Insider tips for picking a winning racehorse - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Insider tips for picking a winning racehorse

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DEL MAR (CBS 8) - About 20 minutes before post time, fans belly up to the paddock fence to get an up close look at the equine athletes, who will do battle in the next race.

They eyeball each and every runner, searching for signs that a horse is ready to run. But what should bettors be focused on? What are they looking for? Trainer J. Eric Kruljac gives us an insider's look at the body language of a thoroughbred.

A shining coat means optimal health.

"The horse is just shining and he's talking to you. His ears are alert and bright and he's posing. He's worth the 8 or 10 or 12 to 1, because he looks so good," Eric said.

On the other hand, what are the telltale signs that this might not be the horse's best day?

"They get sweat right in between here, they'll lather a big white foam," Eric said, pointing between a horse's rear legs. "That's an indication that they are stressing out a little bit. If it's a favorite that's really nervous, hot and sweaty that's a short price, look for one that's really posing."

Eric believes frequent trips to the paddock are necessary for any bettor and are even more important than checking out past performances.

"Today is a different day, and their health can go good or bad," he said.

Other than Mr. Ed, horses don't talk, but they can show you how they're feeling. You just have to take a good look for yourself.

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