Taking time off to catch up on records

Be-back-soon1[1]Before I started this blog in June 2008, I spent about six months compiling statistics on all aspects of Southern California maiden sprint races. From June 2008 to April 2009, I posted picks here in nine of 11 months, earning  a profit in eight months. As of April 30, 2009, my total winnings were $21,685.

But, because I also work 40-50 hours a week at a Las Vegas race & sports book, it is difficult to find the time to both do the blog and keep up with the research necessary to keep my finger on the pulse of Southern California racing. The angles that worked 10 months ago may or may not be working today. And if they are working, the odds ranges I need might have drastically changed.

So, as 2009 has gone by, the info I compile has become more and more outdated. For example, the statistics I need to evaluate trainer angles are  missing the last four months. And that’s not too bad when compared to the year’s worth of data I need to enter for my pace model, which is crucial for 6-1/2 and 7-furlong races.

And because I’m using old information, my winning has turned to losing. In fact, from May 2009 until today, I posted losses in five of six months and am down a total of $7,225 for that period.

Really, right now there is no way I can catch up with the record keeping while continuing to do the blog and bet the horses. Also, I am now taking a mandatory three-hour class for work which includes three hours of homework a week. The class may not sound like much, but with running weekly errands, tracking stocks and bonds, sleeping and going to the gym, I had nowhere to fit it in.

In the future, it looks like I’ll need to select certain meets to play, such as Santa Anita, Del Mar and Oak Tree while using the other months to evaluate and compile information. 

So, I am going to stop on the blog for a few months until I am up to date on everything, which — if all goes well — should be sometime in early 2010.

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Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 1 — lost $300

Joel Rosario harnessed Paddy's Magic's speed then let him loose in the stretch

Joel Rosario harnessed Paddy's Magic's speed then let him loose in the stretch

To me, it looked like #1 Paddy’s Magic could have taken a maiden special weight race rather than the $32,000 maiden claimer that he won.

Not only did this gelding, who was the 8-to-5 favorite, win by a wide margin, but he also broke slowly and made up four lengths on the backstretch in the blink of an eye. On Aug. 23, Paddy’s Magic had a bad trip when running a 65 Beyer Speed Figure, but I did not see five lengths worth of trouble.

Breaking next to Paddy’s Magic in this race was #2 Learn the Sport, who ran a 76 Beyer on Sept. 4. Coming into the race, I liked Learn the Sport because he had the right running style for 6-1/2 furlongs, he had the top last race Beyer and he was 4-to-1.

But it wasn’t Learn the Sport’s day, as jockey Reyes Santiago pushed him along in the stretch without response. I also liked two second timers in here but neither of them landed in the odds zone. 

In the end, I bet $300 on #2 Learn the Sport.

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Paddy’s Magic (KY) Rosario J Zucker H 1.60 1
2 2 Learn the Sport (KY) Santiago Reyes C Abrams B 4.20 5
3 3 Bernsie’s Baby (CA) Atkinson P Van Berg J 102.30 8
4 4 Raja (CA) Arambula P Martinez S 171.40 9
5 5 Nanni the Teaser (KY) Delgadillo A Harty E 12.80 7
6 6 Hawk Star (CA) Valdez F Fama D 48.70 3
7 7 Big Mikie M. (CA) Baze M Eurton P 5.70 6
8 8 Boo Too (KY) Talamo J Periban J 13.00 4
9 9 Remember Mike (KY) Flores D Conlon M 2.40 2
 
Pgm Win Place Show
1 $5.20 $2.80 $2.60
9 $4.00 $3.60
6 $15.80
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $11.00 (1-9)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $1433.90 (1-9-6-8)

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 10 — lost $500

Jockey Joe Talamo took #7 Get My Fix off the pace then rolled to victory in the stretch

Jockey Joe Talamo took #7 Get My Fix off the pace then rolled to victory in the stretch

 Usually, when Bob Baffert starts two horses in a race, one or both of them run huge.

