Wednesday, Santa Anita Race 6 — 3:36 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 4-yo’s and up, f&m

Possible overlays                              Morning line

#3 Raise Again                                          4/1
#4 Secret Potion                                       5/2
#6 Connie the Queen                                 4/1
#7 Black Point                                          15/1
#8 Natpolean                                            3/1

Coming off a recent long layoff has been a great money-making move for trainer Rafael Becerra in this type of race. In 2008, he did it three times: the first, on March 14 paying $23.60,  then on April 24 at $10, and the third time on Oct. 3 paying $15 . In 2007, it was Becerra again with the same move on Jan. 24 paying $19.20 and on Aug. 30 at $19.80.

Today, he has #3 Raise Again who ran OK at the level in Spring 2007 and can run the 65-70 Beyer Speed Figure necessary to win. Breaking beside her will be #4 Secret Potion, who ran a 57 Beyer in her debut for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer before he shipped her south from Golden Gate Fields.

Connie the Queen, #6, is another off a long layoff. She last ran July 16 in a Suffolk Downs turf race at 1-mile and 70 yards. In addition to traveling to lowly Suffolk, this mare’s seven races included stops at Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga, the Meadowlands and Finger Lakes.

If she gets bet, I will like her more.

It seemed to me that jockey Victor Espinoza steadied #8 Natpolean at the break during her first race on Nov. 29. She trailed for most of the way, but got more involved the next time she ran on Dec. 20. Her trainer Patrick Gallagher does better, I believe, with horses that have had at least two starts.

I will bet $300 on #3 Raise Again at 2/1 to 7/2, but only $200 if she drifts to 4/1 or higher.

 Also, if #3 Connie the Queen is 2/1 to 7/2, then I’ll bet $100 to win on her, and I’ll put $150 on #4 Secret Potion at 3/1 to 7/1 only.

Wednesday, Santa Anita Race 1 — 1 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $50,000, 6 furlongs, 3 year olds

Possible overlays                   Morning line

#1 Eddie the Hat                               3/1
#2 Cracked Code                              10/1
#6 Hammurabi                                  4/1

The obvious horse in here is #4 Uncle Jeep, but the odds on this one are almost certain to be minuscule. Uncle Jeep was the beaten favorite in his last three races, he is ridden by money magnet Garrett Gomez and Mike Mitchell is by far the most accomplished and recognized trainer of the six in here.

Uncle Jeep’s morning line is 4-to-5 and even if he goes off at even money, he would only be a good bet if you thought Uncle Jeep had 65-to-70 percent chance of victory. That’s a difficult argument to make, considering this horse so far has lost five sprint races at this class level.

His previous jockey Victor Espinoza jumps to #3 Khurt Harry, and I don’t like him either because he raced greenly in his initial race on Dec 27. On that day, Khurt Harry broke slowly, remained in last on the turn and zig-zagged through the stretch while never showing anything.

However, second-timers #1 Eddie the Hat and #6 Hammurabi both ran OK in their debuts, posting Beyer Speed Figures of greater than 50. Richard Matlow, the trainer of Hammurabi, has been winning at 30 percent second time out for two years now, while Eddie the Hat flashed speed in a turf sprint and has four good workouts on his ledger.

Finally, debuter #2 Cracked Code has a shot, as the owners De Renzo & Hartly won with their only first timer. That horse was trained by Jeff Mullins and it paid $10.40 on Aug. 8.

I will bet $200 on both #1 Eddie the Hat and #6 Hammurabi at odds of 5/2 or more. Also, at 6/1 to 19/1, I’ll take a $150 shot to win on #2 Cracked Code.

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