conditions encompass several
categories including race class, surface, distance,
and age restrictions. Karma changes
have nothing to do with Zen karma or muttering a personalized
mantra as you walk around the track. What we are talking about
is a change in circumstances for a particular horse since
its last race.
For example, if Horse A was ridden by Eibar
Coa in its last race but now has Jerry Bailey aboard, then
it’s showing a karma change (rider switch). Karma changes
come in many shapes and sizes and include the following:
1. Distance moves (sprint to route and back).
2. Surface changes (dirt to turf and back)
3. New medication.
4. Trainer change (off a claim or private switch).
5. Rider switch.
6. Class moves up and down.
7. Equipment changes.
8. Layoff of 31 days or more.
have analyzed hundreds of races at the last two Gulfstream
meets and other race meets around the country and have noted
that 90% of the winning horses show one or more "karma"
changes from their previous race. The important thing to remember
is that, in many instances, these karma changes act as a catalyst
to "wake up" the horse. Each of our 125 profiled trainers
has his or her own strengths and weaknesses with race condition
and karma change categories.
Here's a closer look at some key karma changes:
Time Starter: a horse making its career debut. Also
known as a "firster" or "mdn firster."
15 Days: a horse returning to the races on less than
15 days’ rest. Less than 7 days rest is even better.
a horse which hasn’t raced in the last 30 days. Short layoffs=31-90
days. Long layoffs > 90 days. We also talk about a horse making
its second and third starts off the layoff.
and Up: a horse moving up or down in class. In claiming
races, the move must be at least 20% of the previous claiming
race. A move from a stakes race to an alwn3x is a move down.
Moves: a horse switching distances. We define a switch
as one furlong or longer. A horse running a longer distance
is called a stretch out. Those running shorter are turn backs.
Moves: a horse switching surfaces from grass to dirt
Start of Meet: a horse making its first start of
Switch: A new jockey rides today.
a horse which has been recently treated with Lasix.
Claim: a horse that was recently claimed. We also
talk about a horse making its second and third starts off
the claim. Note: also be on the prowl for horses experiencing
a trainer change via a private transaction such as a sale.
These change of trainer notes are usually found in Daily