Results, Thursday (Jan. 26) Santa Anita Race 6 — lost $830

Jockey Brice Blanc got longshot Cloud Top home for trainer Mark Tsagalakis.

When bettors debate about who the best trainers are at Santa Anita, horsemen like Mike Mitchell, Bob Baffert and Doug O’Neill are usually at the top of everybody’s lists.

So, it was no surprise that in a maiden claiming race where each of these trainers had a runner that one saddled by Mark Tsagalakis would be 23-to-1.

It was a surprise, however, that Tsagalakis’ horse won.

Sure, Cloud Top finished third in his first and only start, but it was against maiden $30,000 claimers and today he was stepping up to $50,000. When I watched the replay of Cloud Top’s Dec. 10 debut, I noticed that he broke slowly to be tenth and I was impressed with the ease of how he blew through the field to be third as the group entered the turn.

But I discounted the move, and never mentioned the gelding in my race preview, because he was facing much cheaper horses back then. I even had an angle: 3-year-old second timers with one fast workout won 9 of 44 races between the odds of 9-to-2 and 19-to-1 in sprints longer than 6-furlongs. These horses returned $1.65 for every $1 bet.

Cloud Top fit perfectly, but once his odds drifted above 20-to-1, I threw him out.

Instead, I put a pile of cash on Mitchell’s runner #3 Towering who ran like a 23-to-1 shot, finishing ninth, but was actually just 5-to-2. I was seduced by Mitchell’s great record with second time starters and the fact that he had really begun to heat up at Santa Anita, winning with his last seven of 15 runners.

Another horse I loved, who also turned out to be a dud, was #7 Charlie Company. In two of his past three races, Charlie Company ran a better Beyer Speed Figure than the median winning Beyer at this level. He was shipping down from Golden Gate and his trainer William Morey is capable, so the price seemed right at 10-to-1.

But Charlie Company finished dead last.

I squandered a few more dollars on exactas, but why go into that.

In the end I lost $830 and my four-race winning streak was stopped cold.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Midnight Con (FL) Maldonado E O’Neill D 10.90 4
2 2 Cruxus (FL) Santiago Reyes C Cerin V 58.00 8
3 3 Towering (KY) Rosario J Mitchell M 2.50 9
4 4 Cloud Top (KY) Blanc B Tsagalakis M 23.00 1
5 5 Tummel (KY) Flores D Sherman A 4.90 3
6 6 Ron Burgundy (KY) Nakatani C Glatt M 53.60 5
7 7 Charlie Company (KY) Espinoza V Morey, Jr. W 10.50 11
8 8 Visible Marq (FL) Garcia M Baffert B 3.50 6
9 9 Congrats Ski (KY) Bejarano R Walsh K 4.20 2
10 10 Awesome Mike (AZ) Pedroza M Owens R 21.00 10
11 11 Outperform (CA) Flores E Hendricks D 35.50 7
 
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $48.00 $21.40 $11.20
9 $7.00 $4.80
5 $3.80
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $143.00 (4-9)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $15078.70 (6-2-4)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $4917.30 (4-9-5-1)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $1109.90 (4-9-5)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $412.80 (2-4)
Fractional Times
22.25, 45.00, 1:10.05, 1:23.11
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Thursday, Santa Anita Race 8 — post time 4:38 pm

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $30,000, 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Median winning Beyer Speed Figure: 68

Possible overlays                 Morning line

#1 Mr Pappagiorgio                     15/1
#2 King Bill                           10/1
#3 The Black                           2/1
#4 I Know That                         8/1
#5 Airplane Mode                       12/1
#8 Patriotic Lion                      4/1
#9 Jamakagoodsense                     8/1
#10 Papa P B                           3/1

Without a doubt, the strongest horse in this race is #3 The Black. Trained by Doug O’Neill, this colt has run in enough races to build the stamina necessary to survive 7 furlongs and his 74 Beyer Speed Figure — albeit earned on the grass — stamps him with the ability to get the job done today. The switch from Blanc to Bejarano should also help lead to good things.

