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Old 08-25-2001, 06:59 PM   #1
karlskorner
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I found an interesting article written by a trainer on

SWITCHING LEADS

If anyone is interested, I'll print it out.

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Old 08-25-2001, 07:51 PM   #2
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Please. It sounds interesting.
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Old 08-26-2001, 08:34 AM   #3
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SWITCHING LEADS CAN LEAD RIGHT TO WINNERS CIRCLE.

Understanding the importance of racehorses switching leads in a race is yet another piece of information a handicapper can use to enhance his chances of cashing a winning ticket.

When horses run they are either leading with their left legs or their right legs, imagine yourself running in a tight circle. If you are running to the left, you will notice that you are leading with your left leg. By leading, it means that you are reaching out with your left leg first, and furthest. This is what horses do. Notice they are always on their left lead when going around the left hand turns of the race track. They switch to their right lead (right legs leading), when they are running on the straight way.

Horses naturally want to switch their leads ever 1/4 mile or so. When they are out in the wild running from a predator this is what they will do. When they switch it gives them renewed energy because a horse will tire if they stay on one lead.
They alternate using each side of the body, and each corresponding muscle group, to propel them forward.

The most important time for a horse to switch leads in a race is when they have turned for home. This is when most horses make their run. or, if they are running on the lead, try to sustain their run. Swirching leads is similar to changing gears in a car from 3rd to 4th. A horse is at a great disadvantage if he stays on his left lead. That's why you will notice jockey's desperately trying to get their horse to switch to their right lead at the head of the stretch, if the hrose has not already done it own their own. You'll see most good jockeys switch their sticks from their right hand to their left hand when coming out of the final turn. They also try to shift their own weight to "swing' the horse (make the horse throw his weight to his other side or lead)
Almost all sound horses will automatically come out of the gate on their right lead, or, if they break on their left will shortly switch to their right. Then they will swtich to their left around turns and switch to their right on the straight away-all without asking from the jockey.
Here are some exceptions:
1.Sore horses-if a horse is sore somewhere, they will stay on the lead that makes them feel the most comfortable. That's why cheap, sore horses run better at the half mile tracks because they only have to run the distance of 1/8th of a mile down the stretch. So if they don't change their leads, it's easier for them to sustain their run to the wire.
2.A horse who is bleeding badly in a race will tend to hang on his left lead down the stretch.
3.Green (young, inexperienced) horses that are not used to running may switch their leads too often or at the improper time when running in a race because they are overwhelmed with the whole ordeal of running.
Another exception happened to me when I ran one of my horses on the turf for the first time. She switched her leads almost every other stride because the surface was so unfamiliar to her (I had not breezed her on turf before she raced on it) We thought she would win easily because she was bred for the turf and this was an easy spot, but because she was switching her leads all the time she ran 4th. Next time out she was 2nd beaten by a nose in a much tougher race, and, she was a big price because no one knew why she ran bad in her previous start.
Here a few examples of how stwitching leads can profoundly affect the outcome of a race. I really liked Anees to win the KY Derby last year, but I noticed that he didn't switch leads in the Santa Anita Derby, so I was worried about him running as well as I thought he should in the Kentucky Derby, he ended up running bad.
Soon after that race they announced the he had chips in his ankles.
Native Dancer was undefeated going into the KY Derby. He only got beat a head and most people blamed the jockey. But, what nobody mentioned was the fact that he did not switch to his right lead at the head of the lane. Which leads to Affirmed and Alydar. When Affirmed beat Alydar it was by the smallest of margins. Alydar never switched to his right lead at the head of the stretch. (I had heard that Alydar had bad feet) Funny thing...Alydar turned out to be a much better sire than Affirmed.
As you can see, switching leads is one of the most important things that a racehorse needs to do properly.
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Old 08-26-2001, 10:56 AM   #4
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karlskorner,

Thanks for posting the article. Quite informative.

Last edited by baravot; 08-26-2001 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 08-26-2001, 12:59 PM   #5
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Turn - Switching Leads

Many times I have seen horse's coming out of the turn and as they head up the stretch they veer left and run up behind the lead horse. The jock then has to move then to the right and they loose momentum and most of the time they finish up the track. IMHO many times this is the jocks fault as he is not prepared as the horse is coming out of the turn. ALso, this is usually not mentioned in the form. I have kept track of this in the past and looked for a positve jockey change in the future races and have had some good results. In this simil age I am not doing this at the present time.

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Old 08-27-2001, 07:50 AM   #6
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Excellent article. I take small exception with one excerpt:

"The most important time for a horse to switch leads in a race is when they have turned for home. This is when most horses make their run. or, if they are running on the lead, try to sustain their run."


It's my understanding, horses don't "make a run" when they turn for home (except on the turf perhaps), but just slow down less than other horses. They are not accelerating but decelerating slower than everyone else.

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Old 08-27-2001, 09:54 AM   #7
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Wink chg leads

Hi Iagree with you they only slow down less.And also the weight they carry is not to slow them down as much as it affects thier balance when they do change leads.After all they way around 1200 pounds doubt the weight of ten pounds give or take would slow them down much if any.
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Old 08-27-2001, 11:18 AM   #8
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weight

Y'know I used to be the biggest nahsayer on weight for that same reason. But something has given me a little bit of pause on that issue.
10 pounds on a 1,200 horse is like 1.5 pounds on me, say.
When my 2 yr old gains 1.5 pounds I can feel it! It's definitely heavier and it slows me down when I'm carrying her. Good analogy anyone?


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Old 08-27-2001, 12:18 PM   #9
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Wink

Yea you are right! and i dont like horse with 4 or 5 pounds.And it might slow them down.But if you had two horses of equal ability running pairing of in a match race find it hard to belive one carrying 10 pounds more would lose for that reason.But the trainers must know because they are willing to lower the price thier horse for say 2 pounds.And they pay thousands for 2pounds.off the 4or5 pounds added seems to hurt them.So i do play like it does
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