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Blog - GAMBLING

Photo by Eclipse Sportswire

It’s usually easy to see when a horse runs into trouble during a race.

What’s more difficult to discern is whether that trouble had any impact on the outcome of the race.

Sometimes traffic problems can cost a horse a race. Other times it was a meaningless footnote to a foregone conclusion. Deciding between the two isn’t easy, but one reliable factor involves what a horse shows once he extricates himself from trouble.

Sky Blazer had no lack of problems when he raced on Feb. 2 in an optional claimer at one mile on the turf at Gulfstream Park. Racing 10th in a field of 13 over a speed-favoring course, he was rallying 5-horses wide at the top of stretch when he had nowhere to run for a while. Once clear, Sky Blazer showed his class and determination when he kicked into gear again and rocketed from ninth to second in the final furlong, losing by three quarters of a length.

In closing that quickly, and moving past seven horses in an eighth of a mile, Sky Blazer surely qualified as a determined runner who might have won if not for losing his momentum at a crucial point in the race.

Nearly a month later, on March 2, Sky Blazer returned in the same optional claimer, only at the slightly longer distance of a mile and a sixteenth.  

Sent off at 6-1 in his previous race, Sky Blazer was dismissed at a more attractive price of 8-1.

This time, with a clean trip, he once again rallied strongly in the stretch and drew off in the final sixteenth to win by a length and pay $18.40.

THE LESSON: A rough trip is not reason enough to back a horse in its next start. But when a horse shows the ability to overcome that trouble and gain ground after that incident, there’s a strong chance he can make amends when he returns to the races.

SKY BLAZER'S 2014 PAST PERFORMANCES

Sky Blazer

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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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