Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 9 — lost $300

Trainer Carl O'Callahan, who won with 9/1 shot Brian the Brave, regularly performs Irish music at L.A. bars

Trainer Carl O'Callaghan, who won with 9/1 shot Brian the Brave, regularly performs Irish music at L.A. bars

In July, trainer Carl O’Callaghan sent #12 Brian the Brave to be gelded and when the 3-year-old came back to the races on Sept. 4, the new gelding was a faster, more valuable animal.

In that first comeback race, Brian the Brave ran a 71 Beyer Speed Figure while four paths wide on the turn, which was probably his fastest race up until that point.  In the interim, Brian the Brave had two fast workouts which set him up well for Sunday when he broke his maiden at 9-to-1 by running down #11 Launch the Bull.

And Launch the Bull was no slouch. Coming into the race, Launch the Bull exceeded the median Beyer Speed Figure needed to win at this class in his last three starts.

All of Launch the Bull’s three losses were against higher-priced maiden claimers. The one big knock on Launch the Bull, though, is that this Peter Miller-trainee tires late and seems to always get caught at the wire.

Sunday was no different.

The race began with speed ball #6 Jamieson going straight to the front on the backstretch. Both Launch the Bull and Brian the Brave were stalking the pace from about a length behind. And midway on the turn, both surged to the lead as a team.

At the top of the lane, Launch the Bull pulled away from Brian the Brave by a length, but just like in his past races, Launch the Bull couldn’t hold the lead and Brian the Brave nailed him at the wire.

The win was just the third of the year for trainer Carl O’Callaghan, who moonlights by performing Irish music in Los Angeles and San Diego area bars. By clicking on his name, you can check his music website or here for his stable site.

I bet $300 on Launch the Bull at 2/1.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Adebayor (KY) Garcia M O’Neill D 4.20 5
3 2 Heisman U (KY) Rivera C Stute G 28.70 6
4 3 Fun in the Park (CA) Arambula P Periban J 103.50 9
6 4 Jamieson (CA) Baze T Zucker H 3.50 8
7 5 Escaping the Storm (FL) Bejarano R Hess, Jr. R 4.20 3
9 6 Ol’dogtown (CA) Scott J Bellasis R 23.70 7
10 7 Eminent Honor (KY) Iniguez S Fernandez V 68.90 10
11 8 Launch the Bull (KY) Santiago Reyes C Miller P 2.00 2
12 9 Brian the Brave (KY) Quinonez A O’Callaghan C 9.40 1
13 10 Father Grumpy (CA) Rosario J Gutierrez J 15.10 4
SCR Halo’s Limit (KY) Olivarez M Jimenez J
SCR Louie Tre (FL)    
SCR Freetoagoodhome (CA) Valdez F Wicker L
SCR Tumbling Dice Man (CA) Atkinson P Pender M
Pgm Win Place Show
12 $20.80 $8.00 $6.20
11 $3.40 $2.80
7 $2.80
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $7.10 (10-2-7/8)

Cal Cup Day — lost $600

Trainer Doug O'Neill sadded both halves of the Juvenile Stakes exacta

Trainer Doug O'Neill sadded both halves of the Juvenile Stakes exacta

Saturday was California Cup Day, so no maiden races were slated.

I played the 2-year-old stakes races, which were both run at 7 furlongs, but the closest I got was when #5 Wolf Tail came charging late for second place in the Juvenile. Doug O’Neill not only trained Wolf Tail, a 6/1 shot, but he also saddled the winner, Bench the Judge, at 5/1.

In the Juvenile Fillies, I liked #2 Miss Georgie Girl, who did absolutely nothing. Garrett Gomez was urging her on in the stretch, but Miss Georgie Girl’s tank was empty as she faded to the back of the pack.

1 1 Take a Peak (CA) Nakatani C Hollendorfer J 23.30 6
2 2 Miss Georgie Girl (CA) Gomez G Walsh K 2.80 8
3 3 Camille C (CA) Bejarano R Polanco M 3.50 2
4 4 Dinnr With Nikki C (CA) Santiago Reyes C Sherlock G 55.20 5
5 5 Puritan Baker (CA) Rosario J Lenzini M 24.60 4
6 6 Whispering Hush (CA) Solis A Kruljac J 3.60 3
7 7 U Turn Me Crazy (CA) Gryder A Koriner B 26.10 7
8 8 La Nez (CA) Smith M Kruljac J 2.20 1
9 9 Moon Quist Rose (CA) Baze R Morey W 23.80 9
Pgm Win Place Show
8 $6.40 $3.60 $2.40
3 $4.60 $3.00
6 $2.80

