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View Full Version : How do you value workouts after layoffs?


JohnGalt1
12-09-2017, 06:26 PM
One thing I hate is having a horse with no or short 3f workouts beat me.

I want a horse off a month or longer to show some workouts to let me know it is fit.

A bad/slow horse that I would not play, with no workouts I can take since even with workouts I would not play it.

I know many workouts are not listed, some work on a farm.

My question3--

If you like a horse off a layoff with no workouts, do you play him?

Do you play it with your second and/or third choice.

Ignore it, And play it as a prime bet?

Put in a double or pick 3, just in case it runs to it's pps?

Thanks.

therussmeister
12-09-2017, 07:50 PM
I don't mind a horse showing only short works if it hasn't races in two months.

For a longer layoff I almost always bet against them and accept the fact they will occasionally beat me. I do keep in mind how often I have seen the trainer win with these types, but even then I would rather pass than bet these horses.

I think the crowd puts too much emphasis on trainer statistics with little regard for how a trainer prepares his layoff winners, so I feel these types of winning horses are virtually always underlays.

dlivery
12-09-2017, 09:44 PM
How are the work outs for the return and the horses past performance with lay offs from a INJURY

Why lay a horse off?

thaskalos
12-09-2017, 10:04 PM
I couldn't care less what a particular trainer's overall layoff stats are; I want to know what his training regimen is with each individual horse in his care. When assessing the winning chances of a particular laid-off horse...I look at how this horse has been campaigned by the trainer in the past, and whether or not the trainer likes to "fire fresh" with this particular horse. Lifetime past-performances are handy in this regard...because the needed proof is often beyond the readily-available PPs.

Just because a trainer has impressive layoff stats doesn't mean that he tries to win "first-off-a-layoff" with every horse in his care.

biggestal99
12-10-2017, 08:27 AM
My way of doing it is that if a horse off a layoff ran well previously off
a layoff I can ignore the work tab entirely.

Allan

JohnGalt1
12-10-2017, 01:09 PM
My way of doing it is that if a horse off a layoff ran well previously off
a layoff I can ignore the work tab entirely.

Allan

I look at this too. But the good race off a lay off might have come from having a series of 4-5 f workouts, but today no workouts.

Different situation.

The guessing game causes me to pass many races I would play if I knew the condition of the horse.

As Thaskalos wrote, some good trainers doesn't try to win every time.

MPRanger
12-10-2017, 01:48 PM
One thing I hate is having a horse with no or short 3f workouts beat me.



If you like a horse off a layoff with no workouts, do you play him?

Do you play it with your second and/or third choice.

Ignore it, And play it as a prime bet?

Put in a double or pick 3, just in case it runs to it's pps?

Thanks.


Horses have to show a workout after a layoff.
The question should not be "is he fit?" but " how much is he paying?"
Then, "is that worth a risk/bet?"

If he's paying 8 to 5 then it may not be worth a bet. If he's paying 8 to 1, that may be different.

Robert Fischer
12-10-2017, 04:43 PM
I value the price more than the workout stuff in these scenarios.

If I'm playing a guessing game, I want an even bigger value edge than usual.

ultracapper
12-12-2017, 01:49 PM
Big key is determiming why the layoff. What was the trainer trying to accomplish with the layoff? Freshening? Healing? Additional education? Start there, then determine whether the layoff was a strategy to get the best out of the horse in the first start back. WOs can give you a hint what the purpose of the layoff was. No works is a huge red flag, IMO, regardless of what the reason for the layoff was.

JohnGalt1
12-12-2017, 07:24 PM
I'm handicapping FG Thursday 9/14 and found a perfect example of why I started this thread.

Race one--#8 Diva's Ransom 7-2 ML

Last raced Oct 21

Last workout Feb 12

Trainer is 4 for 38 this year.

3 for 11 27% 46-90 day layoff

When I handicap a layoff horse I use the best/fastest/most representative race for a pace line.

July 5, off since may 19, she won 5f at Evd in 58.3.

That race she also won off a lay off since he last race was Feb 12 for that race.

I believe fillies and mares usually cab race well with fewer and or shorter works, but id do not trust it.

I am passing the race.

dlivery
12-12-2017, 08:25 PM
Pass The Race

Nice

I like your thinking

Have you a preference of the pace line you can excuse beyond looking past the last line.


Im just asking

dlivery:popcorn::puke:

Whosonfirst
12-12-2017, 08:34 PM
I'm handicapping FG Thursday 9/14 and found a perfect example of why I started this thread.

Race one--#8 Diva's Ransom 7-2 ML

Last raced Oct 21

Last workout Feb 12

Trainer is 4 for 38 this year.

3 for 11 27% 46-90 day layoff

When I handicap a layoff horse I use the best/fastest/most representative race for a pace line.

