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

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40,000, 6 furlongs, 2 yo fillies 

Possible overlays                             Morning line 

#2 Excellent Point                                    6/1
#4 Della Mia                                            20/1
#10 Miss Apricot                                      20/1 

Clifford Sise, who is the trainer of #2 Excellent Point, does well with first time starters in this class. This filly has all slow workouts, but this trainer typically trains his debuters slowly in the morning then runs them fast in the afternoon. 

Sise, who also owns Excellent Point, chose jockey Jose Verenzuela even though this rider has ridden just 20 mounts at the meet, winning two times. Sise uses top riders at times, but he is just as likely to leg up low profile jocks like Danny Sorenson, Iggy Puglisi or Brice Blanc. In fact, Sise used 22 different riders on his 48 debuters I have listed for him in my database, so he spreads the work around throughout the jockey colony. 

A couple of more first timers that might have a shot if they show any betting action are #4 Della Mia and #10 Miss Apricot. 

At the window, I will bet $1,000 to win on #2 Excellent Point at 2/1 to 9/1, but just $300 at 10/1 to 19/1. 

If the odds on either #4 Della Mia or #10 Miss Apriocot fall between 10/1 and 19/1, then I will wager $100 on them.

Sunday, Del Mar Race 9 — 6 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 7 furlongs, 3 yos and up

Possible overlays                        Morning line

#1 Uncle Greg                                          3/1
#2 Royal Import                                     5/2
#3 My Last Tycoon                                7/2
The rail horse #1 Uncle Greg obviously has competitive Beyer Speed Figures and top-notch connections in  trainer Jack Carava and jockey Joel Rosario. But I don’t think his running style is suited for this 7 furlong distance. 
In Uncle Greg’s last two races, Rosario was asking the gelding for everything in the stretch, but got little response. I respect Carava when dropping new claims in class, and this one might look like a different horse today. But I will likely have my money on #2 Royal Import or #3 My Last Tycoon.
Royal Import, who is trained by Bob Hess, ran his first nine races on the grass before a second-place finish on the Del Mar Polytrack on Aug. 8. With his turf racing experience, Royal Import should be able to stay near the middle of the pack and come with a late closing kick.
Trainer Mel Stute likes to race his horses into shape and My Last Tycoon is coming off of two turf routes where he ran OK. My Last Tycoon could be dangerous if he can reproduce the late run he made on Aug. 1 when he came within three lengths of winning a maiden special weight turf route.
I will put $500 to win on #2 Royal Import at 5/2 or higher and $200 to win on #3 My Last Tycoon at 3/1 or more.
Results: Lost $200 with a win bet on #3 My Last Tycoon at 5-1.

1 1 Uncle Greg (KY) Rosario J Carava J 2.20 1
2 2 Royal Import (GB) Espinoza V Hess, Jr. R 1.70 2
3 3 My Last Tycoon (NY) Quinonez A Stute M 5.10 3
4 4 Hamonic Motion (CA) Garcia M Young D 47.60 7
5 5 Warrens Temptation (CA) Velazquez J Van Berg J 26.60 5
6 6 Courtside Action (KY) John K DeLeon R 16.30 6
7 7 Quietly Waiting (KY) Valdez F Knapp S 16.40 9
8 8 Kopriti (CA) Gihua J Frousiakis J 17.80 8
9 9 Anga (CA) Delgadillo A Garcia V 7.20 4
Pgm Win Place Show
1 $6.40 $3.20 $2.60
2 $3.00 $2.20
3 $3.00
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $2041.65 (3-6-6-1)
$1.00 Exacta paid $7.10 (1-2)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $655.00 (6-6-1)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $4172.50 (9 OF 9)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $208.00 (1-2-3-9-5)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $69.00 (1-2-3-9)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $16.60 (1-2-3)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $67.00 (6-1)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $1269.80 (4-4/13/14-3-6-6-1)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $239706.40 (4-4/13/14-3-6-6-1)
$2.00 Quinella paid $6.20 (1-2)

Sunday, Del Mar Race 7 — 5 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2-yo Cal-Breds

Possible overlays                     Morning line

#2 Bruno B                                          12/1
#3 Spot of Salt                                      8/1

Speed does well at this distance and the colt with the best demonstrated early foot is #2 Bruno B. Admittedly, this colt has a projected first fraction that is on the soft side compared to other races, but big odds will make up for the risk.

In his last race, Bruno B’s trainer Steve Knapp tried the $100,000 Graduation Stakes. Jockey Felipe Valdez had Bruno B just three lengths off the lead after a half mile, but Valdez must not have believed Bruno B could win because he did not encourage him much in the stretch. The morning line favorite in today’s race, #4 Woodman’s Luck — who is also Brad Free’s best bet in the Daily Racing Form — came on to finish in front of Bruno B by a slight 1-3/4 length margin. In my mind, considering how Valdez practically breezed Bruno B in the stretch, not much separates the ability of Woodman’s Luck from Bruno B.

In Bruno B’s July 25 debut he was shuffled at the start to be off slowly, then gained good ground while quickly moving four paths wide on the turn. Entering the stretch Bruno B was six wide yet closed to be beaten just over two lengths. See for yourself. In this video, Bruno B is horse #1.

The Beyer Speed Figures in this race seem weak compared to what other winners in this class have run in the past, which is why a horse like #3 Spot of Salt may hit the wire first. Owner La Canada Stables does well with debut horses and leading jockey Joel Rosario is also outstanding on 2-year-old MSW first-time starters.

I will bet $300 to win on #2 Bruno B at 9/2 or more. Also, I want $400 on #3 Spot of Salt at 7/2 to 9/1, but just $200 at 10/1 to 19/1.


Results: Lost $500 by betting $300 to win on 14-1 shot #2 Bruno B and $200 on #3 Spot of Salt at 12-1.


1 1 Mi Marino (KY) John K DeLeon R 26.10 11
2 2 Bruno B (CA) Valdez F Knapp S 14.60 6
3 3 Spot of Salt (CA) Rosario J Carava J 12.20 7
4 4 Woodmans Luck (CA) Bejarano R Puype M 1.30 3
5 5 Thunder of Zion (CA) Scott J Bellasis R 25.60 10
6 6 Da Boomer (CA) Pedroza M Blincoe T 13.20 1
7 7 Shane Daniel (CA) Valenzuela P O’Neill D 4.60 2
8 8 Mr. Sierra (CA) Espinoza V Bonde J 9.30 5
9 9 Baby Bull (CA) Garcia M Saavedra A 44.70 9
10 10 Jailbird Jimmy (CA) Gihua J O’Neill D 8.40 4
11 11 What a Rush (CA) Berrio O Avila A 14.80 8
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $28.40 $13.40 $6.40
7 $5.40 $3.20
4 $2.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $61.80 (6-7)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $455.90 (4-3-6)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $1003.40 (6-7-4-10)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $204.60 (6-7-4)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $105.60 (3-6)
$2.00 Quinella paid $68.40 (6-7)

Saturday, Del Mar Race 10 — 6:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 yos and up

Possible overlays                            Morning line

#2 Carrie Rose                                         3/1
#3 Ride a Wave                                       6/1
#6 Rising Honour                                      9/2

Without a doubt, the top early speed horse in this race is #2 Carrie Rose. In her past two sprints, Carrie Rose was pressured on the lead against maiden special weight competition. But today, she should get to the front rather easily and therefore should have more moxie in the stretch.

