There are races and there are workouts. The two are usually two distinct entities.
Except when a race turns out to be a workout.
A prime example of that can be found in Wolf Dance. A 4-year-old gelding owned by Stronach Stables, Wolf Dance made his 2017 debut on Feb. 10. It was his first race in four months and only his second start on dirt in nine career starts. He was second in that lone start on dirt.
In the seven other starts, he raced four times on turf, three times on synthetics, and posted his lone win on turf.
In recent years an increasing number of tracks have offered days geared around races patterned after the Claiming Crown. In other words, they put together a card filled with races for horses that have competed in claiming races which offer purses similar to stakes races. Quite naturally, they attract a top shelf collection of claiming horses and can be quite tricky to handicap.
Yet they can also point out some intriguing horses to play – in their next race or two.
History can be an important asset in handicapping for some rather logical reasons.
If something happened once before on a racetrack, why can’t it happen twice?
After all, we’re not talking about lightning. It’s a horse race, and when you can find an instance when the present starts to replicate the past, it’s usually a good time to reach into your wallet for a few dollars and head to the betting windows.