Results, Del Mar Friday Race 2 — lost $200

Alex Solis put #4 Temerity on the lead then cruised to victory

Alex Solis put #4 Temerity on the lead then cruised to victory

It’s obvious that #4 Temerity was a bit better than he looked in the Daily Racing Form, and somebody knew something because he was bet to 7-to-5. Temerity, who dominated wire-to-wire, was dropping in class and was running his fourth race since a long layoff.

The clues were there, as on Feb. 7 Temerity came 7-wide into the stretch to finish third in a maiden special weight race at Santa Anita, yet he still ran an 80 Beyer Speed Figure. Temerity’s speed rating could easily have been adjusted higher to an 88 for the reasonable assumption that he’d get a decent trip.

In fact, Temerity got a dream trip. He set slow fractions as the lone front runner, then wasn’t challenged in the stretch. What more can you ask for?

In the race preview, I suggested that Temerity’s chances at victory were excellent. I also liked #2 Great Home and was hoping bettors saw #5 Loyal Son’s 81 Beyer and pounded his odds.

In his last race on July 5, Loyal Son was aided by an easy rail trip, so the 81 wasn’t as good as it looked. He went off at 7-to-2 and I believed #2 Great Home was a better bet at 9-to-2, as he was cutting back in distance from 1-1/16 miles and dropping from maiden special weight.

In Friday’s race, Great Home trailed then came 5-wide on the turn under jockey Joel Rosario to finish a well-beaten second. However, the Temerity-Great Home exacta paid 8-to-1, which isn’t bad for preferring Great Home over Loyal Son, who finished fifth.

On the site, I bet $200 to win on Great Home.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Feeling Fabulous (KY) Gryder A Ellis R 16.70 4
2 2 Great Home (KY) Rosario J Drysdale N 4.60 2
3 3 Learn the Sport (KY) Espinoza V Abrams B 9.80 3
4 4 Temerity (KY) Solis A Ellis R 1.30 1
5 5 Loyal Son (KY) Baze T Sherman A 3.60 5
6 6 Greely’s Ghost (KY) Talamo J Gaines C 15.60 6
7 7 Oceanor (CA) Santiago Reyes C O’Neill D 5.80 7
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $4.60 $2.80 $2.40
2 $4.00 $3.00
3 $3.80
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $9.60 (4-2)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $46.50 (4-2-3)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $65.20 (1-4)
$2.00 Quinella paid $11.80 (2-4)

Results, Del Mar Sunday Race 6 — lost $150

First-time starter #10 Millennia, ridden by Alex Solix, eeked out a victory at 22/1.

First-time starter #10 Millennia, ridden by Alex Solix, eeked out a victory at 22/1.

The public pounded first-time starter #8 Misinjennuous to the minuscule price of 4-to-5. Perhaps it was because their beloved Garrett Gomez was aboard, or that this filly sported three bullet workouts.

Anyway, these low-priced first-timers continue to be bad wagers. Although Gomez and Misinjennuous gave it their all, #10 Millennia came from off the pace to take a tight photo finish at 22-to-1.

Millennia was not a first-time starter to take lightly and it was no fluke that she won. Millennia was simply overlooked by bettors who likely disregarded this filly because her trainer, Lisa Lewis, is not well known.

On Sunday, I noted in the race preview that #7 Kaloula and Millennia were “a couple of first-timers who could win at a big price.” They both had good breeding, speedy works and some other things to like.

On the site, my $250 wager on Millennia was only valid from 7/2 to 19/1. Millennia’s odds were below 20-to-1 right up until race time, but surged to 22-to-1 when the simulcast money poured in while the race was running.

Although I can’t claim a monetary victory on the blog, I did have $20 in real cash on her and collected $460. Had Millennia stayed at 19-to-1, I would have profited $4,750 for the site.

