Horses Entered in a Race For Main Track Only Indicate Trainer Intent

Sooner or later, when you are handicapping horse races and trying to make money betting on the horses, you realize that you spend a lot of your time handicapping the people, not just the horses. The truth of the matter is that the people, that is the jockey, trainer, and owner, have as much to do with the horse winning as the horse itself. For instance, if the trainer decides, for whatever reason, that the horse isn’t ready to win and shouldn’t be pushed too hard in the race, he or she may tell the rider to just take it easy and give it some exercise.

While the owner may be aware of that fact and perhaps some of the people on the backstretch, the betting public is unaware of it and may even make the horse the favorite. So figuring out trainer intent becomes a very big part of handicapping a race if you really are serious about winning money. You have several choices in this matter of reading trainer’s minds.

First of all, you can learn as much as you can about training race horses so you will understand why a trainer is doing what he or she is doing. Secondly, you can learn to track smart money. While the smart money doesn’t always win, it wins often enough to stay ahead in a very difficult game. That is why it really is smart money.

There are, however, occasions when a trainer’s intentions are not only obvious, but can point out a good bet. The place to look for some of these obvious calls is in turf races. When you see a horse entered in a turf race and the words, “Main Track Only, of MTO,” are beside the horse’s name, that means the owner has entered the runner only if the race is taken off the turf and run on dirt.

The trainer knows that the horse is only likely to win or be competitive if it runs on the dirt. If all the conditioner wanted to do was to exercise the horse to get it in shape, as many trainers do, he or she wouldn’t mind running it over the grass. But when you see that a horse is entered in a turf race but only to be run over the main track, it is a strong indication that the trainer will tell the rider to try for the win if given the chance. It isn’t a guarantee of a win, there is no such thing in horseracing, but it does mean that if you bet on the horse, at least you know that the rider will be trying to get it into the winner’s circle and that is a big part of the handicapping puzzle.

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Michael Ortiz

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