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Where's Waldo

Updated: Jun 30

'Where's Waldo' originated in 1987 when a British illustrator Martin Handford created Waldo as part of a project. Where's Waldo was more than a children book series, globally, Waldo, became a sensation for all ages. Waldo is a cultural touchstone with elaborate illustrations and search and find puzzles, some horseplayers would find it impossible to decipher. Why?

A lack of attention to detail, finding the red-white striped Waldo, takes eye coordination and patience, is something some horseplayers do not have.

Some will simply gravitate to high % stats for the trainer and jockey, name recognition, familiarity, in other words, some see exactly what every body else sees. They have no advantage.

One part of handicapping is seeing the little things, and the small details, those that escape the masses and one reason why so many people fall on the same horse.

It has become evident to me, is that the Waldo in the past performances is where the horse comes from.

Handicappers immediately would take that if a horse raced at Tinbucktoo Downs, that's where he is coming from, regardless if they know even where Tinbucktoo is.

Statistics are forged with 'shipper' notation based on where they raced last, and as many things are in this industry, they are completely wrong.

If you live in the Bronx and went to Manhattan for the day, are you from Manhattan when you return to the Bronx, No!

If your domecile is in the Bronx and you visited Manhattan you are still Bronx resident. Forgetaboutit! you are labeled a shipper.

Where a horse is stabled, where he eats, sleeps, and all the things that go where they live, and especially train, is far more important than where he raced last.

If Smoking Joe Bolivia is housed at Saratoga and shipped to Finger Lakes to race last out, returned to Saratoga to his stall, trains at Saratoga, he is referred to as a shipper when he races on his home track. It makes zero sense.

Todd Pletcher has made a living at putting horses in a van and shipping out of Palm Beach Downs Training Center all over Florida and the East Coast, and as an industry, if we get our heads out of our Arse, and start running stats on such circumstances we would get a clearer picture, just add Stat recording as one of the things we cannot do correctly in this day and age.

I am not even going to touch the fact we can't even promote weekly, monthly stats for trainers and jockeys.

In baseball and other sports we know what a player has averaged in the last week, month, vs a certain pitcher, left or right handers, etc.

In racing we do stats in five year blocks........ I can't remember what I had for breakfast or lunch yesterday, and we are doing five year blocks. It makes zero sense.

This is the year 2024 and racing is like handicapping in 1999.

Understanding where a horse trains is paramount.

Baerry Meadow's The Skeptical Handicapping is a book all handicappers should own, Barry tells us in his statistical study that there is NO advantage being stabled at the host track.

None, but handicappers on a dialy basis:

"He got a work over the track" or, "he is stabled and runs out of his own stall,'' meanwhile there is no advantage, zilch, but handicappers, we know like myths, fables to convince themselves they know what's right.

I love horses working at their home track and shipping in to race, Barry's stats just proved my conviction correct from my experience.

I love young horses training in their quiet facility and shipping in to run, but when you try to explain it to an handicapper they look at you like you are Hydra the three headed dragon.

I kind of see a resemblance, don't you? right around the three pair of eyes.

Handicappers know everything, even talking heads repeat the same myths and angles, daily, they themselves have heard over and over but yet no one can come up with a stat for 'speed and fade', or 'vanned off last out', and my favorite ''the ultimate equipment change''.

Everybody knows those angles, they are no secret, but what if a trainer is especially adapt at winning with off track string, for example, working at Keeneland and shipping to Churchill, NYRA, wherever to run, or vice versa.

Once again I am Hydra the Three Headed Dragon, just fire coming out of my nostrils, it doesn't register.

Handicappers will scour a workout report for the ratings, and it never fails, "you don't have anything on Waldo's Red Scarf in the 6th, he's got some good works."

I have to remind them that Waldo's Red Scarf was training BummFurkEgypt private training facility, there ain't no clockers there or we simply don't have any one on site, but it's no use, same situation next time, horseplayers just don't pay attention to where a horse works, period.

CDT and CD are not the same track, CDT is Churchill Trackside training center off Poplar Road in Lousiville about 4-5 miles from Churchill Downs, its a small track, tighter turns and a quiet facility. TTC is thoroughbred training center in Lexington, Kentucky, the track is built downhill down the backside.

TP is not Turf Paradise, its Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky y'all.

Again, I got three heads and breathing fire.

Handicappers tell you all they need is a racing form but can't begin to tell you where a track even is and you are betting against these people and trust even a stopped clock is right twice a day..

Understanding horses, their trainers, connections and their training, is understanding where they come from, that's where you start developing patterns.

i recall one handicapper blasting me one afternoon becasue we didn't have every work for every horse, on a Keeneland card that featured total 27 different facilities that horses were training at. 27 and this bozo was calling me out as a fraud because I didn't have comments on every one of those 20 something facilities we didn't have works from.

Yes, clown show, but a lot of players do the same thing and think alike.

They don't appreciate Waldo, there in the middle of all the chaos, he is waiting for you to find him.

Players moan and groan about what they don't have, and I am including myself, in that lot, but we need to look at we have, and I can tell you i can find Waldo in my daily workout reports.


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