Sunday, Santa Anita Race 9 — post time 4:38 pm

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $20,000, 4-yo’s and up, 6-1/2 furlongs

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.

Results, Santa Anita Wednesday Race 9 — lost $550

Jockey Kyle Kaenel rocked the tote board to the tune of $157 with Spartan Jet

Jockey Kyle Kaenel rocked the tote board to the tune of $157 with Spartan Jet

At 77-to-1, it should come as no surprise that Spartan Jet’s only two past performance lines were ugly. In both races, he broke slowly, made no move on the turn and had no rally in the stretch. 

But on Wednesday, Spartan Jet broke alertly and virtually led this 12-horse field wire-to-wire, lighting up the toteboard with a $157.60 win payoff.

Before being awarded the official victory, however, owner-trainer Juan Lopez had to sweat out a claim of foul by jockey Martin Pedroza. Pedroza, who ironically rode Spartan Jet in his first two starts, claimed that his mount Red Door Drive was impeded when rider Kyle Kaenel allowed Spartan Jet to swerve out approaching midstretch.

Red Door Drive, trained by Bob Baffert, had last raced in September 2008 and nine of his 10 lifetime races were on the turf. In Wednesday’s race, Red Door Drive moved from last place on the turn to a good stalking position about two lengths away from the leaders.

As the field moved into the stretch, Pedroza tried to take Red Door Drive outside of Spartan Jet, but that horse unexpectedly swerved suddenly, so Pedroza went inside. Red Door Drive had plenty of time to pass Spartan Jet but — perhaps because he was inside of him — Red Door Drive never went by and lost by a head.

At 7/2, I bet $300 on Red Door Drive, wagered $150 more on #8 Good Newsman at 3/1 and another $100 on 23-to-1 shot #10 Little Heater.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Irish Weis Man (CA) Quinonez A Abrams B 37.10 7
2 2 Panda (CA) Santiago Reyes C Van Berg J 12.70 6
3 3 Red Door Drive (KY) Pedroza M Baffert B 3.80 2
4 4 Whizer (CA) Valdez F Bradvica L 28.80 10
5 5 Trueno (CA) Vergara O Capitaine N 16.50 4
6 6 Spartan Jet (KY) Delgadillo A Lopez J 77.80 1
7 7 Smokenomore (CA) Migliore R Spawr W 6.90 8
8 8 Good Newsman (KY) Espinoza V Hendricks D 3.30 3
9 9 Markus D. (CA) Talamo J Jones M 22.80 9
10 10 Little Heater (CA) Garcia M Mullins J 22.90 12
11 11 De Brief Me (CA) Baze M Puype M 7.60 5
13 12 Boo Too (KY) Rosario J Lewis C 3.40 11
SCR Glorious Mon (CA)    
 
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $157.60 $76.60 $29.80
3 $6.00 $3.60
8 $3.40
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $496.30 (6-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $932.20 (2-3-6)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $15769.00 (3-2-3-6)
$1.00 Pick 5 paid $47870.00 (8-3-2-3-6)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $3271.80 (9 OF 9)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $0.00 (NO WINNING TICKE
$1.00 Superfecta paid $83656.60 (6-3-8-5)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $2585.40 (6-3-8)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $522.80 (3-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $37620.80 (3-8-3-2-3-6)

Sunday, Del Mar Race 2 — 2:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 6 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up, F

Possible overlays                      Morning line

#10 Artistryandrythm                 6/1

This race looks weak for the level, as the median winning Beyer Speed Figure is 67, yet few horses in the field have run recent races in the 60’s. Yes, trainer Doug O’Neill starts two runners, but #5 Moon Over Malibu lost his last five sprints at less than 4-to-1, and #11 Juicy Lucy was the beaten favorite in her last three.

They are both desperately in need of a win and no doubt have found their correct level — the bottom. Instead of taking another chance on either one of them, I will probably be betting #10 Artistryandrythm, who trainer Ron Ellis is bringing back from a layoff of more than a year.

Over the years, this is the type of horse that hits the winners circle frequently enough to be a long-term money winner for backers. The public is infatuated with Beyer Speed Figures run by recently raced horses and, in general, shies away from those laid up for long periods. To me, that flawed thinking equals $$$.

Trainer Ellis has a good record with this type of animal, and the only thing that concerns me is that most of these layoff winners ran their best after having a race back.

In any event, I will put $200 on #10 Artistryandrhythm at 2/1 to 9/1 only.

