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Early Prep races, not in it to win it   Triple Crown - HRN Horse-Races.Net

Started Feb-24 by Wintertrian; 285 views.

From: Wintertrian


I know most of the old hands already know this but I thought it would make a good discussion.   I hear people say stuff like "I don't see a derby winner in this race" and the earlier, shorter distance and lower points races ARE NOT ABOUT THAT. 

I didn't always know this.  But I watched Asmussen and some of the other highly experienced trainers over the years, and saw how they use these races.  While some think it's just about throwing horses up against wall and seeing what sticks (and I DO believe some trainers do do that, but I sure wouldn't be paying their fees unless I was a masochist)  it's more about seeing how the charges you have been given, and what owners are paying you for, to properly train their horses.  

So let's use The Rebel Stakes as an example.   Could have used the Risen Star as well.   These races are early enough, usually feb or early March, for trainers to get a "snapshot" of what needs to be done going forward, what needs "fixing" in a horse, etc.     They are not necessarily "in it to win it."   This is more like DETECTIVE WORK.    I call it a snapshot race.   I use Asmussen as an example because I watch him a lot. 

Do they need gatework? (Crupi).  Do they need to learn to rate?  Can they even get ITM in a SHORT 2-turn race (Giant Mischief).  What problems does the horse have that need to be worked on?

These kinds of races fall at the perfect time, and that is where their value lies.   It's not about "oh this horse won an early prep at SAR in 2022" because by May of 2023, that horse is hopefully going to be an somewhat different animal.  And, if they're not, you are flushing trainer fees down the drain.  

I am not looking for a Derby winner in any of these races.   Not until the AR Derby is run and done.   Or any of the very last races, because by that time, you and the trainer will know what ya got.   Sometimes all you got is Derby Dreams, and you are just happy to have "made the gate" and can tell your friends "I had a horse in the Derby".   (plenty of those, probably 65% of every field every year). 

I notice that newbies will just put horses who run 1st on their derby list. That won't work.   That is why it's hard to get people into this sport.....because it's a lot of work.    On your part, as well as every hand that touches these horses on the backside.   

In that way I have come to respect the TC series, but also no longer willing to fund it with anything but a very small outlay of cash.     There are much better every day races out there where you CAN win money, and the TC races are not in that category for me. 

Also writing this to help  the lurkers who show up every year after never participating, and thinking "life changing score" and all the battle tested folks know, despite the deeper level of work they are doing to cap this stuff......most here are not changing their lives to any miraculous level. Funding 3 McMansions in the caribbean, etc.    A few may be.....most are not.  

That is more the realm of Lottery ticket winners.    

Anyway would be nice to see some more participation by the lurkers, too.   They may have a great insight to share and we will never know about it, and they are just afraid to get shot down.  YES, we do argue with each other's picks.   It's not to win an argument, it's to SHARE insight you have that may help others. 

And as for ego, that's what sticking with your horse is all gotta be able to defend them and explain why to others.  It iSN"T PERSONAL.   It's like any other sports team, you like your guys.  I like mine.  No big deal. 

And the PPs suck.  They will tell you a trainer has 11% graded stakes, then you find out they were all at 7F and on AW or something.  If you do not go behind that data and see HOW it was earned, it's pretty useless.   

I know all the trainers at my track, on dirt, and their %s.   I DON'T know the trainers from other tracks and how they do day in and day out, who they bring in to ride, and why.  that's mostly why I don't play prep races in general.   Unless one of you "clue me in",  I'm lost and throwing darts in dark.   And that is why I appreciate and NEED the conversatons about the races.   If you play Florida I want to learn from you.  

In reply toRe: msg 1

From: Wintertrian


And mostly to say, thank you to each and every person here who does the dissecting of issues and horses.   What's that expression?  "sharing is caring".    Well, it really is.   Whether I play these races or not, I still enjoy interacting with all the smart people here.   

I wouldn't have about 1/4 of the knowledge I have learned, nor the motivation to dig deeper, if I had not learned from all  of you. 


From: smartyslew


This is a Moving message discussion Winter, from deep down and I enjoyed it very much.
We do need more 522 members to get involved and if not at least put a like on a message or a dislike

This is my hobby and I like to share my ideas from a different angle than most. I don't have a clue 

if I'm helping anybody working out here in my field . I know I get a lot from the members that do post on here 

It must be Love because I keep coming Back, thanks  Again Winter for the discussion. 

SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G


Wintertrian said:

 That is why it's hard to get people into this sport.....because it's a lot of work. 

That's why it's hard to get good at anything.  Practice, work, time, whatever one wants to call it.  Practice and work are virtues.  Getting good is a process that requires discipline and dedication.

That goes for anything except being a lazy good for nothing.  LOL

That's why the sport is marketed the way it is.  Food, drinks, hats, gambling, social event style.  

Entertainment.  Not work. 

However, there is a subset of humans that enjoy practice, discipline, dedication, intelligence and when those kinds of people put their efforts into handicapping/wagering they have a really good shot at besting their rivals in the parimutuel pools and winning over the long-term.

Not getting rich at it, as you point out, but steadily hitting their goals which have been extrapolated from their self-study of their performance outcomes as a bettor.  

Any gambling game that rewards skill over luck is called a positive outcome model for those who have the SKILL.   The mindset of those players is - why play to lose?  If I can't win money steadily, why play?

Those people, as you well know, put in the work.

When I was playing full time, it was my job and one doesn't eff around at work or they get fired.

I happen to agree 100 % with you - why bet a tough race that is coming in as an unknown [except with funny money] when you can put your effort into an every day race that you have an edge in and make bank.  

Now, the reason I no longer play, besides the fact I now think the US game is crooked is that I no longer want to put in the work.  I rather spend my time on other pursuits which I enjoy putting the work into.

The psychology of gambling is pretty interesting.  It comes down to the old adage - Handicapper, know thyself.

Msg 2329.5 deleted