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Sometimes horses can improve dramatically with a better trip. (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)

A troubled trip can often present plenty of trouble for handicappers.

Just because a horse encounters a problem in a race, it doesn’t mean that runner would have been a bigger factor in that race if everything went right. Look at it this way, if a horse destined to finish fifth winds up eighth because he’s shut off on the final turn, is he really worth following the next time he runs?

Far better is a horse that is stopped, but accelerates again and makes up some or all of the lost ground, leaving people wondering, “what if?” What if he had clean trip? Perhaps he would have won.

A case in point came on March 3 in the eighth race at Gulfstream Park. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Emotional Kitten was making her first start in nearly three months in an allowance race on the turf. Sent off at 16-1 after breaking her maiden in a $75,000 claimer, the Wesley Ward-trained filly had what can kindly be described as an adventurous trip.

After racing three wide and losing ground for much of the race, according to the Equibase chart, she was “checked in behind rivals in the stretch, recovered and finished willingly for the show.”

Insert Ehalt

Seventh at the eighth pole, Emotional Kitten did not allow that mishap in the stretch to stop her as she regained her best stride and finished third, just 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

Erase that traffic jam from the equation and perhaps Emotional Kitten wins that race … or her next one.

Ward brought Emotional Kitten back to the races on April 7, when she was once again entered in an allowance race, this time at Keeneland. She was even paired with another Ramsey-owned filly, Kitten’s Queen who is trained by Wayne Catalano, and then drew post 15, which landed her on the also-eligible list.

The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when a couple of scratches allowed Emotional Kitten to draw into the race. Deciding to run from a spot as disadvantageous as post 12 merely underscored Ward’s confidence in his filly, though the betting public was somewhat skeptical.

Sent off at 6-1 odds with her entrymate, Emotional Kitten had a wide but smooth and problem-free trip and rallied strongly in the stretch to catch Adriani and prevail by a very slim nose for a $15.40 payoff.

The lesson: Don’t tag along next time just because a horse had a troubled trip. The ones to follow are those who were clearly denied of a chance to win … a chance that can be fulfilled in its next race.

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En Español

Translated by Anthony Gutierrez, Edited by Jose Acevedo

Tip de apuesta: Mejor suerte la próxima vez

Un viaje turbulento a menudo puede traer un montón de problemas para los apostadores. El hecho de que un caballo se encuentre con un problema en una carrera, no quiere decir que el caballo hubiese sido un factor más importante en la misma si todo hubiese salido bien. Vamos a mirarlo de este modo, si un caballo destinado a terminar quinto, queda de octavo porque estuvo apagado en la última curva, creen que realmemte vale la pena seguir a ese caballo en la próxima carrera?

Mucho mejor es un caballo que se paró por completo , luego acelero de nuevo y remonto casi en su totalidad parte del terreno perdido, dejando a la gente preguntándose entre ellos, "¿ y si?" ¿ y hubiese tenido una carrera limpia? Tal vez hubiese ganado.

Un ejemplo de ello fue el 3 de Marzo en la octava carrera del hipódromo de  Gulfstream Park. Propiedad de Ken y Sarah Ramsey, Emotional Kitten estaba reapareciendo después de casi tres meses, donde corrió en una carrera de subsidio sobre la grama .Dejandola a 16-1 después de romper su racha de perdedores en un claimer de $75,000, la yeuga entrenada por Wesley Ward,tuvo lo que amablemente se puede describir como un viaje lleno de aventuras. Después de haber pasado la curva abierta en tres de ancho,y perdiendo terreno durante gran parte de la carrera, de acuedro con la tabla Equibase, estaba "marcada detrás de sus rivales en la recta final, se recuperó y terminó voluntariamente para el show (3er lugar)."

Séptima en el poste ocho, Emotional Kitten no permitió que el percance en la curva lograra detenerla y cuando ella recuperó su mejor paso, terminó en tercer lugar, a sólo 1 cuerpo y 1/4 del ganador. Borrando el traficó de la ecuación,quizás Emotional Kitten ganaba la carrera... o la siguiente.

Ward, trajo de vuelta Emotional Kitten a las carreras el 7 de Abril, cuando fue inscrita de nuevo en una carrera de asignación, esta vez en el hipodromo de Keeneland. Ella incluso fue emparejada con otra potra propiedad de Ramsey, Kitten's Queen la cual  es entrenada por Wayne Catalano, y luego sacó el puesto de partida 15, lo que la hace aterrizar en la lista también de elegibles.

Las piezas finales del rompecabezas cayeron en su lugar cuando un par de retirados permitió a Emotional Kitten entrar en la carrera. Decidiendo correr partiendo de un lugar tan desventajoso como es el puesto de partida 12, sólo subrayó la confianza de Ward en su yegua, aunque el público apostador era un poco escéptico.

Dejandola a 6-1 , Emotional Kitten tuvo un viaje sin abrirse en la curva , pero suave y sin problemas. Se recuperó con fuerza en la recta final y alcanzo a Adriani para imponerse por una nariz, pagando  $15.40.

La lección: No etiquetar un caballo en su próxima carrera sólo porque un tuvo un viaje agitado en la carrera previa. Hay que seguir a los caballos que claramente se les negó la posibilidad de ganar..ya que esa posibilidad se puede cumplir en la siguiente carrera.

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

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