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.

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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.

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PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
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)
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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.
 

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
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, Santa Anita Saturday Race 10 — lost $500

Jockey Joe Talamo took #7 Get My Fix off the pace then rolled to victory in the stretch

Jockey Joe Talamo took #7 Get My Fix off the pace then rolled to victory in the stretch

 Usually, when Bob Baffert starts two horses in a race, one or both of them run huge.

In this event, Baffert saddled both #4 The Program, 16-to-1, and #5 Mr Charlie, 4-to-1. But, surprisingly, both broke slowly and neither one fired.

The winner, #7 Get My Fix trained by Brian Koriner, was one of the most likely winners when looking at the past performances. This 2-year-old had run a 79 Beyer Speed Figure in his second lifetime start on Aug. 8, which is significant because the median Beyer Speed Figure for this class is an 80. In his last race, Get My Fix rated behind the leaders and finished up well, which is the preferred running style for 6-1/2 furlongs.

Others who looked like they had a shot were #9 Frisco Kid, a first-time starter who went off at 13-to-1, and #1 The Skinny Man, a 7-to-2 shot. Neither ran well, although The Skinny Man showed speed until the stretch.

In the race, Get My Fix and jockey Joe Talamo mowed down pace setter #10 El Gran Matador while outrunning another late runner, #6 Domonation. In my betting scenario, I intended to bet $200 on Get My Fix if his odds were 5-to-2 or better. But the bet was live only if both #4 The Program and #9 Frisco Kid were 8-to-1 and #5 Mr Charlie was less than 4-to-1.

As the horses loaded into the gate, I bet The Program at 16/1 and Frisco Kid at 13/1. Then Mr Charlie’s odds moved up from 7/2 to 4/1, so I ended up betting him instead of Get My Fix. In all, I wagered $500.

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 The Skinny Man (KY) Bejarano R O’Neill D 3.90 9
2 2 Kuro (KY) Espinoza V Machowsky M 15.40 6
3 3 Mister Do It (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Hendricks D 53.90 10
4 4 The Program (KY) Garcia M Baffert B 16.00 5
5 5 Mr Charlie (KY) Smith M Baffert B 4.00 8
6 6 Domonation (KY) Rosario J Sadler J 8.40 2
7 7 Get My Fix (KY) Talamo J Koriner B 2.80 1
8 8 Brady Blue Eyes (KY) Borel C Glatt M 4.20 4
9 9 Frisco Kid (FL) Solis A Headley B 13.60 7
10 10 El Gran Matador (NY) Santiago Reyes C Becerra R 53.70 3
 
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $7.60 $4.40 $3.60
6 $9.40 $6.80
10 $16.40
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $39.30 (7-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $91.20 (5-1-7)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $1679.50 (8-2/5-1-7)
$1.00 Pick 5 paid $3351.10 (1/6/9-8-2/5-1-7)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $583.30 (10 OF 10)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $0.00 (NO WINNING TICKE
$1.00 Superfecta paid $9445.30 (7-6-10-8)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $1372.40 (7-6-10)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $84.40 (1-7)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $11781.60 (10-1/6/9-8-2/5-1-7)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $89.60 (10-1/6/9-8-2/5-1-7)

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 5 — lost $450

Trainer Bob Baffert gave a leg up to jockey Rafael Bejarano on 4-to-5 shot Excellent News

Trainer Bob Baffert gave a leg up to jockey Rafael Bejarano on 4-to-5 shot Excellent News

Almost all of Bob Baffert’s horses are bred to win stakes races, so they can dominate a field of maiden special weight sprinters at any moment.

Rafael Bejarano rode #10 Excellent News in her third lifetime race after she spun an 82 Beyer Speed Figure in her second race on Aug. 29. Since the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this race was just an 80, Excellent News was a standout — especially considering that the next highest Beyer was just a 69.

There were no secrets with this filly. She had the top Beyer, a top jockey and a top trainer. It was easy to see her outstanding qualifications and it was no surprise that the public knocked Excellent News’ odds to 4-to-5.

But with odds this low, horses need to win some 70-to-80 percent of the time to make a bet worthwhile. And all of us bettors are all dealing with incomplete information, so it’s tough to find angles that work seven out of 10 times.