Instead, the only blog bet I made was $150 to win on third-place finisher #7 Kaloula at 11-to-1.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

2 1 Seriously (KY) Smith M Baffert B 11.10 5
3 2 Mum’s Zip (KY) Flores D Rosales R 14.20 7
4 3 Pulpit Magic (KY) Valdez F Dominguez C 28.30 8
5 4 Modality (KY) Nakatani C Dollase C 4.50 9
6 5 The Great Atlantic (KY) Gryder A Glatt M 17.30 4
7 6 Kaloula (FL) Santiago Reyes C Mulhall K 11.70 3
8 7 Misinjennuous (KY) Gomez G Sadler J 0.90 2
9 8 Calcutta Rose (KY) Baze T Lloyd J 26.10 10
10 9 Millennia (FL) Solis A Lewis L 22.00 1
11 10 Whyprincesswhy (KY) Talamo J Biancone P 10.70 6
SCR Softly Singing (KY)    
Pgm Win Place Show
10 $46.00 $12.60 $7.80
8 $3.00 $2.80
7 $5.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $70.70 (10-8)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid

horse on paddock tv

Afleet's Picasso with Martin Garcia aboard readies for the Opening Day nightcap

Gaines and Solis

As trainer Carla Gaines chats with Alex Solis before he rides Eleventh Hour for owner B. Wayne Hughes

Results, Hollywood Park Saturday Race 2 — lost $150


Trainer Bruce Headley is also the owner of #8 Woman Warrior

Coming into this race, #3 Ruffled Feathers looked like she was going to run big. Trainer Patrick Gallagher switched jockeys from Danny Sorenson to Garrett Gomez and the filly had improved in each of her two starts.

She was bet to 2-to-1 but broke slowly to be near the back of the field. Approaching the turn, Gomez checked Ruffled Feathers and got into more trouble entering the stretch. At that point. Ruffled Feathers was so far behind that Gomez merely breezed her to the wire.

One horse that didn’t get in trouble was #8 Woman Warrior, a first-time starter trained by Bruce Headley. Alex Solis sat her just off the pace and she was a bit wide on the turn But then she came with a furious stretch rally to mow down #7 Running After Boys.

I was prepared to wager on Ruffled Feathers, but she was below my minimum odds of 5/2. Gold Image, #6, was also out of my range and I ended up with a $150 bet on #5 Irridescent Red, who did nothing.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Wearehaving Funyet (CA) Hill C Mendoza J 51.90 9
2 2 Metallic Waters (CA) Smith M Baffert B 7.40 6
3 3 Ruffled Feathers (CA) Gomez G Gallagher P 2.30 8
4 4 Kant Catch the Kat (CA) Garcia M Sherman A 19.20 7
5 5 Irridescent Red (CA) Gryder A Becerra R 2.20 5
6 6 Gold Image (CA) Bejarano R Gaines C 9.50 3
7 7 Running After Boys (CA) Espinoza V Kitchingman A 6.50 2
8 8 Woman Warrior (CA) Solis A Headley B 6.90 1
9 9 Suances Rio (CA) Rosario J Vienna D 24.10 4
Pgm Win Place Show
8 $15.80 $7.40 $4.80
7 $9.60 $6.40
6 $6.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $62.00 (8-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $2981.50 (8-7-6-9)

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 10 — 5:08 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                    Morning line

#3 Self Defense                           7/2
#5 Victory Knock                         2/1

On March 29, #5 Victory Knock made his debut at 5/2 in a field of five going 6 furlongs. Jockey Alex Solis did not ask this horse for speed from the gate, so he ended up in the middle of the pack on the backstretch. On the turn to the top of the lane, Solis pushed Victory Knock, but the jockey didn’t seem to be giving him a vigorous ride in deep stretch.

It seems that Victory Knock had a practice race, however he still ran a 68 Beyer Speed Figure. Today, he should run better with the racing experience and the added distance.

In his second lifetime start on April 9, #3 Self Defense also sat in the middle of the field, as jockey Aaron Gryder was not urging him much early. However, Self Defense rallied strongly in the stretch when Gryder pushed him along and went to the whip.

I believe that #5 Victory Knock has a 50 percent chance to win this race, so I will bet $400 to win on him at 7/5 to 9/5, $450 on him at 2/1 to 5/2. But only $200 at 3/1 or better. 

Also, I will bet a $50 straight exacta using #3 Self Defense over #5 Victory Knock.

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 2 — won $1,375

at-pawn-shops-the-cash-strapped-trade-in-memoriesAlthough he didn’t look like much in the Daily Racing Form, #5 My Man Sumo outclassed this field while dominating the race from start to finish.

