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Blog - GAMBLING

A win streak can indicate improving form regardless of the track the wins took place at. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)

Claiming races are the meat and potatoes of the racing industry.

They feature horses that are a cut below those in allowance or stakes races but who tend to stick around the racetrack longer and make a different type of name for themselves.

Some New York handicappers are no doubt familiar with Chairman Now. They might recall him from 2012 when he won four races.

Yet they probably didn’t recognize him this spring when he returned from a 9-month layoff and lost his first two comeback races by a combined margin of more than 30 lengths.

It seemed as if his best days were behind him.

Now fast forward to Aug. 11 when Chairman Now was entered in a $20,000 claimer at Saratoga, a big jump from the $12,500 claimer he raced in during his last start at a NYRA track. He was also 5-1 at the Spa after being sent off at 8-1 in his last start at a NYRA track.

Why?

It seems Chairman Now found himself at Finger Lakes.

While races at Finger Lakes are not usually stepping stones to victory at Saratoga, Chairman Now’s two wins at the track were noteworthy. Back in 2013, in his last start before the layoff, he finished seventh in a Finger Lakes claimer.

Now, after two weak efforts at Belmont Park, he was shipped to Finger Lakes and reeled off a pair of wins.

Since he had lost at Finger Lakes during his tailspin, the wins at Finger Lakes gave off an indication that he was upswing.

Enough handicappers reached that conclusion to send him off at 5-1 at Saratoga and they were treated to a $13.60 payoff when he ran back to his 2012 form and gamely held on to win by a nose.

THE LESSON: A string of wins are a powerful indication of improving form, even if they take place at a smaller circuit.

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

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