July 5, off since may 19, she won 5f at Evd in 58.3.

That race she also won off a lay off since he last race was Feb 12 for that race.

I believe fillies and mares usually cab race well with fewer and or shorter works, but id do not trust it.

I am passing the race.
I'd have no problem tossing the 8. She hasn't hit the board in 5 races at this distance. Six other horses in this race have won or placed at 6f. When she won after a layoff at 5f, she was dropping from 10000 to 5000 State Bred races. If she beats me, hats off to her trainer, and move on.

dlivery
12-12-2017, 08:40 PM
Im asking this because I believe you only have a last race performance to deter-mind when to give the line a + Plus or - Minus and move on

JohnGalt1
12-12-2017, 09:22 PM
Michael Pizolla in his books advises to always use the most recent race--------unless you shouldn't.

If a horse has a recent race--I used to use 28 days, now 35 (thank you trainers who don't run their horses,) I always make a pace/speed rating.

I will use pace lines further down if there is a great, or two good reasons where the top line may be excused. But most of the time I use the most recent for dirt races. It's less of a guessing game to use the most recent.

Higher class, trouble, claimed, distance, up close early after a lay off, off track, etc. are reasons.

I do not consider turf races when handicapping for dirt, or vice versa. In fact I cross them out. Also races less than 4.5f because they more closely resemble quarter horse races, and are virtually pace less.

But when I do use a line other then the last, it is more of a guessing game how it will run today.

I played Turf Paradise today. (I always feel a little dirty playing a track with such high take outs.) I bet 3 of 8 races.

As an example--Race 3 $16k claiming

#2 Reconsidering last ran in OP Clm $20k pace line 92/88/180.

All his races were higher class down to eight races ago 7/2/17. So I also used 7/14 race at Alb was (89/93/184) which I wrote under in parentheses.

#5 Four times Lucky last race was $16 Op Clm, pace line 85/80/165

Next line down 9/3 at Cby was (95/85/180).

The two won, and the 5 finished second, but based on the last pace line, he had no right to place.

I bet the 2 to win and double the win bet to place and it paid $7.00 and $3.00

Pizolla also advised to use all turf races in selecting a pace line.

This greatly increased my win pct. on turf races.

Race 7 turf, clm $20k, the best pace lines from each horse were--

1) 85/84/169
2) 82/94/176
3) 82/90/172
4) 78/95/173
5) 80/92/172
6) 77/98/175
7) 87/96/183
8) 87/92/179
9) 82/96/178

The 7 won and paid $11.40. It's last race was 1:37.1 and lost by 10 lengths. The line was 78/86/164 it was 16k op clm, I rate 2 levels higher.

I lose my share of all kinds of races, but these steps give me reasons to play or avoid races.

dlivery
12-12-2017, 11:07 PM
Yes Im not looking for trouble but it seems to logical to be of a concern about the horses last line that was a good a effort.
Class wise yes but just boggles my mind how the public bets.

Thanks again for all your insight

Ruffian1
12-13-2017, 09:30 AM
I realize that handicappers need all the info they can get. However, in the case of workouts, you get such a small portion of info, it is IMO, not worth the effort.

Case in point, two horses workout within minutes of each other , by themselves, and everything is equal.

Horse one works a 1/2 mile in :50.
He goes splits of 14,13,12,11.
That is a very solid workout.

Horse two works a 1/2 mile in :49.
The splits are 11,11,13,14.
That is a very disturbing workout.

They both run against each other five days later. Logic seems to say that the horse that worked 49 outworked the horse that worked in 50.
That logic would be dead wrong.

Unless you can see the circumstances of each work, like one worked at dawn before the track was chopped up or right after the break and the other worked at 9:45 and the track was cuppy , dry and all cut up. Or were they in company? Or what was the objective of the work? The list goes on and on.

Another is when you see a bunch of 1/2 mile works and the horse is off a layoff going much further than a half a mile. Is he fit? If you know the trainer, you have a better shot of figuring that out than going by times and distances of works.

Often times a trainer can work a horse a mile but wants to emphasize relaxing so the horse will go 1/8ths in 15, also called a two minute lick, for two or three 1/8ths then go 14 and THEN work a half in :50. You see the 1/2 in :50 but there is so much more to the story. (Clockers will not start timing a horse that is going at a 2 minute click. They wait until the horse picks up speed before timing it.)And if that horse was horse number one I spoke about earlier, that is a great work.

My best advice would be to understand the trainer and what they typically do. Some love bullets, some hate bullets.

Learn the trainers habits and the picture will become clearer.

Hope that helps.

Whosonfirst
12-13-2017, 09:45 AM
I realize that handicappers need all the info they can get. However, in the case of workouts, you get such a small portion of info, it is IMO, not worth the effort.

Case in point, two horses workout within minutes of each other , by themselves, and everything is equal.