It was a tremendous training job by the underrated Rafael Becerra, who does good work bringing maidens off layoffs. He took My Man Sumo over from Wesley Ward after the gelding had run three unspectacular races last summer at Del Mar and Fairplex.

My Man Sumo, who last ran on Sept. 13, had always shown speed, but couldn’t last. Becerra hid this horse’s talent from horseplayers by working him out slowly, but jockey Alex Solis broke him well from the gate and he was never challenged for the lead, winning by four lengths.

The favorite trained by Mike Mitchell, #4 Morton Owen, made a wide run on the turn then flattened out in the stretch while Bob Baffert’s runner #7 Only Be Cause pushed the pace then came up empty late.

I bet $250 on #5 My Man Sumo and collected $2,025. But I also put $400 on #4 Morton Owen, so I profited a total of $1,375 on the race.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 King Farha (CA) Blanc B Metz J 25.60 5
2 2 Marquet Rebel (KY) Talamo J Ellis R 2.50 6
3 3 Cracked Code (FL) Quinonez A Mollica M 15.90 7
4 4 Morton Owen (KY) Bejarano R Mitchell M 1.90 3
5 5 My Man Sumo (KY) Solis A Becerra R 7.10 1
6 6 Domestic Gold (MD) Sorenson D Gallagher P 43.10 2
7 7 Only Be Cause (KY) Rios J Baffert B 2.10 4
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $16.20 $9.60 $5.20
6 $26.20 $8.00
4 $3.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $202.90 (5-6)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $873.80 (5-6-4)
$2.00 Daily Double paid

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 10 — won $200

cash-pile-royalty-free-stock-photoMaking her second lifetime start, #10 Pedo Veijo sat just off the pace before jockey Chantal Sutherland steered her through a seam at the top of the stretch and the filly sprinted by the leaders.

In her first race on Feb. 27, Pedo Viejo hesitated at the break to lose four lengths, but showed some ability while running. The slow start last time, and subsequently low 59 Beyer Speed Figure, was probably the reason Pedo Viejo was a better price than a similar-looking second time starter in the race, #9 Atta’ Girl.

During my betting, my plan was to make a small wager on the longer of the two between Pedo Viejo and Atta’s Girl, as long as their odds fell in the range of 2/1 to 5/1. But my main bet — the horse I really liked — was #14 Humane.

In her Feb. 5 debut, Humane had a horrible trip, but still almost won the race. On Saturday, she broke in midpack then swooped up six-wide entering the stretch with a major move, but it seemed that jockey Alex Solis was not encouraging her too much so she flattened out.

The best distance for this horse is likely 6-1/2 to 7 furlongs and I am sure she can run a Beyer Speed Figure in the mid-to-high 70s on her best day. This last race will merely darken Humane’s form, which should allow her odds to be a bit better when she finally does win.

At the window, I bet $350 on Humane at 5/1; $50 on speedster #5 Princess Quinn at 87/1 and $150 on the winner, Pedo Viejo at 4/1. I collected $750 after betting $550.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Mary the Princess (CA) Rios J Periban J 53.30 10
2 2 Stellar Day (KY) Bejarano R Kitchingman A 7.00 11
3 3 Hostile Reaction (CA) Stra K Martinez S 97.80 12
4 4 Victoriously (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Sherman A 84.40 4
5 5 Princess Quinn (KY) Couton J Mendoza J 87.00 13
6 6 Lady Bradbury (KY) Talamo J Hess, Jr. R 35.10 2
7 7 Tuaca Parfait (CA) Quinonez A Bernstein D 16.00 5
8 8 Court Ballado (KY) Nakatani C Sherman A 40.40 8
9 9 Atta’ Girl (CA) Espinoza V Walsh K 3.40 3
10 10 Pedo Viejo (KY) Sutherland C Hendricks D 4.00 1
11 11 Evelyn (KY) Delgadillo A Vargas J 46.40 14
12 12 Irish Pepper (CA) Rosario J Sadler J 2.70 7
13 13 Lowtian (CA) Garcia M Velasquez D 54.00 9
14 14 Humane (CA) Solis A Meredith D 5.00 6
Pgm Win Place Show
10 $10.00 $6.00 $4.60
6 $24.60 $12.40
9 $3.40
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $29.90 (4-5-10)
$1.00 Exacta paid $143.90 (10-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $132.40 (4-10-10)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $242.20 (7-4-4/5/7/10/11/13-10)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $10682.90 (10 OF 10)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $0.00 (NO WINNERS)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $891.90 (10-6-9)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $31.20 (10-10)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $12211.40 (6-1/4-7-4-4/5/7/10/11
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $189.40 (6-1/4-7-4-4/5/7/10/11/1

