Good Horse Racing Spot Play
Smart handicappers will sometimes merely play a spot play and leave the in depth handicapping and hours of drudgery to the novices. One such spot play that can provide long shot winners is the trainer move of changing a horse’s running style in order to condition it for a part of the race where it usually doesn’t do well.
For instance a horse may have a lot of early speed, but usually folds up like cheap lawn furniture in a hurricane. The trainer is trying to figure out a way to make that runner more competitive in the late stages of the race rather than wilting in the stretch.
At first the conditioner may try to change a piece of equipment, adding or taking away blinkers or maybe adding a tongue tie to see if it is choking down in the late stages of the race. A nasal strip may also be added as well as the addition of lasix. There may also be different workout patterns and even a change of venue.
If none of those measures works the trainer may decide that some schooling during a race is necessary. At that point the jockey may be instructed to strangle the horse back in the early part of the race and make the horse settle down off the pace. This is often very difficult to do and you’ll sometimes see a one hundred pound jockey wrestling with a one thousand pound thoroughbred as the race begins.
The struggle takes a lot out of the horse and rider, but if the jockey sticks with it for a few races, it sometimes teaches the horse to take it easy in the beginning of the race so that it has something left in the tank for the stretch run. When the bettors see their early speed horse being throttled back, however, you’ll often hear howls of “foul,” from the crowd.
Unfortunately for the bettors, they weren’t in on the trainer’s plans and didn’t know the race was meant for schooling and the horse wasn’t going to have a chance to win. At that point many are disgusted and won’t bet on the horse again, but a few wise horse players make a note of the change in running style and will watch the horse waiting to see when and if the training will pay off.