Wednesday, Del Mar Race 8 — 5:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40K, 2 yo Cal Breds, 5-1/2 furlongs

Possible overlays                  Morning line

#3 Tahoe Yodeler                       5/1
#5 Call Me Later                         6/1
#9 Beer Friday                           20/1
#10 Warrens Heartthrob           12/1
#12 Swiss Tart                           7/2

Although #1 Tahoe Yodeler flashed early foot in his July 11 debut, I believe that #12 Swiss Tart is just a little quicker. On May 23, Swiss Tart was running under his own power while chasing River’s Chapel in a maiden special weight sprint, while in his debut Tahoe Yodeler was hustled to the front by jockey Felipe Valdez.

I am not saying that Swiss Tart will get the lead in here. But the quick first quarter mile shows that the horse has a good burst of speed, which will allow him to get position and make a move on the turn. However, if stable money slams Tahoe Yodeler’s odds to less than 4/1 then I will increase his chances and be forced to make a decision. 

Two first time starters in here come from connections that perform very well with debuting horses. But both #5 Call Me Later and #10 Warrens Heartthrob have nothing but slow workouts.

 I still like them both, though, at the right price.

Finally, if I see action on #9 Beer Friday, I will significantly upgrade his chances.

I will bet $200 to win each on #5 Call Me Later and #10 Warrens Heartthrob at 7/2 to 19/1.

If #1 Tahoe Yodeler’s post time odds are 2/1 to 4/1, then I will bet $200 on the longer of the two horses between him and Swiss Tart. If Tahoe Yodeler’s odds are 9/2 or more, then I will put the $200 on Swiss Tart at 2/1 or more.

Also, I’ll put $150 on #9 Beer Friday if he is 7/2 to 14/1.

In the exacta,  at odds of 5/1 to 19/1, I will key #5 Call Me Later and #10 Warrens Heartthrob. I will play $25 exactas 1-5-10-12 with 5-10. 

In the trifecta, I will key both #5 Call Me Later and #10 Warrens Heartthrob at odds of 10/1 to 19/1 only. I will bet $5 trifectas 1-5-10-12 with 4-5-6-7-10 with 5-10.

Results, Del Mar, Sunday, Race 4 – lost $200

Jockey Joe Talamo

The public as a group is a very good handicapper, which is why the tote board plays such a huge part in my wagering decisions.

In this race, seven out of nine of these starters were running for the first time ever. Yet, the crowd pounded four fillies to 4-to-1 or less while allowing five runners to go off at 20-to-1 or higher.
And the results: The favored horses finished 1-2-3-4.
My plan of action was to bet three debuters —  #2 Marishka Moon, #3 Intentional and #5 Tell a Kelly  — if their post time odds were 10/1 to 19/1.  I also liked #9 Pacific Pride, but only if her odds were 7/2 to 9/1.
The public totally ignored my first timers at the betting windows, so the odds were too high for me to wager. And then the crowd loaded up on Pacific Pride. And at 5/2, I couldn’t bet her either.
But I have contingency plans. And in the pre-race write-up I noted that I would put $200 on #4 Romanette if her odds were 5/2 to 4/1, which she was.
However, it really didn’t matter because #7 Pedaltothemedal jumped to an early lead and got stronger as the race got longer.
To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Retail (KY) Blanc B Sahadi J 26.70 7
2 2 Marishka Moon (KY) Bejarano R French N 28.30 8
3 3 Intentional (KY) Espinoza V Koriner B 27.50 6
4 4 Romanette (KY) Rosario J Baffert B 4.10 3
5 5 Tell a Kelly (FL) Quinonez A Sadler J 24.90 5
6 6 Dazzling Display (KY) Garcia M Baffert B 2.30 2
7 7 Pedaltothemedal (KY) Talamo J Sherman A 3.00 1
8 8 Pat’s Dream (KY) Flores D Hajek I 27.10 9
9 9 Pacific Pride (KY) Smith M Hollendorfer J 2.70 4
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $8.00 $4.00 $3.00
6 $3.80 $3.00
4 $3.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $13.70 (7-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $66.70 (6-7-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $81.80 (7-6-4-9)

Results, Del Mar, Saturday, Race 7 — lost $800

Jockey Alonso Quinonez

Eight of the 10 runners in this race were making their first lifetime starts. Many of them hailed from the world’s top barns: Those run by Bob Baffert, John Sadler, Jerry Hollendorfer and Doug O’Neill.

But amazingly, the debuter with the no-name jockey — Alonso Quinonez — and the low-profile trainer — Myung Kwon Cho — got the job done.