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

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2 year olds

Possible overlays             Morning line

#8 Danceuponthestars           7/2
#10 Towser                          9/5

This field of 12 is full of very bad horses that can be easily eliminated. The median winning Beyer Speed Figure is 67, but nine of the 10 experienced runners entered in here have yet to crack 40. Furthermore, the odds on seven of them have been less than 20-to-1 only twice in 17 races with the average odds of these 17 races being 53-to-1.

Single digit speed figures and Beyer donuts populate the racing form page. I guess that’s why the morning line maker hung odds of 7-to-2 on #8 Danceuponthestars, a first time starter who has been training slowly at Golden Gate Fields.

Realistically, I can see only three horses winning this race: #8 Danceuponthestars, #10 Towser and #11 Ministerfrommiami. Any other horse would be a complete shocker.

Owned and trained by Ed Moger, Danceuponthestars is switching circuits and jockey Mike Smith has won five times and placed five times in 19 chances with 2-year-old first time starters. Although most of them were in the maiden special weight ranks.

Towser showed a good burst of speed on June 12 and trainer Mike Harrington upgrades the jockey from Felipe Valdez to Michael Baze. Towser should be near the early lead, but his odds may be no better than even money.

Finally, John Sadler sends out #11 Ministerfrommiami who ran in spurts in his July 3 debut. This gelding is running in his second lifetime race, but I like Danceuponthestars better.

At 5/2 or more, I will bet $200 on #8 Danceuponthestars and at 2/1 or better I’ll put $200 on Towser.

Saturday, Hollywood Park Race 2 — 1:30 pm

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo & up, F

Possible overlays                      Morning line

#3 Sister Lucy                                   12/1
#11 Mar Fina                                     7/2
#12 Veranda Cafe                              3/1

Without a doubt, the filly with the best early speed is #3 Sister Lucy. In fact, her last two races were 870 yard quarter horse dashes at Los Alamitos.  And she has already run well enough to win at this level. On Oct. 19, Sister Lucy ran a 70 Beyer Speed Figure in a maiden special weight event, which is significant because the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class is a 67.

Two fillies coming off recent layoffs — #11 Mar Fina and #12 Veranda Cafe — also have some things to like. Coincidentally, both horses lost to monsters in their previous races, which were both in June 2008. Mar Fina ran into Rachel Alexandra when she broke her maiden and Veranda Cafe was defeated by Evita Argentina.

Trainer Mike Puype, who saddles Mar Fina, has recently excelled at bringing back second and third time starters from long vacations.

And horses who look like Veranda Cafe are excellent wagers when they are bet down a bit.

I will bet $250 to win on #11 Mar Fina at odds of 2/1 to 5/1. But if Mar Fina doesn’t fall into that range, or if #12 Veranda Cafe is a higher price than Mar Fina, then I will bet the $250 on Veranda Cafe instead as long as she is 2/1 to 7/2.

Also, I want $150 to win on #3 Sister Lucy at 9/2 or more.

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 6 — lost $400

Trainer Ron Ellis continues to do well with horses coming off of layoffs

Trainer Ron Ellis continues to do well with horses coming off of layoffs

Horseplayers bet #2 Unionize in this race like he couldn’t lose.

And, of course, not only did he lose but Unionize didn’t even hit the board.

The Clifford Sise-trained colt was coming off of two second-place finishes where he earned Beyer Speed Figures of 90 and 87. Bettors pounded Unionize to 3-to-5, and I looked at the show pool with about 10 minutes to go and Unionize had $51,000 of the $60,000 that was wagered.

Obviously, a bride jumper dumped $40,000 to $45,000 to show on Unionize, which created inflated payoffs for the first, second and third finishers in that pool.

For example, #6 Speight the Halo ran third at 7-to-2 and paid $16.40 to show while #9 Truest Legend won the race, but his show payoff of $32.80 was larger than the $24.60 he paid to win.

Score one for the folks who bet horses across the board.

Truest Legend, who was making his second lifetime start, had a published purchase price of $240,000. But the best thing about him was that Ron Ellis was doing the training.

Coming into the race Ellis had won with four of his last 14 runners coming off layoffs of six months or more. And Truest Legend hadn’t run since September when he showed good speed at Fairplex before falling apart in the stretch at 53-to-1.

In this race, Truest Legend blasted from the gate and established a large lead by running the first quarter mile in 21.25 seconds. He rolled through the next quarter in 22.24 seconds, then if anybody was going to catch him they would have blown by when Truest Legend could only muster a third quarter in 25.52 seconds.

But none of the other eight horses made a move.

I focused my betting on #6 Speight the Halo, who I bet $200 on at 7/2 and boxed him in the exacta with the favorite for $100 each way.

