Saturday, Santa Anita Race 10 — 5:08 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                    Morning line

#3 Self Defense                           7/2
#5 Victory Knock                         2/1

On March 29, #5 Victory Knock made his debut at 5/2 in a field of five going 6 furlongs. Jockey Alex Solis did not ask this horse for speed from the gate, so he ended up in the middle of the pack on the backstretch. On the turn to the top of the lane, Solis pushed Victory Knock, but the jockey didn’t seem to be giving him a vigorous ride in deep stretch.

It seems that Victory Knock had a practice race, however he still ran a 68 Beyer Speed Figure. Today, he should run better with the racing experience and the added distance.

In his second lifetime start on April 9, #3 Self Defense also sat in the middle of the field, as jockey Aaron Gryder was not urging him much early. However, Self Defense rallied strongly in the stretch when Gryder pushed him along and went to the whip.

I believe that #5 Victory Knock has a 50 percent chance to win this race, so I will bet $400 to win on him at 7/5 to 9/5, $450 on him at 2/1 to 5/2. But only $200 at 3/1 or better. 

Also, I will bet a $50 straight exacta using #3 Self Defense over #5 Victory Knock.

Saturday, 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-year-olds

Possible overlays                                Morning line

#2 Unionize                                               8/5
#6 Speight the Halo                                    4/1

Trained by Clifford Sise, #2 Unionize was 15-to-1 when he ran a 90 Beyer Speed Figure in his debut, which is good enough to win at this class. But Unionize unfortunately ran into Point Encounter when they raced on opening day at Santa Anita.

Unionize came back on March 7 to practically duplicate his first race, however he could only muster a second-place finish to Leavenworth, another super-charged maiden first time starter. Since the median Beyer Speed Figure for this class is a mere 85, Unionize obviously has the talent to win, but he’s likely to be even money.

One horse who may upset him is #6 Speight the Halo, who is coming off a seven month layoff. In his first race on June 29, Speight the Halo looked to be long gone in deep stretch, but S.S. Stone came like an express train late to roll by.

Speight the Halo was more than three lengths clear of third-place finisher Street Hero that day. He’s been training well and maybe Eoin Harty has him at his best.

I will bet $200 to win on #6 Speight the Halo at 2/1 or more and a $100 exacta box #2 Unionize with #6 Speight the Halo.

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