Handicapping Tip of the Day #55 – The Only Race

A sharp trainer uses the condition book to plan the future of a horse especially when it comes to conditioning and training. However, things don’t always work out.

by Art Parker for AGameofSkill.com

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

I became friends with a trainer during my first year of playing the horses – the days when I was learning something new every day. One day I noticed he entered a horse above his usual class. After thinking he couldn’t possibly win, I decided to ask him why. I caught up with the trainer late in the day and asked him that very question after his horse finished seventh in a field of nine.

“It’s the only race I could find for him. He is fit and ready to run. That was the only thing close to where he belongs, so I entered. It looked like it would be another week or so before another race would be available, and I would rather run him and keep him in shape,” the trainer explained.

Understanding the Condition Book

That was before I learned all about a condition book. Once I got my hands on a book, I began to understand. We know that racing secretaries must write races that have a higher probability to fill and to make the races as competitive as possible. What is not possible is to have a ready-made class system that is fair to all and will provide an abundance of opportunities to all horses. Nor is it possible to have enough horses to fill all races and all races be competitive.

Understanding the Condition Book

I borrowed the words from a West Point Thoroughbreds website that best describes a condition book. “A condition book is the schedule of races for a given track during a certain period of time, usually a few weeks or a month. It is this schedule that provides a framework for trainers to develop the training regimens for their horses for this time period. While this seems straightforward, there are a number of factors that can change the timing of races. You see, just because a race is in the condition book doesn’t mean that enough horses will enter the race to warrant it being used. That is why you’ll see substitute races in the book as well. These are races that also get entries and can be used in place of another race on the card.”

A sharp trainer uses the condition book to plan the future of a horse especially when it comes to conditioning and training. However, things don’t always work out. A race perfect for one horse may not fill and a substitute race is used. When that happens a trainer that has a horse ready must find another race that fits his charge, but that is not always possible; hence, the horse may be placed in less than an ideal event.

When you examine past performances and you see an awful race last time out, don’t quickly conclude that the horse isn’t what he used to be. That last race may have been the only option for the trainer.

Great horse racing videos – the late, great Forty Niner versus two of his top rivals

Top Freshman Sires to Watch according to The Blood-Horse

copyright DarbyAmerica

The top sires to watch include many familiar names, such as Darley’s Nyquist and Frosted , and Claiborne Farm’s Runhappy , who all were represented by a 2019 yearling average of $200,000 or more.

Nyquist and Runhappy had the strongest overall profiles, having ranked among the top sires in all five categories. Nyquist might have a slight edge over Runhappy having been a three-time grade 1 winner and champion at 2. Runhappy definitely had speed as indicated by his 2015 champion sprinter title, but he didn’t win at 2 until Dec. 28 of his juvenile year. The son of Super Saver ‘s first book of dams include 34% who won at 2 (the highest among our 10 sires to watch) and his dams have produced 27% 2-year-old winners to date, which is the co-highest among the top 10 sires along with Taylor Made Stallions’ Not This Time

Top Freshman Sires for 2020:

New Racing Club at Canterbury Park in 2020

“Our mission is to engage new people with thoroughbred racehorse both active and retired…” ~ Joe Scurto

Lakeville, MN…. The first racetrack in North America to create a racing club for thoroughbred racing fans, Canterbury Park has now teamed up with the Minnesota Racehorse Engagement Project (MNREP) to introduce a new version of their successful club platform for 2020.

The new club will not only offer horse lovers the opportunity to experience the pleasure, prestige, and emotional rewards of owning a thoroughbred racehorse, it will also help horses coming off the track as they transition into new careers. All net profits from the club will be going to support local equine organizations that are working with MNREP and Canterbury Park in transitioning retired racehorses. These organizations currently include This Old Horse, University of Minnesota, Crookston Equine Science Program, and Acres of Life.

Joe Scurto, Executive Director MNREP is excited about the opportunity to have a club that will benefit both members as well as horses. “Our mission is to engage new people with thoroughbred racehorse both active and retired. The new club will be able to offer both. The organizations working with us to transition horses will also benefit. People joining will get more than their monies worth and support equine aftercare in the process.”

Industry Profile: Trainer Linda Rice

From The Blood-Horse Magazine:

Linda Rice was 17 years old, a time when the real world begins to come into view for most teenagers. She and her father, Clyde, had attended a Keeneland sale in Lexington, and were driving back to their farm in Pennsylvania when an accident ahead of them caused a….

She left Penn State after two years and took out her trainer’s license in 1987. Clyde understood and was so supportive he assigned her half a dozen horses or so at the outset. Now viewed as the leading female trainer in the United States, Rice was hardly an overnight success.

“It was very difficult getting started,” Rice said. “My father was my first client and then I grew from there. But it was many years of building the business. It’s taken many years and a lot of hard work.”

If she had an advantage in what continues to be an aspect of the industry populated largely by men, it was her upbringing.

“When you grow up around horses, you learn the behavior of horses, the psychology of the horse,” she said. “It allows you to be very advanced and have many years of experience by the time you start training them.”

Can This Technology Get Racehorses Off Drugs?

Thoroughbred horse racing in the US is addicted to drugs. It runs so deep that it has become the norm. And worse, because it is legal, it is seen as beneficial. Instead of a health-first approach to …

These image scanners add a significant diagnostic advantage, as traditional CT scans require the patient to lie down with the anatomy un-weighted, depriving the clinician of the ability to analyze the stressed areas of bone while under loading pressures.