With the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class being 66, either of Carrie Rose’s sprint finishes would have beaten many a $25k maiden claiming field. If this race were shorter, she would be a better bet, but speed is usually overvalued at 6-1/2 and 7 furlongs where pressers and closers do well.

Two promising closers in here are also returning from long layoffs. Trained by Eoin Harty, #6 Rising Honour is dropping from maiden special weight where she had been most recently routing on the turf. The move from turf route to maiden claiming sprint after a long layoff is a profitable one. And Rising Honour has the talent to win today, as all of her Beyer numbers either meet or exceed the median 66 BSF for this class.

Although #3 Ride a Wave is making her seventh lifetime start, this is her first in Southern California after campaigning in Florida throughout 2009. Her new trainer Kathy Walsh has a good record with newly-acquired horses and Ride a Wave ran decently in December before being put away.

As far as the odds go, if #6 Rising Honour is bet to 2-1 to 3-1 that would be a great sign that race track insiders think she is training well. If her price drifts to 7-2 or higher, then I will discount her chances.

Ride a Wave doesn’t look as good as Rising Honour on paper, but Kathy Walsh produces top results and I like this filly from 2-1 to 9-1.

I’ve been watching Mike Mitchell’s runners over the years, and he has an outstanding record in maiden claiming races like this one when his horses are bet below 3-1. The morning line maker believes Carrie Rose will be 3-1, but I think she’ll be more like 8-5 or 9-5.  

If #6 Rising Honour is 2-1 to 3-1 then I will be $500 on her.

If #2 Carrie Rose is 5-2 or less and Rising Honour is 7-2 or more, then I will bet $200 exactas 2 with 3,6.

Finally, at 4-1 to 9-1, I will bet $200 on #3 Ride a Wave.


Results: Lost $400 by betting two $200 exactas keying #2 Carrie Rose at 6-5 to #3 Ride A Wave at 15-1 and #6 Rising Honour at 4-1.


1 1 Nosegay (CA) Pedroza M Barba A 28.70 8
2 2 Carrie Rose (CA) Smith M Mitchell M 1.20 3
3 3 Ride a Wave (KY) Flores D Walsh K 15.50 6
4 4 Junes Blue Moon (OR) Gihua J Martinez S 10.80 9
5 5 Storm’n Marisa (KY) Bisono A Chew M 39.60 4
6 6 Rising Honour (KY) Valenzuela P Harty E 4.00 1
7 7 Long Legged Lovely (CA) Bejarano R Jones M 10.30 5
9 8 Gavita (NM) Quinonez A Gonzalez S 60.60 11
10 9 Real Obvious (KY) Garcia M Mullins J 10.80 2
11 10 Love Song Mellody (KY) Cedeno A Martinez R 70.80 12
12 11 Atta’ Girl (CA) Valdez F Polanco M 18.00 7
13 12 Lady Adelle (KY) Velazquez J Sadler J 12.10 10
SCR Touch a Dream (CA)    
SCR Le Defi (CA) Quinonez A Lloyd J
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $10.00 $5.80 $3.60
10 $10.40 $5.60
2 $2.40
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $143.65 (3-3-4/10-6)
$1.00 Exacta paid $48.20 (6-10)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $33.20 (3-4-6)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $1005.40 (10 OF 10)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $16190.40 (6-10-2-5-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $1893.10 (6-10-2-5)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $137.20 (6-10-2)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $26.80 (4-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $4411.20 (3-2/5-3-3-4/10-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $78.60 (3-2/5-3-3-4/10-6)
$2.00 Quinella paid $71.80 (6-10)

Friday, Del Mar Race 6 — 6 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 3 yos and up

Possible overlays                         Morning line

#4 Night Justice                                    6/1
#5 Harlan’s Tune                                   6/1
#6 Salah Salah                                      9/2
#9 Syllabus                                           4/1

The likely favorite #7 Looking for Candy has been laid off since November 2009. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, this colt followed a 69 Beyer Speed Figure with a 71 in his only two races, which were both against maiden special weight foes.

If Looking for Candy was healthy then his development from a 2-year-old to a 3-year-old would probably mean that he could run an 80 speed figure. And that number would make him competitive in $40,000 and higher maiden claiming races where the median Beyer Speed Figure is 81.

So, I am going to take the view that Looking for Candy still has some problems and this horse’s low price means no value.

However, in #6 Salah Salah’s two races he’s chased legitimate speedballs and is now dropping in class. Speed is king at 5-1/2 furlongs and Salah Salah should have enough early gas to make him a contender at what looks to be a decent price.

Brian Koriner trains #5 Harlan’s Tune, a first-time gelding who last raced in March. Records show that Koriner does well getting his older maiden sprinters to run well after being away from the races for a substantial amount of time. In August 2009, Harlan’s Tune led 9 rivals for a half mile before tiring while sprinting in an $85,000 claimer. Harlan’s Tune projects to have early speed equal to Salah Salah, so he also must be considered. 

Breaking just inside of Harlan’s Tune will be #4 Night Justice, who was bet to 9-2 during his August 1 debut. In that race, Night Justice was squeezed at the start then was boxed in until the top of the lane. Jockey Pat Valenzuela eased him in the stretch, but this gelding had a strong 5-furlong workout on Aug. 14 and trainer Peter Miller frequently wins with second timers.

Finally, trainer Clifford Sise has an excellent record with maiden claimers in their first lifetime starts. Sise, who sends out #9 Syllabus today, has a record of success with this move with both the owner, Martin Wygod, and jockey, Joel Rosario.

At odds of 3-1 or more, I will bet $500 on both #9 Syllabus and #6 Salah Salah.

If the odds on either Syllabus or Salah Salah are too low, then I will not bet that horse and instead substitute $300 to win on #5 Harlan’s Tune at 3-1 or more.


Results: Lost $1,000 by putting $500 each on #6 Salah Salah at 7-1 and #9 Syllabus at 4-1.


