Will taking a dump improve the odds?

This may not be the most couth question you’ll read today, but my early retirement could be riding on it so here goes.

At the racetrack, before each race, the horses are paraded out for what I assume is a few furlongs warm-up stroll. Every so often, this gallant pageantry is interrupted by one of said horses “evacuating its oat chute,” if you get my drift. And invariably, some handicapper nearby will INSIST this improves the newly-unburdened equine’s odds of winning. Now, I don’t spend enough hours at the track to know if this helps the odds, but I have to believe that lightening the load (and giving the horse relief) must have some effect. I’m sure it would for a human, at least?

So what’s the straight dope on whether a pre-race dump results in a filly placing better than it otherwise would? Compared to its earlier track times, perhaps? How about dog tracks?

I dunno. I took a dump at the track the other day, and the horse still outran me.

I think it would be more effective to shove a plug in the horse’s ass and tell him, "If you don’t win, we’re LEAVING the plug there.

The straightest, most appropo dope I can come up with is that a pre-race dump might be more beneficial to the jockey than to the horse. So many handicapping variables and so little time.

One take on this is that betting at off-track sites doesn’t allow for this kind of paddock viewing, and yet people win and lose just the same. I must say, though, that I’ve chosen a bet for worse reasons - Hell, I’ve bet on horses who wore the prettiest socks…won some and lost some. But as far as facts and figures go, I have nothing to offer the OP. Except, invest in an IRA instead of the track.

The dumper will run faster post dump than it would have run while being dumpful but will not run faster than its form indicates it can run. If a dump made the horse faster each time it had one, they’d be going around like bloody space shuttles by the time they were 3 year olds. You’d be looking for the horse that had the scours to bet on.

If the jockey had a pre race dump after weighing out he may be light weighing in and be disqualified. Assuming it were a hearty dump.

WAC 260-44-120 Weighing in–Weigh in/weigh out–Tolerances–Penalties. (1) Each jockey shall weigh in at the same weight as that at which he weighed out, and if short of it by more than two pounds his mount shall be disqualified. Should a weight discrepancy arise after a race has been declared official, a change in the order of finish will not affect the parimutuel payoffs.
You are correct, don’t ask. But, good god…2 lbs!?

Well jockeys are known to be full of shit.

You know what they say 98 pounds of muscle, 1 ounce of brain.

And here in Australia our standards are naturally higher.

AR.143. If a horse carries less than the weight it should carry, it shall be disqualified for the race and the rider and/or any other person at fault may be punished, provided that a rider may at his option weigh with his bridle or be allowed a half kilogram therefor by the Clerk of the Scales.

Australian Rules of Racing.

I’m not asking about jockeys heaving Havanas. Just the horses. Of course jockeys are under strict weight limits, but obviously horses can’t be penalized for answering the call of nature.

I’ll put it this way - given a choice between a horse that has to cross his legs and tippy toe to the finish line, or a horse that can gallop freely, I’d choose the pooper. The fact is, if you like a horse, you will probably find additional reasons to like him in a race. However, as don’t ask pointed out, a horse will not run faster than it’s form indicates. My opinion? There are always variables involved in racing, but there is no formula for success at the track, except for the track owners.

I don’t know about horse racing, but in dog racing this myth prevails too - if a dog takes a dump during the post parade, that’s the one to bet on :). I have ex-racing greyhounds, and my older one in particular is quite lively after lightening his load in the yard - he’ll run all way back to the house and skid to a stop inside before he hits the living room wall. I figure it’s just his way of letting us know how much better he feels. It can be dangerous when he decides to take a dump when he’s on lead though ;).

Seeing as how this particular dog only raced one season, however, it is highly doubtful that there is a connection between clearing one’s colon and actually being the fastest dog in the race. Also, even though dogs only race a short distance, there are an awful lot of things that can take place during a race that affect the outcome besides the sheer speed of the dog. So at least with dogs, I’d say betting on the pooper isn’t going to have any better results than betting on a dog because of its coat color, size, etc.

I think this simply demonstrates that Australia is falling behind in the Dump Race. Fibre, kids, fibre!


I’d not let it influence my choice of a horse.

However, it’s what I look for with dogs.

Butt remember, consistency is key. It’s gotta be firm or the mutt’s not going to be feeling well.

In the UK, racehorses are trained to wait until the start of the race before evacuating their bowels.

A handler goes round giving each horse a shock, or a start, which is the signal for the field to rid themselves of excess excrement prior to the race.

This is the main reason why starting stalls were introduced in the first place.

On the other hand greyhounds are released from traps, which is indicative of the privacy these animals require when defecating prior to their event.

The stalls versus traps configuration is an excellent example of Man imposing his own toilet etiquette on the Animal Kingdom.

I find Nostradamus’ post astounding.

If UK staff treat horses like that prior to horse races, then they are alone in the world in that, surely. Could you provide a cite, please?

Starting stalls developed from the older practice of the “standing start” behind tape or rope, continuing down into the first quarter of last century. Mechanical starting stalls (and traps) are designed to ensure the animals have an even chance at the very start – I don’t think they are there primarily as “dumping” facilities.

I’ve just called a friend who’s spent years working with horses, and on racetracks here in NZ. She told me that trainers and jockeys will whistle a horse to make them urinate for drug tests etc, but she hasn’t heard of the practice Nostradamus describes. According to her, thoroughbreds will defecate when frightened. But anyone adding more stress onto an already highly-strung animal such as a racehorse is inviting trouble during the race – and, quite frankly, this smacks of tampering.

A horse will race better after evacuation of the bowels than before evacuation. My friend tells me their concentration and general mangeability are improved if they are not desparate to take a dump several furlongs from the finish.

The answer is no, probably not.

I did a amateur study on this over the summer about 4 years ago. It wasn’t strictly scientific, so take it with a grain of salt.

The executive summary is:

On over 20 race dates in the Chicago circuit, with approximately 3 horses per date taking a dump before the race, I noticed no effect. Long odds horses generally ran out of the money. Favorites won at the usual 33% rate.

There was no discernible difference. Not a very big sample size, but I did record every horse that took a dump in the paddock or on the track before the race.

Perhaps if there was a horse that needed to take a dump and couldn’t before the race, he might have run worse, but there is no way to ask the horse if he needs to go, soo…

Are you suggesting there’s a link between the advent of formal gardens and toilet paper?

Oh, I forgot to mention. I am talking about a regular dump here. Not diarrhea.

Diarrhea is a sign of illness, so a watery, runny dump was a different category. Most of these horses do not run to their potential.

<small hijack> Does anyone know why they put the plug in the horse’s ass? My only theory is that the horse is slightly sick and they don’t want the horse to take a dump around the other horses??? Which is a real crappy (sorry :)) theory. </small hijack>

d’ohp! that was meant for nostradamus. :slight_smile:

Please accept my sincere apologies. My previous post on this subject was not meant to be taken seriously. It was an attempt to link taking a dump with stalls and traps which are the human depositories for waste matter of this kind.