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Old 01-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #16
cosmicway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbwinner
Trainers hide workouts all the time. Also some trainers in attempt to get a horse claimed will work another horse and call the clockers it is a different horse working.
Never been a stopwatch man, but I have heard stories of all kinds.
It's basically against the rules of racing to give false name for a horse and also I don't know if the people with the scanner equipment are present during workouts as well. Maybe they are.
What goes around a lot is they do workouts before dawn, in the dark. That's unruly again and there are cones on the tracks to prevent this but they remove them.
The stopwatchmen are well rewarded.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #17
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Yep, its against the rules but there's really no way to find out. The only way to check it would be to do lip tattoos but there's no way to be able to check that with 2 clockers and potentially 100s of workers each day. Is there any jurisdiction that does that? I highly doubt it.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:29 PM   #18
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There are reportings from time to time.
I should think it's the course's first steward jurisdiction.
Depends on how much discipline there is.
But there are also violations.

You just can't legislate.
In Europe we had the football scandals last year, uncovered by UEFA's chief Michel Platini. Well, those scandals they wished uncovered, in my opinion.
Some racing people shouted "hey, look at this - outrageous - we are the ones who are clean as whistle and it's the footballers who are doing the dirty tricks".
What they forgot to mention was that Platini worked with sportsbook companies to do what he did - discover strange betting patterns associated with strange behaviours of the football teams on the pitch. In the case of horse racing only the British have such data and they managed to uncover two or three racing scandals last year, but the others do not because of the pool system. Hence no investigation, no crime.
The universe was going to laugh if we truly had such a thing in horse racing, for as long as the tricky bets continued to take place.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:38 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by tbwinner
Trainers hide workouts all the time. Also some trainers in attempt to get a horse claimed will work another horse and call the clockers it is a different horse working.
You got it, works are also put under the wrong horse it happened to one of our former horses Maddy's Lion he wasn't near the track and every month or so a work would appear under his name.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:46 PM   #20
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Spend time in the clocker's stand on a busy work day. It is total chaos. Yet they get most of it right. Its very understandable how works get misssed or erroneously reported even without evil intentions.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:27 PM   #21
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In my opinion, California track's workouts are useful because trainers work their horses every 6-10 days and they are posted in the pp's. No work outs or short or sporadic is a negtive sign.

Mountaineer and northern winter tracks either don't work their horses after layoffs or they just don't post work outs.

The only thing I can look at is if the horse shows a similar lay off race with no workouts -- how did it do? --- and/or what is the trainer's record with lay off horses?

I do enough "guessing" when I handicap, so guessing a horse's condition and form is something I wish I didn't have to do.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:32 PM   #22
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one of my favorite things to do when i travel to a track venue (none in my area} is go to the track at dawn. i enjoy watching the works but obviously don't know who i am seeing. Would love to have the names....although unless i was doing it full time it wouldn't be much help to my handicapping. I have been at my office job for thirty years and i would love to be a clocker in my next stage of life {in a warm climate
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:08 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbwinner
Trainers hide workouts all the time. Also some trainers in attempt to get a horse claimed will work another horse and call the clockers it is a different horse working.

That's why tracks like So Cal has clockers like Andy Harrington,Toby Terrell..etc that probably could easily i.d. any horse on the track by their markings and prior workouts in their notebooks. I'm sure they know all of the tricks of the trade. Including working out his horse with a different trainers (color) saddle cloth on it.
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:37 AM   #24
nearco
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Originally Posted by Brogan
Spend time in the clocker's stand on a busy work day. It is total chaos. Yet they get most of it right. Its very understandable how works get misssed or erroneously reported even without evil intentions.
Can someone explain to me why in this year of our lord Two Thousand and Twelve that workouts are still HAND TIMED by some dude(s) with a stop watch amid the chaos of 100s of horses exercising?
Can someone further explain why you guys, who think this WOs are hugely important, accept that in this day and age?

Any two bit 3k, 5k 10k, half marathon run any weekend can record times to the hundredth of a second amid the chaos of the thousands of runners all starting at different times... and have them posted on the internet almost before you have time to get your breath back.

The technology exists, and has existed for a long time, and it's cheap.
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:56 AM   #25
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Seattle Slew , before his debut :
Steve Cady wrote a book about Seattle Slew’s racing career. One of the earliest episodes Cady documented was Seattle Slew's preparation for his racing debut.

One summer, the squirrel was in the press box at Saratoga during workout hours. The squirrel noticed trainer Billy Turner standing in the irons on his pony Steamboat, situated on the finish line. Trainer Turner was waving his arms frantically, hoping to attract jockey Jean Cruget’s attention: The jet black firster from Turner’s stable Cruget now rode was traveling too fast. Turner wanted him slowed down. The horse, named Seattle Slew, was working big, smooth and a little too fast (110-1) for a youngster going six furlong for the first time. That morning, battling with taut reins to the finish line, Seattle Slew displayed the tenacity that would become his trademark. The 110-1 workout time for Seattle Slew with jockey Cruget aboard never appeared in the Daily Racing Forms workout tab the next day. An earlier 58-2 grass workout by Seattle Slew was slowed down a bit (100-2) but that didn't matter, since it was credited to Seattle Sue. Seattle Slew, by the way, never started at Saratoga that summer because of a minor setback (he'd kicked his stall and inflamed a joint).