1 1 Single Shot (CA) Valdez F Bonde J 6.90 2
3 2 El Navigante (CA) Garcia M Soto A 58.20 9
4 3 Night Justice (CA) Valenzuela P Miller P 10.90 6
5 4 Harlan’s Tune (KY) Pedroza M Koriner B 15.60 4
6 5 Salah Salah (CA) Flores D Solis W 7.30 5
7 6 Looking for Candy (KY) Bejarano R Hollendorfer J 1.00 1
8 7 Minister Machine (CA) Medellin A Saavedra A 52.30 8
9 8 Syllabus (CA) Rosario J Sise, Jr. C 4.10 3
10 9 Sea Viper (CA) Gihua J Periban J 11.00 7
SCR Hostile Waters (CA) Velazquez J Waterman S
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $4.00 $3.00 $2.40
1 $5.80 $3.80
9 $3.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $10.30 (7-1)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $279.30 (6-9-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $249.30 (7-1-9-5)

Friday, Del Mar Race 4 — 5:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden claming $40K, Cal-bred 2-yo F, 5-1/2 furlongs

Possible overlays                        Morning line

#2 She’sawontontomato                 9/2
#4 Yellow Slicker                                7/2
#7 Lola’s Lollipop                                 8/1
#12 Love At the Bay                          6/1

I like quite a few things about first-time starter #4 Yellow Slicker. This filly’s sire, Bertrando, has won with 9 of 36 of his recent 2-yo and 3-yo debuting So. Cal. progeny when their odds were less than 20-1. A $1 wager on all would have yielded a $2.06 return.

Yellow Slicker’s trainer is also top-notch with young horses running for the first time. John Sadler won with 11 of 38 of his recent 2-yo and 3-yo debuters when odds were between 2-1 and 9-1 for a $1.69 return on $1. Yellow Slicker’s slow workouts don’t bother me either because seven of Sadler’s maiden claiming debuters have had slow drills and three of them won regardless. Even owner Martin Wygod and jockey Joel Rosario have good records in this situation. 

But there is more to like in this race than just Yellow Slicker.

Bertrando is also the sire of #7 Lola’s Lollipop, who worked out fast at Santa Anita earlier this summer before coming to Del Mar. Trainer Blake Heap has done well with the few So. Cal. first-time starters that he’s run in recent years – but he is no John Sadler.

Patrick Valenzuela will ride #10 Alevei for Art Sherman. But this one has been working out at Pleasanton and I prefer horses that are stationed at Del Mar.

In the far outside post, #12 Love At the Bay was bet to 8-1 in her July 17 debut, but showed little. She worked out fast over the Del Mar Polytrack on Aug. 6, is adding blinkers, dropping in class and upgrading riders. This is a horse that can surprise.

Finally, early speed is dominant in these short sprints so #2 She’sawontontomato has to be respected. This Lewis Cenicola-trainee doesn’t have the greatest early gas I’ve ever seen, but she is only a step or two behind recent wire-to-wire winner Faisca.

Can leading jockey Joel Rosario get the job done on FTS #4 Yellow Slicker?

At odds of 5-2 to 9-1, I’ll put $300 to win on #4 Yellow Slicker and at 7-2 to 19-1, I’ll put $200 to win on #12 Love At the Bay. If Yellow Slicker is 2-1 or less, I’ll move the $300 wager win wager from her to #2 She’sawontontomato at 3-1 or higher.

Also, I want $50 exactas 2 with 4,7,12; 4 with 7,12; and 12 with 4,7. And I’ll take $35 exactas 7 with 4,12.

Although She’sawontontomato has a good chance of winning, her chances for finishing second are slimmer. So I will play her for second in the exacta at a reduced wager: $25 exactas — 4,7,12 with 2.


Results: In the stretch it looked like #12 Love at the Bay was the winner, but she took a bad step and broke down. I bet $300 on eventual race winner #4 Yellow Slicker and made a profit of $705 after subtracting out my exotic wagers that did not connect.


1 1 Elegant Strides (CA) John K Locke T 85.10 9
2 2 She’sawontontomato (CA) Pedroza M Cenicola L 3.70 3
4 3 Yellow Slicker (CA) Rosario J Sadler J 4.00 1
5 4 Warren’s Lover (CA) Bejarano R Gutierrez J 4.80 2
6 5 Good Acktress (CA) Medina L Harrington M 22.30 4
7 6 Lola’s Lollipop (CA) Verenzuela J Heap B 19.40 7
8 7 One More Palo (CA) Quinonez A Gonzalez S 64.30 8
9 8 Freewayracer (CA) Santiago Reyes C Moreno H 63.40 6
10 9 Alevei (CA) Valenzuela P Sherman A 6.10 5
11 10 Cosafina Carina (CA) Valdez F Moger, Jr. E 28.10 10
12 11 Love At the Bay (CA) Espinoza V Becerra R 2.40 11
SCR Secret Althea (CA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $10.00 $5.20 $3.80
5 $5.20 $3.40
2 $3.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $18.70 (4-5)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $122.40 (3-10-4)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $380.70 (4-5-2-6)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $45.30 (4-5-2)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $79.20 (10-4)
$2.00 Quinella paid $18.80 (4-5)

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

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40,000, 6 furlongs, 2-year-olds

Possible overlays                   Morning line

#4 Swiss Tart                          7/2
#5 Welcome Home Ryan            15/1
#6 Purgestein                          3/1
#7 Ultimate Question                 15/1

Although early speed at 6 furlongs is not as dominant as at 5 or 5-1/2 furlongs, it still frequently leads to the winner’s circle.

In here, #4 Swiss Tart has the quickest first quarter mile. If he repeats his race at Hollywood Park against River’s Chapel on May 23, then Swiss Tart should have an easy lead after a half mile. In his four starts against maiden special weight runners, Swiss Tart was outclassed, but the 60 Beyer Speed Figure he ran in the May 23 race shows he can win at this $40,000 claiming level.

One question with this colt, however, is whether he likes the Del Mar surface. Swiss Tart did not run his best as the beaten favorite versus $40,000 claimers on July 28 and his two workouts at Del Mar were slow ones.

Jockey Martin Garcia jumps off #5 Welcome Home Ryan to ride #6 Purgestein

Two second-time starters in here may greatly improve. Jockey Martin Garcia jumps from #5 Welcome Home Ryan to ride #6 Purgestein for trainer Jeff Bonde. On July 24, Purgestein was stuck in among a bunched-up field of horses on the backstretch and took a 4-wide path on the turn.

When Christian Santiago Reyes asked him to run in the stretch, Purgestein came up empty. The backstretch struggle may have broke Purgestein’s spirit and he may run better in his second start.

Purgestein’s two quick Del Mar drills suggest that the Polytrack will not hinder him.

Welcome Home Ryan was erratic throughout in his debut on July 22, but this longshot is dropping in class and adding blinkers for his second start. In the past, that combination has created some dramatic turnarounds.

Finally, #7 Ultimate Question is trained by the cagey Art Sherman. Running just a handful of 2-year-old high-priced claimers in their debuts, Sherman popped with a 16-1 shot in November 2006 and at odds of 57-1 in September 2007.