Although lots of these eight debuters had quick workouts and great connections, each one seemed to have strong drawbacks, also.
By looking at years of past results, I know that Florida breds have better records for precociousness in Southern California than horses bred in Kentucky or California. So, I prefer them.
But in this race, Florida breds #4 Rock So Hard and #6 The Phenom were both May foals, which are usually a money-losing propositions when debuting. Other information sent me mixed messages, too. 
For example, trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled Rock So Hard, also ran #7 Prayer for Relief, who was a February foal with good workouts – both positives. 
Baffert has an outstanding record when he uses jockey Martin Garcia on his first timers. But Garcia was on Rock So Hard and not Prayer for Relief. So Baffert’s money horse was unclear to me.
In the race, #10 Premier Pegasus, who is a son of Fusaichi Pegasus, shot out of the gate at 44-to-1. As the field went down the backstretch, Rock So Hard took the lead, but some seven runners were within two lengths of each other. On the inside, jockey Tyler Baze tried to make a move with #1 Red Sharp Humor, but that didn’t work, so he backed off.
Throughout the turn and at the top of the lane, the running order didn’t change much. Rock So Hard led on the inside, Premier Pegasus was a head behind in the two path, while #9 Just Imagine was looming three wide and a half a length away.
The field remained compact as race caller Trevor Denman told the crowd “this one’s wide open.” In deep stretch, Garcia was wailing away with his whip on Rock So Hard, while Quinonez was essentially hand riding Premier Pegasus, although the rider did give him a few taps of the stick as the wire approached.
Just Imagine disappointed his backers by hanging in the stretch as the even money favorite. I’ve heard race track myths that when first time starters are bet down below 3-to-1 they are great bets. But, in reality, they are some of the worst wagers in racing.
I had $200 on #1 Red Sharp Humor at 16/1, $300 on #6 The Phenom at 8/1 and $300 on #7 Prayer for Relief at 10/1.

1 1 Red Sharp Humor (KY) Bejarano R Hollendorfer J 16.40 4
2 2 Clubhouse Ride (KY) Espinoza V Lewis C 9.20 5
3 3 Joburg Star (KY) Flores D Miller P 9.20 7
4 4 Rock So Hard (FL) Garcia M Baffert B 5.20 2
5 5 Palio Prince (KY) Smith M Barba A 42.40 9
6 6 The Phenom (FL) Talamo J Sadler J 8.00 10
7 7 Prayer for Relief (KY) Pedroza M Baffert B 10.10 6
8 8 Purgestein (KY) Santiago Reyes C Bonde J 22.20 8
9 9 Just Imagine (KY) Rosario J O’Neill D 1.00 3
10 10 Premier Pegasus (KY) Quinonez A Cho M 44.40 1
SCR American Wildcat (VA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
10 $90.80 $30.60 $11.00
4 $6.00 $3.60
9 $3.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $434.80 (10-4)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $5813.30 (4-10-10)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $18710

Results, Del Mar, Friday Race 8 – lost $180

Trainer Doug O'Neill claimed Irish-bred Titus Aurelius for $25,000 on June 4 and won a Maiden $32K claiming race with him

My first thought when I saw the morning line for this race was that the odds for #9 Titus Auerelius, at 5-to-2, needed to be much closer to those of #3 D’oro Dancer, at 9-to-2. 

D’oro Dancer had stamina, speed and decent Beyer Speed Figures. And although Titus Aurelius’ past performances looked OK, it was obvious that he was the morning line favorite because of the glamour connections of jockey Joel Rosario and trainer Doug O’Neill. 

O’Neill claimed Titus Aurelius from Simon Callaghan on June 4 for $25,000 and on June 25 the gelding showed speed before fading in a maiden special weight turf sprint. On Friday, as the horses loaded into the gate, the public saw what I saw and made Titus Aurelius 8-to-5 and D’oro Dancer 2-to-1.   

In this race, Rosario quickly went to the front with Titus Aurelius, who cruised willingly on the lead down the backstretch in this 7-furlong sprint.  D’oro Dancer, who was also running without being asked, got to the flank of Titus Aurelius as the field swang into the turn. 

At the quarter pole, jockey Tyler Baze pushed D’oro Dancer to within a half length of Titus Aurelius and it looked like a stretch duel was forthcoming. However, when Rosario asked Titus Aurelius for more, he kicked away to an easy three-length win. 

I was prepared to put $650 on D’oro Dancer at 5-to-2 or better, but his post time odds were just 2-to-1. Another one of my wagers was to bet #7 Big Wags at 3-to-1 or better, but only if D’oro Dancer was also 7-to-2 or more, which he was not. 

