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Posted by on 8/29/2013 7:52:38 PM

It was once said about a prominent Hall of Fame trainer that he never lies unless his mouth is moving and with the glut of information that soon will be available for the Breeders’ Cup, including trainer quotes, the phrase of the day is ‘buyer beware’.

With that said, online sports betting site players have to handicap the speakers just as well as the horses.

Consider Bob Baffert’s comments about his 2006 Kentucky Derby hopefuls on TVG in a segment several years ago. His comments are paraphrased, Baffert: “glad to be back with legit horses, with legitimate shots. We have the front end, the middle, and the back. Things are looking good so we feel good.”

On his three starters in the Derby, Baffert: ‘Point Determined is extremely lazy and it seems Point Givens are a bit mentally slow. Bob and John is solid and loved his race at Del Mar, just trying to figure out his style. The best he trained in his life was the other day. He likes to run with a target and ran into a stiff headwind in the Wood. And Sinister Minister got scared when he hit the rail at Golden Gate and bruised his inside quarter. He’s a freaky kind of horse. It’s not where you draw; it’s who’s next to you.”

How did they fair. Point Determined proved Baffert right when 9th in the Derby. Bob and John was 12-1 in the Derby and only beat 3 horses and Sinister Minister pressed the Derby pace and finished 16th.

It’s not that Baffert is a liar, but all trainers tend to look at things like the myopic Mr. Magoo. They really only know about their own horses and they can’t be disparaging a runner’s chances if that trainer wants to continue to train for a certain owner.

Michael Matz, who trained the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner and nearly unbeaten Barbaro, has always had no fear.

He was a hero after surviving a plane crash in the summer of 1989 that killed 111 of 296 passengers. He rescued several children on that flight.

As a former Olympian who earned over $1.7 million in the world of show jumping, he knew his horse and he stuck to his guns during the run to the Derby.

No horse in 50 years had won the Derby off a 5-week layoff but Barbaro took the Florida Derby off a 2-month vacation proving he enjoys running fresh.

In the afterglow of the derby win the trainer had this to say in the USA Today, Matz: “For sure, I knew it was no problem running in the Florida Derby off an eight-week layoff. That's why five weeks was nothing for him leading up to his most improve victory at Churchill.

These days, some trainers are reluctant to talk to the press at all and guys like Todd Pletcher rarely say anything negative about their runners but this year’s Kentucky Derby winning trainer Shug McGaughey has been around the block and back and he spins no tales.

McGaughey used the same stepping-stone that Matz used with Barbaro as he prepped in the Florida Derby before heading to Churchill with Orb the first Saturday in May. Before the Florida Derby he had this to say, Shug: “He (Orb) doesn't necessarily have to win Saturday to go to the Derby, but he has to run the right kind of race. I want the horse to take me there".

Truer words were never spoken and although Orb disappointed in the recent Travers, he will live to fight another day.

Now it’s up to all of use to evaluate trainer quotes and put them to good use when it counts.



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