In this event, Baffert saddled both #4 The Program, 16-to-1, and #5 Mr Charlie, 4-to-1. But, surprisingly, both broke slowly and neither one fired.

The winner, #7 Get My Fix trained by Brian Koriner, was one of the most likely winners when looking at the past performances. This 2-year-old had run a 79 Beyer Speed Figure in his second lifetime start on Aug. 8, which is significant because the median Beyer Speed Figure for this class is an 80. In his last race, Get My Fix rated behind the leaders and finished up well, which is the preferred running style for 6-1/2 furlongs.

Others who looked like they had a shot were #9 Frisco Kid, a first-time starter who went off at 13-to-1, and #1 The Skinny Man, a 7-to-2 shot. Neither ran well, although The Skinny Man showed speed until the stretch.

In the race, Get My Fix and jockey Joe Talamo mowed down pace setter #10 El Gran Matador while outrunning another late runner, #6 Domonation. In my betting scenario, I intended to bet $200 on Get My Fix if his odds were 5-to-2 or better. But the bet was live only if both #4 The Program and #9 Frisco Kid were 8-to-1 and #5 Mr Charlie was less than 4-to-1.

As the horses loaded into the gate, I bet The Program at 16/1 and Frisco Kid at 13/1. Then Mr Charlie’s odds moved up from 7/2 to 4/1, so I ended up betting him instead of Get My Fix. In all, I wagered $500.

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 The Skinny Man (KY) Bejarano R O’Neill D 3.90 9
2 2 Kuro (KY) Espinoza V Machowsky M 15.40 6
3 3 Mister Do It (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Hendricks D 53.90 10
4 4 The Program (KY) Garcia M Baffert B 16.00 5
5 5 Mr Charlie (KY) Smith M Baffert B 4.00 8
6 6 Domonation (KY) Rosario J Sadler J 8.40 2
7 7 Get My Fix (KY) Talamo J Koriner B 2.80 1
8 8 Brady Blue Eyes (KY) Borel C Glatt M 4.20 4
9 9 Frisco Kid (FL) Solis A Headley B 13.60 7
10 10 El Gran Matador (NY) Santiago Reyes C Becerra R 53.70 3
 
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $7.60 $4.40 $3.60
6 $9.40 $6.80
10 $16.40
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $39.30 (7-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $91.20 (5-1-7)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $1679.50 (8-2/5-1-7)
$1.00 Pick 5 paid $3351.10 (1/6/9-8-2/5-1-7)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $583.30 (10 OF 10)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $0.00 (NO WINNING TICKE
$1.00 Superfecta paid $9445.30 (7-6-10-8)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $1372.40 (7-6-10)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $84.40 (1-7)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $11781.60 (10-1/6/9-8-2/5-1-7)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $89.60 (10-1/6/9-8-2/5-1-7)

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 5 — lost $450

Trainer Bob Baffert gave a leg up to jockey Rafael Bejarano on 4-to-5 shot Excellent News

Trainer Bob Baffert gave a leg up to jockey Rafael Bejarano on 4-to-5 shot Excellent News

Almost all of Bob Baffert’s horses are bred to win stakes races, so they can dominate a field of maiden special weight sprinters at any moment.

Rafael Bejarano rode #10 Excellent News in her third lifetime race after she spun an 82 Beyer Speed Figure in her second race on Aug. 29. Since the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this race was just an 80, Excellent News was a standout — especially considering that the next highest Beyer was just a 69.

There were no secrets with this filly. She had the top Beyer, a top jockey and a top trainer. It was easy to see her outstanding qualifications and it was no surprise that the public knocked Excellent News’ odds to 4-to-5.

But with odds this low, horses need to win some 70-to-80 percent of the time to make a bet worthwhile. And all of us bettors are all dealing with incomplete information, so it’s tough to find angles that work seven out of 10 times.

A couple of first timers in this race — #4 Stunning Ally and #7 Carrie Rose — had strong long-term angles working for them. And I also took a chance on second-time starter #5 Evening Jewel.

However, Excellent News won like a 4-to-5 shot should win.

