Tip of the Week: Keeping The Faith


Photo by Coglinese Photos/Shannon Spies

There are times when a trainer’s continued confidence in his or her horse can be detected in the spots they select for their runners.

Understanding those clues can make handicappers quite confident as they approach the betting windows.

After Resistivity broke her maiden by a length and a quarter at Gulfstream Park in her third career start, the confidence trainer Mark Casse had in his 3-year-old filly was reflected by running her in the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes. Despite a lack of seasoning, Resistivity turned in a good effort, finishing third at 4-to1 odds, which said a lot of people other than Casse had faith in the dark bay filly.

Considering the high regard Casse had in his filly, what happened next was curious. Immediately after the Forward Gal on Jan. 25, Casse gave her five workouts – four of them on turf.

Next he entered Resistivity in an optional claiming race on the turf on March 15 at Gulfstream.

Considering how Resistivity showed enough potential in the Forward Gal to be painted as a future stakes winner on dirt, why would Casse try her on turf and risk ruining her form cycle?

Perhaps those four turf workouts, only one of which was quite fast, buoyed Casse’s belief that Resistivity would find the grass to be greener for her.

The betting public was skeptical, sending her off at 8.60-to-1 odds – nearly double her price in a Grade 2 stakes. At 3-1 she would not have been overly attractive but at those odds, having faith in Casse’s faith seemed a highly plausible move.

In the end, Case was right to keep the faith in his sophomore filly. The class Resistivity showed in the Grade 2 stakes and the promise reflected in her turf works blended together perfectly and produced a 3 ¾-length victory that faithfully returned $19.20 for a $2 wager.

THE LESSON: What might seem like a curious move by a trainer makes more sense when he previously shows some faith in the horse.


newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!