Second-time starter #12 Bango popped out of the gate and led for most of the race by open lengths. This 9/2 shot, who is trained by Jorge Periban, had a two-length lead in midstretch, but he quit badly as #8 Only Be Cause inherited the front and put trainer Bob Baffert back in the winner’s circle.
Only Be Cause was making his eleventh lifetime start, however only three of them came at maiden claiming $32,000. I had him rated about the same as #7 Domestic Gold, who did not fire at 7/2.
In his previous five races, Only Be Cause never went off at odds higher than 3-to-1, and this race was no different as he was the 2-to-1 favorite. On social networking site Twitter, poster @larryzapeye was at Hollywood Park and minutes before the race he provided his reasoning for betting Only Be Cause: “Baffert is still here and horse looks healthy.”
During the race, jockey Victor Espinoza sat Only Be Cause about four lengths off Bango’s lead. Espinoza asked for more in the stretch and, with the wire approaching, it looked like the son of Giant’s Causeway would lose for the 11th straight time. But Bango could not last and Only Be Cause ran onto victory.
I wagered $200 on #7 Domestic Gold, $150 on #12 Bango and $100 on #13 Candy Coat.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.
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