Well, everything in this race was pointing to #9 Breakmark. He was a second-time starter dropping in class after a long layoff.
This type of horse has been very good to me in the past. In fact, of the last 20 of these types that were less than 8/1, 14 were winners.
Also, the colt’s owner, Martin Wygod is scheduled to sell 110 of his horses at a special Barrett’s Equine Ltd. sale on Oct. 12. So, why would he care if Benchmark got claimed?
Everything was a go. Except nobody told the horse.
Benchmark broke slowly from the far outside. He showed a little run on the backstretch, then he faded to last in the stretch as the 5/2 favorite.
But for Wygod, there was at least some good news. After the race, it was announced that Benchmark was claimed by owner-trainer Steve Knapp for $40,000.
Meanwhile, a horse can’t win the race if he never gets the lead. Knowing this, jockey Joel Rosario went right to the front with the gray #3 Hugs to All. Rosario slowed the pace down just enough to allow this Harris Farms front runner to have something left for the drive.
Hugs to All held off #5 Fortunate Appeal by a neck and paid $7.80.
I wagered $1,000 on #9 Benchmark.