At the window, I wagered $200 on Stunning Ally at 9/1, $100 on Evening Jewel at 5/1 and $150 on Carrie Rose at 8/1.

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Dance the Dance (CA) Talamo J Hofmans D 37.50 6
2 2 Shesoprovocative (CA) Espinoza V Becerra R 13.20 5
3 3 Pocatello Wild Kat (CA) Baze M Fanning J 63.20 8
4 4 Stunning Ally (CA) Quinonez A Canani J 9.50 4
5 5 Evening Jewel (CA) Smith M Cassidy J 5.40 2
6 6 Giveme Onereason (CA) Santiago Reyes C Solis W 35.10 3
7 7 Carrie Rose (CA) Gomez G Mitchell M 8.30 9
8 8 Tiz Cee’s Ballet (CA) Martin G Locke T 57.40 10
9 9 High Five Gal (CA) Rosario J O’Neill D 7.00 7
10 10 Excellent News (CA) Bejarano R Baffert B 0.80 1
Pgm Win Place Show
10 $3.60 $2.40 $2.40
5 $4.60 $4.20
6 $8.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $8.80 (10-5)
$1.00

Sunday, Santa Anita Race 1 — 12:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 6-1/2 furlongs

Possible overlays                     Morning line

#2 Learn the Sport                        7/2
#5 Nanni the Teaser                       8/1
#8 Boo Too                                   8/1
#9 Remember Mike                         2/1

A 78 Beyer Speed Figure is the median winning number for this class and the only runner close to that is #2 Learn the Sport. This Barry Abrams-trained runner broke slowly in his last at 6 furlongs but came with a strong rail-hugging run to earn a 76 Beyer. He was recently gelded, he should relish the extra half furlong and looks tough.

Trainer Jorge Periban claimed #8 Boo Too on Sept. 30 from Craig Lewis for $22,500 and steps him up the class ladder. Boo Too ran very well on Sept. 10 at Fairplex Park, losing to the a good maiden claimer named Morton Owen. However, something went very wrong in his last as Boo Too finished eleventh. To compete with these, Boo Too will need to regain his best form and then some. One big drawback is that Periban is 0-for-24 when running back first after the claim, according to the Daily Racing Form.

Finally, two second time starters are dropping in class. Both #5 Nanni the Teaser and #9 Remember Mike ran decently in their debuts and have been working out well. If the money shows up, I’m interested.

Betting Scenarios: I will put $300 to win on #2 Learn the Sport at odds of 5/2 to 7/1 only. If Learn the Sport goes off at 8/1 or better, then my wager drops to $100.

Also, I will put $150 to win on #9 Remember Mike at 5/2 to 7/1 only. If that colt falls out of the betting range, then I want $100 to win on #5 Nanni the Teaser at 5/2 to 7/1 instead.

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 10 — 5 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 2-year-olds, 6-1/2 furlongs

Possible overlays                  Morning line

#1 The Skinny Man                       3/1
#4 The Program                            12/1
#5 Mr Charlie                                6/1
#7 Get My Fix                               5/2
#9 Frisco Kid                                 8/1

On Aug. 29, co-favorites #1 The Skinny Man raced against #7 Get My Fix and only a whisker separated the two for second place. Both colts have decent early speed, they’ve both run in the neighborhood of the 80 median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class, and they’re learning how to rate.

Either of them can win, but it won’t be easy.

Although neither half of the uncoupled Bob Baffert entry came close to winning their debut, I expect either #4 The Program or #5 Mr Charlie to run very well today. I have seen Baffert work his magic too many times to ignore his colts even when the morning line maker seems to be disregarding them. 

The Program appears to have been bought for $310,000 while Mr Charlie looks like a $725,000 purchase. Although these purchase prices are published in the Daily Racing Form, sometimes nobody really paid that much for the horse and the published sale price is the amount the animal was bought back for when the sale’s reserve price was not met.  Anyway, Baffert doesn’t train many mules and these two have been working out well. So I expect big things.