Until this equipment was developed, horses needed anesthesia in order to have a CT scan performed. The inherent risks associated with general anesthesia, the need to go to a hospital for a test, and the cost of this procedure prevented widespread use of CT in the majority of racehorses in training and eliminated its use as a screening tool by racing regulators and track practicing veterinarians…

Learning From Horse Racing Research

Scientific Study on Horses & Injuries in Progress

Preventing injuries is important not only for racehorse health but also jockey safety and public perception, says David Horohov, PhD, chair of the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Department of Veterinary Science and director of the Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington. He and his colleagues have been working on a series of studies investigating injury prevention.

An assembled group including James MacLeod, VMD, PhD, and Jennifer Janes, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, of the Gluck Center; Laura Kennedy, DVM, Dipl. ACVP, of the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory; and Mary Scollay, DVM, of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, are evaluating injury risks and possible precursors.

Horohov says their research thus far suggests that orthopedic injuries in racehorses are related to long-term effects rather than acute events. “It’s a chronic injury pattern that eventually leads to an acute failure,” he says.

In addition, Horohov and colleagues, including UK’s Allen Page, DVM, PhD, are looking at whether inflammatory changes that occur in racehorses and sport horses indicate a pathologic (causing disease or damage) condition is brewing.

As bones and muscles experience stress during exercise, they undergo microdamage as part of their normal adaptive process. Ideally, this process helps strengthen both bone and muscle. However, if the horse is overtrained or does not adapt well to training, the result is inflammation and potential injury. Horohov and Page have hypothesized that bloodwork should reveal certain inflammatory marker patterns that indicate systemic inflammation caused by early microlesions.

“Some microlesion formation is likely part of the normal remodeling effort,” Horohov says. “It is when the …

Top Horseplayer Marshall Gramm Gambles with Preakness Stakes Entry

Memphis horse racing syndicate led by Rhodes College professor in Preakness with Longshot

Ten Strike Racing has decided to enter a horse into a Triple Crown race for the first time.

His name is Warrior’s Charge, a late-blooming colt with 12-1 odds who will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano in the wide-open field Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

And before we suggest you bet on him – and we are very much suggesting that because if someone has to win, why not a horse with legitimate Memphis ties? – let’s explain why this particular entry is so fascinating.

“Our horse is just as fast as anyone going,” Gramm said earlier this week. “We thought it was worth the risk.”

Kentucky Fan’s tribute to his favorite player?

Naming a racehorse after him, of course.

Snell Yeah, a horse whose name was inspired by Kentucky football player Benny Snell, trained at Keeneland ahead of a race at the track on April 18. Snell Yeah is wearing blue silks in the video. By

There’s already a fan favorite in the 4 1/2-furlong race for maidens in Thursday’s second race at Keeneland (4/18/19).

Snell Yeah, trained by John Ennis, is named after former University of Kentucky running back Benny Snell, who broke the school’s all-time records for rushing and career touchdowns during the 2018 season. Specifically, it’s a direct reference to Snell’s personal catchphrase tattooed across his stomach.

Co-owner Scott Stephens didn’t know his colt’s namesake would go on to set so many records or help lead the Wildcats to their first 10-win campaign in decades when he christened him a year ago. He just loves UK football — the Ashland native has been a season ticket-holder since 2004 — and the way Snell played, and wanted to recognize one of the best to ever wear blue and white.

“He’s got the best attitude,” Stephens said. “I love that kid and his personality. … You can tell he loves the game.”

Barry Irwin Discusses What Horse Racing Needs

by author Barry Irwin

In the last 31 of my 50 years in horse racing, I have earned my livelihood forming racing partnerships. I have been able to do this because, in spite of the obstacles and challenges, enough people still want to race horses, so I have been able to continue with my enterprise.

I am involved in one segment of an industry that provides many folks and entities the opportunity to also make a living with Thoroughbreds.

But the number of people interested in the game is shrinking.

As a keen observer as well as a participant, I feel confident in saying that the ongoing contraction of the game is a direct result of cheating by the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs that tilt the playing field in favor of crooked trainers and owners interested in dominating over their rivals by illegal methods.

All of the enterprises in which folks are involved within the industry: breeding, pinhooking, sales companies, racetracks, training, writing, advertising, acting as agents–all of it–is dependent on one simple thing: the integrity of the race. Horseplayers have to feel good about the honesty of a contest to want to bet on the outcome…

NY horse racing partnership finding success

By PAUL ANTONELLI

Recorder Sports Editor

Aaron Cotugno has been a fan of thoroughbred horse racing ever since he was old enough to walk, when his uncle, John Liggero Jr., took him and the rest of the family to Saratoga Race Course every year on Opening Day.

It was there that his uncle, who had a table on the third level of the clubhouse near the finish line for every meet, held his annual gathering with family and friends to watch the greatest horses in the world compete at the sport’s most prestigious meet.

Decades later, Cotugno, a resident of Amsterdam with his wife Nicole and two sons Carson and Spencer, is a player in the thoroughbred business, calling the shots for Take A Shot Stables — a small partnership comprised of about five or six investors in each thoroughbred. The partnership currently has three horses in training, Free Kitty, Smiles from Sadie and I’m Elmer J. Fudd.

Last Thursday, Cotugno’s group pulled off a rarity and a first for the partnership, with …