Sherman uses low-profile riders and today he is employing Felipe Valdez.

At the windows, I will put $400 to win on #4 Swiss Tart at 3-1 to 9-2 and I’ll increase my wager to $600 at 5-1 and up. If the odds on Swiss Tart are 5-2 or lower, then I’ll will instead put $350 to win on #6 Purgestein at 3-1 or better.

Also, at 5-1 to 19-1, I’ll put $150 to win on #5 Welcome Home Ryan and $200 to win on #7 Ultimate Question at 10-1 to 19-1 only.


Results: With two minutes to post, Swiss Tart was 4-1, but the late money knocked him to 5-2, which also knocked me out of action. None of the prices on my other three wagering scenarios fell into their odds windows either. So I had no action.


1 1 Alex T (KY) Nakatani C Bacorn H 17.80 5
2 2 Nitro Power (CA) Gihua J Martinez S 20.20 6
3 3 Liquid Asset (KY) Espinoza V Moger, Jr. E 3.80 3
4 4 Swiss Tart (CA) Santiago Reyes C Harrington M 2.60 1
5 5 Welcome Home Ryan (KY) Flores D Velasquez D 25.40 9
6 6 Purgestein (KY) Garcia M Bonde J 2.30 11
7 7 Ultimate Question (KY) Valdez F Sherman A 42.50 7
9 8 Tiger Bay (CO) Pedroza M Troeger R 18.40 4
10 9 Regroup (KY) Atkinson P Hendricks D 22.20 8
11 10 Trouble Rules (CA) Medellin A Fanning J 20.00 2
13 11 Clearance Clarence (KY) Smith M Papaprodromou G 8.10 10
SCR E Z Led (PA)    
SCR Jakesam (KY)    
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $7.20 $4.60 $3.40
11 $13.40 $6.40
3 $3.60
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $101.80 (7-8-3/6-4)
$1.00 Exacta

Turning $2 into $27K on the amazing Zenyatta

As everybody knows, Zenyatta is the greatest thing to happen to Southern California racing since the Pick 6.

And her popularity is only rising. During the 2009 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes last year, 20,335 racetrackers showed up at Del Mar.

But after Zenyatta’s scintillating Breeder’s Cup Classic win at Santa Anita last November and her 17-for-17 record, undefeated Zenyatta went for number 18 before 32,536 people in Saturday’s running of the Hirsch.  And Big Z didn’t disappoint.

Although floated six paths wide on the turn, Zenyatta rallied into a brutally slow pace to prevail by a neck. Afterward, jockey Mike Smith paraded her up and down the front stretch, while tens of thousands of transfixed onlookers wildly applauded the 6-year-old mare from the Del Mar grandstand, YouTube videos showed.

The post-race celebration came together like a scripted scene from “Seabiscuit.” But it wasn’t.

It was reality.

Paris Hilton

In fact, Zenyatta has now become a celebrity on par with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. Zenyatta won’t be hosting any night club openings in Vegas, but like Hilton and Kardashian, Zenyatta’s mere presence attracts huge crowds of exuberant followers.

With the victory, owner Jerry Moss pocketed another $180,000 to bring Zenyatta’s career earnings to $6.25 million. But what about the betting public? Can they make any money by betting Zenyatta?

It seems the logical answer is “not much” because Zenyatta’s odds return so little to winners. But Del Mar’s morning line maker Russell Hudak figured out that a measly $2 parlay of Zenyatta’s 18 victories would have returned $27,248.28.

Of course, whoever had this kind of amazing foresight into Zenyatta’s career would also need to be wired with nerves of steel. That’s because the Zenyatta parlay would have required that the bettor plunk down $24,768 before Saturday’s win.

Indeed, the concept of compound interest is so powerful it has turned teenagers with nothing into billionaires by age 60. And I’m sure that even investor Warren Buffett would be one of Zenyatta’s biggest fans if the horse helped him roll $2 into $27K.

Sunday, Del Mar Race 6 — 4:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2 yo fillies

Possible overlays                   Morning line

#1 Blaze Along                             3/1
#5 Lofty Ambition                         5/2
#6 Clearly Concerned                   7/2
#7 Candid Ride                             4/1

Over the last few years, a good bet when looking for first-time starters in maiden special weight races for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds has been to find top trainers running early foals with good workouts that are going off at decent prices.

In this race, four trainers are winning more than 20 percent of their races for the year: Bob Baffert, Carla Gaines, Jerry Hollendorfer and John Sadler. Their fillies scheduled to go to post in this race all have good workouts and were born in January, February and March.

The morning line maker has them all priced somewhere between 5/2 and 4/1. Of course, all I care about are the odds at post time and I will take whatever horses the public gives me.

I will bet $500 to win on the two highest-odds horses that are between 7/2 and 9/1 among #1 Blaze Along, #5 Lofty Ambition, #6 Dearly Concerned and #7 Candid Ride.


Results: Lost $1,000. Had $500 to win on #6 Dearly Concerned at 4-1 and another $500 win bet on #7 Candid Ride at 5-1.


2 1 Sky Flying Eileen (KY) Quinonez A Cho M 23.10 2
3 2 Blondies Bling (FL) Scott J Kirkham B 31.90 6
1 3 Blazing Along (KY) Medina L Baffert B 2.20 3
4 4 True Way of Grace (FL) Valenzuela P Barba A 30.20 8
5 5 Lofty Ambition (KY) Bejarano R Gaines C 2.40 7
6 6 Dearly Concerned (KY) Espinoza V Hollendorfer J 4.30 9
7 7 Candid Ride (PA) Rosario J Sadler J 5.60 10
8 8 Rigoletta (FL) Flores D Hendricks D 12.20 1
9 9 Anniversary Girl (KY) Smith M Hollendorfer J 14.20 5
1A 10 Star Presence (KY) Garcia M Baffert B 2.20 4
Pgm Win Place Show
8 $26.40 $10.00 $5.80
2 $19.20 $9.00
1 $2.80
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $313.70 (8-2)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $779.60 (7-1-8)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $7581.10 (8-2-1-9)

