Why Trainers Matter?
Trainers are entrusted by the owners of the horse to prepare them to win races. Think of a trainer like the coach of a team. Individually the trainer cannot win the race, but the way the trainer prepares the athlete for the race can maximize the horse’s ability. This becomes especially important as horses start to mature beyond their two year old season.
Why is the DHP Top Trainer Tool Helpful?
Horses can be upgraded or downgraded based on their trainers, but many people will overgeneralize the effectiveness of a trainer based on their overall win percentage. However, even the best trainers have blind spots and the weakest trainers have some ability that allows them to pay bills and attract new owners to their barn.
Using the DHP Top Trainer Tool for a Race
To use the top jockey tool follow the steps below:
Change the drop down menus to match any or all of the conditions for the race you are handicapping.
- Track: Many trainers will have meets that they like to point their horses to. It is very hard to have horses fully cranked year round. Knowing which meets a trainer targets can be a great separator.
- Surface: With dirt and turf surfaces running so dramatically different in terms of race flow, it is not surprising that many trainers who excel on dirt are less effective with turf runners. The same is true for those who are prolific with turfers.
- Condition: This factor plays the biggest role when the ground is not fast or firm. Off tracks typically will favor trainers that are good at putting early speed into their horses.
- Distance: Horse races are often classified as either sprints (less than 8 furlongs) or routes (one mile and over). However, dynamics can change dramatically depending on the various lengths within each of these categories. If a trainer is good at training sprinters, they may be left vulnerable in route races and vice versa.
- Race Types: This is especially important for trainers. Some trainers get the best of the best talent at the track which will be reflected with high marks in the stakes and allowance ranks. Some trainers are masters of the claiming game (buying and selling horses out of races). A claiming trainer who sends out a stakes runner may be in too deep. A top stakes trainer may be racking up high percentages with good animals but when they drop to the claiming ranks, they can’t move average horses forward. Understanding which levels the trainer excels at is paramount to unlocking hidden value in races.
- Barriers/Post Positions: Post position stats for trainers are of limited importance and may be used to eliminate horses in clear weak spots for the trainer, but likely won’t uncover any actionable angle by itself. This filter can still be useful, but should be used in combinations with other filters in the menu.
Once you have set any or all of the filters, select the “Refresh Charts” button to see the updated data which reflects your race.
Using the Top Trainer Tool for an Individual Trainer
While the top trainer tool is extremely effective for comparing all trainers in a given race, it can also be a major factor when analyzing an individual trainer.
This can be done from the top trainer charts. Simply find the trainer you want to look up and click their name. You will now see a report of their rating and percentages at every one of the filters from the top trainer tool.
Using this view you may be able to identify spots where you can beat a high percentage trainer. For example, Bob Baffert wins at a nearly 30% clip across all races. His horses are often crushed at the windows and offer little value. However, looking closer at the trainer profile the is rated as “Poor” on turf. Many people will see the 28% winning percentage and bet his horses without recognizing that many of his turf runners do not perform to the level of his dirt contingent. This can provide a great advantage for the horse player who can look to fade this super trainer on turf.