Basic Stable Strengthening Strategy II by seamhead75
Thursday, February 07, 2008 at
Managing Your Horses.
Last edition for Basic Stable Strengthening Strategy we discussed being active in claims. Now I would like to share some strategy for how to manage those horses. How to manage oneís horses can be debated until the end of time, but at any rate I will do might best to set my readers in the right direction.
Choosing the right race for a horse is important. When possible race your horses at the same track. Obviously this applies for non-stakes racers. Keep your travel down. Make sure your horse isnít over raced. Some horses can be run harder than others. I like to give my horses 4 Ė 6 weeks rest. Sometimes I will race a horse after two weeks, but if I do I give the horse a good healthy rest afterwards. The more precious the horse, the more careful I usually am. Some horses are just not worth their weight, but are not yet eligible to be sold in the auction. You can either sit them out and keep your claiming edge longer, or run them every chance you can in hopes they snag some BPís, while probably hurting your stable stats.
Make sure you have a clear understanding of all the various types of races your horse can run in. Donít run claimers in allowances. Donít run maidens in non-maidens. Spend time searching out the right race. Find a Small field with weak competition and target that race. Keep in mind that sometimes the easier race is a 5k claimer, not the 2k claimer. Maybe a lot of owners dropped their horse down to 2k claimers thinking the race would be an easy win. The result could be a lot tougher 2k race than another 5k race that went overlooked. If still no good options are available, set your training for the following week, or use RAFI to look ahead for a better week to train for. Just keep looking for the easy pickings. You will be glad you had the patience and your stable will begin to bear fruit.
Make sure you are prepared to lose a horse if you run it in claimers. When you finally get that monstah runner you do not want to lose it in claimers. On the flip side a lot of turnover can be good, and you donít want guppies running with sharks. If you do get a young horse showing promise its okay to bump him up a bit and see how he does. You can always drop him back down. If you are ready to try a stakes race, go and look for a small stakes race with a small field. Take it slow, but donít miss a big opportunity. You never can tell what will happen; maybe it will be your lucky day. Strike while the iron is hot!
When choosing races make sure you have studied which strengths and weaknesses your horse has been showing. Maybe you have a horse that keeps charging hard late in eight furlong races, but has been running out of time to catch the leader. A horse like this might need a longer route. Maybe the horse has only been tried once or twice on a surface. The results could have been aberrations. This could suggest the horse needs some more trials on the alternate surface. Often a horse gets pegged as a sprinter or distance runner when the exact opposite is true. Make sure you explore all your options carefully, and make last minute entries.
I have been keeping a journal of all my horses. Basically all my horses are listed alphabetically in a document. I keep track of the amount of rest a horse ran under, which type of race it ran in, the distance, the speed factor, the finish, and list what jockey instructions I used. I also have a place for notes after each race. If I experiment with jockey instructions I make notes on the results. I then label whether the experiment was a success, moderate success, inconclusive, mild failure, or failure.
I try to avoid messing with jockey instructions until I know a lot more about my horse. I have had horses that really seemed to thrive as front runners. If a horse can handle being a front runner I always set the instructions to 1.00 as long as I am having success. If a horse is having trouble sustaining his front running, maybe I set him back to .3 or .5. Make informative decisions by evaluating the information you have carefully. If you are constantly experimenting with jockey instruction, and itís not working out, you should simply layoff the strategy for a while. Some horses just need to stay on jockey select and go with the flow.
Now you have some basic Stable Strengthening Strategy to set you in the right direction! Take what you can from this article, and others. Some great stuff has been written from Pazjazz recently, so check out his articles. Go to the Derby Fever forum and introduce yourself. Check out the posting forum as well. There is plenty of help out there if you are willing to learn. Good luck and enjoy!