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.