Horse one works a 1/2 mile in :50.
He goes splits of 14,13,12,11.
That is a very solid workout.

Horse two works a 1/2 mile in :49.
The splits are 11,11,13,14.
That is a very disturbing workout.

They both run against each other five days later. Logic seems to say that the horse that worked 49 outworked the horse that worked in 50.
That logic would be dead wrong.

Unless you can see the circumstances of each work, like one worked at dawn before the track was chopped up or right after the break and the other worked at 9:45 and the track was cuppy , dry and all cut up. Or were they in company? Or what was the objective of the work? The list goes on and on.

Another is when you see a bunch of 1/2 mile works and the horse is off a layoff going much further than a half a mile. Is he fit? If you know the trainer, you have a better shot of figuring that out than going by times and distances of works.

Often times a trainer can work a horse a mile but wants to emphasize relaxing so the horse will go 1/8ths in 15, also called a two minute lick, for two or three 1/8ths then go 14 and THEN work a half in :50. You see the 1/2 in :50 but there is so much more to the story. (Clockers will not start timing a horse that is going at a 2 minute click. They wait until the horse picks up speed before timing it.)And if that horse was horse number one I spoke about earlier, that is a great work.

My best advice would be to understand the trainer and what they typically do. Some love bullets, some hate bullets.

Learn the trainers habits and the picture will become clearer.

Hope that helps.
As usual Ruffian, great insight. I had an old track acquaintance who spent a lot of time at CT getting to know trainers' habits about workouts. There was one well known trainer there, who seldom showed normal workouts but chose to gallop his horses for rather long distances to prepare for routes. When he showed a 4f workout it was usually very slow. My friend taught me to ignore some of these slow workouts.

JohnGalt1
12-13-2017, 04:32 PM
I realize that handicappers need all the info they can get. However, in the case of workouts, you get such a small portion of info, it is IMO, not worth the effort.

Case in point, two horses workout within minutes of each other , by themselves, and everything is equal.

Horse one works a 1/2 mile in :50.
He goes splits of 14,13,12,11.
That is a very solid workout.

Horse two works a 1/2 mile in :49.
The splits are 11,11,13,14.
That is a very disturbing workout.

They both run against each other five days later. Logic seems to say that the horse that worked 49 outworked the horse that worked in 50.
That logic would be dead wrong.

Unless you can see the circumstances of each work, like one worked at dawn before the track was chopped up or right after the break and the other worked at 9:45 and the track was cuppy , dry and all cut up. Or were they in company? Or what was the objective of the work? The list goes on and on.

Another is when you see a bunch of 1/2 mile works and the horse is off a layoff going much further than a half a mile. Is he fit? If you know the trainer, you have a better shot of figuring that out than going by times and distances of works.

Often times a trainer can work a horse a mile but wants to emphasize relaxing so the horse will go 1/8ths in 15, also called a two minute lick, for two or three 1/8ths then go 14 and THEN work a half in :50. You see the 1/2 in :50 but there is so much more to the story. (Clockers will not start timing a horse that is going at a 2 minute click. They wait until the horse picks up speed before timing it.)And if that horse was horse number one I spoke about earlier, that is a great work.

My best advice would be to understand the trainer and what they typically do. Some love bullets, some hate bullets.

Learn the trainers habits and the picture will become clearer.

Hope that helps.


Thanks,

And isn't it true that a horse may work a timed 4f, but the trainer runs the horse an additional 2-4 furlongs, not timed, but in fact the horse ran 6-7 furlongs not fast enough for a timed workout, but faster than a gallop?

biggestal99
12-13-2017, 05:35 PM
I'm handicapping FG Thursday 9/14 and found a perfect example of why I started this thread.

Race one--#8 Diva's Ransom 7-2 ML

Last raced Oct 21

Last workout Feb 12

Trainer is 4 for 38 this year.

3 for 11 27% 46-90 day layoff

When I handicap a layoff horse I use the best/fastest/most representative race for a pace line.

July 5, off since may 19, she won 5f at Evd in 58.3.

That race she also won off a lay off since he last race was Feb 12 for that race.

I believe fillies and mares usually cab race well with fewer and or shorter works, but id do not trust it.

I am passing the race.

The 8 is actually the type of horse I am looking for. Won off the layoff at 11-1.
Has low percentage connections that will increase the price. And this is basically a statebred race.

The race isnít on the exchange so I will not be playing it but at 4-1 or so itís a good bet parimutually speaking.

Stalk and pounce.

Allan

Ruffian1
12-13-2017, 06:30 PM
As usual Ruffian, great insight. I had an old track acquaintance who spent a lot of time at CT getting to know trainers' habits about workouts. There was one well known trainer there, who seldom showed normal workouts but chose to gallop his horses for rather long distances to prepare for routes. When he showed a 4f workout it was usually very slow. My friend taught me to ignore some of these slow workouts.