In The Program’s last race, he came out of the gate very slowly and while watching the replay it was difficult to tell if jockey Mike Smith intentionally pulled him to the back. But one thing I am sure of is that Smith certainly wasn’t hustling The Program down the backstretch.

And another thing that makes me curious about The Program is that, according to my records, Baffert and The Program’s jockey Martin Garcia won with five first-time starters from just 12 rides for a return of $3.31 for every $1 wagered. These Baffert/Garcia firsters were all in 2006-07, so they happened too long ago to be included in the DRF’s statistics, which show that the Baffert/Garcia team are 0-for-3 overall since 2008.

I know The Program is not running in his debut, but my point is that Garcia might be one of Baffet’s money riders. All I am saying is beware.

As for Mr Charlie, he seemed to be full of run in his Sept. 7 race. As it began, Mr Charlie went to the lead with hardly any encouragement from jockey Joe Talamo. However, right next to Talamo that day was Indian Firewater, who is another Baffert runner, and Indian Firewater exploded in the stretch while Mr Charlie faded.

But I’m sure that was not Mr Charlie’s best run.

OK, moving on. The last promising horse is #9 Frisco Kid. The only drawback with him is that trainer Bruce Headley is 0-for-11 with debuting MSW juveniles over the last five years, according to “A Closer Look” in the DRF. Otherwise, Frisco Kid is the prototype of what a winning debuter looks like.

And don’t ask me why, but a higher percentage of first timers win at 6-1/2 furlongs than at any other distance.

At odds of 7/2 to 19/1, I will bet $200 to win on #9 Frisco Kid. Also, I’ll put $150 on #4 The Program at 5/1 or better and $150 on #5 Mr Charlie at 4/1 or more. However, if The Program and Frisco Kid both go off at odds of 8/1 or higher and Mr Charlie is less than 4/1, then I will also put $200 on #7 Get My Fix at 5/2 or more.

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 5 — 2:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, 2-yo fillies

Possible overlays                       Morning line

#1 Dance the Dance                           15/1
#4 Stunning Ally                                  6/1
#5 Evening Jewel                                 6/1
#7 Carrie Rose                                     8/1

The obvious favorite of this bunch is #10 Excellent News, who rang up an 82 Beyer Speed Figure in her last race on Aug. 29 while finishing second to Miss Georgie Girl. Since Excellent News has already ran a speed figure that’s better than the median winning number of 80, she is the most likely winner. However, the Baffert brand name will ensure she’s way overbet.

Therefore, I’m looking toward either a couple of first time starters or a filly making her second lifetime run to get the job done at a price.

Over the past year or so, trainer Mike Mitchell has been firing well with his young horses when he sends them out in their debuts.  And it doesn’t hurt that Garrett Gomez will be aboard #7 Carrie Rose, especially when noting that the Gomez-Mitchell tandem has produced 27 winners from their last 82 runners. A $1 bet on all of them yielded $1.31, according to the Daily Racing Form.

James Cassidy saddles #5 Evening Jewel who was bet to 9/2 in her first lifetime race on Aug. 23. On that day, Evening Jewel ran evenly in the middle of the pack, however when I watched the replay it looked to me like  jockey David Flores was taking it easy on her. This filly has some nice workouts and she fits the profile of a winning second-time starter.

Breaking just inside of Evening Jewel will be #4 Stunning Ally, who is another debuter. Julio Canani has this daughter of In Excess working out well and she looks like a bet if the price is right.

Finally, owners Rod and Lorraine Rodriguez have had much success winning with debut horses over the years, but I am not that big of a fan of their filly, #1 Dance the Dance. At the right price, though, a small bet based on the connections may be in order.

I will wager $200 on #7 Carrie Rose from 3/1 to 9/1, but just $100 at 10/1 and up. Also, I will take  $200 on #5 Evening Jewel at 5/2 to 9/1 and $100 at 10/1 or higher. Finally, if #4 Stunning Ally is 7/2 to 9/1, I want $150 to win on her, but I’ll take $200 to win at 10/1 to 19/1.

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