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.. their favored track condition. While it's the trainer's job to figure this out before he or she enters their horse in a race, the bettor is the one that has to determine how good a job the trainer has done at 'spotting' their horse. Assuming the horse is in a race where they are competitive, then surface, distance, and condition become huge factors in picking a winner. Tracks might come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter where you go worldwide; there are only two types of racing surfaces: dirt and turf. This doesn't mean all dirt or turf courses are alike, however. Dirt courses' composition can vary widely, and if you ask most track superintendents, the person whose job it is to oversee the course's condition, they'll tell you it's dependent on the environment and weather.
Likewise, a turf course can be made of all types of grasses, again depending on what grows best in a given climate. No matter what surface, a trainer also has to figure out what distance each of their horses prefers. They might have an idea from watching them train each morning, but until they see them racing, it's really a big guessing game. Breeding can and does play a big part in this, but some horses 'outrun' their breedlines. You usually hear this when a horse runs further than they're bred to: for example, Smarty Jones, a son of the sprinter Elusive Quality, was downplayed as nothing more than a miler by plenty of experts; that is until he started winning at longer distances
Bottom line: Bred to go long or short, almost all horses become more proficient at certain distances in their career. The final factor in 'track' handicapping is track conditions. A sudden rainstorm can change a track from 'fast' to 'sloppy' in a matter of minutes, and should change the way you look at the race. Some horses love wet, muddy tracks, other don't. Some horses love soft turf courses, others like them firm.
Let's look at each of these surfaces a little closer and see how to put them into play. SURFACES DIRTDirt racing makes up the majority of the races held in the United States, somewhere in the neighborhood of 85% of the total races held annually. If you were to ask a group of trainers what makes the best dirt course, you're likely to get all kinds of answers - mostly depending on what type of horses they have. Speed-crazy front runners tend to need a surface they can get over without sinking to deeply into it; one that has less cushion, or give. Closers, on the other hand, can usually handle a deeper course.
Generally, a track is made up of four layers: the racing surface, or cushion; the base, the sub-base, or drainage layer, and the native soil. The depth of the top three layers is usually around 24 inches. Within the cushion, there are normally a mix of sand, clay, silt, and organic materials. The cushion runs from three to six inches in depth. Check out the chart below to see how a few tracks mix the percentages of these ingredients differently. Track Sand Clay Silt Organic Del Mar 86 9 3 2 Laurel 85 0 10 5 Arlington 60 18 22 0 Churchill Downs 75 2 23 0 As you can see, sand is the primary ingredient, to varying degrees.
Track superintendents are constantly tweaking their racetrack to keep the mix consistent and safe for the horses. Continual changes in the weather, particularly any form of precipitation, can wreak havoc without careful attention. Let's look at a scenario of how knowing track composition might give us a handicapping edge. Suppose a horse runs well over the Laurel surface with its 85% sand. If the same horse ships to Arlington, it might not take to their track that has a lot greater amount of silt and clay than Laurel's, but take the horse to Del Mar, and it could well like the sandier loam of the seaside track.
Below the cushion lies the limestone base and then a substrate for drainage. Limestone, present in much of the ground in Kentucky, has long been known to have many benefits for horses' health, and coincidentally drains very well - a big help when the track needs drying out. These two layers usually measure about 18 inches in depth, combined. TURFTurf courses are newer to American racing than their dirt counterparts, but they've become very popular with the horsemen, as turf is usually kinder to a horse's legs, and the betting public likes the challenge. As we said before, horses are usually bred for the turf.
With the globalization of the breeding industry, main European runners spend at least part of their stud or broodmare career in the States. Consequently, plenty of turf influences show up in American horses. Turf courses are made up of a mixture of grasses on a sandy loam base, and like the dirt, have a drainage layer beneath that. Again, a chart of a few tracks and their turf mixtures. Track Turf BaseDel Mar bermuda 24' sandLaurel fescue, rye, bluegrass sandArlington fescue, rye, bluegrass sandChurchill Downs fescue and bluegrass sandJust like taking care of your lawn at home, certain grasses grow better in certain climates: the dry and warm California climate is conducive to Bermuda, while traditional grasses grow better in the Midwest.
