Trainer Mike Puype was bringing back #11 Mar Fina from a one-year vacation, which Puype routinely does both skillfully and profitably. But the morning line on Mar Fina was 7-to-2 and when I looked at the tote board it became clear that Mar Fina probably was not going to run well, as she was an ice cold 9-to-1 going into the gate.
The other filly racing back off a year-long break was #12 Veranda Cafe. Horses running in their second lifetime starts after long stretches away from the races are usually excellent bets — as long as they are at least 2-to-1 and no more than 9-to-1. The price on Veranda Cafe, however, was crushed to 3-to-2 by the betting public, so I could not wager on her either.
That left me with a $150 bet on #3 Sister Lucy who was coming out of two quarter horse races at Los Alamitos. Also, she ran a winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class when she finished third on Oct. 19 in a maiden special weight race.
In the race, Sister Lucy shot to the lead on the backstretch and Veranda Cafe rode her flank while pressing the pace less than a length away.
At the eighth pole, Veranda Cafe took the lead and was three-lengths clear of Kami D B C with a sixteenth of a mile to run. But Veranda Cafe tired badly and faded so fast that she not only lost the race, but she didn’t even hit the board.
Winning was Kami D B C, who was making her twelfth start, but ten of those were in maiden special weight races.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.