Breezing a Horse

February 8, 2020

I received an email asking if I could explain Working aka Breezing a horse. I was also asked how important are Works when one is handicapping a race. These are great questions, so let’s get started with Breezing.

How many times a horse is Breezed really depends on the trainer and the horse. Some trainers are more aggressive than others. Most trainers have a schedule of races at which they are pointing their horses. The trainer is Breezing the horse with a controlled Breeze, meaning distance and how fast the trainer wants the horse to run. Also, the trainer decides if he wants his horse to run with company, two horses or more or just alone. 

Without getting too technical, the trainer works horses to get them fit or keep them fit. Once the trainer gets a horse on a schedule, he wants to keep it. Chances are the trainer is getting them ready for a particular race. Depending on the distance and time between races will dictate how far and fast the horse goes. There are different thoughts on Breezing,  depends on the trainer. I’m a trainer who does not like to work the horses fast. I was always taught to leave something in the tank. There are horses born with natural speed and like to work so those are expected to work fast. 

I’ll explain different symbols seen next to the work: take for instance 36 B, this means a horse worked 3/8 of a mile with out being urged. 36 H means the rider was asking the horse to go faster. 36 BG means the horse worked from the Gate. Generally, the work from the gate will be slower as the horse is starting from a standing start. The other works are from a running start. B is for breezing, less urging from the rider. H is for handily, more rider urging.

Let’s talk about how important Works are from a trainer’s prospective. As a trainer, it is important as the trainer can judge how a horse is doing. The trainer always wants to see the work out pattern. Generally, when a horse is prepping for a race the horse works once a week. There is always the exception. Trainers will adjust to the horse. From a handicapper stand point it’s pretty much the same. There are trainers who get a horse pretty fit and put him in a race and ready to go. There are trainers who enter knowing the horse needs a race, the trainer has to know the horse. Giving the horse a race means one hopes the horse runs well but needs to a race. The trainer can only get a horse so fit. When the horse gets bored with working, he needs to run.

Never hurts to earn money and get a race into them. I hope that helps explain Breezing and Works. 

Contributing Authors

JJ Graci

JJ was born in Philadelphia, Pa.  and attended Villanova University. He has vast experience in horse racing and broadcasting. JJ has been a fixture in...

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