Sunday, Del Mar Race 4 — 3:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden Claiming $25,000, 7 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up
Possible overlays                    Morning line
#2 Born to Waltz                          15/1
#6 Royal Import                            3/1
#8 Aeromon                                    5/2
This race is mainly between two horses: #6 Royal Import and #8 Aeromon.
Trained by Robert Hess, Royal Import is making his tenth career start and first on anything other than grass. Eight of Royal Import’s last 10 races were routes, but that shouldn’t put him at a disadvantage at this 7-furlong distance. This gelding has shown a good late kick, which will be needed to catch Aeromon.
Aeromon has the best demonstrated speed in this field. The question will be whether leading jockey Joel Rosario can slow down Aeromon enough during the second quarter mile so this gelding will have the energy to hold off Royal Import in the lane.
At 7 furlongs, speed isn’t as great an asset as it is in short sprints. That is why I would be reluctant to bet Aeromon if Royal Import is a longer price.
The only other horse I’m looking at in this race is #2 Born to Waltz, who is running in his second race back from a long layoff. The past performances on this Jerry Fanning-trainee are on the dismal side which should help the odds. In his first race, Born to Waltz was pulled up and walked off. In his second start, he broke dead last in an eleven-horse field and stayed there until closing good ground in the stretch to finish seventh. Horses of this type have shown to be profitable win-place bets at 10/1 to 19/1.
Therefore, at 5/2 and up, I will bet $700 on #6 Royal Import. But if Royal Import is 2/1 or below at post time, then I will wager $300 on #8 Aeromon at 3/1 or higher.
Also, at 10/1 to 19/1, I will put $50 on #2 Born to Waltz.
I can see Aeromon getting away loose on the lead with Royal Import closing to be second. So, I will bet a straight $20 trifecta 8 with 6 with 2, a $5 trifecta 8 with 2 with 6, and $5 trifectas 8 with 6 with all horses 10/1 to 30/1.
The above exotic bets are contingent on either Aeromon being 3/1 or more, or Royal Import being 5/2 or higher.

Results: Lost $1,090. Had $700 to win on #6 Royal Import at 4-1, $50 on #2 Born to Waltz at 14-1, and $40 worth of trifectas keying #6 Royal Import.


1 1 Cynical Wager (CA) Quinonez A Pearson M 20.90 8
2 2 Born to Waltz (KY) Flores D Fanning J 14.00 6
3 3 Swiss Emperor (CA) Garcia M Zucker H 6.20 9
4 4 Truco (CA) Velazquez J Mollica M 46.10 3
5 5 Sir Bolly (CA) Gonzalez A Mandella G 18.30 10
6 6 Royal Import (GB) Espinoza V Hess, Jr. R 4.10 2
7 7 Valley Cat (CA) Bejarano R Eurton P 2.30 1
8 8 Aeromon (KY) Rosario J Cerin V 2.10 4
9 9 Warrens Temptation (CA) Atkinson P Van Berg J 46.10 5
10 10 Oneinamillionyou (CA) Medina L Pender M 47.10 7
SCR Who U Foolin (CA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $6.60 $3.20 $3.40
6 $5.00 $4.00
4 $10.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $13.50 (7-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $3214.00 (10-1-7)



Saturday, Del Mar Race 7 — 5 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2-yo’s

Possible overlays                         Morning line

#4 Doughboy                                       5/2
#5 Runflatout                                      3/1
#6 Real Heart                                      15/1
#11 Diamond Touch                              6/1

The kind of Southern California first-time starters that have consistently done the best since 2006 are the ones that were early foals, had 20 percent-plus trainers, ran more than two fast workouts and went off at odds between 7/2 to 9/1.

In here, Carla Gaines trains one such animal in #5 Runflatout. All that’s needed for a wager is at least 7/2 odds, however Runflatout is just 3/1 on the morning line.

Breaking just outside of Runflatout is #6 Real Heart, who will be saddled by Jerry Hollendorfer. This gelding has almost all of the qualities of a promising debuter with the only drawback being that his morning line of 15/1 suggests that he’ll be more than 10/1. 

John Sadler has an excellent record with young, first-out maiden special weight runners. But with only a couple of good workouts showing, I’ll need at least 10/1 on his colt, #11 Diamond Touch.

At 5-1/2 furlongs, early speed is extremely important. On July 18, jockey David Flores tried to wire a nine-horse field with #4 Doughboy, but Smash ran him down. On Sunday, Smash is scheduled to run in the Best Pal Stakes.

Doughboy earned a respectable Beyer Speed Figure of 67 that day, but he may need to show improvement today because the median winning Beyer for this class is 76.

At 7/2 to 9/1, I will bet $500 on #5 Runflatout. Also, I want $300 to win on #6 Real Heart at 7/2 to 19/1 and $200 to win on #11 Diamond Touch at 10/1 to 19/1.

If the odds on either Real Heart or Diamond Touch are outside of the window, then I will move their money onto Runflatout. So, it’s possible that I could have $1,000 on Runflatout if he’s at least 7/2.

But if Runflatout is less than 7/2, then instead of him, I will put $300 to win on #4 Doughboy at 5/2 and above.


Results: Lost a $300 win bet on #6 Real Heart at 11-1.


1 1 Code Buster (FL) Espinoza V Koriner B 4.70 11
2 2 Hollywood Heist (KY) Santiago Reyes C Harrington M 13.00 2
3 3 Snettisham (CA) Velazquez J Martinez S 73.00 12
4 4 Doughboy (KY) Flores D Solis W 1.60 3
6 5 Real Heart (KY) Pedroza M Hollendorfer J 11.50 6
7 6 Desert Paradise (KY) Quinonez A Pearson M 18.40 5
8 7 Competent (KY) Blanc B Sahadi J 41.00 4
9 8 McKenzies Way (KY) Valenzuela P Troeger R 6.50 1
10 9 Tart N Smart (VA) Gonzalez A Miller P 34.10 10
11 10 Diamond Touch (KY) Verenzuela J Sadler J 6.50 8
12 11 Great Rising Star (FL) Scott J Kirkham B 71.30 9
13 12 Twice the Appeal (KY) Smith M Bonde J 10.50 7
SCR Runflatout (KY) Bejarano R Gaines C
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $15.00 $7.40 $4.40
2 $12.00 $6.20
4 $2.80


Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $94.60 (9-2)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $226.80 (6-6-9)
$1.00 Superfecta

Friday, Del Mar Race 4 — 5:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo and up

Possible overlays                Morning line

#5 Storm’n Marisa                      8/1
#9 Mo Cheese                           3/1

Yes, Joel Rosario is the leading rider at the meet. And yes, #8 Princess Beau K made a nice middle move in a 7-1/2 furlong race on May 30 that shows she has the talent to win this one.

But Princess Beau K is also the consensus best bet in the Daily Racing Form, with both Mike Hammersly and Brad Free putting her in bold type. So, I am hoping that the public pounds this filly down below 2/1.

That would help set up a decent price on #9 Mo Cheese. Trained by Rafael Becerra, Mo Cheese ran a 71 Beyer Speed Figure as a 2-year-old in December 2008 and followed it up by showing some speed at a mile in January 2009. For her third start, Mo Cheese was dropped from maiden special weight into a claiming sprint where Becerra took her for $40,000 off trainer Doug O’Neill.

Mo Cheese hasn’t run since Feb. 8, 2009, but Becerra has done well over the last few years with this type of maiden. Mo Cheese has the right running style for the distance, and has already earned speed figures that would win many of these low-class events.