1 1 Warren’s Doc Gus (CA) Bejarano R Gutierrez J 7.80 7
2 2 Swiss Exploit (CA) Baze M Harrington M 42.00 6
3 3 Really Uptown (CA) Garcia M Harrington M 7.60 4
5 4 Wolf Tail (CA) Rosario J O’Neill D 6.30 2
6 5 Swiss Arrogant (CA) Gomez G Carava J 10.10 9
7 6 Runaway Bandido (CA) Quinonez A Becerra R 2.80 3
8 7 Tribal Face (CA) Baze T Knapp S 2.70 5
9 8 Bench the Judge (KY) Santiago Reyes C O’Neill D 5.90 1
10 9 Chocolate Marini (CA) Valdivia, Jr. J Hendricks D 31.90 8
SCR Cat Calloway (CA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $13.80 $6.40 $3.40
5 $8.00 $4.60
7 $3.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $35.20 (3-4-9)


Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $12.70 (8-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $83.50 (1-2-8)

Results, Santa Anita Wednesday Race 9 — lost $550

Jockey Kyle Kaenel rocked the tote board to the tune of $157 with Spartan Jet

Jockey Kyle Kaenel rocked the tote board to the tune of $157 with Spartan Jet

At 77-to-1, it should come as no surprise that Spartan Jet’s only two past performance lines were ugly. In both races, he broke slowly, made no move on the turn and had no rally in the stretch. 

But on Wednesday, Spartan Jet broke alertly and virtually led this 12-horse field wire-to-wire, lighting up the toteboard with a $157.60 win payoff.

Before being awarded the official victory, however, owner-trainer Juan Lopez had to sweat out a claim of foul by jockey Martin Pedroza. Pedroza, who ironically rode Spartan Jet in his first two starts, claimed that his mount Red Door Drive was impeded when rider Kyle Kaenel allowed Spartan Jet to swerve out approaching midstretch.

Red Door Drive, trained by Bob Baffert, had last raced in September 2008 and nine of his 10 lifetime races were on the turf. In Wednesday’s race, Red Door Drive moved from last place on the turn to a good stalking position about two lengths away from the leaders.

As the field moved into the stretch, Pedroza tried to take Red Door Drive outside of Spartan Jet, but that horse unexpectedly swerved suddenly, so Pedroza went inside. Red Door Drive had plenty of time to pass Spartan Jet but — perhaps because he was inside of him — Red Door Drive never went by and lost by a head.

At 7/2, I bet $300 on Red Door Drive, wagered $150 more on #8 Good Newsman at 3/1 and another $100 on 23-to-1 shot #10 Little Heater.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Irish Weis Man (CA) Quinonez A Abrams B 37.10 7
2 2 Panda (CA) Santiago Reyes C Van Berg J 12.70 6
3 3 Red Door Drive (KY) Pedroza M Baffert B 3.80 2
4 4 Whizer (CA) Valdez F Bradvica L 28.80 10
5 5 Trueno (CA) Vergara O Capitaine N 16.50 4
6 6 Spartan Jet (KY) Delgadillo A Lopez J 77.80 1
7 7 Smokenomore (CA) Migliore R Spawr W 6.90 8
8 8 Good Newsman (KY) Espinoza V Hendricks D 3.30 3
9 9 Markus D. (CA) Talamo J Jones M 22.80 9
10 10 Little Heater (CA) Garcia M Mullins J 22.90 12
11 11 De Brief Me (CA) Baze M Puype M 7.60 5
13 12 Boo Too (KY) Rosario J Lewis C 3.40 11
SCR Glorious Mon (CA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $157.60 $76.60 $29.80
3 $6.00 $3.60
8 $3.40
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $496.30 (6-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $932.20 (2-3-6)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $15769.00 (3-2-3-6)
$1.00 Pick 5 paid $47870.00 (8-3-2-3-6)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $3271.80 (9 OF 9)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $0.00 (NO WINNING TICKE
$1.00 Superfecta paid $83656.60 (6-3-8-5)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $2585.40 (6-3-8)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $522.80 (3-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $37620.80 (3-8-3-2-3-6)

Sunday, Santa Anita Race 9 — 4:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 6 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up

Possible overlays                             Morning line

#6 Jamieson                                         7/2
#7 Escaping the Storm                          4/1
#11 Launch the Bull                               3/1

On July 24, trainer Peter Miller brought #11 Launch the Bull back from a 10-month layoff and this gelding has had nothing but bad luck ever since. In all three of his races since, Launch the Bull had the lead and appeared to be headed to victory, but was nailed nearing the wire — one time by a horse that came again on the rail.