Thank you Whosonfirst.

I cut my teeth during high school at CT. and Shenandoah Downs next door. It is where I first learned about distance differences as each ran races, especially short sprints, about a furlong longer. Man, those were the days.

Thanks again for the compliment.

Ruffian1
12-13-2017, 06:35 PM
Thanks,

And isn't it true that a horse may work a timed 4f, but the trainer runs the horse an additional 2-4 furlongs, not timed, but in fact the horse ran 6-7 furlongs not fast enough for a timed workout, but faster than a gallop?


Sure. They do that as well but I always did everything before the wire and leading up to the wire. Never quite understood teaching horses after the wire and around a turn they, for the most part, don't compete in. But plenty do it so I guess it's ok. Just not my thing.

jay68802
12-14-2017, 02:50 PM
Know the trainer first, some show 12 sec clicks (Baffert), some are at 13 sec(Broberg). Earlier this year Jason Servis had a horse coming off a 9 month break and showed 1 3f workout. He won the race at 5-2, If you knew that he does not like to show his horses works you were not concerned. If I don't know a trainer that well, I look at works like they are the bag of peanut butter cups in my kitchen. It's nice to know that they are there.

biggestal99
12-14-2017, 05:36 PM
The 8 is actually the type of horse I am looking for. Won off the layoff at 11-1.
Has low percentage connections that will increase the price. And this is basically a statebred race.

The race isnít on the exchange so I will not be playing it but at 4-1 or so itís a good bet parimutually speaking.

Stalk and pounce.

Allan

9-2 not a bad price. Would have been fives on the x.

Oh well one day all tracks will be on the x.

Keep those layoff horses coming John.

Allan

Equifan
12-20-2017, 11:50 AM
I approach works a little differently. Instead of handicapping a race (or races) trying to decipher intent I check the daily work tabs at various tracks -- using certain time standards -- and store qualifiers in my virtual stable. I'm now looking for a race for my work-horse(s).

Because of the criteria a work must meet to be eligible I can be reasonably sure that a horse is fit and the trainer ain't gonna wait very long to strike.

When I get a notice that they are entered I handicap that race, decide what kind of odds are acceptable for conditions, and either bet or pass.

classhandicapper
12-21-2017, 03:42 PM
I think Ruffian1 is spot on.

Not that have an especially good eye for workouts (I don't), but you gain extra information when you are at the track and can see the horses working. I go to the Belmont backstretch every once in awhile in the summer to watch works. Even though I'm typically focused on only 2-3 horses, I have a better idea of how they are doing because I'm seeing the same 2-3 all the time, I know the conditions, and know what they were asked for.

PressThePace
12-21-2017, 06:38 PM
It goes back to what Ruffian and Thaskalos mentioned earlier...almost entirely trainer dependent. I think there are real nuggets to be found if one is willing to uncover them. From a general perspective, I love to bet horses second out if the circumstances (drills) lead to some enlightenment.

JohnGalt1
12-31-2017, 11:30 AM
I want to add this from an old handicapping book.

The author advised us to assume a horse in a stakes race is racing fit regardless of the amount of work outs posted.

jay68802
01-01-2018, 07:18 PM
Know the trainer first, some show 12 sec clicks (Baffert), some are at 13 sec(Broberg). Earlier this year Jason Servis had a horse coming off a 9 month break and showed 1 3f workout. He won the race at 5-2, If you knew that he does not like to show his horses works you were not concerned. If I don't know a trainer that well, I look at works like they are the bag of peanut butter cups in my kitchen. It's nice to know that they are there.

If you want to see a classic Baffert work out pattern, look at Race #6 at Santa Anita today. Note the slow 6f work, followed by the 5 in 59 last work. I know this is a Maiden race but the work pattern is used for layoff horses as well.

JohnGalt1
01-03-2018, 09:11 PM
There's an interview with the late Jack Van Berg about his and other trainers' methods for training horses at www.mnpaddockreport.com.

Franco Santiago
01-03-2018, 10:22 PM
One thing I hate is having a horse with no or short 3f workouts beat me.

I want a horse off a month or longer to show some workouts to let me know it is fit.

A bad/slow horse that I would not play, with no workouts I can take since even with workouts I would not play it.

I know many workouts are not listed, some work on a farm.

My question3--

If you like a horse off a layoff with no workouts, do you play him?

Do you play it with your second and/or third choice.

Ignore it, And play it as a prime bet?

Put in a double or pick 3, just in case it runs to it's pps?

Thanks.

Past 30 days with no workouts showing, just draw an X through the horse. Oh, you might find some value once in a while, but you will be better expending your effort elsewhere. When they beat you, rest easy, knowing that it's a bad proposition in the long run.