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Old 02-06-2018, 01:15 PM   #16
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No one needs to hear about your dating life Allan---we have kids reading these threads.

Seriously though, if you're going to study appearance, while occasionally a horse truly stands out amongst the others, that horse is often 3-5. It really helps to know what a horse usually looks like (i.e., you'll have to do this all the time). Some horses sweat or don't meet all the specifications but that's how they always look and it doesn't matter. It's the CHANGES in appearance from race to race, both bad and good, that are key.
I cant quite describe what I am talking about. its more than the average kidney sweat. a little white between the legs doesn't bother me.

as soon as I see it. I start laying the horse. and also has some lethargy also. Very difficult to describe but I know it when I see it.

Allan
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by castaway01 View Post
No one needs to hear about your dating life Allan---we have kids reading these threads.

Seriously though, if you're going to study appearance, while occasionally a horse truly stands out amongst the others, that horse is often 3-5. It really helps to know what a horse usually looks like (i.e., you'll have to do this all the time). Some horses sweat or don't meet all the specifications but that's how they always look and it doesn't matter. It's the CHANGES in appearance from race to race, both bad and good, that are key.

What was said above is so very important.

Great post with solid info.

If we simply threw out horses that we saw sweating and all worked up without knowing the horse, Seattle Slew would have not been on many tickets of those watching warmups.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:34 PM   #18
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The Jerry Bailey DVDs (especially Volume 2) is a helpful place to start. Then watch Caton Bredar making her paddock picks on TVG from Gulfstream. She tells you why she likes the horses she does and she's good at it. They don't always win but they usually run. She's also not afraid to pick a double-digit horse. Once you think you're catching on, try it yourself. Pick a horse from every post parade you watch and see if it runs a good effort. Take notes! You'll find some horses that won't fit the rules but still run well. If you're at the track, watch the parade from the rail where you can sense how the horse is feeling about what's going on. If you have a pet you have an idea of what I mean.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:19 PM   #19
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Still a novice at this aspect, I find that I can see negatives about horses much easier than positives. I have also found that a lot of negatives I see in the paddock are much less noticeable in the post parade.

Here is a good video on the subject.

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Old 02-06-2018, 02:25 PM   #20
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Watch Hong Kong sometime and listen to Jenny analyze the horses.
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:15 PM   #21
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Tom Ainslie's book with Bonnie Ledbetter "The Body Language of Racehorses" is a good starting place.
They also did a video, which I never actually saw.

Can anybody out here help me with understanding Harness Racing body language and what to look for???

Last edited by Denny; 02-06-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:29 PM   #22
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outside my circle of competence

I'm not a paddock expert or vet, so I don't delve into details. I just look for healthy looking, athletic looking horse, that looks like he's feeling good. About the most I'll do with physicality is 'include' a FTS that I was already considering, or pass a win bet if I see something extremely negative.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:50 PM   #23
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Arched neck and head
Focused (not biting or playing with companion)
Excellent musculature and confirmation
On toes, but still calm and professional
Tail,not swishing, yet tail base slightly erect out of the body
Coat is shiny
Not washy
Not listless
No belly fat
Don't forget the ears. Pinned down ears indicate an angry horse, one that didn't want to leave the barn.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:38 PM   #24
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I think you really need to know how the horse's appearance changes from one start to the next before you throw any out.
Remember, who was it, Donna Brothers? that commented how crappy a horse looked, but he always looked like that.
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Old 02-08-2018, 02:47 AM   #25
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A couple of things, while walking to the paddock, in the paddock, and the post parade is to listen to the horses breathing. Horses are breathing machines. One of the best things I have seen in the paddock is to watch the horses while the humans are not paying attention to them. Watch them size each other up.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:48 AM   #26
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I use appearances only as a final confirmation, that being said IMO I look at:

1. How the horse is standing in the paddock. One hoof tip touching ground. Biasing a certain leg - possibly sore or injury?
2. Coat sheen and dappling. Good nutrition and training regime.
3. Uniform muscle development. DNA bias.
4. Look for kidney sweats. May have already run his race if sweating too much.
5. Position of the ears, pricked or laid back. Pricked ears means horse is interested in their surroundings and not lethargic.
6. Short walking during post parade. Short walking may mean horse is tight and is not loose and ready to run.
7. Horses head if over lead pony crest, bobbing and pushing . May indicate high energy level, ready to run.

I have to credit to Joe Takach and Bonny Leadbetter for these great tips.
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:15 PM   #27
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I do believe physicality is one of the last areas where bettors can get an edge in racing. But this does knock out multi-race wagers, as one can only see horses on the track for the upcoming race.

Don't make opinions too early. I've seen horses look mediocre in the walking ring, only to light up and look great a minute or two before post.

Some track cameramen are adept at picking up sharp looking horses in the last minute or two.
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:22 PM   #28
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1. How the horse is standing in the paddock. One hoof tip touching ground. Biasing a certain leg - possibly sore or injury?
And if a horse is standing with front legs splayed apart rather than parallel and straight up and down. (Also from Joe Takach.)
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:45 PM   #29
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My wife always looks for the horse that, umm... how do I say this tactfully?... has a BM during the post parade. She figures they are carrying less weight & a happy.

She often does better @ the track then I do.
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:55 PM   #30
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If it solely comes down to post parade, I want to see a horse that is different than the others. Be it size, scope, or muscle, they need to be different.

Kidney sweat, belly fat, bowed neck, and all that don't mean shit to me. Any eye can visibly see a better animal.

SIDE NOTE: One of the few horses I've ever bet due to Post Parade appearance was Highland Reel in the 2016 Turf. Not sure how to pinpoint it, but it was one of those "he is ready" moments.

Last edited by Lemon Drop Husker; 02-09-2018 at 09:58 PM. Reason: SIDE NOTE:
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