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

 

 

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Absolutlypositivly (CA) Garcia M Chew M 55.50 7
2 2 Unionize (KY) Baze T Sise, Jr. C 0.60 4
3 3 Collalto (CA) Baze M Chew M 44.10 8
4 4 Kumiva (KY) Bejarano R Bell, II T 10.20 5
5 5 Brian the Brave (KY) Hill C O’Callaghan C 29.90 6
6 6 Speight the Halo (KY) Gryder A Harty E 3.60 3
7 7 Margarita Shot (KY) Delgadillo A DeLeon R 11.50 2
8 8 Right One (KY) Rosario J Lobo P 20.00 9
9 9 Truest Legend (FL) Espinoza V Ellis R 11.30 1
 
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $24.60 $13.20 $32.80
7 $10.80 $25.20
6 $16.40
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $100.30 (9-7)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $604.40 (8-6-9)
$1.00

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 4 — lost $600

Jockey Danny Sorenson rallied first timer #4 Treadwell for the win

Jockey Danny Sorenson rallied first timer #4 Treadwell for the win

Jockey Danny Sorenson sat in mid pack then unleashed a rally in the stretch to get first-time starter #4 Treadwell to the winner’s circle.

Favorite #3 Total Sum ran a decent race coming off a 14-month layoff — and jockey Joe Talamo was all over him in the stretch — but Total Sum lost by a neck when he couldn’t get by the winner.

In hindsight, the key to this race may have been the low Beyer Speed Figures showing in these horses’ past performances. The median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class is a 74, but the best overall sprint Beyer on this surface for these runners was just a 68.

In light of that, maybe the first time starter Treadwell’s chances could have been upgraded. But no use dwelling on the past because both Bob Baffert and Mike Mitchell have runners going today that may be live.

In this race, I bet $400 on #3 Total Sum and $200 on #7 Lago de Oro.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Winterscore (CA) Baze T Stute M 4.80 3
2 2 Big Water (CA) Quinonez A Pilmer T 5.10 5
3 3 Total Sum (CA) Talamo J Ellis R 1.60 2
4 4 Treadwell (KY) Sorenson D Bell, II T 8.60 1
5 5 Pure Green (OR) Arambula P Schiewe P 59.40 6
6 6 Road to the Throne (KY) Martin G Johnson E 74.30 7
7 7 Lago de Oro (FL) Baze M Scolamieri S 2.10 4
8 8 Some Kinda Monster (CA) Puglisi I Schwizer M 48.70 8
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $19.20 $6.40 $4.60
3 $3.60 $3.00
1 $3.80
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $30.90 (4-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $68.70 (5-7-4)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $111.10 (2/6-4/5-7-4)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $337.20 (4-3-1-7)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $141.70 (4-3-1)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $107.80 (7-4)

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 2 — 1 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 5-1/2 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                       Morning line

#2 Monolingual                               4/1
#4 Great Legacy                            5/1
#5 Fabulous Forum                        12/1

The photo finish camera has not been friendly to #1 Turk, who lost his first two races by a nose. This Bob Baffert-trainee, which is also owned by the trainer, went off at 2-to-5 in his last two races and figures to be less than even money again today. Turk has run Beyer Speed Figures of 88, 86, and 86, so he looks solid here considering the median winning Beyer Speed Figure is an 87. Garrett Gomez takes over for Joel Rosario, who went very wide last time out.

To bet a horse like Turk, you must believe there is no chance he can lose. And, of course, there is always a chance that Turk will run like a turkey — or at least lose another photo because 5-1/2 furlongs is too short. 

One colt that might beat him is #2 Monolingual, who is working out well and has Rafael Bejarano aboard. The owners, Ike and Dawn Thrash, have started two first timers over the last couple of years and both of them hit the board.

Another likely worth a bet is #4 Great Legacy. Trained by Eoin Harty, this colt is out of supersire Storm Cat, whose stud fee is $300,000.

Finally, if either Monolingual and Great Legacy don’t fall into the betting range then I will add #5 Fabulous Forum. This horse has been training down at San Luis Rey Downs with Peter Miller and Joel Rosario rides.

I will bet $250 to win on both #2 Monolingual and #4 Great Legacy at odds of 3/1 to 9/1 only. If the odds rise to 10/1 to 19/1 then my bet reduces to $100. Also, if the odds are less than 3/1 on either of them, then I will substitute for that horse a $100 win bet on #5 Fabulous Forum at 10/1 to 19/1.

