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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Identifying Potential in a Two Year Old

The Incomparable Shared Belief

At this time of the year it is important to gauge the potential and outlook of the new two-year olds in order to make specific decisions in your handicapping. You must be able to read the colt – read his potential – to distinguish when to bet him, when to go heavy on him, whether to include him in your futures bet, and when to stop betting on him. Understanding the potential of the specific horse will allow you every opportunity to witness his obvious progression or his adversity to that potential.

Even if you do not have access to the mare’s numbers, the ability to foresee favoritism in the early races or outward talent going forward is easily researched and can be quite profitable. A few extra steps when handicapping will make all the difference for the race and especially for the future. You must know what the horse is made of and how all of it translates to the distance. Some of this will seem quite obvious but when you take it a step or two further, the information becomes invaluable. It is what separates a good handicapper into a pro.

We’ll start with an example of a horse who was the recipient of the 2013 Eclipse Award for Champion Two Year Olds and also was named Co-Winner of the 2015 Longines World’s Best Racehorse. Shared Belief. Seeing these titles after the fact is one thing, it is imperative to know and understand the potential going forward at the start of the colt’s career. Comparing the horse’s capacity in inheritance with his early performances will ultimately allow the handicapper greater control of his bets in future contests. If, in fact, one had known early on the potential of Shared Belief just from his maiden race, the ability to SINGLE the horse in every subsequent race he entered would have yielded major profits. This can be done with any horse if you know what to look for. Pure information and evidence in the horse’s potential will far outweigh just what’s in your gut. You must understand what the capability of the colt is within his inheritance vs his performances - not simply for a single race – it works for the entire career of the horse.

Knowing which race to choose to bet on and which horse to spend your money on is more important to your bottom line than just betting any Graded stakes race randomly because that is the big race of the weekend. Your virtual stable should consist of colts who HAVE POTENTIAL to make you money along the way. Gauging their workouts and knowing where and when they will compete is the race that you should be gambling on and the race that you should be spending your time handicapping. Bet on specific horses, not random races.

Information is a handicapper’s best tool for success.

At the top of the chart of any thoroughbred at PEDIGREEQUERY you will see a line of information and numbers. This info is available to anyone and for gauging the potential of any two year old - it is essential. These numbers represent half of what the colt has within himself. At 2 years old, this is what the colt will be relying on most of all. It tells you everything you need to know for betting BEFORE and AFTER the maiden race. Of course, with Shared Belief, we can easily see the outcome of his potential, but for the purpose of this article, he fits perfectly in context if we disregard his winning stats. We start at race one.

SHARED BELIEF (USA) dkb/br. G, 2011 {19} DP = 2-2-6-2-0 (12) DI = 1.40 CD = 0.33 - GSV = 57.98 - 12 Starts, 10 Wins, 0 Places, 0 Shows Career Earnings: $2,932,200

Within one second of pulling your horse’s chart up at Pedigreequery, you can see easily that he is STAMINA driven from his chefs. The 1.40 chef index is the very first number that you must look at. This number tells you immediately where the colt falls within the speed/stamina balance from his elite sires. This number will tell you how he will react to the specifications of the (maiden) race. For Shared Belief, his maiden was a 6f contest on AWS at Golden Gate. How to judge that index potential for the race at hand is what separates a handicapper from the pack. It will tell you whether or not you have an advantage with your bet or if you should sit it out. It will tell you how the horse’s true make-up SHOULD perform within the parameters of the race vs the outcome and how to bet him going forward, should he win or lose.

Shared Belief had a disadvantage on one hand and an advantage on the other in this maiden. The only way to know this is if you consulted that chart and sought out that index. At 6f, maiden sprinters with chef indexes in the high 3.00, 4.00 and 5.00 range will always have advantage with their speed travelling that short. On the flip side, low chef indexes, 2.00 and under, will have an advantage on AWS.

For this maiden race, Shared Belief entered the gate with the following colts and their indexes:

(Listed in order of finish)

Shared Belief – 1.40

Time Jumper – 3.00

Outlook – 5.86

Fort Wagner – 3.00

Blackford – 1.67

Johnny Reb – 1.13

Terrys Tom Cat – 2.27

Get Your Praise On – 3.00

Top of the World – 3.00

BEFORE THE RACE: If you took the time to look up the indexes of each competitor, this would be a race that you must sit out for a few reasons. There are 5 entries with indexes that favor the 6f distance, with one stand-out who had a very favorable 5.86 sprinter number. There were also 3 who had favorable indexes for the bias of the AWS. This is a losing bet and one that you should sit out. But whatever the outcome, the race results would tell you which horse was a must to go into your virtual stable to be bet in the next race as a single on top, whoever it was.

