Old Tricks / Old Dog

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 16, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Old Tricks / Old Dog

Who says we can’t learn something new? The usual theory is we have to embrace new ways of thinking. – But, what about the old school ways we were taught coming up? – Here is a couple of old school handicapping tips we use to know but may have forgotten along the way.

This past winter I have been watching every race at Turfway Park. – A brand new surface, quality runners, solid connections, and a tough rider colony. – So, what ‘old tricks’ have caught my eye?


  1. – I’ve been going back after each race and looking at the program to see if there was something handicappers could have missed. – There were a couple of nuggets we may have overlooked. – Look for horses cutting back in distance with a drop in class. This holds true for two-turn races. Pair these two old-school ways of thinking and you may see a few winners that escaped your grasp. Give extra points to a trainer going to a high percentage rider.

2. – Sprinters going the distance for the first time. – Even if the runner has been traveling 6f and now faces           a mile. – Once they take the lead they’ll relax. Going the added distance has not been a problem except for               the horses who turn blistering fractions. – Keep this in your arsenal when glancing over the race.

3. – Going back to the regular rider. – Many times we’ll see runners who have a new rider and the new pilot             may not be as familiar with the runner. – I’ve been seeing a trainer have his regular rider in past starts only to           lose him/her with a new person in the saddle. There may have been scheduling conflicts to ride another horse           in that race; maybe the rider was injured or was out of town. All good reasons, but when you see the barn               bring back the rider, pay close attention. Nothing like having your regular boot in the irons.


For the year, I have taken notice of just a few ‘old school’ rules we tend to forget. Just use them as a kind reminder and I think you’ll see some change. – There is so much information and we try to keep up with all changes. This can be a tall task, but going back to a few tried and true rules may make your day a winner! – Give Turfway Park a try this week, and see if any of these rules can be found. – Check back for Wednesday’s card for some free selections.