A couple of first timers in this race — #4 Stunning Ally and #7 Carrie Rose — had strong long-term angles working for them. And I also took a chance on second-time starter #5 Evening Jewel.

However, Excellent News won like a 4-to-5 shot should win.

At the window, I wagered $200 on Stunning Ally at 9/1, $100 on Evening Jewel at 5/1 and $150 on Carrie Rose at 8/1.

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Dance the Dance (CA) Talamo J Hofmans D 37.50 6
2 2 Shesoprovocative (CA) Espinoza V Becerra R 13.20 5
3 3 Pocatello Wild Kat (CA) Baze M Fanning J 63.20 8
4 4 Stunning Ally (CA) Quinonez A Canani J 9.50 4
5 5 Evening Jewel (CA) Smith M Cassidy J 5.40 2
6 6 Giveme Onereason (CA) Santiago Reyes C Solis W 35.10 3
7 7 Carrie Rose (CA) Gomez G Mitchell M 8.30 9
8 8 Tiz Cee’s Ballet (CA) Martin G Locke T 57.40 10
9 9 High Five Gal (CA) Rosario J O’Neill D 7.00 7
10 10 Excellent News (CA) Bejarano R Baffert B 0.80 1
Pgm Win Place Show
10 $3.60 $2.40 $2.40
5 $4.60 $4.20
6 $8.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $8.80 (10-5)
$1.00

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 10 — 5 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 2-year-olds, 6-1/2 furlongs

Possible overlays                  Morning line

#1 The Skinny Man                       3/1
#4 The Program                            12/1
#5 Mr Charlie                                6/1
#7 Get My Fix                               5/2
#9 Frisco Kid                                 8/1

On Aug. 29, co-favorites #1 The Skinny Man raced against #7 Get My Fix and only a whisker separated the two for second place. Both colts have decent early speed, they’ve both run in the neighborhood of the 80 median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class, and they’re learning how to rate.

Either of them can win, but it won’t be easy.

Although neither half of the uncoupled Bob Baffert entry came close to winning their debut, I expect either #4 The Program or #5 Mr Charlie to run very well today. I have seen Baffert work his magic too many times to ignore his colts even when the morning line maker seems to be disregarding them. 

The Program appears to have been bought for $310,000 while Mr Charlie looks like a $725,000 purchase. Although these purchase prices are published in the Daily Racing Form, sometimes nobody really paid that much for the horse and the published sale price is the amount the animal was bought back for when the sale’s reserve price was not met.  Anyway, Baffert doesn’t train many mules and these two have been working out well. So I expect big things.

In The Program’s last race, he came out of the gate very slowly and while watching the replay it was difficult to tell if jockey Mike Smith intentionally pulled him to the back. But one thing I am sure of is that Smith certainly wasn’t hustling The Program down the backstretch.

And another thing that makes me curious about The Program is that, according to my records, Baffert and The Program’s jockey Martin Garcia won with five first-time starters from just 12 rides for a return of $3.31 for every $1 wagered. These Baffert/Garcia firsters were all in 2006-07, so they happened too long ago to be included in the DRF’s statistics, which show that the Baffert/Garcia team are 0-for-3 overall since 2008.

I know The Program is not running in his debut, but my point is that Garcia might be one of Baffet’s money riders. All I am saying is beware.

As for Mr Charlie, he seemed to be full of run in his Sept. 7 race. As it began, Mr Charlie went to the lead with hardly any encouragement from jockey Joe Talamo. However, right next to Talamo that day was Indian Firewater, who is another Baffert runner, and Indian Firewater exploded in the stretch while Mr Charlie faded.

But I’m sure that was not Mr Charlie’s best run.

OK, moving on. The last promising horse is #9 Frisco Kid. The only drawback with him is that trainer Bruce Headley is 0-for-11 with debuting MSW juveniles over the last five years, according to “A Closer Look” in the DRF. Otherwise, Frisco Kid is the prototype of what a winning debuter looks like.

And don’t ask me why, but a higher percentage of first timers win at 6-1/2 furlongs than at any other distance.

At odds of 7/2 to 19/1, I will bet $200 to win on #9 Frisco Kid. Also, I’ll put $150 on #4 The Program at 5/1 or better and $150 on #5 Mr Charlie at 4/1 or more. However, if The Program and Frisco Kid both go off at odds of 8/1 or higher and Mr Charlie is less than 4/1, then I will also put $200 on #7 Get My Fix at 5/2 or more.

