Handicapping Tip of the Day #15 – Sneaky Trainer Entry

Take special note of the uncoupled entries

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

Handicapping Tip of the Day – November 17, 2015

Last time I mentioned the importance of noting blinkers changes before you begin your handicapping. The second thing I do after noting the blinker changes is to find any “uncoupled entries,” which can be a gold mine awaiting the horseplayer. An uncoupled entry occurs when a trainer has two or more horses in a race but they are not coupled, such as in 1 and 1A. The uncoupled entry runs as separate betting interests. There are no notes to alert you to this situation; you got to find them yourself.


Jockey and trainer at Keeneland - Copyright agameofskill.com

I go through every race to see if a trainer’s name appears more than once in each race, and when it does I place a higher priority on analyzing that race than others. The public is swift to dismiss the less appealing part of the entry based upon what’s in the running lines, and that is a huge mistake. Successful trainers do not put a horse in a race with losing being the sole intention. Also, many trainers make a living by cashing a well-planned ticket and the best way to elevate the price of one horse is by entering another that looks to be better on paper. The best time to play the high end of an uncoupled entry is when one of the entrants is taking a lot of money at the windows.

— Art Parker

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.


  1. Do you have any numbers to back this up?
    The last study that I saw showed that other than a few top trainers (Baffert, Pletcher) this angle was a money loser in the long run. The winnings on the Baffert & Pletcher horses were only a few percent positive, hardly making it something to write home about.

    • It is a theory and angle based on experience. The writer does not have numbers to back it up, but I’ve seen this happen more times than I can count – and cashed on it many times with big prices. ~ Rich

  2. You didn’t send me anything to click on

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