How a horse gets over the turf course is a matter of their personal preference as much as anything. Sidelight: Tomlinson Ratings for Turf HorsesThe Daily Racing Form includes a Tomlinson number in their past performances. The Tomlinson number was developed by handicapper Lee Tomlinson to help foretell a horse's affinity for a particular surface. The Form includes a rating for a horse at today's distance, on a wet track, and on the turf. For more on how to use Tomlinson numbers, click here: www.drf.com/misc/tomlinson.html.
DistancesThere's an old saying that says, 'there are horses for courses', meaning that certain horses like certain tracks better than others. However, there are also horses that take to certain distances better than others. In fact, this is probably the stronger handicapping factor of the two. Rarely do see you a horse that is proficient at seven furlongs suddenly turn into a mile-and-a-half horse. So, how do you figure out at which distance will be best for the horse? As usual, it falls back to the trainer.
Like we said, breeding is a big factor, but just because a horse is bred to win the Kentucky Derby, that doesn't mean he can do it. When a horse first comes to the racetrack, usually as a two-year-old, they don't have the stamina to run in longer races. That's why you see horses generally making their first start in the four to six furlong range. Like a human running a marathon, they have to build up endurance to go that far. And then the trainer will try and 'stretch them out' in longer races to see if they are ready for it. One of the keys for a route horse, one that likes to go long, is the move from one to two turn races.
Most races run in the States at under a mile (sprints) go around one turn, while those over a mile (routes) are two turn races. Some horses take to the two turns, while others want no part of it. When you're handicapping a race, take a look at the record of each horse at today's distance. You'll see it in the top right of the past performances in both the program and the Form. What happens when a horse has never run at today's race distance? That's when you look to a couple other areas of your past performances.
We've covered breeding and how it influences a horse, as well as the Tomlinson numbers, which are in the Racing Form. With a horse that's just beginning their career, both of these factors can weigh in pretty heavily. With a horse that's run a good number of races, check their past performances closer. For example, it could be that today they're running at six and one half furlongs for the first time, but they've run several times at both six and seven furlongs. See how they fared at those distances to come up with an idea of how today's race might suit them.
Track ConditionsPrior to each day's races, the track is given a 'rating', or condition, by the track superintendent. Obviously, this can change at any time due to the weather. When you go to the track on a nice dry, sunny day, the fast track will usually have a 'rough' look to it. This is from the harrows that the tractors drag behind them to 'turn' the surface, keeping it uniform throughout. If it's dry all day, the tractors will be out harrowing between races to maintain that consistency. You might also see the trucks putting water on the track so it doesn't become too powdery.
On the other hand, if rain is in the forecast, the tractors will be out 'sealing' the track to keep the rain from getting into the cushion. A sealed track will have a very smooth look to it. And if you've got a sloppy or muddy track, you'll see the tractors 'floating' the track. Floats are boards that the tractors pull that pack the dirt, forcing the water to the top, so it can run off of the surface. Take a look at the chart of all the track conditions used for both dirt and turf.
Both lists start with the 'best' condition and work their way down. Note that the Heavy and Slow conditions, once used for 'off' tracks, are obsolete. Also, Wet Fast is a relatively new term; used when a track first gets rain, but it hasn't penetrated the surface. Dirt Conditions Turf Conditions Fast FirmWet Fast GoodGood YieldingSloppy SoftMuddy Frozen Heavy* Slow* *Heavy and Slow are no longer used. As with our previous topics in this section, you can look at a horse's past performances to see how they've done on a fast or off tracks in the past, or if there's no data for them yet, how their Tomlinson number stacks up versus their opponents.
Beyond a horse's preferences, there are some tracks that favor horses with a certain running style depending on track conditions. For example, say you have a horse that usually closes with a late run from far back in the pack. On a fast track, they'd be getting dirt thrown into their face from those in front. On a sloppy track, that dirt is now mud. If you look at the past performances and that usual kick isn't there, it could be what's hitting them in the face as much as the track itself.
To sum up: There's no steadfast rule that says any particular surface favors a horse with a certain running style, but be aware of how track conditions affect each horse individually. Turf course conditions are a little different than dirt. As a turf course gets more moisture in it, it generally becomes softer, with more give to it. Also, horse hooves tend to tear up the sod. You can see this in any race over an 'off', or one not rated firm, course. Like dirt races, some horses take to turf courses of all conditions.
