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Vann the Man

Posted by on 8/25/2014 9:45:45 PM

Known as ‘Van the Man’ to his many fans, Van Morrison has been making sweet music since the late 1050s, but if he were in the horse business, he would have nothing on trainer Vann Belvoir.

As handicappers are aware, sometimes it’s good to be a small fish in a big pond and Belvoir has been reeling in some winners against the big shots at Del Mar this season.

Based traditionally in the Northwest Belvoir has brought some stock to Southern California in the last few years and he just sneaks into the charmed winner’s circle.

He has won with 7 of his first 34 starters at Del Mar and 4 others have run in the money. That’s good enough to place him tied for 6 th in the trainer standings and only one trainer in the top ten has hit at a higher percentage.

Belvoir has never been afraid of hard work. He is constantly progressing and constantly working to improve.

Vann : “You’ve gotta have horsemanship in this game but I had one of the best teachers in the world in my dad (Howard). My dad always instilled in me how much time and money it takes to get a horse to the races, from sales, breaking, shin bucks, and sickness. Jockeys are competitive, but sometimes they ease up if they see they aren’t going to win. A lot of jockeys don’t understand the importance of even a horse or fourth-place finish. You try to get a horse you think will improve. You try something here and there and find out if they can improve or not. In one way, training is easy: put the best horse into the easiest race.”

As far as betting Belvoir, shrewd handicappers zero in on a few of his most potent ploys. ‘

Over the last 5 years and that is the time frame we will be working with, Belvoir has hit at 17% with his starters and they have had a median payoff of a little over $8.

He is better when he used blinkers for the first time rather than taking them off. And he has a good eye for a claim as he cashing with 23% of his first off the claim runners.

Vann is 21% when he goes from a maiden special weight to a maiden claimer and when he glides a horse up the claiming ladder he is even better. He pops with 23% of those runners taking a 50% claiming tag jump.

He has been 20% over the years bringing horses back after 180 days or more and he has hit with some prices when he brings runners back within a week.

Belvoir is solid with all kinds of first-time starters and he spots runners where they belong day after day.

Consistency is his calling card. And because he is not a household name in California like Bob Baffert, Doug O’Neill, or John Sadler, his horses can be overlooked.

Don’t make that mistake the rest of the meeting at Del Mar.

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