Updated on 09/18/2011 12:14AM

One of the rare trainers who pays dividends with first-timers and horses off long layoffs


Generally, betting first-timers and horses away from the races for six months or more leads to losses. Inexperience regularly beats horses making their debut, and a lack of fitness commonly derails the comebackers.

But some trainers are able to buck these trends, and sharp horseplayers can sometimes capitalize by backing these fresh runners at decent prices. One such trainer worth following: the Churchill Downs-based Tony Reinstedler.

Through June 11, three of his five wins at Churchill this spring have come with first-time starters or layoff returnees. Adams Theatre and Shermanesque scored in their debuts for Reinstedler, each paying $13, and Homily won off a layoff of nearly a year on June 8, paying $8.80.

To those familiar with his trainer's statistics, Homily's win off the bench was no fluke. Reinstedler is 4 for his last 14 with horses coming back off layoffs of 180 days or more. A $2 wager on each of those runners would have yielded an average $2.54 return.

Their ability to win fresh appears tied to their training. In the case of Homily, as well as Junior College, a Reinstedler-trained comebacker who won at Oaklawn in April, both horses entered their comeback races off five-furlong bullet workouts that signaled their fitness.

His winning first-time starters at Churchill this meet also showed swift workouts leading up to their races. Adam's Theatre and Shermanesque each worked five furlongs from the gate in slightly more than a minute.

Beyond his positive return on investment with comebackers, Reinstedler, 42, also has good numbers in several other statistical categories. Horses moving from turf to dirt win often, as do his horses that add blinkers. He also shows a positive ROI with horses coming off 31-60 days' rest and with those seeking to score a repeat victory.

In broader categories, he has favorable numbers with route horses, claimers, and allowance runners.

He is also quite capable of winning lucrative stakes - a point he has proven this year with Gouldings Green. Gouldings Green won the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill on Kentucky Oaks Day, and won the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap through disqualification at Arlington Park on May 27. Gouldings Green earned a 102 Beyer in the Alysheba, a 103 in the Hanshin.

Counting all of his starters at Churchill this meet - a $2 wager on each of his 25 starters would have yielded an average return of $2.36. As promising as those returns are, that is nothing compared with the $8.38 ROI on his horses from last fall's meet at Churchill, when 6 of his 12 horses were victorious.

Contributing to the rewarding returns on his runners is the fact that Reinstedler typically uses riders that are not among the leaders. Corey Lanerie - ninth in the Churchill standings through June 11 - has ridden three of Reinstedler's five winners at Churchill. Brice Blanc and Joe Johnson are the others he has used successfully.

With the public concentrating their support on jockeys such as Julien Leparoux and Rafael Bejarano, none of those three riders takes much betting action.


First North American Start10.000.00
1st race after claim80.250.95
+180 days since last race140.292.54
60-180 days since last race240.171.10
Second off layoff 45-180 days290.142.52
Second off layoff +180 days80.000.00
1st time starter230.131.50
2nd start as maiden190.050.24
Maiden special to maiden claimer100.100.88
1st time turf120.080.38
1st time blinkers60.504.60
1st time Lasix90.222.82
Dirt to turf170.120.72
Turf to dirt150.272.61
Blinkers on70.433.94
Blinkers off50.000.00
Sprint to route250.121.16
Route to sprint190.111.04
31-60 days since last race520.172.62
Won last start340.262.74
Wet tracks160.191.51
Maiden claiming410.121.28
Maiden special weight560.141.24
Graded stakes70.140.66
Debut in a maiden claimer50.000.00
Debut greater than/equal to 1 mile70.141.86

Trainer statistics reflect North American starts from Jan. 1, 2005 through June 11, 2006


HorseAge/SexLast raceFinishLast 3 BeyersCareer recordEarnings
Anegada5mN$Y allowance4th84897119-6-2-3$185,415
Adam's Theatre3ffN1X allowance4th-73712-1-0-034,000
Gouldings Green5hHanshin G31st1031029812-6-2-1329,616
Homily4c$50,000 maiden1st7652866-1-0-123,070
Rowans Park6h$50,000 claimer4th81818213-2-2-2142,955
Shermanesque2cMaiden special weight1st--651-1-0-032,300