You may have noticed some horses racing at your local track which seemingly race without qualifying when they raced last more than thirty days ago. At first you may think it is is mistake. Then if you saw the condition sheets, you may have noticed your local track (with the permission of the state's racing commission) has extended the 30 day rule to 45 days meaning as long as a horse has a clean line which meets the track's qualifying standards, they get to race.
What gives? Part of the change is the result of the horse shortage, by giving horses 45 days before having to re-qualify instead of 30 days, it increases the horse population a local track may draw from. Part of the change seems to be related to horses (in particular FFA trotters) racing more like thoroughbreds than standardbreds.
As with many rule changs these days, the changes are for the benefi of owners and trainers, not the gambler. By expanding the qualifying window by 15 days, a horse which is laid off between 31-45 days can start in a wagering event and possibly earn some money instead of losing a week racing because they have to race in a qualifier without earning potential.
To be fair, more horses seem to be live off of layoffs than they did before. You can no longer have a hard and fast rule eliminating horses who haven't raced thirty or more days ago due to a change in training methods. Another reason is horses are training down on farm tracks going as fast as they would in qualifiers, we just don’t see these races and an industry which is operating with the goal of minimizing expenses seemingly is not willing to incur more expenses so forget about having clockers timing workouts on farm/training facility tracks so they can be printed on the bottom of past performance lines as is done with the thoroughbreds. Hence, the gambler is left to guess to some extent, watching the board to see if a horse is live or not.
The bottom line is the horse player needs to recognize the game has changed and adopt their handicapping rules or they need to sit out more races. If you find it is too hard to figure out present form at the start of a race meet where many horses are coming off long layoffs, your only option may be to avoid playing the track until most horses have the opportunity to race at least two times so you are not looking at races where many horses have been off; you may encounter one or two horses which have been away instead of four or five.
Remember, it is your money. just as the qualifying rules have changed to benefit the horse owner, you have the opportunity to change your own gambling rules to benefit you. Lay off that track. With ADW wagering, you can certainly find a race meet in progress where you can wager on races with most horses showing current form if you don't want to guess