If one of the speedier indexes won this race, he would have been running against the bias which would have pointed out a standout who most likely was capitalizing on extreme stamina inheritance from his mares. Even if you had no access to the mares numbers, the chefs in the maiden race are the dominating force. A speed demon who won against a full field of competitors who were spread out along the spectrum with advantages across the board is a stand-out. He would have beaten up on his speedier foes and also defeated the other stamina guys against the AWS bias. He would have been a major force in his next race.

If any one of the low 1.00+ indexed stamina guys won this race, he too becomes a major stand-out - as the short distance made no difference and he excelled with his speed against his numbers. This will always point to a special horse, but it will point out a potential monster if he annihilates this particular field by 7 lengths. At 6f, beating the potential speed of Outlook by 7+ lengths points to a horse that MUST be bet on top for the win in his next race. Based on a 1.40 index, this horse has shown serious potential in just his first race. Understanding the full field and what they are holding in their chart first time out will set in motion a way for the handicapper to grab hold of a potential monster and a way to make money going forward by BETTING THE HORSE and not simply The Race. Instead of randomly betting stakes races or buzz races, a good handicapper bets a race based on the specific horse who is entered into that race.

Additionally, the race results show the top 4 - one stamina boy and 3 speed boys. The other 2 stamina colts could not keep up on the favorable All Weather Surface which gives even greater evidence that Shared Belief's ability to excel past the speed demons was proof of an exceptional maiden winner. Who a horse beats, how he beats them, and what the specifications of the race results lay out is even more important after the race. You must judge the results to make key conclusions of the winner's potential.

AFTER THE RACE: When a 1.40 index colt demolishes a group of speed demons by 7+ lengths traveling 6f regardless of bias, you must single that horse in his next race - on top of your exotic bets and place a win on his nose regardless of odds. The horse is going to win and he is going to continue to win over and over again. Distance has no meaning with this type of horse. His inheritance speaks volumes and his talent against that inheritance at any distance is laid out based on his numbers.

In addition and most importantly, a 1.40 index colt winning a 6f maiden race in 1:09.53 is in a completely different stratosphere than if a 5.86 index colt wins the same race in that same time.

That info is critical to the handicapper going forward. Those indexes coupled with the final winning time means two different things. A stamina guy (1.40) who displays speed like that is a potential beast going forward because he has the inbred stamina to sustain it travelling the Classic distances. A speed guy (5.86) should be displaying times like that at 6f and most likely will give up when he hits 8.5 or 9f later on. You would not know this crucial fact if you did not consult Roman's Index Figures.

Considering the stellar career of one of the most talented thoroughbreds of the past few decades, taking the extra step to consult his numbers and his chart after his maiden would have told you that he had, at the very least, the POTENTIAL he was holding from his inheritance aligned with his performances to become a champion at every distance along the way. This happens over and over again, year after year, with two year olds across the country and even abroad. Most handicappers will look at a maiden winner equally without differential between a sprinter type or a stamina type. They will view the flashy speed alone with zero regard for how far that speed will persist as the distances go further.

If you have learned anything from this website, I hope that you come away understanding that early speed winners mean nothing in subsequent further distances UNLESS the colt has inherited the ability to sustain it. Do not waste your betting dollars on prior flashy speedy wins unless the colt inherited the POTENTIAL within his chart to continue along going further. This is the only thing that will turn your betting dollars into profit as a horseracing gambler.

In realty, a majority of 2 year olds who excelled in their early races went on to become champion sprinters and milers while the other half went on to become Classic Champions. That is a 50-50 proposition every year. The ability to know which category the young colt will eventually fall must be ascertained before the fact - not after the fact. The numbers will give you a solid foundation on their potential moving forward, which in turn, gives you the leg up as they progress from Maiden to Derby gate. If the colt is sporting an index under 2.00, chances are very good that he will continue to sustain his speed easily as the distances progress. When you see a higher index colt (3.00 and over) dominate his early races, the only way to judge whether or not he would be a Classic player going forward is to consult the mare side.

