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Old 03-14-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
PhantomOnTour
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Switching Leads In The Lane...Important or not?

I ask this because of a losing bet ( ) on Chasing Moonlight in the 5th at Aqu today.
It marked the 2nd consecutive race that he failed to switch in the lane.
The previous two starts he switched fine in upper stretch. Junior Alvarado threw one cross at him in upper stretch and then right hand whipped the rest of he way home while his mount hung and finished 3rd....looked like he was gonna go right on by.
I thought Junior would have thrown a cross or tried to shake him up and get him to switch, but he didn't.

Does this matter to you?
I know some really good horses never (or frequently didn't) switch leads...Affirmed maybe?
Are there horses who don't switch entering the backstretch in two turn races?

Sorry for all the questions, but i always followed the notion that they switch to ward off fatigue, for lack of a better term.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:01 PM   #2
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Have only one data point - watched a race where a horse tragically broke down and a friend who is a lifelong "horse person" noted that the horse never switched leads. She thought it was evidence of a pre-existing leg problem. It was subsequently revealed that the horse indeed had exactly the problem she thought. Others on this board likely have more evidence, so I'll defer to the collective wisdom.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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Believe it or not!!...Thats where lots of your breakdowns happen when a horse switches his leads,Old warriors lots of times dont and wont switch their leads no matter how hard the jocks try,Its a way they protect themselves if they do hurt on the other lead.Yes a horse will switch when he is tired.Some horses wont change because they are lazy or afraid of jumping over to the other lead.Lots of times when your horse in on the lead and running easy,He wont switch!..Lots of times your horse will be running along side head and head and if did switch ,He may have won.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:07 PM   #4
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IMO I see it as a horse with possible soundness issues. It's not always the case but most likely. Alydar never switched so ...
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomOnTour
I know some really good horses never (or frequently didn't) switch leads...Affirmed maybe?
.
Think it was actually Alydar that would not switch leads, maybe a different TC outcome if he would/could have, definitely in the Belmont at least.

Horses seem to be able to extend themselves better on the correct lead, also get that burst of speed on the switch. Examples, that last race on Sunday at SA, the longshot 10, Joy rode, she got a lot of grief here on the loss, was on the wrong lead through the stretch probably cost her the decision, jockeys can do some things but think training, soundness and fatigue are probably the most important elements.

One of the best runners of all time would not change leads, Dubai Millenium.
McShell I am sure has more on the training part of it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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Never wanted to claim one that wouldn't switch, but there are exceptions to the rules of course.

I remember a horse the Red Rolls, that the only time he would switch was if Earlie Fires ( Who could be very aggressive) started working on him in the turn, but when he switched he was tough otherwise he usually got nailed at the wire.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSchell_Racing
Believe it or not!!...Thats where lots of your breakdowns happen when a horse switches his leads
Agreed - my bad for not mentioning that the breakdown we saw was when the horse tried to switch leads. Had been favoring the good leg for a reason, alas.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomOnTour
I ask this because of a losing bet ( ) on Chasing Moonlight in the 5th at Aqu today.
It marked the 2nd consecutive race that he failed to switch in the lane.
The previous two starts he switched fine in upper stretch. Junior Alvarado threw one cross at him in upper stretch and then right hand whipped the rest of he way home while his mount hung and finished 3rd....looked like he was gonna go right on by.
I thought Junior would have thrown a cross or tried to shake him up and get him to switch, but he didn't.

Does this matter to you?
I know some really good horses never (or frequently didn't) switch leads...Affirmed maybe?
Are there horses who don't switch entering the backstretch in two turn races?

Sorry for all the questions, but i always followed the notion that they switch to ward off fatigue, for lack of a better term.
I think that jocks might be hesitant to throw the crosses at mentally fragile horses...this particular horse has just shown to not fight really hard, he had a loose lead a few lines down and should have won, or at least been 2nd and he blew it. Maybe he has a breathing problem and can't 'finish' off a race and that's why the jock wasnt aggressively trying to get him to switch leads.

It looked like there was no way he was going to get beat, he was trained by a supertrainer, well bred, looks nice with a nice stride and just refused to pass. That was a tough beat, there was a point in the lane when you had to be counting your money.

To your other question, the answer is yes, quite often, horses will not switch leads when they enter the backstretch, especially the inexperienced ones...but i've found what happens more is horses will switch on the backstretch and then switch properly into the turn and then just never switch back.

Alydar was a historic great horse who rarely (if ever) switched leads. One of his famous sons, Strike the Gold, didnt switch leads in the Derby until he was blowing by, he switched with about 70 yards left in the race i believe and really seemed to kick into another gear at the end.

I think if you look at the highest levels of the game, you rarely find a horse who is 'great' who is hanging on the wrong lead and still winning a ton of races. Most great horses switch leads on cue, in order to beat top level competition, you have to do everything right.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:55 AM   #9
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I don't have any stats on it, but when you see horses "come again" it's sometimes right after a lead switch. All else being equal, I can't imagine it not being an advantage to switch leads when appropriate.

If you want to try to find betting value in it, you should probably watch replays and focus on each of the top few finishers. Mark down whether they switched or not. You'll eventually accumulate a list where you've seen the same horse multiple times. There might be some value in knowing which horses that typically switch didn't in their most recent start or vice versa.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classhandicapper
If you want to try to find betting value in it, you should probably watch replays and focus on each of the top few finishers. Mark down whether they switched or not. You'll eventually accumulate a list where you've seen the same horse multiple times. There might be some value in knowing which horses that typically switch didn't in their most recent start or vice versa.
And watch the head on view not just the pan.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG49010
Never wanted to claim one that wouldn't switch, but there are exceptions to the rules of course.

I remember a horse the Red Rolls, that the only time he would switch was if Earlie Fires ( Who could be very aggressive) started working on him in the turn, but when he switched he was tough otherwise he usually got nailed at the wire.
I remember that horse. Must've been around 1987-1988. What I remember is the horse being a heavy chalk and when he got passed in the stretch Fires smacked him across the face with the whip.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:33 AM   #12
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Years ago at Santa Anita I remember talking to a jock (K.D.) about how to get a horse to switch leads, and he told me that the trick is in slightly shifting weight at just the right moment in the stride.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:53 AM   #13
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after being around horses for over 40 years now, the most important factor that i have ever seen in predicting how a horse will run is by the way the horse attacks his feed tub after he works. he can't leave one speck of food.

i used to do that every single day of the week when i hung out at race tracks. if the horse worked good and with other good horses, i would follow the horse back to the barn and watch him eat up. this form of handicapping out does any other method known to man. today the problem with it is that horses now train on many different tracks on the same days and i love watching the horses for 2 works so i can compare them. i learned this from the very best of all time, Woody Stevens. every morning for years, i showed up in his barn with coffee and plenty of donut's.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:56 PM   #14
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What happens when half the field (or more) eats up after their last work?
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:36 AM   #15
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What happens when half the field (or more) eats up after their last work?

You made me spill, my Hot Chocolate !
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