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 1 — 12:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming, $40,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                       Morning line

#2 Atta’ Girl                                    7/2
#8 Juicy Lucy                                  3/1

I’m hoping that #4 Golden Rocketship, the 8-to-5 morning line favorite, takes lots of money. This filly has good speed, but that quality is more valuable in races that are shorter  than 6-1/2 furlongs.

Alex Solis looks live on #2 Atta’ Girl, who was four paths wide on the turn Feb. 28 then was caught in tight quarters in the stretch. She can run better than the 67 Beyer Speed Figure she earned, but she would not need to improve to take this.

Breaking from the outside, #8 Juicy Lucy was pinned on the inside in the stretch in the same race Atta’ Girl comes out of and she might run better with clear sailing.

I will bet $300 on #2 Atta’ Girl at 5/2 or more and $300 on #8 Juicy Lucy at 3/1 or better.

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 4 — lost $350

Trained by Bruce Headley, #4 Scored sat 10 lengths off the pace then came late

Trained by Bruce Headley, #4 Scored sat 10 lengths off the pace then came late

You can’t blame Bob Baffert this time. Sangaree was ready to roll and he went gamely all the way to the wire. But this brother of Congaree lost for the fifth straight time because of either poor racing tactics by Victor Espinoza or bad luck — depending on how harsh you want to be.

Sangaree, who went off at 7-to-1, broke with the leaders but settled into stride a couple of lengths off the pace. As they approached the turn, Espinoza allowed Sangaree to run up to the leading group — the only problem was that he was four paths wide on the whole turn, causing him to lose a ton of ground. 

Throughout the turn, a four-horse wall vied for the lead together, which was an unusual sight to see. On the rail was #6 Stretchdrive, then #3 Lucius Antonius was just outside with #7 Ribald right next door. Sangaree was outside of them all, as the four bobbed heads through a 45.14-second half mile.

Sangaree outran the other pace setters, but his bad trip left him without the energy to hold off first-time starter #4 Scored. Alex Solis took the winner off the early pace by more than 10 lengths, then Scored swung wide entering the stretch and moved like an express train in the lane to get up by a head.

I bet $150 on Sangaree and $200 on #7 Ribald.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Wharf Cat (KY) Flores D Marlow M 2.60 4
2 2 His Sisters Mister (KY) Baze M Headley G 56.50 7
3 3 Lucius Antonius (KY) Stra K Green J 39.30 8
4 4 Scored (KY) Solis A Headley B 6.20 1
5 5 Holladay Road (CA) Gomez G Gaines C 6.70 6
6 6 Stretchdrive (FL) Talamo J Biancone P 28.40 10
7 7 Ribald (CA) Rios J Sherman A 5.10 5
8 8 Sangaree (KY) Espinoza V Baffert B 7.00 2
9 9 Lunar Humor (KY) Smith M Carava J 8.30 9
10 10 Adebayor (KY) Bejarano R Gaines C 4.80 3
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $14.40 $7.00 $4.80
8 $6.80 $4.60
10 $5.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $49.30 (4-8)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $99.40 (5-5-4)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $873.40 (1-5-5-4)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $2516.50 (4-8-10-1)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $552.40 (4-8-10)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $90.80 (5-4)

Alex Solis’ boot got stuck, if only I knew

When handicapping a race, the Daily Racing Form is a nice blueprint, but by no means do Beyer Speed Figures, half mile times and beaten lengths tell the whole story. 

A horse who ran a low Beyer in his last, or who didn’t seem to fire, may still run huge today. As any horseplayer knows, crazy things happen that cause horses to run poorly.

For example, the saddle sometimes slips, jockeys lose their irons, horses take heat strokes, and sometimes the wackier ones try to jump the inner rail. More commonly, losing contenders get caught up in speed duels, go wide on turns, or get blocked in the stretch. 

So, a margin of safety is in order. Personally, I will not bet a maiden in Southern California at less than 2-to-1, and I prefer 7-to-2 to 9-to-1.