As a rule, European horses like turf with more give to it, so a 'soft' or 'yielding' course might favor them. However, once they become acclimated to the firmer American courses, particularly those in California and the Southwest, they are usually comfortable running over them as well. South American imports also tend to like the California tracks. When your looking at the past performances of a turf, take a look at which horses have performed well on turf courses that are similar to today's track. SYSTEMS AND COMPUTER GENERATED HANDICAPPING Over the years thousands of various 'systems' have been devised in man's never ending quest to 'beat the horses'. The systems vary in the weight given to the various factors it considers (speed number, earnings, win percentage, last race result, etc.) but have one thing in common. None that we know of has proven to be successful over time.
The reason is simple. Racing is too complex to be reduced to a standard mathematical formula. Computer handicapping programs are nothing more than the old-fashioned systems that have been automated. Granted, computers are capable of processing huge amounts of information in lightning speed so the systems can be much more sophisticated, but they are incapable of subjective reasoning so the same fatal flaw still exists. It is simply can't take into account the nuances that separate the successful handicapper from those who don't do so well. It may know that a trainer is changing jockeys, for example, but it doesn't understand its significance.
Not all changes to a higher-ranking rider are positive. Should a successful system ever be devised, it is a pretty good bet that we won't hear about it. That's because widespread knowledge of its ability would negate its effectiveness. Everybody wants a winner so the horses the system selected would be bet down to the point that they would become underlays. It would still generate the same number of winners, but the mutuels won wouldn't be sufficient to make the user a winner over time. Despite their shortcomings, there is a place for good computer programs in the successful handicapper's arsenal.
The idea is to modify their conclusions for the things it was unable to consider. For example, the computer might say that 'Sureshot' was the horse to back in a particular race not realizing that the trainer would be unlikely to make the jockey change that he was making, if he was of the same opinion. In other words, the computer's conclusions should be used as simply another tool in our deliberations.SPEED NUMBERING HANDICAPPING Speed number handicapping became very popular in the early 1990's when it was championed by the ill-fated Racing Times. Much of its popularity is due to its simplicity. It is easy to learn and it only takes a few minutes to handicap a race.
Speed numbers have become a part of virtually all past performances published. They are simply a numerical measure of how fast a horse ran that is more consistant than actual times. Actual times can be deceiving because track conditions vary from day to day. A 1:11 over six furlongs on one day might be very quick while on another it might be a bit on the dull side. That is true even though the track might be rated as "fast" on both days. Speed numbers are computed as follows: 1.- A par time (or average) is established by class for each distance run.
2.- A variant for the day is established by accumulating the difference between that's day' actual times and the individual par times for those races and dividing that total by the number of races run. Separate variants for dirt and turf races, sprints and routes are generally computed. 3.- The actual time of a race is then corrected by applying the variant which is then converted into a speed number based upon a table constructed for the purpose. This becomes the winner's speed number. The others is the race are assigned numbers based upon how far behind the winner they finished. There are a number of technical reasons why these numbers are not absolutely accurate. Even their strongest adherents agree that a one or two point difference doesn't mean very much. There are several ways to use the numbers.
Some simply back the horse who ran the higest number in his last race. One race often doesn't mean very much, however, so others use a horse's average number for his last three or four races. The problem with that method is that the horse will usually run well but will often be beaten by a horse who "jumps up" and runs a big number. Both methods will select quite a few winners but the odds will be generally short. Using the highest number that each horse has run in any race run in the last 60 days will produce less winners, but those winners will pay much better mutuels.
PACE The stretch run may be the most exciting part of a race, but the run to the stretch may be more important. That's because thoroughbreds, like humans, do have limited energy. Most (if not all) cannot run "full throttle" for more than about a quarter of a mile without tiring badly. How wisely a horse utilizes those limited energy reserves generally dictates how effectively he will run. In the early part of a race (the "pacing" portion) horses trade energy for position with the idea of getting to the top of the stretch in position to win with enough energy left to get the job done.
It's a balancing act. One without the other isn't good enough. A ten length lead may not be safe if a horse is so tired that he can barely walk to the wire. Conversely a "full tank: won't do him much good if he is so far behind that he can't possibly catch the leaders. Conventional handicapping wisdom suggests that a fast pace favors the closers. That isn't always the case, however.
