It really made sense for the Bob Baffert-trained #12 Marcello to win this race. In his only lifetime start on July 25, Marcello lagged at the back of the back then came with a strong rally at 5-1/2 furlongs to get fourth.The winner that day, Tiny Woods, was another colt out of the Baffert barn who led wire-to-wire. Marcello’s running style didn’t fit at that short sprint distance, but it was perfect for Saturday’s 6-1/2 furlongs.
In the race, Marcello broke alertly then settled in fourth place, as #2 Our Crazy Monkey led down the backstretch. Jockey Garrett Gomez — who was likely the reason Marcello’s post time odds were crushed to 1-to-2 — began his wide move as the horses approached the turn.
Our Crazy Monkey gave the lead up quickly and had no chance of staying with Marcello. But #9 Pulsion, another second-timer, had lots of fight in him and really showed up ready to run.
Pulsion, a 9-to-1 shot who was adding blinkers for trainer Patrick Biancone, closed into Marcello’s 2-length lead with every stride as the wire approached. But Marcello hung on by a nose in a dramatic photo finish.
I liked Marcello but his short price forced me to look elsewhere. So, I spread $500 out over three first timers. #3 Poker Trick, at 14/1, #6 Erbeia, 11/1, and #10 We Will Rock, 12/1. However, none of them fired.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.