Maiden claiming $32,000, 6 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up
Possible overlays Morning line
#5 Gifted Student 6/1
#12 I Want My Money 9/2
#13 Born to Cus 10/1
#14 Quality Plus 7/2
John Sadler, who trains #5 Gifted Student, has a very good record when bringing older maiden claimers back from long layoffs, especially when they are dropping in class. Gifted Student showed good speed in his debut on Oct. 13, as he was bet to 5/1 and had the lead after a half a mile versus eight others.
Jockey Tyler Baze, a 14 percent rider, is aboard. Baze, however, won with 23 percent of his last 103 mounts for Sadler, so he turns into Garrett Gomez when riding Sadler’s horses. Gifted Student is 6-to-1 on the morning line, but judging from Sadler’s other layoff winners I expect him to be bet to less than 4-to-1.
Breaking from the far outside, #14 Quality Plus is another second-time starter who had the lead for a half mile in his debut. This horse has many things to like: It has good early speed, competent connections and ran a decent Beyer Speed Figure last time. But it seems like the type of horse that will be bet below 3-to-1, which will likely cause me to try to beat it.
Jeff Mullins is one of those Southern California trainers that wins whenever he wants to and can never be totally eliminated. His runner #12 I Want My Money has been working out well and is worth a bet at the right price. The same goes for #13 Born to Cus, who Doug O’Neill bred, owns and trains. Born to Cus adds blinkers and makes a positive jockey switch from Alonso Quinonez to Joel Rosario. With older maiden claimers like these, O’Neill seems to run them into form rather than trying to win early, and Born to Cus seems to be going in the right direction.
I will bet $400 to win on #5 Gifted Student at odds of 2/1 to 9/1 only. Also, I will take $200 to win on #14 Quality Plus at 3/1 or more, but if he is bet below that then I’ll put the $200 on #12 I Want My Money instead, also at 3/1 or better.
Finally, if #13 Born to Cus goes off at 6/1 or better, then I’ll put $100 on him.