It doesn't help them much unless it causes the leaders to tire. Many quality horses are capable running under control and finishing well despite fast fractions. They may appear to be dueling but in reality they are simply running side-by-side. Some lesser animals can relax while setting a fast pace and save plenty of energy for the stretch run so long as they aren't pressured. Horses who weaken or tire after pressing or contesting a very quick fast pace are often much better than they appear. They may appear to lack stamina, but that isn't necessarily the case. It may simply be a case of the pressure and the faster than normal pace taking their toll. That is particularly true with lightly raced horses and those of moderate or lesser ability.
How much they tired in the stretch is generally irrelevant. Just like your car can't run without gas, a horse can't run without energy. Brought back in better circumstances they may be able conserve energy early and surprise their detractors by finishing strong enough to win. A slow pace doesn't help the early leaders unless they capitalize on it by saving energy. That doesn't always happen. A slow contentious pace can be tiring, particularly to horses a bit short on class.
The pressure causes them expend energy without forward purpose and they are apt to tire despite a slow pace. Others simply haven't learned to relax and squander the energy that they will need later. Some racing surfaces, particularly turf course, are tiring in nature so that the front runners weaken despite what appears to be a slow or moderate pace. Pace may not make the race, but it sure plays an important role. .
MORE ON TRIP HANDICAPPING There are many traps that can easily lead the trip handicapper astray. Before discussing them we should have a clear understanding of what constitutes a good trip. Just like a car is most efficient when on "cruise control" a horse runs best when he is able to relax and run free and easy. A bit of slack in the reins is a good indication that he is running on his own. It's best if he encounters minimal traffic but that isn't possible very often. So long as he continues to relax and isn't forced to change gears, a horse can have a good trip despite traffic.
A horse's position during a race is important. Horses are creatures of habit and most seasoned horses have adopted a preferred racing style. Asked to change they may become uncomfortable and needlessly squander energy that would be better used down the stretch. The shortest way home is along the rail but that isn't always the best path. If we are lucky a horse will be able to gain a clear early lead in one of the first few races.
He can race anywhere he likes so notice where his jockey takes him. If he moves outside a bit it is a pretty good tipoff that inside might not be the place to be that day. Before deciding that a horse who took the turns wide had a poor trip consider whether his jockey chose that path or if traffic caused him to either race outside or lose position. The former might be an indication that horse can't handle the turns inside and is likely to be wide again his next time out, while the latter suggests that the horse might benefit from a better trip when he races again. It's best, of course, if a horse relaxes in the starting gate and breaks well. A poor start, however, doesn't always impact a horse's trip as much as many believe.
Much depends upon his normal racing style and what he does after breaking poorly. If he is the type who needs the lead to run his best a bad start is a virtual death blow. Even if he rushes up to gain the lead he has wasted energy that would be better used later when he will be asked to fend off challengers. In fact any horse who rushes up to gain position after breaking poorly has comprised his chances. The stalker, for example, may have used the energy he will need to overtake the leader late. If a horse doesn't rush up after breaking badly but accepts his fate instead, his poor start is apt to hurt his chances much less than most realize.
He may have spotted the others four or five lengths but much of that distance can be made up during the rest of the trip. Alone in the rear his jockey can put him on 'cruise control' so that he will have plenty of energy left when it comes time to make his move. So long as he isn't force to go wide on the turn to overtake horses, the damage caused by his bad start may be minimal. Another area that is widely misunderstood involves horses who swing wide into the stretch. Just because they lost some ground doesn't necessarily mean that their trip was adversely effected.
'Spinning' out of the turn creates a certain amount of centrifugal force so swinging wide takes less out of a horse than 'cutting' the corner. That is particularly true with larger less nimble horses, and on the turf course where the turns are sharper. After swinging wide a horse generally has a clear path to the wire so his jockey can put the "pedal to the metal" in an all out drive to win. That is much better than trying to weave through traffic or spitting horses to make racing room. Thre are many other factors that enter into good trip handicapping.
Young lightly raced horses, for example, generally don't like to be pinned inside between the rail and another horse, so those who find themselves in that position are usually having a poor trip even when it appears as if they are having a good one. Tactical considerations can also adversely impact a horse's trip but is a whole new topic. 302 - Off Tracks 'Off' or 'wet' tracks refer to a dirt track rated anything other than 'fast'. These conditions tend to create added uncertainty, but they also can be rewarding with large payoffs. There are several factors that add to the uncertainty of off tracks: o Only a small percentage of races are run on off tracks, providing limited history to make decisions from. Some horses have never run on off tracks.
o A percentage of horses improve on off tracks o A percentage of horses decline dramatically on off tracks o Off tracks often are biased in one way or another Off tracks give many handicappers lots of trouble. Much of this difficulty is caused by misunderstandings. They look for a horse that has run well on similar tracks and assume that he will run well again. Horses that ran poorly are discounted. In our opinion, this approach is deeply flawed.