Wednesday, Santa Anita Race 1 — 1 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $50,000, 6 furlongs, 3 year olds

Possible overlays                   Morning line

#1 Eddie the Hat                               3/1
#2 Cracked Code                              10/1
#6 Hammurabi                                  4/1

The obvious horse in here is #4 Uncle Jeep, but the odds on this one are almost certain to be minuscule. Uncle Jeep was the beaten favorite in his last three races, he is ridden by money magnet Garrett Gomez and Mike Mitchell is by far the most accomplished and recognized trainer of the six in here.

Uncle Jeep’s morning line is 4-to-5 and even if he goes off at even money, he would only be a good bet if you thought Uncle Jeep had 65-to-70 percent chance of victory. That’s a difficult argument to make, considering this horse so far has lost five sprint races at this class level.

His previous jockey Victor Espinoza jumps to #3 Khurt Harry, and I don’t like him either because he raced greenly in his initial race on Dec 27. On that day, Khurt Harry broke slowly, remained in last on the turn and zig-zagged through the stretch while never showing anything.

However, second-timers #1 Eddie the Hat and #6 Hammurabi both ran OK in their debuts, posting Beyer Speed Figures of greater than 50. Richard Matlow, the trainer of Hammurabi, has been winning at 30 percent second time out for two years now, while Eddie the Hat flashed speed in a turf sprint and has four good workouts on his ledger.

Finally, debuter #2 Cracked Code has a shot, as the owners De Renzo & Hartly won with their only first timer. That horse was trained by Jeff Mullins and it paid $10.40 on Aug. 8.

I will bet $200 on both #1 Eddie the Hat and #6 Hammurabi at odds of 5/2 or more. Also, at 6/1 to 19/1, I’ll take a $150 shot to win on #2 Cracked Code.

Wednesday, Santa Anita Race 4 — 2:34 p.m. post time

 

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 5 1/2 furlongs, 2-year-olds

Possible overlays                             Morning lines

#2 Jet Set Lass                                           20/1
#4 Susananda                                             9/2
#6 Betterthanfiction                                 15/1
#8 Hypnotizing                                         10/1
#10 Bajan Kitty                                           5/1
#11 Gone Punk                                           12/1

This 10-horse field looks wide open and a decent price is likely, as several first-time starters are entered and the favorite looks vulnerable. I will bet more than one horse in here trying to beat #5 Strapless, #9 Suarez and #4 Susananda, if she’s bet too low.   

It appears that #9 Suarez, who is 7/2 on the morning line, will get lots of betting action because she led for most of her last two races and she’s showing the best two Beyer Speed Figures in the race. However, this late in the year, 2-year-old fillies typically win these types of races with Beyer numbers in the high 60s and low 70s and Saurez’  best is only a 61.

Furthermore, if she gets the lead by the quarter pole, Suarez will have to work hard, as #2 Jet Set Lass and #10 Bajan Kitty figure to be gunning too. Also, one of the first timers is very likely to have early foot.  

Of the debut runners, #11 Gone Punk is the best bet and two others — #4 Susananda and #8 Hypnotizing — have some things to like.  The owners of #4 Susananda, Chandler & Graham, have had six debuting runners in my records over the last two years. They won at 11/1 odds on Dec. 17, 2006 and at 7/2 on Feb. 14, 2007.  However, recently trainer Matlow has been winning second time out.

Trainer Craig Lewis, who is saddling Hypnotizing, has won with 2 of his last 9 Larry The Legend-sired debuters and he struck at odds of 12/1 and 13/1. Both won in January 2007, so maybe it’s getting to be that time of year for Lewis. 

Both #2 Jet Set Lass and #6 Betterthanfiction look like automatic throw outs in the Daily Racing Form, but Jet Set Lass flashed good speed to the quarter pole last time and that’s important in a 5-1/2 furlong race. Betterthanfiction broke slowly in her two races, but last time she made up seven lengths very quickly on the backstretch. She then accelerated four wide on the turn while coming within a few lengths of #9 Suarez before quitting in the stretch. Both of these fillies figure to be monster prices.

Trainer Michael Machowsky is excellent when bringing horses off long layoffs. He missed last time with #10 Bajan Kitty, but is adding blinkers and dropping her in class today, so this one looks live if the odds are right. 

At the betting window, I want $200 to win on #11 Gone Punk if post time odds are 7/2 to 19/1 and I’ll bet $200 on #10 Bajan Kitty but only if she’s 2/1 to 7/2.

Also, I’ll put $150 on both #8 Hypnotizing at 7/2 to 15/1, and #4 Susananda at 7/1 to 20/1. Additionally, I’ll take $50 on both #2 Jet Set Lass and #6 Betterthanfiction at 10/1 or more.

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