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Little Pond, Big Fish

Posted by on 4/21/2014 10:04:47 PM

Sometimes astute online sports betting site players think out of the box and try to sharpen up handicapping skills for the Triple Crown Trail by looking at a smaller track to hone skills.

Enter Emerald Downs and trainer Jeff Metz.

Metz used to train pretty much exclusively in Southern California but he has branched out to the Northwest and he has thrived.

He has had his trainer’s license for over 20 years and has learned as an assistant under some solid horsemen like Bruce Headley, Dan Hendricks and Bob Hess Jr.

One of this reasons for branching out is that it gives him an opportunity to work with partnerships so everybody can get a piece of the pie.

He is off to a sensational beginning this meet at Emerald as he tries to defend his title. Opening day he won with 5 starters and 2 of his students ran second. And the prices ranged from odds-on to a fat 6-1.

Metz won with 7 of his first 11 that he started at Emerald and only one horse ran worse than 2nd.

Traditionally, Emerald has played fair over the years being almost equally kind to speed horses, stalkers and closers. On opening day a stalker won the opener, a speed horse won the second race and the winner of the third race came from 5th in the 7-horse field.

Jeff is a quick study, Metz: “I learned a lot last year about what horses to bring here. I got lucky at the entry box and lucky that the horses performed.”

Metz uses a number of different ploys to succeed on the track. He is very good as assessing talent. When he has dropped a horse from a Maiden Special Weight into a maiden claimer, he has won with 2 of 6 of those starters in the last 5 years and another ran 2nd.

He is much better when his starters go from a route to a sprint rather than stretching out from a sprint to a route.

Once a runner get into good form Metz keeps him going in fine fashion. He has won with 22% of last out winners in the last 5 years and 54% of those runners ran in the money.

Metz has a good eye for a claim as he has won with 22% of his first after claimed runners the last 5 years and 17% with his second after claimed runners.

Most of his winners are dangerous when they come back within a month of running a race. This tends to mean he is not averse to racing his horses into to shape and to utilize works sparingly.

On the other end of the spectrum stay away from Metz runners that are first-time Lasix or first-time blinkers. He is only 1 for 43 in that ladder category in the last 5 years.

Lastly, Metz does it with numbers. He will likely saddle more starters than any other trainer at Emerald this meet and he will put his horses in spots where they belong.

Metz makes it happen.

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