Median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class: 70
Possible overlays Morning line
#1 Crestatorre 20/1
#2 Gamblin on Jack 15/1
#4 Jim’s Decision 7/2
#5 Br0ken Glass 5/1
#12 Warren’s Tiger 15/1
#13 Indian Knight 6/1
#14 Salty Robbin 4/1
Although I have seven horses listed as possible overlays, I believe this race will be won by either #4 Jim’s Decision, #13 Indian Knight or #14 Salty Robbin.
Many runners in this contentious 13-horse field have earned Beyer Speed Figures that exceed the median of 70. On Oct. 30, which was four races back in his past performance list, Jim’s Decision posted a 79 while pressing the pace against maiden special weight competition. After a couple of sub par performances on Hollywood’s synthetic track, Jim’s Decision ran a 68 Beyer while going three-paths wide on the turn at 5-1/2 furlongs. With a good trip, I see no reason why this Vladimir Cerin-trained horse can’t be right there at the finish.
In these large fields, it’s often a challenge for jockeys breaking from the outside to avoid suffering wide trips. At 6-1/2 furlongs, riders have some extra ground on the backstretch to maneuver their horses into position as the turn approaches. Of course, early speed helps and the two horses breaking from the far outside stalls have demonstrated quickness in their previous races.
Breaking from the 13 gate, but wearing saddle cloth number 14, Salty Robbin seems to be improving. Today will be his ninth start and his last race was his best. On Oct. 28, Salty Robbin pushed the pace down the backstretch in a 6-1/2 furlong race, accelerated 3-wide on the turn, then surged to the lead at the top of the stretch. This gray gelding battled to the wire, but lost all the money by a nose. He earned a 70 Beyer, which I bumped up to 76 because of the lost ground.
I am aware that Salty Robbin could very well go wide again today, so I will need decent odds to compensate for the risk.
Breaking just to Salty Robbin’s inside will be Indian Knight. This son of Indian Charlie shows a $120,000 Keeneland sale price, which the owners paid in 2009. Obviously, the high hopes the connections had for this runner were never realized, but today he is realistically placed in this bottom-level maiden claimer.
Two races back on Aug. 3, Indian Knight shot to the lead in a maiden claiming $50,000 sprint, but couldn’t gut out the win. On that day, Indian Knight finished third, however the 73 Beyer figure he received would win most races at this class. In watching some of the replays of this gelding, I noticed that he frequently has trouble at the start. In his last race, jockey Martin Garcia seemed to snatch the reigns at the outset, then Garcia steered Indian Knight into the center of the track.
Around the turn, Garcia took Indian Knight on a 5-wide journey and in the stretch the jockey kept the horse in the center of the track. Indian Knight lost a ton of ground and his 48 Beyer could have easily been a 68 with a clean start and a rail trip. Today might be the day.
Two other horses have run good races, but their running lines are buried deep in their past performances. On the rail, #1 Crestatorre ran a 69 Beyer six races back in a $40,000 maiden claimer on Aug. 11, then in August of 2010 he ran a 77. By the looks of it, this horse may just have one good race a year in him.
Warren’s Tiger also has potential. He ran a 74 speed figure in March 2011, but virtually all of his other seven races are in the 50s and low 60s. In the 10/1 to 30/1 odds range, I plan to key these horses for second in the exacta .
I’m only interested in first-time starter #2 Gamblin On Jack at odds of 4/1 to 10/1. He stands at 15-to-1 on the morning line, so it’s unlikely I’ll be betting him.
Finally, #5 Broken Glass is making his second lifetime start after a layoff of 11 months. I think his inexperience puts Broken Glass at a disadvantage. But Broken Glass ran well in his debut while earning a 59 Beyer even though he was wide on the turn. After adjusting for the lost ground and his 11 months of development, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see this newly gelded horse finish first with a Beyer in the 70-to-75 range.
My Betting Strategy: At odds of 3/1 or more, I will put $250 to win on #13 Indian Knight. Also, I will put $200 to win on whoever is the longer price between #4 Jim’s Decision and #14 Salty Robbin, as long as they are in the 3/1 to 9/1 odds range.
If #2 Gamblin on Jack is 4/1 to 10/1, then I will bet $100 on him. If #1 Crestatorre and #12 Warren’s Tiger are at least 10/1 but no more than 29/1, then I want $20 exactas 4/13/14 with 1/12.