01/08/2007 12:00AM

High-volume stable consistently produces profits


Trainer Robert Seeger won 100 races last year, connected at a 21-percent clip, and his runners accounted for nearly $1.5 million in purses. Perhaps more impressively, or at least more noteworthy for bettors, Seeger's 468 runners, based at Philadelphia Park, proved wise bets in many categories and showed an overall flat-bet profit of $2.13 - no easy task from such a large sample size.

Winning races off the claim is a Seeger specialty, and a recent example came when Love Walk won impressively in late December after she was claimed more than a month earlier at Churchill Downs. She paid $16.60.

Seeger's older horse Stringtown Wonder is a claim who has consistently paid dividends. Stringtown Wonder closed out 2006 by winning eight consecutive starter allowance races at Philadelphia Park and Laurel Park, and posted an overall 12-for-15 mark on the year with two second-place finishes. In his first start this year, Stringtown Wonder finished third, beaten a length, on Jan. 3.

Stringtown Wonder is a 6-year-old gelded son of Wild Wonder who has a lifetime record of 15-7-5 from 40 starts. Seeger claimed him for $5,000 in October 2005.

"We had the winningest horse in the country, and we really enjoyed his streak," said Corey Day, assistant trainer to Seeger. "The whole run was very exciting. He got beat the other day, but we knew he'd have to get beat sooner or later. Overall, we've really had a lot of fun with him."

Seeger has had big years in the past, most notably 1997 and 1998, when he won more than 100 races from 600-plus starts each year, but 2005 and 2006 might have been his best years yet. In, 2005, Seeger had similar numbers (459-81-71-72, 17 percent, $1.33 million in purses) to 2006.

"We were quiet for a little while, but the last couple of years have gone really well," Day said. "We just have a system that works at the barn. I've been with the barn for a long time and it's a very good working relationship."

Recently increased purses at Philadelphia Park should only help Seeger, given the number of runners he is able to send out, because spotting horses aggressively will be key to future success given the track's increased level of competition.

Horses to watch for Seeger include Emperor Fusaichi, a 5-year-old son of Fusaichi Pegasus likely to crack his second allowance condition before long; Respect, a 5-year-old gelding who can be counted on to bring back checks; and Mayan Princess, another claim from Kentucky who has a win and a pair of seconds in four starts for Seeger.