In a race seemingly full of good betting opportunities, a bland horse that I had no information on ended up winning.
But that just shows me the value of adhering to proper odds before wagering. No matter how confident horseplayers are about a race’s outcome, it’s clear that, really, anything can happen.
In this race, trainer Mike Mitchell had #1 Sheza Foxy Jackpot making her debut. Mitchell has an outstanding record with these types of horses, according to my records, and owner Vessels Stallion Farm was 2-for-2 with first timers.
Over the last year or so, trainer Jeff Mullins has also excelled with young maiden claimers making their first starts. In this race, he had #3 Royally Large.
Mike Puype, who saddled post time favorite #11 Ms. Salt Mine, was 4-of-6 when training second-time starters dropping into maiden claiming and #8 Salty Fries was adding blinkers and dropping for her second start — which was an angle that produced a scorching eight wins in the last 16 races.
But none of them got close to #2 Hayley’s Halo, who was making her third start after two unspectacular runs.
When the stalls sprang opened, Ms. Salt Mine shot right to a clear lead and she stayed in front until the top of the lane. Down the backstretch, Ms. Salt Mine was chased by #8 Salty Fries and Hayley’s Halo.
Ms. Salt Mine was gassed in the lane and Hayley’s Halo inherited the lead when she quit. Then another surprise horse, #7 Right to Work who got a zero Beyer in her debut, came running late for second at 11-to-1.
I bet $300 on 6-to-1 shot Sheza Foxy Jackpot and $150 on #3 Royally Large, at 14-to-1, who both ran on late. The damage could have been worse because I considered wagering on both #8 Salty Fries and #11 Ms. Salt Mine, but they were bet below my odds threshold.
To watch a replay of this race go to www. calracing.com.