It assumes there was a cause and effect relationship between how the horse ran and the fact the track was 'off'. That may or may not have been the case. About 80%-90% of horses handle both wet and dry tracks the same. Only a few move way up over off tracks, and those who can't handle them at all are often scratched. Most horses that ran well on an earlier wet track should not be expected to repeat their performance unless they are just as fit, well-placed and well-meant as they were before.
Similarly, bad performances on wet tracks when a horse was not as 100% fit, poorly placed, or not particularly well meant should not be interpreted as suggesting he can't handle an off track in different circumstances. Three tips for playing off tracks:1. Study the horse's previous performances on off tracks.2. Compare his odds on off tracks to his performances. 3. Look to see if he has run well on an off track at this racetrack. 302 - Off Tracks continued Start by looking at the odds of the prior off track performance.
The odds give a good indication how fit, well placed and well meant the horse was in the prior race. That should be considered a general indication, however, as bettors have been known to be wrong. For example, just because a horse was a badly beaten favorite over a wet track doesn't conclusively prove anything. He might have been a badly beaten favorite even if the track were fast. Perhaps he got caught up in an unexpected speed duel or failed to get an anticipated easy lead.
So long as he ran about as well as would be expected in those circumstances we should be reluctant to conclude that his disappointing finish was caused by a wet track. Even if a horse at long odds runs surprisingly well on an off track it doesn't mean he 'moved up' because of an off track. Longshots run much better than expected every day when the track is fast. A good race over an off track does suggest, however, that he can handle an off track. In fact, any first, second, or third-place finish suggests that a horse can handle at least some off tracks even thought he has run poorly over them on several occasions. Common dirt track ratings: Fast A normal track Good Almost fast.
The moisture has nearly dried out. Wet-fast A watery-wet track that horses skip over. Sloppy Water, puddles and mud. Muddy After a sloppy has started to dry out and thicken Slow After a muddy track has thickened and dried outThe wet history contained in the program and Daily Racing Form contains worthwhile information, but like any statistic it can be misleading. Often the horse hasn't run over an off track enough times to give the wet data the validity necessary for it to be used as a basis for general conclusions. Any statistic with a small sample should be considered suspect.
The fact that a horse is 2 for 2 over off tracks can lead us astray. Perhaps he is a speed horse that got to the front each time over a sloppy track that favored those on the lead. That won't help him much if he is in a field where he is too slow to make the lead, or if today's track favors those coming from behind. Instead a closer whose wet history indicates he hasn't hit the board in 2 or 3 off track races might be the one to beat. Perhaps he hadn't done so well earlier because he was at a significant disadvantage. 307 - Trip Handicapping Long before there were Beyer Speed Figures, Ragozin Sheets, Tomlinson Ratings, and other present-day numerical rating systems, the 'art' of trip handicapping existed.
In the most basic sense, a trip handicapper takes notes of the type of journey each horse has in a race. Examples they look for are: any trouble horses may incur, particularly at the start or in the turns, what path, or how far from the rail, they take, if they are in a stressful spot with regards to the pace, and how they finish up. In reality, trip handicapping is probably the least scientific and most subjective of all serious handicapping methods. What one person sees as 'trouble' could look completely different to another. And in the days before television replays, the trip handicapper had to rely on their own keen eyesight and ability to take good notes during a race, no easy task with a full field or less than ideal weather.