Another filly coming off a layoff, #5 Storm’n Marisa looks like she might  enjoy 6-1/2 furlongs based on her decent finish in a 5-1/2 furlong race in December 2009.  This 9-race veteran’s former running style was to go to the front early, but she usually tired in the stretch with that strategy.

In the last few races of her past performances, Storm’n Marisa seemed to ration her energy much better, so she might rate well today. She’s been off since January and has low-percentage connections. But Storm’n Marisa had a bullet workout on July 26 and is a good bet at 10/1 to 19/1.

At odds of 5/2 or more, I will bet $800 to win on #9 Mo Cheese. Also, if #5 Storm’n Marisa’s odds are between 10/1 and 19/1, then I will wager $200 to win on her. But if Storm’n Marisa’s odds are not in the 10/1 to 19/1 zone then I will increase my bet on Mo Cheese to $1,000.

Lastly, if Mo Cheese’s odds are exactly 2/1, then I will reduce my bet on her to $300.


Results: Lost a $300 win bet on #9 Mo Cheese at 2-1.


1 1 Sexy Melody (KY) Pedroza M Meredith D 17.40 4
2 2 Atta’ Girl (CA) Verenzuela J Polanco M 9.30 3
4 3 Bear River (CA) Blanc B Knapp S 42.70 8
5 4 Storm’n Marisa (KY) Bisono A Chew M 8.70 6
6 5 Dancing Lauren (KY) Bejarano R Mulhall K 8.50 1
7 6 Gavita (NM) Medellin A Gonzalez S 11.90 7
8 7 Princess Beau K (CA) Rosario J Eurton P 1.50 2
9 8 Mo Cheese (CA) Garcia M Becerra R 2.00 5
SCR Binky’s Sister (CA) John K Kasparoff J
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $19.00 $5.80 $3.40
8 $3.00 $2.40
2 $4.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $23.10 (6-8)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $162.00 (2-1-6)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $815.40 (6-8-2-1)

Talamo out for meet after breaking wrist in spill

Jockey Joe Talamo, pictured aboard Stevie's Afleet on July 21, broke his wrist today when his mount Rockstar Ben went down in Del Mar's third race. Talamo hopes to be back this fall at Oak Tree, he told a Del Mar official.

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

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32K, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2-year-olds 

Possible overlays                         Morning line 

#1 Certainly Certain                            3/1
#3 Elessar                                         6/1
#6 Gibson Home Run                           7/2
#7 Chiloquin                                      6/1
#9 B.J.’s Hope                                    6/1

Of the horses with racing experience, the one with the quickest first quarter-mile is the gelding on the rail, #1 Certainly Certain. 

In his last race, Certainly Certain broke from post 9 and had to be used a bit to stay close to the leaders. Entering the turn, Certainly Certain was 4-wide, but jockey Christian Santiago Reyes was able to negotiate his way toward the rail while on the bend. In the stretch, Certainly Certain gamely challenged the ultimate race winner JJ Minister while running a 70 Beyer Speed Figure, which would win most of the races at this level. 

However, this difficult race was on July 21, which was just two weeks ago, therefore Certainly Certain may bounce. 

A see quite a few trainer angles in this race. Kathy Walsh, who saddles #3 Elessar, has a great record with young horses making their second lifetime starts. 

First time starters have not been a good bet at this level since the beginning of 2009. But trainer Peter Miller seems to specialize with young maiden claimers making their first lifetime starts. Between January 2009 and May 2010, Miller won with 5 of 12 maiden claiming debuters that had post time odds between 7/2 and 19/1. In here, Miller saddles first-timer runner #6 Gibson Home Run. 

Another who has a great record with young maiden claimers is Adam Kitchingman, who trains #2 Mi Alma. Although Mi Alma will be ridden by leading jockey Joel Rosario, this gelding is a late foal so I am not interested. 

Finally, trainers that also own a piece of the horse do well in these types of races.  Trainer Scott Hansen is partners on #7 Chiloquin, who is by Tribal Rule. This sire’s 2 year-old and 3-year-old progeny have won 6 of 30 races at first asking recently in Southern California. Hansen doesn’t start many, but he has worked as an assistant to top trainers like Bobby Frankel and Julio Canani. 

At odds of 5/2 or higher, I will wager $600 to win on #1 Certainly Certain. Also, at 4/1 to 9/1, I’ll put $300 to win on whichever horse is the longer price between #3 Elessar and #6 Gibson Home Run. 

Finally, if #7 Chiloquin is 7/1 to 12/1, I will put $100 to win on him.  

If Certainly Certain’s odds are below 5/2, then instead I will change my bets to $400 to win on both #3 Elessar at 7/2 to 9/1 and #6 Gibson Home Run at 7/2 to 19/1; and $200 to win on #7 Chiloquin at 5/1 to 12/1.


RESULTS: Lost $500 with a $300 win wager on #3 Elessar at 4-1 and $200 to win on #7 Chiloquin at 11-1.


1 1 Certainly Certain (CA) Santiago Reyes C Solis W 1.80 3
3 2 Elessar (KY) Garcia M Walsh K 4.40 2
4 3 Celestic Night (KY) Nakatani C French N 15.60 5
5 4 On Golden Time (CA) Gihua J Aguayo V 47.60 9
6 5 Gibson Home Run (FL) Valenzuela P Miller P 2.80 1
7 6 Chiloquin (CA) Pedroza M Hansen S 11.30 4
8 7 Unbridled Score (CA) Rivera C Stute M 45.50 6
9 8 B. J.’s Hope (KY) Espinoza V Velasquez D 5.40 7
10 9 Express Train (KY) Garcia J Bernstein D 20.00 8
SCR Mi Alma (KY) Rosario J Kitchingman A
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $7.60 $5.00 $3.40
3 $5.40 $3.00
1 $2.20
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $742.50 (6-1-6/10/11/12-6)
$1.00 Exacta paid $18.60 (6-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $712.70 (1-6-6)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $633.10 (8 OF 8)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $1176.00 (6-3-1-7-4)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $296.00 (6-3-1-7)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $37.40 (6-3-1)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $26.40 (6-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $140.20 (4-1-6-1-6/10/11/12-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $22113.60 (4-1-6-1-6/10/11/12-6)
$2.00 Quinella paid $20.60 (3-6)

RUNNERS WANTED. Experience preferred.

A horse heads onto the track earlier this year at Del Mar. In Southern California, 2-yo and 3-yo first-time starters are winning less frequently than in the past

I noticed an eye-opening trend recently. Since the beginning of 2009, young horses — 2- year-olds and 3-year-olds — making their first lifetime starts at So. California tracks are not winning with the frequency they once did, and almost all of them are unprofitable long-term plays.

