Sunday, Santa Anita Race 6 — 3:05 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo filles

Possible overlays                        Morning line

#1 Bread ‘n Water                            15/1
#2 Belated Bid                                   8/1
#3 First Grade                                   4/1
#8 Ride Me Fast                                5/1

The most talented horse in this race, I believe, is #8 Ride Me Fast, who is owned by Mike Pegram and trained by Bob Baffert. In her last race on March 4, Ride Me Fast was a length away from a pace setter who burned a quarter mile in 21.60 seconds and was two lengths behind a half in 44 seconds flat. And in her debut, she showed that she could finish by running a 77 Beyer Speed Figure while missing by a half a length.

Early speed isn’t that important at 6-1/2 furlongs, but I believe jockey Tyler Baze will get her to relax and she’ll finish with good energy.

Baffert also starts #2 Belated Bid who led in her debut without much encouragement from the jockey, but the pace was not quick. The only way I can see this horse winning is if it comes from behind and Baffert is slick enough to make that happen after baiting us with Ride Me Fast.

First-time starters #1 Bread ‘n Water and #3 First Grade look like good possibilities if their prices are right.

I will bet $400 to win on #8 Ride Me Fast at 2/1 and up, $1oo on #2 Belated Bid at 4/1 and higher, $150 on #1 Bread ‘n Water at 10/1 to 19/1 only and $250 on #3 First Grade at 7/2 and up.

Sunday, Santa Anita Race 4 — 2:03 pm 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 and up, f&m

Possible overlays                         Morning line

#4 Justalittletipsy                              9/2
#5 Tiz Salsa                                     2/1
#7 Xtraordinary                                5/2

The main question with #5 Tiz Salsa is why did trainer Jerry Hollendorfer give this filly up? Usually when a horse goes from a successful trainer to a low-percentage conditioner the horse doesn’t run as well. And the ownership of Thomas and York is the same as it was on Feb. 16, so this runner was not just purchased.

Absolutely, Tiz Salsa has the Beyer Speed Figures to win this race, but is this the same horse that Hollendorfer trained? I think not.

So the next best two horses are #7 Xtraordinary and #4 Justalittletipsy. Xtraordinary has a bit of speed and has run well enough in the past to win at this level. She’s had 11 races, but 8 of them were at maiden special weight and she faced allowance horses once.

Peter Miller trains #4 Justalittletipsy, who came on with a good charge in the stretch in her debut. With better position early in the race, she might improve enough to win.

I will bet $200 on #4 Justalittletipsy from 5/2 to 9/1 and $300 on #7 Xtraordinary from 2/1 to 7/2.

Sunday, Santa Anita Race 2 — 1 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo’s

Possible overlays                        Morning line

#4 Morton Owen                             2/1
#5 My Man Sumo                            5/1
#7 Only Be  Cause                           5/2

Trainer Mike Mitchell is usually dominant in a race like this, but the one equal he has in maiden races is Bob Baffert. Both trainers start contending horses in this race.

Mitchell’s runner #4 Morton Owen ran a 76 Beyer Speed Figure in a maiden claiming $85,000 sprint on Feb. 16. But then the trainer ran Morton Owen in two route races and it didn’t seem like he could handle the competition. He should run better with the class drop and cut back in distance.

On the far outside, #7 Only Be Cause missed by a nose in his last, which was at the same class and distance for Baffert. Only Be Cause has been running Beyer Speed Figures that are right in the range of the median winning number of 68 for the class. He’s been caught wide in his most recent races and with this post position he may get a wide trip once again.

Over the past couple of years, Rafael Becerra has won several maiden races with horses coming back off long recent layoffs. Today, he saddles #5 My Man Sumo who showed speed in his previous races and could do the job at a price.

I will bet $250 on #5 My Man Sumo between 2/1 and 9/1, but I’ll reduce the wager to $100 if he’s 10/1 or more.

Also, I want $300 to win on #4 Morton Owen at 8/5 to 3/1 only, but if outside that range then I’ll opt for $200 on #7 Only Be Cause instead, as long as he’s at least 2/1.

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