However, I forgot to specify odds for the exotics, which included keying 39-to-1 shot Spinco Bob for third in the trifecta and second in the exacta to D’oro Dancer and Spinco Bob. Those bets cost me $180.



1 1 Not in Siberia (CA) Garcia M Ordonez A 12.90 7
2 2 Kim’s Leading Man (CA) Gonzalez A Abrams B 18.90 2
3 3 D’oro Dancer (KY) Baze T Walsh K 2.10 3
4 4 My Last Tycoon (NY) Espinoza V Stute M 10.60 4
6 5 Yvett’s Maar (NM) Medellin A Gonzalez S 45.90 9
7 6 Big Wags (ON) Bejarano R Glatt M 4.00 6
8 7 Spinco Bob (CA) Pedroza M Velasquez D 39.00 8
9 8 Titus Aurelius (IRE) Rosario J O’Neill D 1.70 1
10 9 Anga (CA) Berrio O Garcia V 20.30 5
SCR Brianville (CA) Santiago Reyes C O’Callaghan C
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $5.40 $3.60 $2.80
2 $9.80 $5.20
3 $3.60
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $337.30 (8-2/6-10-5/9)
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $12.50 (6-4/5-9)
$1.00 Exacta paid $36.60 (9-2)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $73.90 (6-10-9)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $2633.10 (7 OF 8)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $2298.40 (9-2-3-4-10)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $559.00 (9-2-3-4)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $121.30 (9-2-3)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $24.00 (10-9)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $138257.00 (8-3-8-2/6-10-5/9)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $965.60 (8-3-8-2/6-10-5/9)
$2.00 Quinella paid $56.80 (2-9)

Results, Del Mar, Wednesday, Race 10 – no bets

Jockey Julio Garcia got #2 JJ Minister to come again in the stretch to nail#11 Certainly Certain by a head

In the write-up before this race, I said that the experienced runners starting in this event had not come within 10 Beyer Speed Figure points of the median number that wins at this class.

Therefore, I took a long look at the five first-time starters and was prepared to bet on four of them if I got the right odds. However, both #4 Tiger Trysts and #12 Celestic Night were scratched and neither #7 Proud Jenny, at 28/1, and #10 Jakesam, at 4/1, fell into my odds range of 10/1 to 19/1. My final possibility, #9 Elessar, was also scratched. I was at Del Mar for Opening Day, but saw the odds and did not stay for the 10th.

The race, however, turned out to be an exciting one. As the gates opened, #2 JJ Minister shot right for the lead on the inside. Nearing the turn, #6 Mandelieu cut JJ Minister’s two-length lead down to one. But jockey Julio Garcia kept hustling JJ Minister around the turn and, when the colt entered the stretch a bit wide, it enabled #11 Certainly Certain to catch up.

Certainly Certain had a half a length on JJ Minister at the eighth pole, but Garcia never quit and JJ Minister responded by coming again. He paid $44.60.

Because of the scratches and undesirable odds, I had no bets in this race.

2 1 J J Minister (CA) Garcia J Perez S 21.30 1
3 2 Unbridled Score (CA) Rivera C Stute M 32.60 8
5 3 Alex T (KY) Gonzalez A Bacorn H 35.40 7
6 4 Mandelieu (CA) Verenzuela J Polanco M 43.10 10
7 5 Proud Jenny (NM) Medellin A Gonzalez S 28.70 9
1 6 Grand Maneuver (KY) Pedroza M Velasquez D 2.80 6
8 7 Bigmikeistheman (FL) Smith M Fanning J 1.10 5
10 8 Jakesam (KY) Baze T Hollendorfer J 4.10 3
11 9 Certainly Certain (CA) Santiago Reyes C Solis W 8.70 2
1A 10 B. J.’s Hope (KY) Espinoza V Velasquez D 2.80 4
SCR Celestic Night (KY)    
SCR Liquid Asset (KY)    
SCR Elessar (KY)    
SCR Tiger Trysts (KY) Gryder A Kitchingman A
Pgm Win Place Show
2 $44.60 $22.20 $12.20
11 $9.40 $7.40
10 $5.00
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $850.35 (5/11-3-1/10-2)
$1.00 Exacta paid $189.70 (2-11)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $289.30 (3-10-2)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $1943.80 (9 OF 10)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $5042.50 (2-11-10-1-8)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $3149.80 (2-11-10-1)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $1452.00 (2-11-10)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $236.20 (10-2)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $324.20 (4-8-5/11-3-1/10-2)
$2.00 Quinella paid $128.40 (2-11)


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