Maiden Special Weight, 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs
Possible overlays Morning line
#1 Joburg Star 6/1
#2 Alert Rocket 15/1
#3 Asno Del Caramelo 3/1
#6 Gahnzo Bob 8/1
Curiously, three of the contending 2-year-olds in this main track race prepped on July 4 at 5 furlongs on the Hollywood Park turf.
All three — #1 Joburg Star, #3 Asno Del Caramelo, and #6 Gahnzo Bob — showed some potential without putting it all together for the whole race.
Trained by Peter Miller, Joburg Star was 4-to-8 paths wide throughout the turn, yet he still ran a 63 Beyer Speed Figure.
More forwardly placed, Asno Del Caramelo sat about three lengths off the lead, but was steadied hard on two different occasions to lose two lengths while earning a 66 BSF. Finally, Gahnzo Bob’s jockey Julio Garcia pulled him to the back of the pack as the race began, then Garcia kept him very wide on the turn, however the colt rallied well when asked.
Gahnzo Bob only ran a 51 Beyer, but any of the three horses I mentioned can probably run a low-to-mid 70s Beyer Speed Figure.
Some of these 2-year-old maiden special weight races come up extremely strong, while others are very weak. The range of Beyer Speed Figures that have won at this class goes from 38 to 99, with the median being 75.
Trainer Bob Baffert starts #8 Benergy with his money man Martin Garcia at the controls. Benergy has had several sharp workouts, including a bullet on July 21. But over the last few years, Baffert has not had much success with debuting 2-year-olds at 6 furlongs. I much prefer to bet his first time starters at 5 or 5-1/2 furlongs.
Benergy is 5/2 on the morning line and I think the public could knock his odds to 2/1.
Trainer Jeff Mullins teams up with jockey Rafael Bejarano on #4 Baby Tate. Mullins has had most of his success with second-time starters in maiden claiming races, not in these classier events. And Baby Tate looks no better than numbers 1, 3 and 6, yet his odds will probably be significantly lower than at least two of them.
Lastly, debuter #2 Alert Rocket has had nothing but slow workouts, however he’s worth a bet if his odds fall between 10/1 and 19/1.
At 2/1 to 5/1, I will bet $150 to win on #3 Asno Del Caramelo. At 3/1 and up, I will put $200 to win on #1 Joburg Star and at 4/1 or higher I’ll put $300 to win on #6 Gahnzo Bob.
In the exotics — which are only live bets if the horses are in my odds zones — I want $50 exactas 6 with 1,3,8; $40 exactas 1 with 3,6,8; and $30 exactas 3 with 1,6,8.
Also, I’ll put $100 on #2 Alert Rocket at 10/1 to 19/1.