Maybe it’s the synthetic tracks, maybe it’s a short-term variance to be fixed by the law of large numbers, or maybe during these tough economic times, owners want some second, third or fourth place purse money before going for the big prize.

In any event, the only young debut horses that are worth a wager these days are those saddled by trainers with an overall win rate of 20 percent or more.

In this study, I looked at first-time starters in maiden sprints for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds at Southern California tracks that ran from November 1, 2006 to December 31, 2008. Then I compared them to debuters that ran from January 1, 2009 to May 23, 2010. I did not use any first timers in races written for horses 3-year-olds and up or 4-year-olds and up. Those types of debuters are in a whole different world. 

I used early foals only — those born in January, February and March — because those are the ones who win most frequently. Then I looked at two trainer groups — the ones whose winning percentages were 20 or more on the day the debuter ran, and those  trainers with winning percentages of less than 20. 

Finally, I broke it down by odds: Horses that were between 7/2 and 9/1, and those whose post time odds were between 10/1 to 19/1.

This is what I found out: Before 2009, trainers with less than a 20 percent win rate who saddled first-time starters with odds between 10/1 and 19/1 won 29 of 299 races or 9.6 percent. A $1 bet on all 299 runners returned $1.50 for every $1 wagered.

However after 2009, these sub-20 percent trainers won with only 7 of 140, or 5 percent, of their runners in the 10/1 to 19/1 odds range. If someone were to bet $1 on all of them after 2009, they would have gotten back just 65 cents for every $1 bet.

In the sub-20 percent winning trainer group, I also looked at their debuters at odds of between 7/2 and 9/1, who had at least two workouts in the top 20 percent for that day’s distance.  Before 2009, the sub-20 percent trainers’ first timers won 26 or 134 races, or 19.4 percent, for an ROI of $1.43 for every $1 wagered.

But after 2009, just 8 of 56 of these 7/2 to 9/1-odds debuters won. The 14 percent win rate gave somebody who wagered $1 on each horse a return of just 90 cents.

Trainer Bob Baffert signs an autograph in Del Mar's paddock. Baffert is the kind of high percentage trainer that is still a good bet with debuters

For the track’s best horsemen, first-time starters going off at odds between 7/2 and 9/1 with two good works is still an extremely strong bet. But once their odds hit 10/1 to 19/1, it becomes less clear.

Before 2009, trainers with an overall record of at least 20 percent wins, had 9 victories in 37 tries, or 24 percent, with first-time starters between 7/2 and 9/1. Every $1 bet returned $1.61. After 2009, the record of these trainers strengthened with debuters between 7/2 and 9/1 to 34.7 percent with 8 wins in 23 starts for an ROI of $2.26 for every $1 wagered. 

Before 2009, at odds of 10/1 to 19/1, these 20-percent-plus trainers won 9 of 61 starts for a win rate of 14.7 percent. Backers got $2.16 for every $1 bet. However, after 2009, these top trainers won just 3 of 32 starts in this odds range for a return of $1.15 for every $1 bet.

In summary, these days, 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds making their first lifetime starts are only strong wagers if the trainer’s win rate is 20 percent or more, the runner has at least two good workouts, and the horse’s odds are between 7/2 and 9/1.

Betting any other first timer is a shaky proposition.

Eight years

Bob Baffert announced to his Facebook friends that today is his eight-year wedding anniversary to his wife, Jill. They were married just before War Emblem’s Haskell Stakes in 2002.

Also, Baffert said that Lookin at Lucky is recovering well from the 102-degree temperature that he suffered this morning.

Owner Mike Pegram and Baffert were considering the Travers before the setback, but now the 3-year-old colt will not run at Saratoga.

Lookin at Lucky will stay at Monmouth Park until completely healthy, Baffert said.

Results, Sunday Del Mar Race 3 – lost $1,000

Riding for trainer Marty Jones, jockey Joel Rosario took #3 Hugs to All wire-to-wire.

Well, everything in this race was pointing to #9 Breakmark. He was a second-time starter dropping in class after a long layoff.

This type of horse has been very good to me in the past. In fact, of the last 20 of these types that were less than 8/1, 14 were winners.

Also, the colt’s owner, Martin Wygod is scheduled to sell 110 of his horses at a special Barrett’s Equine Ltd. sale on Oct. 12. So, why would he care if Benchmark got claimed? 

Everything was a go. Except nobody told the horse.

Benchmark broke slowly from the far outside. He showed a little run on the backstretch, then he faded to last in the stretch as the 5/2 favorite.

But for Wygod, there was at least some good news. After the race, it was announced that Benchmark was claimed by owner-trainer Steve Knapp for $40,000.

Meanwhile, a horse can’t win the race if he never gets the lead. Knowing this, jockey Joel Rosario went right to the front with the gray #3 Hugs to All. Rosario slowed the pace down just enough to allow this Harris Farms front runner to have something left for the drive.

Hugs to All held off #5 Fortunate Appeal by a neck and paid $7.80.

I wagered $1,000 on #9 Benchmark.

1 1 It’s Not Unusual (CA) Bejarano R O’Neill D 9.10 4
2 2 Melo Laser (CA) Espinoza V Herrick J 31.10 3
3 3 Hugs to All (CA) Rosario J Jones M 2.90 1
4 4 Salah Salah (CA) Flores D Solis W 6.10 5
5 5 Fortunate Appeal (CA) Pedroza M Machowsky M 2.90 2
6 6 Sea Viper (CA) Santiago Reyes C Periban J 12.10 8
7 7 Romeo Royale (CA) Nakatani C Abrams B 32.10 6
8 8 Jump On Board (CA) Quinonez A Capestro P 51.30 7
9 9 Breakmark (CA) Valenzuela P Shirreffs J 2.50 9
Pgm Win Place Show
3 $7.80 $3.80 $2.80
5 $3.60 $2.80
2 $6.80
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $13.50 (3-5)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $16.80 (3-3-3)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $1081.70 (3-5-2-1)

Results, Del Mar Saturday Race 2 — lost $400


Jockey Joe Talamo gets #5 Ribat up in time to dead heat with #3 Asno Del Caramelo Saturday

When I was preparing for this race, it looked as if value would be found betting against the Bob Baffert-trained first-time starter, #8 Benergy.

It’s not because Benergy couldn’t win. He could. But I chose against him because he was the 5/2 morning line favorite and he was likely to be bet too low to justify his chances of victory.

However, the veterinarian scratched Benergy in the morning, so it made this race a bit more difficult to play.

Trainer Mark Glatt had 2-year-old colt Asno Del Caramelo ready to run on Saturday

Anyway, just one of the three horses that I thought might run well, 6 Gahnzo Bob, had a bettable price. And jockey Corey Nakatani gunned him for the lead even though in his July 4 debut, Gahnzo Bob was in last place after a quarter mile.  

