A Dark Day For Racing
The Needle & the Damage Done
Definition of a Handy Workout
Definition of a Breezing Workout
Rolling with the Wiseguys
Mucho Trabajo, Poco Dinero
The Day the Music Died Biography
1. With no afternoon racing activities some trainers will choose to take Tuesday off. Those trainers will schedule all the horses in their barn to be walked or galloped. No workouts will be scheduled in their absence.
2. The starting gate crew, with Tuesday afternoon off, also takes Tuesday mornings off. Thus, no gate works.
(With Tuesday having no gate works, private clockers who sit on the gate works to gain a bead on first time starters with a quick step from the starting blocks, for their betting clients, also take Tuesday morning off. If a first time starter gets hammered in his debut he will usually have shown speed from the starting gate in his morning preps. Conversely, a fair to fat price can be had on a maiden who only displays a quick step from the pole in a flat workout on Tuesday morning).
3. Finally, the stillness that hangs over my view of the training surface and its activities is related to the trackman's churning or digging up of the track surface on Monday night shortly after the last race.
By early Monday evening, the last day of a racing week, the racing surface has been compacted by the pounding of hooves and the continuous pressing by tractor and water truck tires. The trackman churns the track Monday night to loosen it. The racing surface will have one non-race day (Tuesday) to settle. This produces an uncertain surface to train over on Tuesday morning. The question is how deep and tiring will the dirt surface be?
So I clocked, watched and evaluated as the scattering of workers finished rubber legged and drifting out a tad over this typical Tuesday's loose, deep and tiring surface. Exceptional workers earned 101 & change for 5/8ths and 115 for six panels as the best clockings for those respective distances this Tuesday morning. Those slow times signaled to a trainer that he should consider backing up a furlong in scheduled distance to be worked to avoid a horse tiring and extending himself awkwardly.
Then late that Tuesday morning during the third and final set, a jet black thoroughbred with a dim white star on his forehead (e.g. a white period in the middle of a black piece of paper) was dropped off cold by a stable's pony girl at the six furlong marker and immediately kicked in a stark visual impression with a show of quickness from the pole getting the first 1/8th in a best of the morning 11-4 without being hustled. This speedster kept rolling to the top of the stretch in 46-4 and bounced around the hook for home staying right on the wood with a swift lead change that clicked him into a higher gear which propelled him to the finish line in 111 flat. I followed this monster through my binoculars as he galloped out vigorously back to his stable's pony girl who reined this jet black back in at the six furlong marker where she had dropped him off. HELLO!
This makes it worthwhile to sit through a dull Tuesday workout session to catch one runner who shows speed while earning a sparkling time over a dull surface. This is the surest sign that a horse is racing fit and should run well first crack out of the box. To confidently convey these thoughts to my readers, all I needed was the name of the jet black roadrunner with a dim star.
It would be easy to pick his name off of that Tuesday's OFFICIAL workout sheet for he had worked a full four seconds faster than any horse I timed working that demanding six furlong distance over a cuppy and tiring strip. Plus, all his interior splits like the 3/8th's and half mile timing (46-4) were the best of the morning. However, and maybe for those reasons he never made the official workout tab. Deleted. Nada. Swallowed by the official clocker for a touting phone service happy that they have an official clocker on their payroll.
A coup for a phone service is to release a firster that displays under his debuting name not a bullet six furlong morning movement but a hole in his workout pattern (which creates a 14 day gap). Filling in that workout information gap is what the phone service clients will gladly pay for. In return for creating a workout gap an official clocker will receive cash from the phone service.
The prevailing strong-armed mood industrywide that supports these hide and sell tactics BY PUBLIC INFORMATION SERVERS is this: the public will be repeatedly taught that some trainers don't work their maidens fast or over a long distance of ground or at regular intervals or from the gate and workout gaps or an abbreviated workout prep schedule should be accepted. Therefore, the public should learn to play and bet the maiden races off of a combo of a trainer's established workout tendencies and the firster's breeding, while the owners, trainers, clockers and their clients will bet off of the workouts.