There are a lot of theories about adds testing at Horse Racing Park (HRP). Some are based on real life racing and some are based on personal preferences. The following method is based on experience and info gleaned from HRP. Remember, HRP is a real life sim, but it is not real life.
Before testing adds, all horses should do a minimum of three breezes. You want to establish the horse’s normal 5f breeze time before testing adds. Horses take time to develop and will usually improve without adds anyway, up to certain point. Therefore, giving your horse some breezes before testing will give you a chance to assess the adds better and not mistake natural speed improvement for an adds improvement. The following is a basic adds testing routine that should work for all horses at HRP.
2YOs: Do two 3f dirt breezes on the farm at HL. Do one 4f breeze on the farm at HL. Then start the add testing program with Session 1 to establish the 5f baseline time.
3YOs and Up: Do two 4f breezes on the farm at HL. Do one 5f breeze on the farm at HL. Then start the add testing program with Session 1 to establish the 5f baseline.
Training Session1 Do when green/green. Do one 5f dirt breeze on farm with trainer at HL. This will establish your horse’s baseline time before testing. Use test times for comparison to this.
Training Session 2 (Start of adds testing) Your horse is now ready to start adds testing. Use the first 5f breeze time from Session 1 as your guideline. There are four adds: blinkers, shadow roll, Bute and Lasix. Most folks find it easier to start at the top with blinkers. Breeze your horse on the farm with trainer at 5f dirt on HL only this time, add blinkers by clicking on them and hit Save. Check the time. If faster than your baseline, keep the add on the horse. If not, uncheck the blinkers and hit Save.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Sometime during testing, you will max out the horse’s allowed five work/races in 30-day period time. You will see a black bar and the number 5 to the right. Do not train again until this number goes beneath 5. Each time it hits 5, stop training. More than 5 races or works within a 30 period can damage your horse, especially if done repeatedly.
Training Sessions 5, 6, & 7 Continue adds testing as above, each time clicking and saving on the next add. If the time improves, keep the add, if not get rid of it. IMPORTANT NOTE: Lasix and Bute are different. If your horse’s time does not improve but stays the same, you may want to keep these adds or at least retest them later, especially under these conditions: Retest Lasix on horses who race unevenly or don’t show gameness in the stretch. Retest Bute on aging horses that appear to be slowing or those with poor conformation traits such as short femurs or poor soundness in the legs.
Excerpt from HRP Rules Section re: Medications: (italicized portion contains tips to remember)
Lasix is a medication used mainly to help bleeders. Some horses will perform better when placed on it and others will not. You may also notice a horse is more consistent when on Lasix and it has more desire to win races in the stretch.
Bute is a medication used to help aching joints. Some horses will perform better when placed on it and others will not. You may also notice Bute may slow the aging process slightly.
You may find that your horse does not improve at all with any adds, or it may improve with any combination of them.
Some people start their horses racing before testing adds. Some never test adds at all. The level of competition at even the HRP free tracks grows stronger every season. Do not be in too much of a hurry to get your new horse to the track. To get the best out of your horse, you want to give it every advantage you can, starting with adds. This will not only increase your horse’s chances of a better performance, it can also help prolong the career s of poorly conformed or aging horses.