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Newbie Guide Part Two

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  • Newbie Guide Part Two

    Timed Workouts
    A timed workout is the standard way of evaluating your new horse. While regular training just helps with the meters and tells you nothing about your horse, a Timed Train will tell you something about your horse. You choose your distance, surface, jockey, and instruction. You will then work your horse out and evaluate his time to determine in which types and classes of races your horse belongs. Note: the weight that your horse carries during his workout will make a huge difference in the time. Young colts generally carry 120lbs and young fillies 118. It is silly to work your horses out at below race weights, as it will not be an accurate indicator of how a horse will run or how well the horse carries additional weight. Work Pony out at 6F or 1Mile so you can understand what you’ve got and compare Pony’s time to the 6F and 1Mile times in the races and workouts for the day. For now, the simplest guide for newbies is: work your horses will all meters above 95, with race weight with a decent jockey, at 6F or 1M with a steady instruction. The forum members will be happy to help you evaluate what you have after you report your workout results.

    Here are some general numbers that will guide you in evaluating your first workout IF you choose a good jockey and carrying standard weight. (Note that I have high standards, and many stables would probably put the "workable" number at 59.2 or even a bit higher.) If you run your horse at 6F, and your time is under: 1:10 (you have a workable horse) 1:09.5 (this horse will win races) 1:09.2 (start thinking stakes). If you run your horse at 1M, and your time is under: 1:37 (you have a workable horse) 1:36.6 (this horse will win races) 1:36.2 (start thinking stakes). Another popular option is 5F. If you choose 5F, you should probably choose a "push" instruction. There, you are looking for 59.0 (workable) 58.6 (potential) 58.25 (stakes). Remember, though, a 58.6 horse might not be a stakes sprinter, but don't give up before you try the horse in the route.

    Workouts don’t tell you everything. They don’t tell you much about a horse’s heart. Some horses will run better in workouts than they do in races, and vice versa. Also know that workouts aren’t necessarily a good indicator of a horse’s value when you are thinking of claiming or buying from other stables, as the horses may have worked out with less (or no) weight added. Do not underestimate the importance of 6lbs in the DD game. It is much more significant than one would think.

    Workouts are also a place for patient trainers to test their horses’ preferences. By controlling the variables, you can determine whether your horse prefers dirt or turf, and whether your horse likes certain ‘accessories,” like blinkers or a tongue tie. For the love of Pete, control the variables. It doesn’t do any good to work your horse out at 6F on the dirt steady with no accessories, then to turn around 1M on the turf with blinkers. You’ll have no idea which change in variables made the difference. If you want to test preferences, keep a standard approach. Run your horse at 6F or 1M on the dirt. Then, keeping EVERYTHING the same and the meters as close as possible, add a tongue tie. Then, keeping everything the same, move to turf. You may learn that your first workout, naked on the dirt, wasn’t nearly the best your horse can do. Perhaps the horse likes two different accessories and the turf. Or maybe from your first workout, you’ve realized that your horse is ready to run out of the box – then you enter the horse in a race. Racing horses is beyond the scope of this article.

    While this guide does not reach entering your horse or choosing race instructions, I do want to address a few other points for newbies.

    Acquiring New Horses

    When you started, you received 2 horses. Those are known as “created” horses. They are created because they were randomly generated. The other type of horse at DD is a “bred” horse. A bred horse is a horse that has been bred by a DD member from horses that have run then retired in the game. Some of the game’s best horses are created, but bred horses are more predictable (though not a lock in any sense) because you can at least see how the parents ran. When you’re starting, you will have your first two horses, but obviously 2 is quite a small stable. How do you go about expanding your stable?

    You can simply choose to purchase more “created” horses. Doing this is rolling the dice—it’s just the luck of the draw. You could end up with the next Super Star Series (SS) champion or a stable of duds. Another option is to claim horses from the claiming races. Or you can bid on other stables' horses that are entered into the auction.

    You can also choose to “breed” horses. If you’re a newbie, you don’t have any Sires. You can find public sires on the public breeding page. Most have a sire fee. Some are substantial. While your budget will dictate your breeding/purchasing habits, it is worth noting that established stables with an eye towards profit often find the investment in a quality sire worth it.

    But you’re going to need a mare or two. Again, don’t expect to breed a bum to a bum and get a champion. The middle-priced claimers are often a good place to locate quality mares, as you can often find well-bred mares running in the 10-20K range who are just past their prime or who haven’t quite made the cut as a breeder for one of the bigger stables. You can also lease a mare from the public breeders page.

    One last note about acquiring horses. Over the years, as DD has evolved: the race viewer, track conditions, and jockey intelligence have all changed. Some of the changes dramatically affected race times. A few times, the track records were reset. So, when claiming horses, be careful about relying upon raw times or speed figures as your primary method of evaluating horses for races before February 2007.<o></o>
    Last edited by Ryan Express; 04-29-2008, 10:47 PM.