Going for the lead so early was a curious move by both Nakatani and by Patrick Valenzuela. P Val rode  #1 Joburg Star, who was another horse who led early in this race after not showing speed in the past.  Maybe they thought the pace would be soft and their horses would last. But 6 furlongs is not like 5 furlongs or even 5-1/2 furlongs where speed dominates. At 6 furlongs, the race plays much more fair to pressers and stretch runners.

When the race began, Joburg Star shot to the front with Gahnzo Bob on his flank as race caller Trevor Denman said “they could not be going any quicker.” Jockey Martin Pedroza, riding #3 Asno Del Caramelo, sat behind the leaders and cut the corner on the rail to surge to the front at the top of the lane as Denman announced “now that fast early pace taking its toll.”

Just then, #5 Ribat started making his run from far back. In deep stretch,  Ribat quickly came into the picture, but gained slowly on Asno Del Caramelo during the last sixteenth of a mile until both noses simultaneously hit the wire.

I ended up putting $100 to win on #2 Alert Rocket at 19/1 and $300 to win on #6 Gahnzo Bob.

1 1 Joburg Star (KY) Valenzuela P Miller P 3.50 5
2 2 Alert Rocket (KY) Espinoza V Gallagher P 19.30 6
3 3 Asno Del Caramelo (PA) Pedroza M Glatt M 1.60 1
4 4 Baby Tate (CA) Bejarano R Mullins J 2.90 7
5 5 Ribat (KY) Talamo J Periban J 8.40 1
6 6 Gahnzo Bob (KY) Nakatani C Pender M 8.90 4
7 7 Riveting Reason (KY) Quinonez A Cho M 11.30 3
SCR Benergy (KY) Garcia M Baffert B
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $7.20 $6.60 $3.80
3 $3.20 $3.40 $3.00
7 $5.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $14.00 (5-3)
$1.00 Exacta paid $9.50 (3-5)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $274.00 (3-5-7-6)

Results, Friday Del Mar Race 3 — won $90

Jockey David Flores shot to the lead on #5 Missilette and never looked back

In this race, seven of the 12 fillies that went to post were running for the first time. But it was #5 Missilette, who was making her fifth start, that dominated the race from start to finish.

Back on June 10, Missilette competed in her only claiming race. She got the lead early and was cruising by three lengths in the stretch before Gator AtFonz’s nailed her.

In that race, Missilette showed that she had legitimate early speed for this class. And at 5-1/2 furlongs early speed is important and these days experience is too.

In fact, since the beginning of 2009, 2-year-old and 3-year-old horses making their debuts at odds of 7/2 to 19/1 have won much less frequently than first timers did in 2007 and 2008. I don’t know what is causing this, but it’s possibly the synthetic surfaces.

Anyway, in this race, Flores hustled Missilette hard from the gate to get the early advantage. She led #9 Darling Disarray and the other eight runners by a length down the backstretch.

On the turn, Martin Garcia was all out on Darling Disarray, but the filly was not gaining ground. At the top of the stretch, Missilette and Darling Disarray were 3-1/2 lengths ahead of the other runners. Missilette pulled away and Darling Disarray tired, but held on for second place.

I ended up betting $300 to win on #9 Darling Disarray at 5/1 and $200 on #1 Darling Ciana at 14/1. Also, I played $30  exactas with Missilette on top and I caught the 5-9 $1 payoff of $22.50.

1 1 Darling Ciana (KY) Talamo J Sherman A 14.10 6
2 2 Eloquence (KY) Nakatani C Fulmer D 42.00 8
3 3 Sparrow (FL) Rosario J Ward W 1.70 3
4 4 Sweet Consolidator (KY) Santiago Reyes C Bonde J 15.70 5
5 5 Missilette (CA) Flores D Solis W 3.20 1
6 6 Amor de Mi Alma (NM) Medellin A Gonzalez S 66.80 12
7 7 Planet Janet (CA) Atkinson P Truman E 35.10 10
9 8 Darling Disarray (KY) Garcia M Hollendorfer J 5.30 2
10 9 Natural Pearl (CA) Quinonez A Machowsky M 26.10 9
11 10 Lucky Sis (CA) Pedroza M O’Neill D 7.40 4
12 11 Lemon Drop Ridge (KY) Garcia M Stute G 15.60 7
13 12 Mama’s Spell (CA) Espinoza V Lewis C 52.90 11
SCR Family Plan (FL)    
SCR The Zapana (KY) Atkinson P Hendricks D
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $8.40 $4.20 $3.20
9 $5.60 $3.40
3 $3.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $22.50 (5-9)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $55.30 (2-3-5)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $193.80 (5-9-3-11)

Results, Thursday Del Mar Race 3 — lost $1,000

Jockey Martin Garcia eased #1 Lost Prophet to the lead then poured it on in the stretch.

Looking at this race beforehand, it was easy to tell that #1 Lost Prophet was a contender. She clearly had the best speed, trainer Mike Mitchell has an outstanding long-term record with horses he just claimed, and she worked a bullet on July 23.

Her only drawback was that 7-furlong races are not usually won by horses on the lead. They are mostly won by horses like #3 Indiara and #4 Kaysa Deeya that either press the pace or run midpack then come on strong in the stretch.

As the gates opened, jockey Martin Garcia restrained Lost Prophet a bit, although the filly’s natural speed got her to the lead anyway. On the backstretch, she was able to establish a clear one-length lead with minimal encouragement by Garcia.

In second place, #6 East Lake Shore was plugging away until midway on the turn when #4 Kaysa Deeya passed her rather easily. In the stretch, Lost Prophet widened her lead to win by 8-1/2 lengths, while Kaysa Deeya ran on strongly under jockey Patrick Valenzuela, but was no match.

At 3/1 on the morning line, I planned to wager $700 on Lost Prophet at odds of 5/2 to 4/1, but since she went off at 6/5 my betting plan changed. Instead, my $700 bet went to #4 Kaysa Deeya at 9/1 and I also put $300 to win on #6 East Lake Shore at 11/1.

1 1 Lost Prophet (KY) Garcia M Mitchell M 1.20 1
2 2 Pocatello Wild Kat (CA) Nakatani C Fanning J 23.60 5
3 3 Indiara (KY) Bejarano R Harty E 1.80 4
4 4 Kaysa Deeya (KY) Espinoza V Sadler J 9.90 2
5 5 My Romance (KY) Smith M Headley B 6.60 7
6 6 East Lake Shore (FL) Rosario J Yakteen T 11.90 6
7 7 Lisa Lulu (CA) Pedroza M Abrams B 18.80 3
Pgm Win Place Show
1 $4.40 $3.60 $3.20
4 $7.00 $4.60
7 $5.80
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $17.40 (1-4)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $27.00 (2-6-1)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $300.90 (1-4-7-3)


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