Possible overlays Morning line
Median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class: 69
#2 Tribal Dreams 12/1
#7 Teasing Bernie 4/1
#8 Honeycomb 8/1
#9 Jamakagoodsense 6/1
#10 Cherokee Gambler 12/1
The highest last race Beyer Speed Figure in here belongs to #5 Mon Coeur, but he ran the 65 on the grass at Hollywood Park. Mon Coeur will be making just his third start and I prefer more experienced runners in this type of race.
That’s why I am going to back #7 Teasing Bernie. This gelding is also coming off of the turf, a surface which he ran on in his previous three races. Teasing Bernie, who ran OK in those three grass routes, had trouble on Nov. 4 when he was unruly early before jockey Martin Pedroza settled him down. Yet, Teasing Bernie still ran a 65.
I would say that Teasing Bernie has the right running style for 6-1/2 furlongs, but early speed has been deadly since the winter meet opened at Santa Anita. So I won’t mention his running style.
It would not surprise me to see one of the first-time starters on the early lead. Tribal Dreams is the son of Tribal Rule, whose offspring I show has won with six out of 14 Southern California debuters at 6-1/2 and 7 furlongs where their odds were less than 20/1. But the best choice of the first timers is probably #9 Jamakagoodsense. The owner and trainer win with debuters fairly often in limited samples and Kentucky breds seem to do better after they turn 3-years-old. The one thing I don’t like about Jamakagoodsense is that his purchase price shown in the Daily Racing Form is $75,000 while the claiming price is just $30,000.
In the past few years, horses who were bought for big money at the sales have not performed well when making their first start at this class.
Finally, the Patrick Gallagher trainee, #8 Honeycomb, is wearing blinkers for the first time. That is usually a profitable move, from a betting perspective, early in a horse’s career. However, Gallagher does not do well with second timers.
I will put a $700 win bet on #7 Teasing Bernie at 2/1 or higher. Also, I want to put $300 to win on whoever goes off at higher odds, up to 9/1, between #8 Honeycomb and #9 Jamakagoodsense; and $100 on #2 Tribal Dreams at less than 20/1 only. In the unlikely event that Teasing Bernie is less than 2/1, then I will bet $300 on both Honeycomb and Jamakagoodsense — as long as they are 3/1 to 9/1. If either of them go to 10/1 to 19/1, then my bet reduces to $100.