But all of O’Neill’s plans with The Black today could easily be foiled if #8 Patriotic Lion shows the dominant early speed that he’s capable of. On Oct. 1 at 5-1/2 furlongs, Patriotic Lion outbroke eight others in a maiden special weight race while rolling through brilliant fractions of 21-2/5ths seconds for the quarter mile and 44-2/5ths seconds for the half. In Patriotic Lion’s next two races — at 7 furlongs and 1 mile — he unimpressively pressed the pace then faded badly.

And what happened with Patriotic Lion last time he ran is anybody’s guess. On Jan. 21, jockey Freddie Lenclud took Patriotic Lion to the back of the pack then rallied mildly to finish a well-beaten third. On that day, maybe trainer Patrick Biancone was trying to teach Patriotic Lion to rate and it may all pay off today with a wire-to-wire score.

Looking over the past performances, I can’t see any horse that can keep up with Patriotic Lion down the backstretch. Unless one of the first or second time starters surprise by gunning for the lead, then Patriotic Lion should get away with easy early fractions. The only question that will then remain is whether this runner can ration his energy across seven furlongs.

 This colt looks like a horse to use on top in the gimmicks, but not for second or third as he may pop and stop.

Of the five second-time starters, the best bets to hit the board look like #4 I Know That and #10 Papa P B.

In I Know That’s debut on Jan. 21, he trailed down the backstretch over a wet-fast track then was very wide into the lane while passing a few horses to finish seventh. He doesn’t look like much, but adding blinkers today may aid in the dramatic improvement he would need to win. With the other talent in this race, I would need at least 5-to-1 to consider him. 

The far outside horse — Papa P B — has a good chance to run well because trainer Dan Hendricks does better as the sprints get longer. The Daily Racing Form reports that Papa P B has flashed early speed in the morning, but he broke slowly in his only race. This colt is 3-to-1 on the morning line and I will need at least 5-to-1 before I reach into my pocket.

The first time starters have hidden angles in here, so they may fire at big prices. Breaking from the rail, #1 Mr Pappagiorgio has the type of debut breeding that wins 6-1/2 and 7-furlong maiden claiming races. And this gelding’s trainer, Kristin Mulhall, does well in spots like this.

Bertrando, who is the sire of the other firster #5 Airplane Mode, is winning with more than 20 percent of his debut horses on the circuit with post-time odds of less than 20-to-1. Every $1 bet on these runners returned $1.54.  But Airplane Mode’s trainer Tim Yakteen usually does best with horses making their second starts. At odds of 10/1 to 19/1, however, both he and Mr Pappagiorgio may be worth the risk.

If The Black or Patriotic Lion do not fire, then Golden Gate invader King Bill looks like he could pick up the pieces at a fat price. In his last, jockey Russell Baze took King Bill five paths wide on the turn and they drifted into the seven path while entering the stretch. I bumped King Bill’s Beyer Speed Figure from 58 to 65 to make up for the lost ground and just a slight improvement would win most races at this class.

My betting strategy: I am betting $350 to win on #3 The Black at less than 2/1 and $500 to win on him at 2/1 or higher. I will try to hit a decent exacta by excluding #8 Patriotic Lion from the second spot while playing some others. I want $20 exactas 3 with 1, 2, 4, 5.  If #4 I Know That is 5/1 or better, then I will take another $10 exacta box 3,4. And at the same 5/1 or better odds, I will take $100 to win on #4 I Know That.

At 10/1 or more, I want a $10 exacta box 2, 3 and $100 to win on #2 King Bill.

Patriotic Lion may dominate this race, so as a hedge I want a $10 trifecta 8 with 3 with 1, 2, 4, 5.  And a $5 trifecta 8 with 2 with 1, 3, 4, 5.

Finally, at odds of 10/1 to 19/1, I will put $100 on both #1 Mr Pappagiorgio and #5 Airplane Mode.

Results, Del Mar, Friday Race 8 – lost $180

Trainer Doug O'Neill claimed Irish-bred Titus Aurelius for $25,000 on June 4 and won a Maiden $32K claiming race with him

My first thought when I saw the morning line for this race was that the odds for #9 Titus Auerelius, at 5-to-2, needed to be much closer to those of #3 D’oro Dancer, at 9-to-2. 

D’oro Dancer had stamina, speed and decent Beyer Speed Figures. And although Titus Aurelius’ past performances looked OK, it was obvious that he was the morning line favorite because of the glamour connections of jockey Joel Rosario and trainer Doug O’Neill. 

O’Neill claimed Titus Aurelius from Simon Callaghan on June 4 for $25,000 and on June 25 the gelding showed speed before fading in a maiden special weight turf sprint. On Friday, as the horses loaded into the gate, the public saw what I saw and made Titus Aurelius 8-to-5 and D’oro Dancer 2-to-1.   

In this race, Rosario quickly went to the front with Titus Aurelius, who cruised willingly on the lead down the backstretch in this 7-furlong sprint.  D’oro Dancer, who was also running without being asked, got to the flank of Titus Aurelius as the field swang into the turn. 

At the quarter pole, jockey Tyler Baze pushed D’oro Dancer to within a half length of Titus Aurelius and it looked like a stretch duel was forthcoming. However, when Rosario asked Titus Aurelius for more, he kicked away to an easy three-length win. 

I was prepared to put $650 on D’oro Dancer at 5-to-2 or better, but his post time odds were just 2-to-1. Another one of my wagers was to bet #7 Big Wags at 3-to-1 or better, but only if D’oro Dancer was also 7-to-2 or more, which he was not. 

However, I forgot to specify odds for the exotics, which included keying 39-to-1 shot Spinco Bob for third in the trifecta and second in the exacta to D’oro Dancer and Spinco Bob. Those bets cost me $180.

 

 

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Not in Siberia (CA) Garcia M Ordonez A 12.90 7
2 2 Kim’s Leading Man (CA) Gonzalez A Abrams B 18.90 2
3 3 D’oro Dancer (KY) Baze T Walsh K 2.10 3
4 4 My Last Tycoon (NY) Espinoza V Stute M 10.60 4
6 5 Yvett’s Maar (NM) Medellin A Gonzalez S 45.90 9
7 6 Big Wags (ON) Bejarano R Glatt M 4.00 6
8 7 Spinco Bob (CA) Pedroza M Velasquez D 39.00 8
9 8 Titus Aurelius (IRE) Rosario J O’Neill D 1.70 1
10 9 Anga (CA) Berrio O Garcia V 20.30 5
SCR Brianville (CA) Santiago Reyes C O’Callaghan C
 
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $5.40 $3.60 $2.80
2 $9.80 $5.20
3 $3.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $337.30 (8-2/6-10-5/9)
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $12.50 (6-4/5-9)
$1.00 Exacta paid $36.60 (9-2)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $73.90 (6-10-9)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $2633.10 (7 OF 8)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $2298.40 (9-2-3-4-10)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $559.00 (9-2-3-4)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $121.30 (9-2-3)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $24.00 (10-9)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $138257.00 (8-3-8-2/6-10-5/9)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $965.60 (8-3-8-2/6-10-5/9)
$2.00 Quinella paid $56.80 (2-9)

Friday, Del Mar Race 8 — 7:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden 32k, 3-yo and up, 7 furlongs

Possible overlays                Morning line

#3 D’oro Dancer                         9/2
#7 Big Wags                              3/1
#8 Spinco Bob                           15/1

Besides having jockey Joel Rosario aboard, I can’t see why #9 Titus Aurelius is favored in the morning line over #3 D’oro Dancer. I guess the morning line maker believes that Doug O’Neill, who claimed the gelding on June 4, will combine with Rosario to work their magic.

But trainer Kathy Walsh is also very good, too. D’oro Dancer is dropping from maiden special weight and the 74 Beyer Speed Figure he earned in a May 2 route makes him a strong contender.

Rafael Bejarano rides #7 Big Wags and he should lead or be close to the front at the half mile mark. If D’oro Dancer doesn’t fire, this one might be tough to run down.

Finally, #8 Spinco Bob ran well going 1-1/16 miles on May 21 and he has the right running style for 7 furlongs. This longshot could blow up the trifecta.

I will spread my $1,000 out this way: At 5/2 or better, I want $650 to win on #3 D’oro Dancer.  If both D’oro Dancer is 7/2 or more and #7 Big Wags is 3/1 or better, then I will take $200 to win on Big Wags, also.

In the exotics, I want a $50 exacta box 3/7 and I will play #8 Spinco Bob in the secondary slots with $20 exactas 3,7/8 and $5 trifectas 3,7 with 3,7,9,2,4 with 8.

Cal Cup Day — lost $600

Trainer Doug O'Neill sadded both halves of the Juvenile Stakes exacta

Trainer Doug O'Neill sadded both halves of the Juvenile Stakes exacta

Saturday was California Cup Day, so no maiden races were slated.

I played the 2-year-old stakes races, which were both run at 7 furlongs, but the closest I got was when #5 Wolf Tail came charging late for second place in the Juvenile. Doug O’Neill not only trained Wolf Tail, a 6/1 shot, but he also saddled the winner, Bench the Judge, at 5/1.

In the Juvenile Fillies, I liked #2 Miss Georgie Girl, who did absolutely nothing. Garrett Gomez was urging her on in the stretch, but Miss Georgie Girl’s tank was empty as she faded to the back of the pack.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Take a Peak (CA) Nakatani C Hollendorfer J 23.30 6
2 2 Miss Georgie Girl (CA) Gomez G Walsh K 2.80 8
3 3 Camille C (CA) Bejarano R Polanco M 3.50 2
4 4 Dinnr With Nikki C (CA) Santiago Reyes C Sherlock G 55.20 5
5 5 Puritan Baker (CA) Rosario J Lenzini M 24.60 4
6 6 Whispering Hush (CA) Solis A Kruljac J 3.60 3
7 7 U Turn Me Crazy (CA) Gryder A Koriner B 26.10 7
8 8 La Nez (CA) Smith M Kruljac J 2.20 1
9 9 Moon Quist Rose (CA) Baze R Morey W 23.80 9
Pgm Win Place Show
8 $6.40 $3.60 $2.40
3 $4.60 $3.00
6 $2.80

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Warren’s Doc Gus (CA) Bejarano R Gutierrez J 7.80 7
2 2 Swiss Exploit (CA) Baze M Harrington M 42.00 6
3 3 Really Uptown (CA) Garcia M Harrington M 7.60 4
5 4 Wolf Tail (CA) Rosario J O’Neill D 6.30 2
6 5 Swiss Arrogant (CA) Gomez G Carava J 10.10 9
7 6 Runaway Bandido (CA) Quinonez A Becerra R 2.80 3
8 7 Tribal Face (CA) Baze T Knapp S 2.70 5
9 8 Bench the Judge (KY) Santiago Reyes C O’Neill D 5.90 1
10 9 Chocolate Marini (CA) Valdivia, Jr. J Hendricks D 31.90 8
SCR Cat Calloway (CA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $13.80 $6.40 $3.40
5 $8.00 $4.60
7 $3.00
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $35.20 (3-4-9)

 

 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $12.70 (8-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $83.50 (1-2-8)
$

Sunday, Del Mar Race 4 — 3:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 6-1/2 furlongs, 2 yo fillies

Possible overlays             Morning line

#2 Dixie’s Sandals                     8/1
#3 Seriously                             3/1
#4 Star of Sapphire                   4/1
#5 Vivacious Anna                    8/1

Although #6 Imperatriz showed good speed in her debut and lasted for second, this filly had an easy trip yet didn’t run anywhere close to the median winning Beyer Speed Figure of 80 for this class.

If the public sends Imperatriz off at close to her 5-to-2 morning line then I will enthusiastically bet against both her and #7 It Tiz, a first time starter who is 4-to-1 on the early line.

Much better potential wagers are #2 Dixie’s Sandals, #4 Star of Sapphire and #5 Vivacious Anna. Also, the Bob Baffert-trained #3 Seriously obviously has a decent shot, but she may be overbet.

Jockey Mike Smith rode Seriously in her debut, but now he shows up on Star of Sapphire, who’s been working out well. Star of Sapphire has a few good betting angles going for her.

Doug O’Neill saddles #5 Vivacious Anna and O’Neill has done well with this type of maiden in the past. Finally, Dixie Sandals has mostly slow workouts, but she fits the profile of a winning debuter — but only if she falls into the 10/1 to 19/1 betting range.

I will bet $250 to win on #4 Star of Sapphire at 7/2 to 19/1; $150 on #5 Vivacious Anna at 5/1 to 19/1 and $150 on #2 Dixie’s Sandals at 10/1 to 19/1.

If the public goes overboard on Star of Sapphire and bets her below 7-to-2, then I will instead substitute $200 to win on #3 Seriously at 5/2 to 7/1 only.

Friday, Del Mar Race 9 — 7 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Possible overlays                 Morning line

#1 Donthaveatizzy                         10/1
#5 Born to Cus                               8/1
#6 Wicked Mischief                         8/1
#7 Sven Diesel                               8/1
#9 Fiery Rebel                                7/2
#10 Megillah                                   9/2
#11 Hotsie                                      8/1

This race has many possible winners and I will be paying close attention to the odds board for further clues.

The horse who has the best past performances is #9 Fiery Rebel.  On June 19, he was wide on the turn, so I adjusted his 72 Beyer Speed Figure to 76. then on July 3, Fiery Rebel shot to a 2-1/2 length lead down the backstretch and kept that margin into the stretch in a 7-furlong race, only to lose by a nose at the wire. He still ran an 80 Beyer and if the race was a half a furlong shorter, his speed figure likely would have been better. Jockey Felipe Valdez, who went too wide on June 19 then too fast too early on July 3, is being replaced today by Garrett Gomez — a huge upgrade.

One training move Robert Hess seems to excel at is bringing maiden claimers off layoffs. He saddles #11 Hotsie and I will like this son of Flame Thrower more if the betting action is hot. 

However, jockey Victor Espinoza jumps off Hotsie to ride #10 Megillah. This Erik Kruljac trainee ran two credible races in the Spring at Santa Anita and is coming off a four-month layoff. My figures scream at me not to bet this horse, but in the Daily Racing Form I see that Kruljac won with six of his last 20 runners who were off from 61-180 days. And the average payoff for those runners was 7-to-2. Also, Kruljac and Espinoza won with nine of their last 36 and anybody who bet them all would be have gotten $1.76 for every $1 wagered.

One of the quickest horses in the race is #5 Born to Cus. I am throwing his last race out as jockey Joel Rosario took him to the lead then merely breezed him from the turn to the wire. On May 22, this 3-year-old showed good speed in a 7-furlong race before tiring, then on June 21 he came with a nice 4-wide rally. Today’s 6 furlong distance fits this gelding’s running style and, although he’s never run better than a 68, I believe Born to Cus can run a low-to-mid 70’s Beyer Speed Figure.

The key to the rail horse, #1 Donthaveatizzy — a second-time starter who has been laid off for a year — will be his post time odds. If Donthaveatizzy is 10-to-1 or higher I don’t think he’ll run well. But he’s dangerous if bet to 2/1 to 7/2 and has an outside chance at 4/1 to 9/1.

Finally, two first time starters deserve a long look. The first is #6 Wicked Mischief, whose listed purchase price at the Keeneland September sale is $160,000. Today, Wicked Mischief is entered for just $25,000, but Rosario is riding this one instead of Born to Cus and trainer Mike Mitchell has a great winning percentage in maiden claiming sprints for older horses.

The second debuter is #7 Sven Diesel. Usually, I would not consider a first time starter in these types of races, but Sven Diesel’s trainer Peter Eurton has won with two first timers in three tries at this class. Larry Zap, who purchases horses with Eurton, wrote today on his Twitter page: “(Sven Diesel is) something to root for and maybe bet a couple $$ on…little guy can run a little.” 

My wagering possibilities are many, so I am ranking my horses in order of preference. So if more than one horse fits into the following betting zones, then I will bet the top three horses in this ranking order #9 Fiery Rebel, #5 Born to Cus, #7 Sven Diesel, #10 Megillah, #11 Hotsie and #6 Wicked Mischief.

If #11 Hotsie is 2/1 to 7/2 then I will bet $200 to win on him, but if he is 4/1 to 9/1 then my bet reduces to $150. At 10/1 and up, I’ll bet just $50.

On #10 Megillah, I will take $150 to win at odds of 3/1 to 8/1 only. As for #9 Fiery Rebel, I want $200 to win at 5/2 and up.

At 4/1 and up, I will take $150 to win on #5 Born to Cus. At 3/1 to 6/1, I will bet $150 on #6 Wicked Mischief and $200 on #7 Sven Diesel at 7/2 to 11/1.

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