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Best Kept Secret

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 7/12/2010 12:44:04 PM

Are you looking for a trainer you can gamble on with complete confidence and get value at times in the process? Meet William Bret Calhoun.

A current glance at the leading conditioners in the country peg Calhoun at number 8 in money won and 7th in races won so far this year.

Popping at a win percentage of 26, Bret has the highest in the money percentage of any trainer in the top 10 at 62%.

Calhoun is no overnight success. Born May 12, 1964 in Dallas, Texas, his father William, a schoolteacher, was an owner and trainer at Louisiana Downs.

Dad was the moneyman, as he would claim a few horses and Bret would train them.

Calhoun won his first race in April of 1994 and just 3 years later saddled his first stakes winner in Sweet Misty.

The last 2 years, Bret finished 4th and 8th nationally in wins.

Like all trainers, Calhoun has his strengths and weaknesses but in the last 5 years he has popped with 24% of his starters with a median winning price of just under 2-1.

Over that same time period, he is 18% with debuting juveniles and even better with juveniles making their second start at 24%. When he drops runners from Maiden Special Weight to maiden claimers he is potent at 29%.

Switching surfaces is one of his telltale ploys, as Calhoun is 27% going turf to dirt but only 18% going dirt to turf.

As far as switching distances is concerned, Bret is a bit more potent going route to sprint rather than sprint to route.

When this guy switches to blinkers on, his runners are very live to the tune of 26% with a median winning price of nearly 3-1. And when he switches to blinkers off, that is the time to really get down as those runners win at a 36% clip.

Since he has been in the game for so long, Calhoun has a good eye for a new purchase as his first after claim runners succeed at 22% and he is even better after getting to know such a horse. Those 2nd after claim runners greet the cameraman 33% of the time and 68% run in the money.

Calhoun can read a condition book as well as anybody as attested by the fact that he is 26% spotting horses to win after they won their prior start.

One of this conditioner’s best value moves is when he brings a horse back in a hurry. When his runners have come back between one and 7 days in the last 5 years, half of his 4 starters have won, another ran third and the median winning price is 4-1.

As far as his comeback runners are concerned he gets better with each start with runners off a 45-day layoff as his first off that time frame wins at 20% and his third after layoff runners cash at 26%.

Finally, when his horses get bet it is because of a very good reason. He is 41%, much better than the national average, with favorites.

One of the best things to know about a trainer is the negative points and Calhoun has one glaring negative. In the last 5 years he has blanked after 801 starters that were just beaten favorites.

Take the good and the bad, and gamblers can play this trainer with the knowledge that he is one of the best in the sport.



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