|Daily Racing Form|
|Tuesday, June 22
|Quarter for your thoughts|
By Jay Cronley
Special to ESPN.com
Summer is quarter horse season.
Here's a guide to assist thoroughbred horse players in understanding this unique wagering opportunity.
Q: Are there Beyers in quarter horse racing?
A: No, there are only Bayers, the aspirin.
Quarter horses are given a power rating based on times with the track variant tossed in. Even though you're only talking about covering the length of the home stretch with most quarter horse races, track conditions do vary greatly, particularly given a wind that can lift the brim of a cowboy hat straight up, with the hat never leaving his head, of course.
If the best times won a high percentage of quarter horse races, you wouldn't need the Bayer.
Besides tornadoes, other quarter horse handicapping factors are collisions, ancient jockeys and more collisions.
Q: Is there a track bias in quarter horse racing?
A: More so than in thoroughbred racing if you ask me.
Most racing surfaces are not exactly flat. The high ground is in the middle. The rail in quarter horse racing can be like an Irish peat bog, thick and hard to beat.
The outside quarter horse post positions at Remington Park in Oklahoma City have seemed like an uphill battle for years. Horses running fifth from the 10 hole at Remington frequently win against similar competition on a more even keel.
They've moved the gate so far from a slow rail at the local quarter horse track, the one hole is now about the five.
Q: Are quarter horses as predictable as thoroughbreds?
And it takes less time to handicap a quarter horse race.
You don't have to consider things like layoffs or sex. You're apt to see a male or a female quarter horse win after a layoff of two days or two years or anything in between.
Another time-consuming handicapping element you don't have to worry much about is locating the early speed.
Q: What's a good quarter horse bet?
A: A horse enjoying a change for the better as it moves away from a bias or tougher competition or an uncomfortable distance.
Q: Why do thoroughbred handicappers feel that quarter horses are beneath them?
A: A man was down five grand to his bookie at the end of football season. The bookmaker said, "Well, there's always basketball season." The man who was down the five thousand said, "Basketball? What do I know about basketball?"
It's probably something like that: The reason thoroughbred handicappers don't like quarter horses is because they don't have any money left to bet.
Q: What's the most exciting single thing about quarter horse racing?
A: That would be when a quarter-miler is asked to run a half mile for the first time, when it has to make its first sharp left turn after a thousand years of straight-line breeding.