Thursday, Santa Anita Race 8 — 4:37 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                           Morning line

#1 Rochelle’s Jimmy                          12/1
#2 Belongs to Gotham                        6/1
#4 Coleville                                      7/2
#6 Hasty Trend                                 5/2
#7 Cole’s Favorite                              5/1

Of the 10 horses running, six of them are making their second lifetime start. The most likely winner of the second timers is probably #6 Hasty Trend, who broke slowly in his last then made a nice run. During that race, which was run Dec. 28, jockey Pedro Arambula was sitting back in Hasty Trend’s saddle throughout the whole backstretch. Today, trainer Jeff Mullins is switching to Garrett Gomez, and Gomez won eight of the last 13 times he’s ridden for Mullins.

Jockey Michael Baze had a problem with #9 Cole’s Favorite in the stretch of his debut. Baze was sitting behind the pace setter and as he tried to rally up the rail another horse shot into the gap, forcing Baze to steady. Cole’s Favorite then lost his momentum. Today, trainer Rafael Becerra adds blinkers.

Also, if trainer Herbert Bacorn can teach #1 Rochelle’s Jimmy to ration his speed he can wire a field like this.

At odds of 2/1 or more, I will bet $200 on #6 Hasty Trend and I want $100 on #1 Rochelle’s Jimmy at 10/1 or more.

Also, if Hasty Trend goes off at 9/5 or less,  then instead of him I want $150 to win at 3/1 to 8/1 on #2 Belongs to Gotham, #4 Coleville and #9 Cole’s Favorite.

Thursday, 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 special weight, 6 furlongs, 4 yo’s and up, f & m

Possible overlays                                   Morning line

#2 Sweetpea                                               5/1
#7 Dish the Dirt                                            6/1
#9 Lavender Touch                                     5/2

Racing for the second time off a long layoff, #7 Dish the Dirt ran well enough to win at this level when she finished second in her debut. In that race, which was in December 2007, Dish the Dirt ran an 85 Beyer Speed Figure, which exceeds the median of 80 that usually wins at this class level. 

On Dec. 5, #9 Lavender Touch broke about five lengths behind the field, but jockey Michael Baze had a handful of horse all the way up the backstretch. Baze finally let Lavender Touch run in the stretch of this turf sprint and she finished well to be third, running a 74 Beyer. 

The Jay Robbins-trained #2 Sweet Pea was also making her debut in that same race. But it didn’t look like jockey David Flores was asking for much of an effort as she seemed to be breezing most of the way. Today, Garrett Gomez rides.

I will bet $200 on both #7 Dish the Dirt at 7/2 or more and #9 Lavender Touch at 2/1 or better.

If Lavender Touch dips to 9/5 or below, then I will bet $100 on #2 Sweetpea at 3/1 to 6/1 only.

Thursday, Santa Anita Race 3 — 2:03 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $50,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 4 yo’s and up

Possible overlays                                  Morning line

#2 Izemine                                                      6/1

#4 Forster Hall                                              3/1

Trainer Peter Eurton, who sends out #2 Izemine, has won a couple of similar races to this with first-time starters. Therefore, I will give him a shot in here, although I won’t bet  too much.

Of the horses who have run, none has approached the middle 80’s median Beyer Speed Figure that typically wins these races. Although he hasn’t been out since March, #4 Forster Hall might be ready to unleash a winning performance and I will watch the tote board for clues.

Mike Machowsky, the trainer of #3 Wizard Man, has a good record with debut horses, but most of them were 2-year-olds. Wizard Man has some decent workouts and the jockey is all right.

I will bet $200 on #4 Forster Hall at 2/1 to 7/2 only and $100 on #2 Izemine at 5/1 or more.

Results, Santa Anita Wednesday Race 6 — won $840

imgres21Trainer Rafael Becerra continued his success with recently laid off horses by getting #3 Raise Again to the winner’s circle at 4-to-1. 

Over the last two years, Becerra has won with this same move at least six times, paying anywhere from $10 to $23.

No doubt, in this race, Raise Again got a perfect trip. Jockey Martin Garcia laid five lengths off dueling long shots #7 Black Point and #9 Makor’s Girl, who blazed through fractions of 21.88 seconds for the quarter mile and 44.62 seconds for the half.

That is really motoring for a 6-1/2 furlong race for $25,000 maiden claimers and both of them staggered home in the stretch. Raise Again came on the outside and “powered away” by 3-1/2 official lengths, according to the equibase chart caller.

In the wagering, I planned to bet $300 on Raise Again at 2-to-1 to 7-to-2, but reduce my outlay to $200 at 4-to-1 or higher. I was a bit unfortunate as the odds on Raise Again sat below 4-to-1 until the final minute when he blinked up to his final price of 4.2-to-1. So, I ended up betting $200 on him instead of $300. 

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Ms Honkytonk Woman (CA) Couton J Shidaker D 72.30 8
2 2 Love Song Mellody (KY) Court J Cho M 5.10 2
3 3 Raise Again (CA) Garcia M Becerra R 4.20 1
4 4 Secret Potion (CA) Rosario J Hollendorfer J 1.90 3
5 5 Good Girl Chelsie (CA) Sorenson D Stute G 65.40 6
7 6 Black Point (KY) Williams D DeLima J 26.40 5
8 7 Natpolean (CA) Espinoza V Gallagher P 1.60 7
9 8 Makor’s Girl (WA) Fong, Jr. F Ho H 20.90 4
SCR Connie the Queen (KY) Quinonez A Matties G
Pgm Win Place Show
3 $10.40 $5.20 $3.60
2 $6.00 $3.80
4 $3.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $37.30 (4-2-6)
$1.00 Exacta paid $22.00 (3-2)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $254.30 (4-2-3)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $404.60 (3-2-4-9)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $77.90 (3-2-4)
$2.00 Consolation Double paid $10.40 (4-6)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $68.80 (2-3)

Results, Santa Anita Wednesday Race 1 — lost $350

Uncle Jeep with jockey Garrett Gomez won without difficulty after being bet to 4-to-5

Uncle Jeep with jockey Garrett Gomez won without difficulty after being bet to 4-to-5

He failed as the favorite at this class level three straight times, but on Wednesday jockey Garrett Gomez got #4 Uncle Jeep to finally break his maiden.

Trained by Mike Mitchell, this horse was no secret, as he closed at 4-to-5 to pay just $3.80.

The race began with #1 Eddie the Hat zooming to a clear lead down the backstretch with Uncle Jeep stalking him just a length or two behind. At the top of the stretch Uncle Jeep challenged the leader who tried to go with him. But Eddie the Hat couldn’t match strides and weakened.

It was Gomez’ first chance riding Uncle Jeep and his win continues the great recent success he and Mitchell have had together, winning 13 out of 36 races before this.

I was watching the tote board on a couple of second timers and ended up betting $200 on #6 Hammurabi at 9-to-2. Also, I put $150 on 18-to-1 shot #2 Cracked Code, who was making his debut. 

To watch a replay of this race go to

1 1 Eddie the Hat (KY) Nakatani C Stute G 1.70 2
2 2 Cracked Code (FL) Talamo J Mollica M 18.90 3
3 3 Khurt Harry (CA) Espinoza V Abrams B 28.90 6
4 4 Uncle Jeep (IL) Gomez G Mitchell M 0.80 1
5 5 Pemba At U. T. K. (CA) Fong, Jr. F Ho H 41.40 4
6 6 Hammurabi (FL) Enriquez I Matlow R 4.60 5
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $3.60 $2.20 $2.10
1 $2.80 $2.80
2 $3.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $4.50 (4-1)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $15.90 (4-1-2)
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