However, in today's market of endless replays available on the internet, you can literally watch a race as many times as you wish to make thorough trip notes. The goal of the trip handicapper is to spot horses, that for whatever reason, were compromised in a race, and as such warrant watching next time they run. Let's take a look at how trip notes are made from start to finish and how everybody has access to thorough trip notes without having to do the detail work. Charts and Past Performances Equibase and the Daily Racing Form produce charts of every race run at a thoroughbred track. They have a team of two people that are basically trip handicappers: One watches the races and calls out the running order at certain points, and the other records the info. After the race is made official, and they've entered all the pertinent data, they beam the chart off to their central database via computer. Take a look at a typical chart below. 1st Race6 1/2 Furlongs Dirt MAIDEN CLAIMING PURSE $21,000 F & M (fillies and mares) Value of Race 21,000 Value to Winner 13,020 2nd 4,200 3rd 2,100 4th 1,050 5th 630 Mutuel Pool$114,765.00 Exacta Pool $98,137.00 Trifecta Pool $77,020.00 Superfecta Pool $21,377.00 Quinella Pool $4,269.00PN Horse M Eq Wt PP SP 1/4 1/2 Str Fin Jockey Odds5 Isabella's Crown(JPN) L 113 5 3 1hd 1 hd 1 1 1/2 1 5 3/4 Hernandez B J Jr 2.10 4 White Oak L f 118 4 4 4hd 4 2 2 2 2 5 1/4 Bejarano R 2.40 7 Stage Glitter L 118 7 6 6hd 5 1 1/2 4 2 3nk Martinez J R Jr 19.50 1 Classical Della L bf 120 1 2 2hd 2 1/2 3 2 45 Castanon J L 3.00 6 Malfoy L b 118 6 5 77 7 9 1/2 6 4 5nk Mojica R Jr 64.40 3 Royal Bauble L f 118 3 7 52 1/2 6 1 5hd 616 1/2 Martinez W 3.80 8 Peaceful Presence L 110 8 1 31 1/2 3 1 7 6 71 1/4 Farrell J 29.00 2 Puddles Reflection 120 2 8 8 8 8 8 Adam M G 41.30 Off at 1:15 Start Good for all . Won Driving.Time , :23, :47, 1:12 4/5, 1:19 1/5, Rainy 64.
Track: Sloppy. 5 - Isabella's Crown(JPN) .... 6.20 3.00 2.80 $2 Exacta 5-4 Paid $15.80 4 - White Oak .... 3.20 2.80 $2 Trifecta 5-4-7 Paid $146.60 7 - Stage Glitter .... 4.80 $2 Superfecta 5-4-7-1 Paid $270.40 $2 Quinella 4-5 Paid $8.40WINNER- CH f,3,by Forty Niner - Mom's Crown by Chief's Crown TRAINER-Asmussen Steven M. Bred By Heisei Farm (JPN) SCRATCHED: NONE ISABELLA'S CROWN (JPN) went up between horses early to contest the pace, gained a slim lead, moved clear entering the upper stretch and was going away at the end under strong hand urging. WHITE OAK, never far back and three wide early, came out five wide leaving the turn, angled to the rail for the last eighth but couldn't menace the winner as second best.
STAGE GLITTER, within striking distance to the stretch and five wide most of the way, was empty when the test came. CLASSICAL DELLA broke in front while drifting out, battled with the winner and PEACEFUL PRESENCE while inside them and weakened leaving the turn. MALFOY, three or four wide, improved position but wasn't a threat. ROYAL BAUBLE raced in contention near the inside for a half and gradually weakened. PEACEFUL PRESENCE forced the pace three abreast until nearing the stretch and tired. PUDDLES REFLECTION, slow to begin, raced three or four wide and always was outrun. There are four sections: The top section is the race conditions, the second shows all the running lines for each horse, the third the time, payoffs, and other pertinent information, and the last is the trip notes. This is what the chart caller saw during the race, and will ultimately end up in the past performances as part of the abbreviated comment line the next time the horse runs.
The charts and their comments are a good way to see how a race is turned into a narrative. Reading the narrative can give you clues on which horses may have been compromised by their trip. In the above chart, White Oak, the second place finisher, raced either three or five wide for most of the race. The further a horse is away from the rail, the more distance they are covering. Perhaps with a little better trip, she would have given the winner a little better run for her money.
This is just one example of what could be termed 'mild' trouble. Racing luck being what it is, many things can happen that cost a horse all chance for the win. The table below shows some standard terms that you'll see in the program's comment line and their meaning. Comment Meaningchecked rider had to halt his momentum at some pointlost iron rider's foot came out of the stirrups broke in air jumped high at the start stumbled start fell or tripped breaking from the gate waited caught behind a slower horse bumped came in contact with another horse forced in horse to the outside forced him to the rail dueled was in a speed duel with another horse steadied similar to checked ducked out horse veered to its outside; usually on their own fanned out wide had to go very wide entering the stretch bothered 1/4 was in some trouble at the one-quarter.
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