Results, Hollywood Park Sunday Race 2 — lost $300

Trainer Darrell Vienna did a difficut thing: He won first time out with an older maiden.

Trainer Darrell Vienna did a difficult thing: He won first time out with an older maiden.

Darrell Vienna is a bettors’ best friend. He is low profile, has a decent winning percentage, and his horses pay well when they hit the wire first.

And that’s no accident. Vienna, who has a psychology degree from UCLA, was profiled in the DRF’s Simulcast Weekly on April 19 where I learned that he trains all of his horses on Santa Anita’s dirt training track, which is inside the turf course.

On the SA training track, the times are often slower than those on the main track and fewer horses work out for each distance. When Vienna’s inexperienced runners, or those coming off layoffs, show up at the races their published training track workouts look slow and odd.

And that’s a good thing because horseplayers not only don’t like playing unproven horses, but they like unproven ones with all slow workouts even less. That converts easily to cash for Vienna and his followers: In the Simulcast Weekly, it showed that Vienna had long-term money making statistics in 18 of 25 categories where he had 10 starters or more.

Who knew that Vienna’s psychology degree would be this useful at the horse track?

In Sunday’s second race, Vienna trained first time starter #11 Good Night Gyrene, who was ridden by Garrett Gomez. First off all, debuting horses in races for older maidens are generally very bad longterm bets. At odds of less than 20-to-1, they win only five percent of the time.

However, even though Good Night Gyrene had all slow-looking training track workouts, she must have impressed Vienna otherwise he could not have convinced Gomez to ride. Over the last 2-1/2 years, Gomez has only ridden two older maiden claimers in their debut races, according to my records.

So the only reason Gomez would be on Good Night Gyrene was because Vienna, who is also an attorney, persuaded Gomez agent Ron Anderson that the horse was going to win.

Anderson and Gomez do well with first time starters when they getting some betting action. Gomez has won with 12 of 50 debuters over the last 2-1/2 years at odds of 2/1 to 9/1 for a return of $1.43 for every $1 bet.

So in retrospect, the evidence was there for Good Night Gyrene’s win, which paid $17.80. The keys were knowing that 1.) Vienna is cagey 2.) Gomez is very selective about the debuters he climbs aboard and 3.) Gomez performs well when the first timers he’s riding are bet below 10-to-1.

So why didn’t I have it? Because I almost automatically throw out all first-time starters in races for older maidens because I save a lot of money that way. However, some trainers are so good that they can break the rules — and maybe I am starting to see that Vienna is one of those.

Instead, I played $300 to win on #1 Brilliant Response who had the lead for a while and lost a photo finish for second place.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Brilliant Response (CA) Bejarano R Gaines C 2.60 3
2 2 Itsakiss (CA) Couton J Locke T 52.20 7
4 3 Unusual Treat (CA) Baze M Ivory J 42.10 6
5 4 Hannah’s Moment (CA) Baze T Periban J 5.00 8
6 5 Raining Money (CA) Flores D Vargas J 44.30 5
7 6 Youknowwhatilike (CA) Arambula P Martinez S 8.30 9
8 7 Mom’s Gift (CA) Charlton C Montes D 119.40 11
9 8 Angel of Mystery (CA) Rosario J Marquez A 4.90 2
10 9 Warrens Stormymoon (CA) Pedroza M Gutierrez J 54.60 10
11 10 Good Night Gyrene (CA) Gomez G Vienna D 7.90 1
12 11 Lady Alex (CA) Gryder A Koriner B 2.70 4
SCR Terra Bella (CA) Navarro D Rickerd P
Pgm Win Place Show
11 $17.80 $7.80 $4.60
9 $7.40 $4.40
1 $3.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $53.80 (11-9)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $711.00 (11-9-1-12)
$1.00 Trifecta

Results, Hollywood Park Saturday Race 10 — lost $200

Jockey Martin Garcia sat behind the pace with #5 Coatcheck Girl then exploded in the stretch

Jockey Martin Garcia sat behind the pace with #5 Coatcheck Girl then exploded in the stretch

In her second lifetime race on April 4, #5 Coatcheck Girl blasted out of the gate to be just a head off the pace in a field of 13 maiden claimers. She battled the whole way and was never more than a length away from the lead until the very end when she lost by two.

That race showed Coatcheck Girl could run some, as according to my pace ratings, her April 4 race was the quickest first quarter mile of any of the runners in Saturday’s tenth.

But having the quickest first quarter, as I’ve found out by observation, doesn’t necessarily mean she would get the lead. However, it does strongly suggest that she will likely put it all together in the near future and run well for the whole race.

Usually, I will bet a horse like this at 3/1 or more, but since other angles and contenders presented themselves, I bumped her minimum acceptable odds up to 6-to-1.

And for that I paid the price, as Coatcheck Girl sat off the early pace and came storming home to win by 3-1/4 lengths while paying $11.60.

I ended up wagering $200 on #1 Bouncer, who was coming off a long layoff for trainer Gary Mandella and got some betting action. I love that type of horse too, but the problem with a 40-percent angle is that 60 percent of the time you lose.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Bouncer (KY) Talamo J Mandella G 3.90 6
2 2 Xtraordinary (TX) Baze M Mollica M 7.30 3
3 3 Where’s My Limo (CA) Sorenson D Sahadi J 55.10 10
4 4 Lion Princess (KY) Rosario J West T 3.40 4
5 5 Coatcheck Girl (KY) Garcia M Marquez A 4.80 1
6 6 Kaylie’s Joy (CA) Valdez F Dominguez C 65.20 2
7 7 Miss Reyna (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Gonzalez S 108.30 8
8 8 Alisa’s Windstorm (CA) Gavica G Martin, Jr. F 182.90 13
9 9 Flash Dance (CA) Solis A Becerra R 6.70 9
10 10 Metallic Waters (CA) Espinoza V Baffert B 2.90 11
11 11 Roomantic (LA) Vergara O Hajek I 87.10 12
12 12 Aislebebarbie (CA) Delgadillo A Sierra C 65.70 5
13 13 Warren’s Dancer (CA) Arambula P Gutierrez J 103.10 7
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $11.60 $6.20 $4.80
6 $41.40 $16.60
2 $5.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $223.20 (5-6)
$1.00 Pick
%d bloggers like this: