Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 10 — won $1,570

big-pile-of-cashBob Baffert is showing just how deadly he is when he enters two or more horses in a maiden race.

On March 22, Baffert scored with the Irish Gypsy-Mother Ruth exacta when he had three horses running in a maiden special weight sprint. And the prices weren’t too bad either, with Irish Gypsy paying 4-to-1 and Mother Ruth at 5-to-2.

On Saturday, Baffert was back at it. He had both #6 Hard Kisses and #8 Diamond Tags making their second lifetime starts. In her Feb. 22 debut, Hard Kisses finished 1-1/2 lengths behind Saturday’s favorite #3 Shiksa — but she ran a better race that day, as she was bumped at the break and went wide on the turn. Also, Shiksa — who by contrast had a great trip Feb. 22 — is trained by the struggling Patrick Biancone, who has won with just one of his last 47 starters.

Baffert’s other runner, the 9-to-2 shot Diamond Tags, showed a purchase price of $500,000 and was coming off a seven month layoff. 

During the running of the race, Hard Kisses, 5-to-1, sat in third behind pace-setters #2 Ultra Awesome and #7 Gumption. Jockey David Flores shook Hard Kisses up at the top of the lane, she came to the leaders, then took command in midstretch and never surrendered the lead. Diamond Tags lagged in last then rallied strongly to be second, which completed the  $33.50 Baffert exacta.

I had difficulty trying to separate which Baffert horse was stronger, so I let the odds board decide. My plan was to bet $350 on the longer-odds horse — which turned out to be Hard Kisses — and $250 on the other, Diamond Tags.

I collected $2,170 after wagering $600.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Wada Falls (FL) Sutherland C Mullins J 4.60 7
2 2 Ultra Awesome (KY) Bejarano R Yakteen T 7.70 8
3 3 Shiksa (KY) Talamo J Biancone P 3.40 5
4 4 Idontbelievemyeyes (KY) Blanc B Harty E 71.80 6
5 5 Crystal Empire R N (KY) Smith M Walsh K 20.50 9
6 6 Hard Kisses (ON) Flores D Baffert B 5.20 1
7 7 Gumption (KY) Solis A Headley B 3.50 4
8 8 Diamond Tags (KY) Rosario J Baffert B 4.50 2
9 9 Ruby Lane (KY) Espinoza V Capestro P 21.10 3
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $12.40 $5.80 $3.80
8 $5.40 $4.80
9 $8.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $33.50 (6-8)
$1.00 Pick

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 5 — 2:34 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 7 furlongs, 3 yo fillies

Possible overlays                             Morning line

#3 Shiksa                                            7/2
#6 Hard Kisses                                     3/1
#8 Diamond Tags                                  4/1

Here we go again.

Trainer Bob Baffert has two horses entered in here — #6 Hard Kisses and #8 Diamond Tags — and both of them look good.

Hard Kisses, a second-time starter, ran against #3 Shiksa in her debut and although she finished a half length behind Shiksa, she ran a better race. Shiksa, who was also making her first lifetime start, ran an 80 Beyer Speed Figure while rallying to be second by a neck. One big difference is that Shiksa had an excellent trip, breaking well and sitting on the rail throughout the turn.

However, Hard Kisses came out of the far outside stall and was immediately shoved a couple of lanes wider by the horse inside of her at the start. Furthermore, on the turn, Hard Kisses was hung four lanes wide the whole way and still finished within three-quarters of a length of the winner.

With the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class being 80, both of these horses have the qualifications to win today.

Baffert’s other filly, Diamond Tags, is coming off a seven-month layoff and as we saw last Sunday, Baffert is no slouch with layoff horses. Last Sunday, Irish Gypsy beat a maiden special weight field off an eight-month layoff.  

Diamond Tags made her debut on Aug. 10 at Del Mar where she was a bit crowded at the start, stayed on the rail then rallied well into the stretch, running a 65 Beyer. Because of maturity and the Baffert magic, it would be no surprise to see this one Beyer in the 80’s.

Also, Diamond Tags, who is showing a $500,000 purchase price, has two sharp workouts including a bullet versus 60 others that worked 4 furlongs on Feb. 11. Garrett Gomez rode Diamond Tags in her debut, and of the seven Baffert debuters I have listed with Gomez none were bought for less than $230,000. So Gomez only rides the finest of Baffert’s stock.

Today, Rosario is on board as Gomez is riding Dunkirk in the Florida Derby.

On the other hand, Hal Earnhardt, the owner of Hard Kisses, is one of Baffert’s first clients and Baffert makes sure the horses Earnhardt owns win early. With the Irish Gypsy layoff win fresh in people’s minds, Bob may switch things up and win with the recently-raced animal.

In the end, I will put $350 to win on whoever goes off at longer post time odds between #6 Hard Kisses and #8 Diamond Tags, and a $250 win bet on the shorter priced Baffert runner.

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