In his last five starts, Launch the Bull earned Beyer Speed Figures in the 73 to 89 range. So, considering that the median winning number for these $25,000 claiming horses is a 74, Launch the Bull figures to be tough to beat unless, of course, he’s simply a notorious hanger.

Another horse that could also run huge is #6 Jamieson. This 4-year-old stayed away from the track for more than a year, but almost won his June 6 comebacker. He showed good speed that day before tiring, however on Sept. 2 Jamieson dashed a first quarter mile that was some five lengths quicker than his June 6 race.

It was a colossal improvement, but Jamieson staggered to the wire that day, too, and lost by a nose while earning a 63 Beyer. Sooner or later he’ll put it all together and today just might be the day.

Finally, Escaping the Storm is eligible to improve as he’s also had a few races back after a 9-month rest.

I will put $300 to win on #11 Launch the Bull at 2/1 to 7/2, but just $150 at odds of 4/1 or higher. If Launch the Bull drifts above 7/2, then I will play $200 to win on #6 Jamieson at 2/1 to 7/2. 

Also, regardless of Launch the Bull’s odds, I’ll put $150 to win on Jamieson at 4/1 or higher.

Cal Cup Day audible

Today is Cal Cup Day at Santa Anita, so the card is filled with stakes race for California Breds.

That means no maiden races were scheduled. However, instead of posting nothing, I looked at the Juvenile and the Juvenile fillies, which are filled with lightly-raced horses that have done nothing but break their maidens in state bred races.

Many of these runners wouldn’t stand a chance in maiden special weight open company in Southern California. So these two 7-furlong stakes are almost like handicapping maiden races.

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 10 — 4:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers the Cal Cup Juvenile

Maiden King conquers the Cal Cup Juvenile

Cal Cup Juvenile, 7 furlongs, $100,000 purse

Possible overlays                 Morning line

#3 Really Uptown                       5/1
#5 Wolf Tail                              5/1 

It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Cal Cup Juvenile Filles race be run in a faster time than this one.

The top maiden special weight races for 2-year-old colts at 6-1/2 to 7 furlongs are won with Beyer Speed Figures in the low-to-mid 90’s, but the highest figure in this bunch is a lowly 76.

These colts appear to be rather ordinary, however #5 Wolf Tail looks like he has the right running style for the distance. Wolf Tail showed his hand on July 29 when he rallied from 4-1/2 lengths off the pace to nail Grace Upon Grace by a nose in the Graduation Stakes at 5-1/2 furlongs.

Wolf Tail shares the highest overall Beyer with #1 Warren’s Doc Gus, who is running in his second lifetime race.

One colt who might be a sleeper is #3 Really Uptown, who is coming off of a 4-month layoff. In the Spring, Really Uptown ran three Beyer Speed Figures in the 70s, so his natural growth may allow him to run in the 80’s today.

At 3/1 or higher, I will put $200 to win on both #3 Really Uptown and #5 Wolf Tail.

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 4 — 1:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers the Cal Cup

Maiden King conquers the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies

Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies, 7 furlongs, $100,00 purse



 Possible overlays                          Morning line

#2 Miss Georgie Girl                          2/1
#3 Camille C                                    9/2

Since I don’t have information on juvenile stakes races, I’m using Beyer Speed Figures for maiden special weight races to try to figure out how fast theses horses need to go to win this race.

The best Beyers for maiden juvenile fillies at 6-1/2 to 7 furlongs are in the low 80’s range. So a filly that can run in the mid-to-upper 80’s has a good shot in here, I believe.

Garrett Gomez rides #2 Miss Georgie Girl and she has the best last race Beyer and best Beyer overall. That’s a lethal one-two punch at 7 furlongs in the maiden ranks.

On Aug. 29 at 5-1/2 furlongs, Miss Georgie Girl pressed a hot pace where the quarter mile was run in 21.3 and the half was 44.4. In the stretch, she had plenty left as she won by a length and earned an 85 Beyer.

That race was run so fast that Miss Georgie Girl projects to be the quickest horse to the quarter mile of these runners. This filly may press the pace again, but she also gives Gomez the option of gunning straight for the lead and not looking back.

The best chance #3 Camille C has to win is to go right to the front. Luckily for her, the early fractions at 7 furlongs are going to be much slower than when she wired a field in the General Portion Stakes at 6 furlongs on Sept. 2.

On that day, Camille C’s dawdled through the second quarter mile and, if both fillies run their best today, she shouldn’t be able to keep up with Miss Georgie Girl.

I will put $200 to win on #2 Miss Georgie Girl at 2/1 and up.

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