LARC NEWS Posted: 4/5/2018 9:06:31 AM


The 2-year-olds are here for another great Quarter Horse season of futurities, trials, and more at Los Alamitos Race Course. One of the advantages horse players have when playing the Los Alamitos Quarter Horse races is the FREE access to the gate workouts posted by the 2-year-olds training here. The workouts are available at Recently, Ed Burgart, the guru of Quarter Horse racing and perhaps the most astute watcher of video workouts in the sport, took some time to share his thoughts on what he looks for when watching 2-year-olds work in preparation for their debut race.    


Question: What are you looking for when you are watching the 2-year-old gate workouts?


Ed Burgart: I watch the (workouts) in slow motion. I can (rewind and fast forward). I always take a look at the way a horse breaks, which is very important, and whether the horse maintains a straight course. More importantly to me is how much of a hold a jockey will have on a horse and how well he gallops out past the wire because the work is only 220 yards and the first race is going to be at 300 yards. To me, it’s more important how well a horse does late in the workout as long as he/she has decent gate habits. I try look at the break away from the gate to make sure the horse is not a slow breaker. If he makes mistakes away from the gate I’ll take that into consideration as well. Mainly, it’s how a horse finishes the workout and whether the jockey has a tight hold on the horse. That’s how I rate the workouts. So far I’ve seen two exceptional workouts (this season) in Wicked Affair and Cole Man 47. I thought both of those horses displayed what I’m talking about.


Question: How about the “greenness” of a horse and whether a horse is moving inward or outward? How much stock do you put into that when you’re looking at a work?


Ed Burgart: A lot of times it depends on who is aboard a horse in the morning as well. Do you have an exercise jockey or a more polished rider on a horse. If you see an experience rider get on a horse when he/she runs that makes a big difference that a horse can improve a lot.  I put a lot of consideration on that. The good part is when a horse works twice you are able to see the same horse twice. If the horse makes the same mistake the second time then you are little concerned. If he corrects the mistake the second time then that tells me a lot. You always want to see the improvement from the first drill to the second drill, not so much on the time wise, but whether the horse is erratic or not and on the mannerism of the horses.


Question: What about the time of the workout? How much stock do you put on that?


Ed Burgart: “I don’t want to see a horse work too fast early because it tells you that the horse probably isn’t going to improve a lot down the road. You want to see the big improvement from the first to the second drill. I don’t like to see a horse asked a lot in the workout. You don’t want to see them strangled either. A lot of the time these horses that are running :12.2 or :12.3 that is as good as they are going to run and you can usually tell on the workouts if the horse has any right to improve.”


Question: How about trainer habits? Do you see trainers that maybe work horses with a specific pattern that you have been able to pick up?


Ed Burgart: “Generally the riders for (trainer Chris) O’Dell have a pretty good hold of the horses. They don’t let the horses do a lot in the morning. His horses won’t work as fast as some of the other trainers. Certain trainers like to see their horses work faster than others. The Paul Jones-horses tend to work pretty quick. Jaime Gomez, his horses will work quick. With Eduardo Nicasio (now) working the majority of the Christopher O’Dell horses and he’s had riders in the past, like Tony Guymon when he was here, that they wouldn’t let the horses do too much in the morning. The times would be a little bit slower.”



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