Sunday, Santa Anita Race 6 — 3:05 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo fillies

Possible overlays                         Morning line

#2 Touch Me Babe                            10/1
#5 To Hot for You                             5/2
#10 Humane                                     8/1

Coming off of an eight-month layoff, #5 To Hot for You is dropping in class and is saddled by Mike Mitchell, who wins at 36 percent with maiden claimers.

Too Hot for You ran competitively when facing maiden special weight company at Del Mar in August and is making only her third lifetime start. This stable’s live horses are bet down, so I will like this filly more if her post time odds are low.

Breaking on the far outside, #10 Humane overcame a huge amount of trouble in her Feb. 5 debut to lead by two lengths in the stretch, but she could not hold on. On that day, she broke seven lengths behind the field then accelerated four-wide on the turn to the lead. It was an impressive move that race caller Trevor Denman recognized when describing the action.

I estimate that she lost 10 lengths so I adjusted the 59 Beyer Speed Figure she earned that day to an 87. But today she is breaking from a wide post again at 5-1/2 furlongs, so she’s likely to be a bit wide again.

Humane’s trainer Derek Meredith is also doing something else worth noting. He named low-profile jockey Agapito Delgadillo to ride, so his name is printed in the Daily Racing Form. However, he switched to Michael Baze and that’s who will be on board.

Could Meredith have named Delgadillo while fully intending to make the late switch in an attempt to pump up the wagering odds? Would a horse trainer participate in such chicanery? It’s quite possible, because Delgadillo is still scheduled to ride #3 Likely a Star in the fourth, so the jockey obviously did not get sick.

Finally, Gerson Racing owns #2 Touch Me Babe and their first-time starters win more than their share of races.

At the betting window, I will put $400 on #5 To Hot for You at 7/5 to 5/2, but just $150 at 3/1 or more. Also, I want $250 to win on #10 Humane at 5/2 to 9/1, but only $150 at 10/1 or more. And finally, $100 on #2 Touch Me Babe at 10/1 to 19/1.

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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, 6 furlongs, 3 yo fillies

Possible overlays                           Morning line

#5 Princess Quinn                                  30/1
#8 Court Ballado                                    12/1
#9 Atta’ Girl                                           9/2
#10 Pedo Viejo                                       6/1
#14 Humane                                           6/1

Trainer Derek Meredith had a betting coup all set up on Feb. 5. How disappointing it must of been for his barn when a brutally slow break caused it to all fall apart.

Humane, who is #14 in this event, was running in her first lifetime race and there was absolutely no reason for anybody to bet serious money on her. And nobody did, as this horse went off at 23-to-1 and flew completely under the radar.

Humane had many aspects in her profile that sent horseplayers searching elsewhere for the race winner. First of all, Meredith, is a competent but low-profile trainer who has not won a race in 2009 after a handful of tries, and he was blanked in 2008 with all his 18 starters. Secondly, Humane’s jockey Danny Sorenson is a veteran, but he typically wins at only 5 percent annually. Thirdly, Humane showed a purchase price of just $1,000.

Mix all of that with an 11-horse field and you get a monster-priced first time starter that was ready to run. What else could you ask for? 

But who knew?

As the Feb. 5 race began, Humane broke extremely slowly and was seven lengths behind the field, which made it practically impossible for her to win at 6 furlongs.

But Humane quickly got into stride to be at the rear of the leading group as the field swung into the turn. That’s when Sorenson really stepped on the gas and Humane surged four paths wide on the turn, passing fillies like she was on a conveyor belt. The impressive move raised the eyebrows of race caller Trevor Denman who responded: “very slow to start, but look at Humane; has gone from last to first and is just sprinting away from them here.”

Up to that point, Humane had run some 10 lengths (slow start+wide trip) farther than any other horse in the race and she had a two-length lead in the stretch. However, she couldn’t last as Shawnie Ora and A Taco Short ran her down in the stretch. After being tons the best, Humane finished third by two lengths.

Her Beyer Speed Figure was a 59, but with the horrible trip I adjusted it to an 87. It was a monster effort and had Humane broken well and not went so wide she would have won by five lengths, as the median Beyer for that type of race is only 65.

This replay is well worth watching. If you have time, go to www.calracing.com and it’s the eighth race at Santa Anita on Feb. 5.

Anyway, Humane came back on March 8 and showed speed while just 7-to-1 in a maiden special weight race, but she faded. Today she’s listed at 6-to-1 and looks like a good bet.

Others who could get the money if Humane doesn’t run her best today include longshot #5 Princess Quinn who’s had lots of trouble, but has flashed good early speed; first timer #8 Court Ballado, who is trained by Art Sherman who has started two debuters for owner Jack Liebau since 2006 and one of them won on Nov. 18, 2006 at odds of 57-to-1; and second timers, #9 Atta’ Girl and #10 Pedo Viejo, who only need to improve a little bit to win at this class.

I will bet $350 to win on #14 Humane at 2/1 or more; $150 on #8 Court Ballado at 10/1 to 19/1; $50 on #5 Princess Quinn at 15/1 or more; and $150 on the longest of the two horses between #9 Atta’ Girl and #10 Pedo Viejo, provided their odds are between 2/1 and 5/1.

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