ADDITIONS: Taking another step with the chef index alone will also shed some extra light on the horse’s potential and what he is holding going forward. A chef index depicts only LISTED chefs which of course is basically all that really matters with all the sires within the chart. These sires are time-tested and they have proven that they have the raw ability of passing down average winning distances and qualities that the others have not proven yet. There are also Prominent Non-Chefs who are not yet full-blown chefs but are on the “Roman-Miller” short list and in some cases, already listed through Australia.

For argument’s sake, Roman-Miller Indexes are the only indexes that truly matter, however, adding in the Prominent Non-chefs is always an extra important step. This is usually done by consulting the Prominent Non-Chef’s List and adding in any extra speed or extra stamina afforded by any of the sires listed - basically by guesswork. Certainly, there is no formula to adding in this extra potential and there certainly is no true answer as to how the addition may affect the horse's potential past his configurations. The extra speed or stamina is almost like an after-thought but it is part of the colt's chart and therefore needs to be a consideration. Instead of random guessing, one can easily do this directly on Pedigreequery at the top of the chart.

Switch the "CHEF LIST" from Roman-Miller to ANZ...


ANZ has added the extra chefs where-as Roman Miller has not yet given them full ranking. Again, Roman-Miller indexes are the true and real numbers but if you want to see what else is lurking within the chart easily and within seconds, flipping to the ANZ dosage numbers will give you at least an idea of “extra” leanings in addition to what is recognized by Roman-Miller. Basically, you are adding in the Prominent Non-Chefs without a ton of guesswork.

When we flip to the ANZ numbers, sometimes nothing changes. This means that no other recognition is offered to any other sires within the chart. Sometimes there is a huge change and this will afford you a bit of extra insight into the colt’s “extra potential” without compromising Roman-Miller’s dominance. Let’s look at the change with Shared Belief if we switch to the ANZ dosage figures.

ANZ dosage numbers:

SHARED BELIEF(USA) dkb/br. G, 2011 {19} DP = 2-10-6-2-0 (20) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.60

Notice how the Index has changed from Roman’s 1.40 to a whopping 3.00. They have added serious speed into the mix with the addition of their listed Chef, Storm Cat in the Second Generation. In Roman-Miller, Storm Cat has not been listed yet, however he is on their Prominent Non-Chef’s list. Instead of guessing at what that additional influence may portend, you can easily switch the chart to see where it MAY take him. Shared Belief was a 1.40 horse which takes on a major influx of additional speed potential from Storm Cat → and Shared Belief DISPLAYED that extra speed in his first maiden by demolishing that crew traveling 6f. He displayed ALL of his potential by winning that race on the All Weather Surface. He showed us from day one that he was using his entire chart and in essence - utilizing all of his numbers exactly as they were shown. All the way down to the additional speed influence thrown in from Storm Cat. This pointed to a potential monster and Champion from day one.

This is not to say that you should even consider using the Australian list of Chefs in no way, it is just an extra tool to see how the effect of the potential Prominent Non-Chef’s will shake out. You must consult Roman-Millers Non-Chef list first to see if the extra additions are even in their consideration. If the sire is listed, then the addition is perfectly reasonable. If he is absent from Roman's list, do not consider the additional speed or stamina.

The Roman-Miller numbers are absolute and they are always the main configurations for any given colt. Adding in the Prominent Non-Chefs is yet another tool and they are meant only as an additional throw-in. Using the ANZ numbers on the side along with checking the Prominent Non-Chef List to see if the extra sire is even in consideration is simply another tool in your arsenal.

As far as Shared Belief is concerned, the addition of Storm Cat’s Non-Chef speed added to all of that glorious 1.40 stamina is a testament to the never-ending power of Dosage Numbers and how these numbers depict the ultimate potential of any given horse. Shared Belief ran directly in line with his Chef’s numbers and his full inheritance. He had major stamina with additional speed outside of his numbers coming from the 2nd generation. He had potential with his inheritance from the moment he stepped on that track before his maiden. Knowing what to look for as early as the maiden race will always point out a potential Champion in the making. Understanding the power of the listed (and non-listed) Chefs will always give the handicapper that extra imperative information by gauging his inheritance vs his early performances and where it will eventually lead. When you begin to add in the mare’s numbers, you have flown to even greater heights. To be continued…


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