Workouts: Transferring morning glory to the Winner’s Circle

Sep 7, 2012 | Handicapping

Tannat in last year's Manitoba Derby

Tannat. Sleeper in the Pick-5?

by Rob

Using workouts in your handicapping can help you to spot three types of horses ready to run well: first time starters, horses coming off a freshening and stakes horses.

First time starters are working themselves into shape to run their first race, horses coming off layoffs are also working their way back into form, while many stakes horses will work between starts to maintain their form.

Judging workouts is more complicated than it might appear. The fastest horse in the morning is in theory the fastest at night, but this is most certainly not always the case. There are a collection of factors that affect workout times and make some of them slightly deceiving.

The first factor is intent. Different trainers have different strategies. It takes some time to pick up on who works their horses fast and who works them slowly. It depends on what the trainer is looking to get out of the work. Emile Corbel and Clayton Gray are the two names that come to mind for me when people talk about fast works. Bullet workouts from these trainers are more common than they are for trainer Gary Danelson, who always works his horses comfortably no matter how fast they truly are.

A secondly important factor is appearance during a workout. How a horse works is probably just as important as how fast he works. Horses that move smoothly, work in hand and look comfortable, are normally getting much more out of their work. Not all of you have the time to sit and watch our workouts every morning, so the program gives you a little key on how the horse worked. Beside the time there is either a “b” or an “h”. The b stands for breezing and the h stands for handily. Breezing means working well in hand, while handily means a horse is being asked for a little bit of encouragement.

The third factor with regards to workouts is the amount of time between works. A horse that is healthy and fit and training up to a race should be working at regular intervals. Big gaps between works and races should be viewed as red flags. Workout patterns that are consistent and build upon themselves set horses up for optimal races first time out.

Pick-5 Carryover Friday

The $600 Pick-5 carryover on Friday could be scooped with an inexpensive wager, especially with some small fields and a few standouts. The first leg is a Maiden Special Weight race for older horses and I think I will end up using two horses, Golden Toccet and I’minittowinit. The latter is a slight sucker horse, but he should be so far in front in this race early that he might not get caught. If he does get caught I’m thinking Golden Toccet, who seemed to wake up again when reunited with Larry Munoz in his last race, will be the one to catch him.

Allowance looks like 2-horse race

The second leg of the Pick-5 is a Manitoba-bred allowance race for colts and geldings and I will take the speed horse Going for a Few, who will be on the front end, along with the heavy favorite C.C. Ride, who should rally late. I feel pretty comfortable that one of these two should get the job done, as the rest of the field is reaching a little bit. A sleeper might be Tannat, if he returns to last year’s form.

Droppers and cutbacks in the fourth

The fourth race is a $5,000 non-winners of three race that features two droppers that need to be respected and a filly cutting back from a runner-up effort at a route. Only Officer and Bondola both drop out of Allowance races and have been competitive against the top Manitoba-bred mares on the grounds. Bondola should show lots of speed but will have company from Putitontheairs from the outside. That should set the race up for Only Officer and leading trainer Shelley Brown or for Tudi Be Tru, a Golden Gate invader who has rushed through her conditions since arriving at Assiniboia Downs.

Key in fifth race

The key on my Pick-5 ticket will be in this race. It is the dropper Gamza, who has been running in open first level Allowance races. He also broke his maiden in a Maiden Special Weight race. He should like the distance and will be on the front end. He was within six lengths of Spring Soup two races back and beat the good filly Lucy With Diamonds when he broke his maiden. Other contenders are Northern Fancy, Polar Breeze and Gunton Road.

Take the closers in final Leg

The sixth race is an Allowance race for older horses. It’s a race filled with speed so I’ll take the three closers and hope that one of them rallied down the lane. Gotatigerbythetail, Seven Tuff and Cherokee’s Goal are my three picks in this race. Gotatigerbythetail and Cherokee’s Goal both chased Balooga Bull last time. There’s no Balooga Bull in this race today, and they should be able to run these types down.

Ticket: $1 Pick 5 is 1,5/1,5/2,3,4/5/2,3,5 for a total of $36

Rob’s Best Bets and Weekend Longshots

Record-to-Date 18-7-6 from 48 starts

Wagered: $700.00 Returned: $713.00 Profit: $13.00

Friday Best Bet: Race 7 — Ecton’s Gem

Friday Longshot: Race 6 — Seven Tuff

Saturday Best Bet: Race 5 — Orville Got Even

Saturday Longshot: Race 2 — Thedeanbetstwenty

Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7 p.m. Friday, September 7, 2012