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 5 — 2:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, 2-yo fillies

Possible overlays                       Morning line

#1 Dance the Dance                           15/1
#4 Stunning Ally                                  6/1
#5 Evening Jewel                                 6/1
#7 Carrie Rose                                     8/1

The obvious favorite of this bunch is #10 Excellent News, who rang up an 82 Beyer Speed Figure in her last race on Aug. 29 while finishing second to Miss Georgie Girl. Since Excellent News has already ran a speed figure that’s better than the median winning number of 80, she is the most likely winner. However, the Baffert brand name will ensure she’s way overbet.

Therefore, I’m looking toward either a couple of first time starters or a filly making her second lifetime run to get the job done at a price.

Over the past year or so, trainer Mike Mitchell has been firing well with his young horses when he sends them out in their debuts.  And it doesn’t hurt that Garrett Gomez will be aboard #7 Carrie Rose, especially when noting that the Gomez-Mitchell tandem has produced 27 winners from their last 82 runners. A $1 bet on all of them yielded $1.31, according to the Daily Racing Form.

James Cassidy saddles #5 Evening Jewel who was bet to 9/2 in her first lifetime race on Aug. 23. On that day, Evening Jewel ran evenly in the middle of the pack, however when I watched the replay it looked to me like  jockey David Flores was taking it easy on her. This filly has some nice workouts and she fits the profile of a winning second-time starter.

Breaking just inside of Evening Jewel will be #4 Stunning Ally, who is another debuter. Julio Canani has this daughter of In Excess working out well and she looks like a bet if the price is right.

Finally, owners Rod and Lorraine Rodriguez have had much success winning with debut horses over the years, but I am not that big of a fan of their filly, #1 Dance the Dance. At the right price, though, a small bet based on the connections may be in order.

I will wager $200 on #7 Carrie Rose from 3/1 to 9/1, but just $100 at 10/1 and up. Also, I will take  $200 on #5 Evening Jewel at 5/2 to 9/1 and $100 at 10/1 or higher. Finally, if #4 Stunning Ally is 7/2 to 9/1, I want $150 to win on her, but I’ll take $200 to win at 10/1 to 19/1.

Results, Del Mar Sunday Race 4 — lost $300

Joel Rosario, riding #7 It Tiz, inherited the lead and never gave it up.

Joel Rosario, riding #7 It Tiz, inherited the lead and never gave it up.

Although I didn’t have the winner, at least I was right about one thing in this race. And that was that #6 Imperatriz was clearly a false favorite.

Sure, in her last start on July 23 Imperatriz showed good speed. But she was loose on the lead and, although she had an easy trip, she didn’t come close to the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class of fillies. Still on Sunday, the public saw the early foot in her past performance line and bet her down to 5-to-2.

In the race, debuter #1 Linda Surprise bounced out of the gate and dueled with Imperatriz all the way down the backside. These two were 6 lengths ahead of the next pair of horses — #7 It Tiz and #3 Seriously.

By the top of the stretch, both Imperatriz and Linda Surprise were gasping for air and #7 It Tiz was ready to pounce. It Tiz inherited the lead and held off Seriously, as It Tiz’ jockey Joel Rosario did a nice job of race riding by pinning Seriously against the rail late.

I bet $150 on first-time starters #2 Dixie Sandals at 16/1 and #5 Vivacious Anna at 15/1. 

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Linda Surprise (KY) Baze T Cho M 16.40 7
2 2 Dixie’s Sandals (KY) Nakatani C Harty E 16.10 3
3 3 Seriously (KY) Espinoza V Baffert B 2.20 2
4 4 Star of Sapphire (KY) Smith M Biancone P 3.20 4
5 5 Vivacious Anna (KY) Quinonez A O’Neill D 15.10 6
6 6 Imperatriz (KY) Berrio O Avila A 2.60 5
7 7 It Tiz (KY) Rosario J Glatt M 4.50 1
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $11.00 $5.40 $3.60
3 $4.20 $2.80
2 $5.20
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $18.70 (7-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $84.30 (3-4-7)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $144.40 (7-3-2)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $32.40 (4-7)
$2.00 Quinella paid $15.60 (3-7)
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