Using handicapping tools, we can get a good idea about a lot of things that will happen during the race. And that information can be used to judge who the contenders are and what odds we need for a bet.

But no matter how hard horseplayers work, some valuable information will be known only to a few insiders. And there’s nothing unfair or dishonest about it. These jockeys, trainers and owners are simply in position to know some things that almost all horseplayers will not be privy to.

An example of this happened in the ninth race at Santa Anita on Jan. 19.

Jazzin Razz, a 3-year-old gelding, was making his second lifetime start in a $32,000 maiden claiming race at 7 furlongs. In his debut on Dec. 14, Jazzin Razz was 52-to-1 and broke 10 lengths behind 12 other runners. The comment in the Daily Racing Form said “hesitated, off slowly.”

His Beyer Speed Figure was a lowly 38, which is a far cry from the median winning figure for the class of 69. So, Jazzin Razz looked like an automatic throwout.

However, trainer Richard Rosales added blinkers to Jazzin Razz, dropped him slightly in class, and on Jan. 19 the horse sat just off the pace, took the lead in the stretch and was all out to win by a nose.

He paid $32.80.

After the race, Jazzin Razz’ owner and breeder Shirley Girvin found this blog and read my summary of the race. She commented to me that Jazzin Razz’s full sister Razi’s Star also paid a big price of $58 when she broke her maiden back in 2007.

Girvin and her husband Russell operate a small California breeding business and are trying to prove their stallion Raz Lea, who sired Jazzin Razz, by themselves. To date, Raz Lea, who is a son of Arazi, has sired eight runners with four winners, she said in the email.

Then she explained why Jazzin Razz’s debut went so poorly.

“In Jazzin’s first race, the reason he got such a late start was because Alex Solis, through no fault of his own, got his boot caught in the starting gate,” Girvin wrote.

Well, that was very important to know. Because 10 lengths at 6 furlongs equates to 25 Beyer points and if that is added to Jazzin Razz’s 38 it gives him a 63. And that makes him a contender at the juicy price of 15-to-1.

Solis’ boot got stuck. Such flukes happen in racing, and some things are not possible to know. And just because Jazzin Razz had problems in his  debut, didn’t mean he was going to win second time out. It just made him a good bet.

Obviously, we’re playing a game with imperfect information, so we need solid prices to make up for all of the things we don’t know, and for all of the races our ignorance will certainly cause us to lose.

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 4 — won $1,300

imgres27Jockey Corey Nakatani sprang to the lead with #2 Hudler, who held a clear advantage on the backstretch.

On the turn, Hudler was running easily with Nakatani hardly moving his hands, however behind him Martin Garcia was asking #6 Dona Mary for everything she had. In third place, jockey Alex Solis had the 7-to-5 favorite #5 High Note also under an all-out race ride. 

But nobody was catching Hudler, who won without breaking a sweat.

I bet $200 on this first-time starter, as her 7-to-1 odds fell into my range of 5-to-1 and above. I also put $200 on second-timer #6 Dona Mary, and was considering winning trainer Doug O’Neill’s other entry #7 Runway Starlet. But she was 2-to-1, which I thought was too poor of a wagering price.

I also liked first timer #5 High Note, but was interested at 10-to-1 and higher, not her post time odds of 7-to-5.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Charming Meadow (CA) Baze T Saavedra A 22.20 6
2 2 Hudler (CA) Nakatani C O’Neill D 7.50 1
3 3 Not Unusual (CA) Rosario J Sherman A 13.30 8
4 4 Warren’s Royal Mom (CA) Gomez G Gutierrez J 14.70 5
5 5 High Note (CA) Solis A Hendricks D 1.40 3
6 6 Dona Mary (CA) Garcia M Gonzalez S 5.30 4
7 7 Runway Starlet (CA) Bejarano R O’Neill D 2.20 2
8 8 Laura Beasley (CA) Delgadillo A McFarlane D 51.80 7
Pgm Win Place Show
2 $17.00 $6.00 $3.40
7 $3.60 $2.40
5 $2.40
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $25.20 (2-7)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $126.80 (7-4-2)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $2392.50 (5-7-4-2)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $262.30 (2-7-5-6)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $67.50 (2-7-5)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $93.20 (4-2)
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