On Feb. 1, #3 Patriotic Soldier debuted at 6-1/2 furlongs as part of an entry that went off at 7-to-2. But when the gate opened, Patriotic Soldier hopped in the air and was quickly some 10 lengths behind the field.
He made up some ground as the field entered the stretch, but jockey Mike Smith did not push him too hard in the lane.
In the six weeks between then and Sunday, trainer Bruce Headley gave Patriotic Soldier five workouts and three of them were quick ones. So, obviously we saw a different animal on Sunday.
In Sunday’s race, Patriotic Soldier broke with the leaders, held an advantage into the stretch, then battled gamely with #7 Raise the River to the wire where he won the head bob at 9-to-1.
My bets were focused on Raise the River and #8 Ribald who needed to be at least 3/1. I ended up with $200 to win on Ribald at 9-to-2.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.