In her first race on Feb. 27, Pedo Viejo hesitated at the break to lose four lengths, but showed some ability while running. The slow start last time, and subsequently low 59 Beyer Speed Figure, was probably the reason Pedo Viejo was a better price than a similar-looking second time starter in the race, #9 Atta’ Girl.
During my betting, my plan was to make a small wager on the longer of the two between Pedo Viejo and Atta’s Girl, as long as their odds fell in the range of 2/1 to 5/1. But my main bet — the horse I really liked — was #14 Humane.
In her Feb. 5 debut, Humane had a horrible trip, but still almost won the race. On Saturday, she broke in midpack then swooped up six-wide entering the stretch with a major move, but it seemed that jockey Alex Solis was not encouraging her too much so she flattened out.
The best distance for this horse is likely 6-1/2 to 7 furlongs and I am sure she can run a Beyer Speed Figure in the mid-to-high 70s on her best day. This last race will merely darken Humane’s form, which should allow her odds to be a bit better when she finally does win.
At the window, I bet $350 on Humane at 5/1; $50 on speedster #5 Princess Quinn at 87/1 and $150 on the winner, Pedo Viejo at 4/1. I collected $750 after betting $550.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.
Maiden Claiming $32,000, 6 furlongs, 3 yo fillies
Possible overlays Morning line
#5 Princess Quinn 30/1
#8 Court Ballado 12/1
#9 Atta’ Girl 9/2
#10 Pedo Viejo 6/1
#14 Humane 6/1
Trainer Derek Meredith had a betting coup all set up on Feb. 5. How disappointing it must of been for his barn when a brutally slow break caused it to all fall apart.
Humane, who is #14 in this event, was running in her first lifetime race and there was absolutely no reason for anybody to bet serious money on her. And nobody did, as this horse went off at 23-to-1 and flew completely under the radar.
Humane had many aspects in her profile that sent horseplayers searching elsewhere for the race winner. First of all, Meredith, is a competent but low-profile trainer who has not won a race in 2009 after a handful of tries, and he was blanked in 2008 with all his 18 starters. Secondly, Humane’s jockey Danny Sorenson is a veteran, but he typically wins at only 5 percent annually. Thirdly, Humane showed a purchase price of just $1,000.
Mix all of that with an 11-horse field and you get a monster-priced first time starter that was ready to run. What else could you ask for?
But who knew?
As the Feb. 5 race began, Humane broke extremely slowly and was seven lengths behind the field, which made it practically impossible for her to win at 6 furlongs.
But Humane quickly got into stride to be at the rear of the leading group as the field swung into the turn. That’s when Sorenson really stepped on the gas and Humane surged four paths wide on the turn, passing fillies like she was on a conveyor belt. The impressive move raised the eyebrows of race caller Trevor Denman who responded: “very slow to start, but look at Humane; has gone from last to first and is just sprinting away from them here.”
Up to that point, Humane had run some 10 lengths (slow start+wide trip) farther than any other horse in the race and she had a two-length lead in the stretch. However, she couldn’t last as Shawnie Ora and A Taco Short ran her down in the stretch. After being tons the best, Humane finished third by two lengths.
Her Beyer Speed Figure was a 59, but with the horrible trip I adjusted it to an 87. It was a monster effort and had Humane broken well and not went so wide she would have won by five lengths, as the median Beyer for that type of race is only 65.
This replay is well worth watching. If you have time, go to www.calracing.com and it’s the eighth race at Santa Anita on Feb. 5.
Anyway, Humane came back on March 8 and showed speed while just 7-to-1 in a maiden special weight race, but she faded. Today she’s listed at 6-to-1 and looks like a good bet.
Others who could get the money if Humane doesn’t run her best today include longshot #5 Princess Quinn who’s had lots of trouble, but has flashed good early speed; first timer #8 Court Ballado, who is trained by Art Sherman who has started two debuters for owner Jack Liebau since 2006 and one of them won on Nov. 18, 2006 at odds of 57-to-1; and second timers, #9 Atta’ Girl and #10 Pedo Viejo, who only need to improve a little bit to win at this class.
I will bet $350 to win on #14 Humane at 2/1 or more; $150 on #8 Court Ballado at 10/1 to 19/1; $50 on #5 Princess Quinn at 15/1 or more; and $150 on the longest of the two horses between #9 Atta’ Girl and #10 Pedo Viejo, provided their odds are between 2/1 and 5/1.