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Track Tracts

Part 9: Predatory Handicapping/Nuances
and Trainers Continued
by Joe Takach

As mentioned at the conclusion of Part 8 of this series, there are many more winning trainer nuances to consider every day in addition to incessant saddle checking or tightening.

Here�s a �doozy� for you. It falls into the trainer nuance category under the subheading of how trainers dress.

Walt once asked me what I thought of the training abilities of a certain female conditioner. I replied that I thought she was quite competent and fully capable of winning races, as her horses had beaten my selections more than once in the past. Somewhat embarrassed, I additionally confessed that after studying her for close to 3 years and attempting to create a �trainer profile� in hopes of knowing when she was positively �sending�, I still had absolutely no clue. Try as I might, I couldn�t �time� her with a clock.

And what made it doubly frustrating was the fact that even my failsafe �physicality� inspections weren�t the entire answer. She took great care of all her horses and most were hard to knock. What�s more and almost without exception, every one of her runners received at least an adequate 4 furlong pre-race warm-up before the start of their race and most received even more.

Once offering my opinion to Mr. Nuance, he had only 1 more question.

�How would you like to know exactly when she was �going�? Not that she�ll necessarily win that specific race on that specific day because many other trainers could also be �sending�, but how would you like to know without any doubt whatsoever each and every time her horses were well-meant�?

I replied that giving me that information would be like offering the fox a key to the hen house!

He uttered only one more word------�earrings�!

When I quizzed him further, he again offered me only the same single word-----�earrings�!

I even tried a third time, but the outcome didn�t change.

As with any talented teacher, Walt was only willing to show me the right path. If I applied myself and paid strict attention to her and actually discovered what he was referring to, not only would I be a �happy camper� financially, but it would spur me on to watching other �mystery trainers� to unearth other positive �Achilles� heels�.

At first it was extremely hard for me to accept that 3 distinctly different handicapping approaches could peacefully coexist and actually work together to enhance my mutuel returns.

Years earlier I had that same apprehension when adding �physicality� to my traditional methodology of speed, pace, trip, breeding, etc., but hard work paid off. I began saving innumerable �bad bets� by passing questionably sound horses while at the same time gaining the confidence to really �get down� on good looking horses who had it all going their way.

And even when having this dual-faceted methodology almost down to an exact science to where I was totally confident that I could readily distinguish between good looking and bad looking horses, I knew that something was still missing even though the word �nuance� had yet to join my thought processes.

But when it did, it really did!

Over the next 4 weeks, not only did I have my answer about her �earrings�, but I fully understood that I was being hopelessly sucked into another totally alien methodology that was completely independent from my own, yet worked with the same efficiency.

I was flabbergasted! This was too good to be true! I could think of nothing but that momentous day when my present methodology and his would merge to become one. My desire to learn every nuance under the sun became my main focus!

While never being one to be overwhelmed to the point of �blind faith� without undeniable evidence, I continued to track her for a full year. The outcome was the same as it was during the first 4 weeks of my initial discovery.

Her earring nuance quite simplistic.

When she was �sending�, she always adorned herself with the same exact pair of earrings.

She didn�t necessarily win every time when wearing them, as there were times when other trainers were also �sending� in the same race. But one factor was undeniably inescapable. Whenever it was �earrings-on�, every single one of her horses �tried� to win and gave everything that they had. This was in stark contrast to �earrings-off�, where her runners were clearly just out for exercise!

Did I hear somebody say �why�?

That is even easier to explain and every one of us most likely does the same thing.

Whenever she thought she had a good chance of having her picture taken in the winner�s circle, she wanted to look her best. Evidently, she felt that she looked best in those specific earrings.

And so that there is no confusion, they weren�t her �lucky� earrings. Anyone that superstitious would have most likely slept in them and never removed them to wear others. This positively wasn�t the case. She wore many different sets of earrings------but she never won a race unless she was wearing that �special pair�!

Most likely I would have never seen this nuance unless Walt had precisely directed me as to where to look.

This surely parallels the many different aspects of learning �physicality handicapping�.

Had I not informed my readers how to spot extension problems by seeing if a horse was walking short, most if not all of those same handicappers would have never understood the immensely negative implications of shortstepping, while at the same time mutuelly benefiting from countless �saved wagers�. And as I�ve stated many times in past writings, �saving a bad bet is the same as cashing on an even money winner�!

Quite happily, I continue to learn other trainer nuances to this day.

And by all means, please understand that �nuances� might be nothing more than subconscious subtleties in a trainer�s psychological makeup that automatically manifest themselves whenever in an elevated mood! Furthermore, it wouldn�t surprise me in the least if you quizzed specific trainers about displaying their obvious nuances when �sending� or �not sending�, that some wouldn�t be aware of their hand-tipping!

In Part 10, while not going into great detail as I have with �rechecking the saddle� and the �special earrings�, I�ll offer you 7 more of the best trainer nuances on the planet.

Copyright �2003 by Joe Takach.  All rights reserved.
Joe can be contacted through his website at

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