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Bet On Horses - Pennies from Penna

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 2/12/2013 5:50:24 PM

My mom once told me you should never be too rich to bend down and pick up a penny from the ground and it came to fore recently when I came across a piece from Cot Campbell about one of my favorite trainers of all time, Angel Penna and some of the precious pennies of online betting wisdom he can still pass on.

Penna was the leading trainer in multiple countries, trained more than 250 stakes winners, won the Prix de l’de Triomphe twice, entered the Hall of Fame and won a ton of Grade 1 races in the United States.

He brought out a small string of runners to race at Santa Anita when I just started working for the sports betting Racing Form and he was money in the bank.
The genius didn’t saddle a ton of horses, but he greeted 56% of them back in the winner’s circle and his runners were always near the wire.

Penna won practically every great race in Europe and he did it with patience and common sense.

He knew what it took to success and he strove for it working 14 to 16 hours a day. He could get a horse to win at a mile and a quarter the first time out and he did it without ever breezing the runner.

Penna used what was just free-running open gallops to get his horses fit. He had a knack for just knowing when his horse was ready to run and when he led a horse over to the paddock, you could bet you bottom dollar they were fit enough to run twice today’s distance.

Angel passed on several years ago but online sports players today can visualize a little Angel Penna and transfer his vibe to his son, Angel Penna Jr., who plies his trade on the East Coast.

The son started his career in Spain and won with his first 2 starters. He was the leading trainer there twice in the late 1970s.

Noted also for his patience and success with grass horses, Jr. also knows about speed. He trained A Phenomenon to win several Grade 1 races in brilliant fashion.

Like his father, Jr. sends horses ready to win. He has hit with 18% of his starters in his career and they have been in the money nearly 45%.

His horse betting starters have earned over $1 million 4 times, the latest in 2009 when Penna won with 23 or his 80 starters, or 28%.

Don’t look for Penna’s runners to be cranked to the gills for a debut as he lets the runners tell him when they are ready.

Just like it is for a lot of trainers that are not of the ‘new breed’ it has been hard for Penna to get quality racing stock. It’s more of a numbers game now and not about doing what is right by the horse but when looking at runners Penna does saddle, look for consistent steady drills rather than flashy best of the morning workouts.

Like his dad, he can get horses to win from off a long layoff and when he gets a horse going good, he can keep them going good.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and the penny is still a penny.


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