Before 18,745 fans, Seattle Slew finally debuted at Belmont Racetrack on a Monday in the fall. His blazing workouts (110-1 & 58-2) were hidden from the public. Only three slow works were credited to Seattle Slew, 102, 48-1 and 48.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:08 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nearco
Can someone explain to me why in this year of our lord Two Thousand and Twelve that workouts are still HAND TIMED by some dude(s) with a stop watch amid the chaos of 100s of horses exercising?
Can someone further explain why you guys, who think this WOs are hugely important, accept that in this day and age?

Any two bit 3k, 5k 10k, half marathon run any weekend can record times to the hundredth of a second amid the chaos of the thousands of runners all starting at different times... and have them posted on the internet almost before you have time to get your breath back.

The technology exists, and has existed for a long time, and it's cheap..
Yeah...but the horse racing industry is even cheaper.
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:31 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by tbwinner
Yep, its against the rules but there's really no way to find out. The only way to check it would be to do lip tattoos but there's no way to be able to check that with 2 clockers and potentially 100s of workers each day. Is there any jurisdiction that does that? I highly doubt it.
Been a while since I've been in the clocker's stand, but can tell you that a good clocking crew will have a notebook with all of the horses on the grounds, complete with their markings and tatoo numbers.

The crews I worked with caught many a trainer giving us a bad name for a horse working. We always had a member of the crew at the gap, and did flip a lip on occassion. Also followed horses back to the barn.

Last edited by startngate; 01-21-2012 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:41 AM   #28
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The Rules of Racing in each jurisdiction is different (ARCI is working toward a "model rules" plan in which all states have the same rules) but they all require a minimum number of workouts prior to a first start AND a maximum amount of time that can elapse between a horse's most recent race (or timed workout) and a subsequent race. These rules require:
1. Trainer must report the (correct) name of a horse to be worked, distance to be worked and pole from which work will start upon the horse entering the track.
(As some pointed out, some trainers (and owners) think it is their "right" to "hide" their horse's workouts, especially first time starters, but to do so is a violation of the rules already in place.)

2. In order for a workout to be an "official work", it must be observed by a licensed Clocker AND a licensed Identifier. (In most places one clocker is also licensed as an identifier.)
(One of best I ever saw work was Thad Briley at Sam Houston Once he had seen a horse he remembered its markings. From his press box perch, Thad could tell the difference between two bay horses with no white markings. A "gap attendant" with a two-way radio would take horses' names and radio them to the clockers. Occasionally the clockers would call back to the GA and ask him to check the tattoo on a horse when it exited the track - as startngate noted.)

3. A horse "running off" with its rider will be put on the work tab if it goes at least 3/8 of a mile in less than 40 seconds. The Clocker will call down for the horse's name even if the work was "unintended".

4. Minimum official workout distances are 2 furlongs for 2-year olds and 3 furlongs for 3 year olds and up. State veterinarians and/or stewards can require a workout of any distance and specify a maximum time to get a horse removed from vet or stewards list.

5. Maximum number of days a horse can be "off" without an 'official' work varies from 30 days (California, Kentucky, Pennsylvania) to 45 days (Texas, Minnesota) to 60 days (Oklahoma, Ohio) for examples. Texas only requires one workout if horse has been off over 45 days (even if over a year off) whereas others require multiple workouts (2 if off 60 days for Minnesota) (3 if off 90 days for California) for longer time off.

We have rules in place that address workout requirements. But, just like with income taxes, insider trading on Wall Street and peeking at an opponents poker hand, trainers, owners and horseplayers will always be looking for a way to 'beat the system".

I just realized I spent entirely too much time on this answer.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:16 PM   #29
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I just realized I spent entirely too much time on this answer.
You reply is much appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:08 PM   #30
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Unless you are an eyewitness to the workout, it's time, in my opinon, is meaningless.
I've been clocking privately for over 15 years. Some of the best works I've witnessed were 102- for 5/8s and some of the worst were 59 and change.
Since times are really meaningless, there is no reason for tracks to incur the costs of an effective accurate timing system. The standard timing system at tracks would not work, because horses galloping or jogging the wrong way would trigger the sensor at every pole. The Trackus system could probably be effective, but then every trainer on the grounds would need to saddle their horses with the tracking sensors. It's hard enough for these guys to give you a properly spelled name and distance working, let alone ask them to put a sensor device on every horse they're sending to the track to work. There are just too many variables to get it all right and like I said before, the timing of workouts is irrelevent.
I've clocked at many tracks and for the most part, the official clockers do their best to get it right. I equate it to being an air traffic controller, only tougher, because they can have several horses landing on the same strip with no way to communicate with the pilots.
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