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Beware Of Trainer Speak

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 5/31/2010 3:47:33 PM

BEWARE OF TRAINER SPEAK

It looks like a decent field of between 10 and 12 will try to steal the money in the Big Apple in the Belmont Stakes but this is the time to be careful when evaluating what is said about the race and please don’t take it for gospel.

This is not to say that trainers intentionally mislead the press, but there was an inside joke that went around for years that a certain Hall of Fame trainer, who is absolutely revered, never lies, UNLESS, his mouth is moving.

With that said, and knowing that a conditioners can not, because of his loyalty to his owner, knock a runner, sharp observers and handicappers have to know how to read ‘in between the lines’ when digesting quotes coming to the Belmont this week.

Let’s take a look Back to the Future in regard to what was said coming to the Kentucky Derby this year.

Bob Baffert’s Conveyance drilled a bullet :59 and 4/5 in his last work before the Derby and this is what his trainer had to say afterward, Baffert: “He worked well. He went off easily like we wanted him to, and he finished up really well through the stretch. He looked like his old self. I saw what I was looking for.”

Result: The runner had the lead for three quarters of a mile and ended up 15th.

Awesome Act was 5th choice in the Derby at 11-1 and he recorded the second best of 24 spins at the distance in his final prep. Julien Leparoux, who was up for the work, was giddy over the exercise. “It was a very nice work. He did it very easy. He went over the track very good. He loved (the muddy track), so I won't be scared about it.”

Result: After being wide early, Act only beat one to the wire.

To hammer the point home but at the complete other end of the spectrum consider what Nick Zito had to say about his likely Belmont Stakes chalk Ice Box after he had galloped a few days before the Derby, Zito “He kind of trains like (Strike the Gold), acts like him. He's a late-developing horse; he ran in Florida; ran the right races. Of course, Strike the Gold finished second in the Florida Derby and this horse won the Florida Derby. I like his chances, I really do.”

Result: After steadying not once, not twice, but three times, all Ice Box did was rally from 11th at the top of the lane to complete the exacta with Super Saver.

The key in these final days before the Belmont is to use common sense, smarts and then consider the source when reading quotes from connections.

BELMONT TIPS

Chalk or no chalk that is the question?

Nearly 43% of the favorites have won the Belmont in the prior 141 runnings but a half dozen of the last 11 winners paid 11-1 or more.

Although is can be a Herculean task, know that the average superfecta in the Belmont the last decade has paid over 6 times as much as the average trifecta.

Lastly, New York’s favorite son Zito has been sitting in waiting for this race and he must be respected.

Since 2004, 5 of his runners have cracked the trifecta with 2 winning and one running second. The prices of the winners were over 35-1.

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