Four horses looked like they could win this race, and although they all ran well, second-time starter #12 I Want My Money was clearly the best.
Trainer Jeff Mullins, whose Hollywood Park win rate is hovering around 30 percent, dropped I Want My Money in class from a $50,000 maiden claimer where he debuted on May 21. In that race, I Want My Money was obviously not at his best as jockey Martin Garcia hustled him the whole way, but could only muster a 68 Beyer Speed Figure.
But I Want My Money was working out right along and he had a fast drill on June 6, which set him up well for this win at 7-to-2.
The race began as jockey Tyler Baze shot #5 Gifted Student to the front. This John Sadler runner hadn’t raced since Oct. 13, but Sadler excels at getting horses like this gelding into the winner’s circle. Gifted Student was challenged at the top of the stretch by #14 Quality Plus, another second-timer who had the desirable combination of early speed and the best last race Beyer Speed Figure.
But Gifted Student shook Quality Plus off at the top of the lane to pull ahead by a length. However, Quality Plus fought right back, closing the gap.
Their stretch duel was interrupted by I Want My Money who came blasting up between horses and blew them both away to win by 2-1/2 lengths. Born to Cus, an improving Doug O’Neill runner making his third start at 7-to-1, ran late and won a three-way photo for second.
I put $400 to win on #5 Gifted Student at 6/1. Also, I had $200 to win on #14 Quality Plus, whose odds were 3.0-to-1, but if he’d been bet to 2.9-to-1 instead then my $200 would have shifted to the winner #12 I Want My Money.
I also had $100 to win on #13 Born to Cus.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com