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.

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Thursday, Santa Anita Race 3 — 2:03 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                         Morning line

#1 Mr Holmes                                       5/2
#2 Marcade                                         9/2
#3 Zephaniah                                      12/1
#9 Mustang Aleyna                             12/1

Breaking from the rail, #1 Mr. Holmes looks strong today. On Dec. 14, this colt ran a credible fourth behind The Pamplemousse, who won the San Rafael Stakes impressively on Jan. 17. In Mr. Holmes’ last on Jan. 1, it seems like jockey Michael Baze was not trying too hard, as he merely breezed Mr. Holmes throughout the length of the stretch. Finally, trainer Jeff Mullins won with 10 of his last 43, producing $1.72 for every $1 bet, when going from a route to a sprint.

Trainer John Sadler appears to have #2 Marcade ready to run. Jockey Mike Smith rides many of owner Jerome Moss’ first time starters, but he hasn’t had much success with them.

Jerry Hollendorfer claimed #3 Zephaniah for $40,000 from trainer Ed Moger on Aug. 21, then Moger claimed him right back on Sept. 25 for the same price.  On Oct. 17, Zephaniah raced well enough to beat a weak field at this level, so he’s also a threat today.

Finally, #9 Mustang Aleyna could surprise at a big price as this gelding is coming off a long layoff and could be a live longshot. Although, his workouts are slow.

I will bet $300 on #1 Mr. Holmes at 2/1 or more, and $200 on #2 Marcade between 10/1 to 19/1. Also, I’ll take $100 on both #3 Zephaniah and #9 Mustang Aleyna at odds of 5/1 and up.

Monday, Santa Anita Race 9 — 4:37 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                      Morning line

#5 You Wood                                   6/1
#6 Rise Above                                  3/1
#9 Zephaniah                                   9/2
#12 Hurley’s Way                              7/2

The Ed Moger-trained #9 Zephaniah looks like he could get an easy lead, but will he be able to last?

Bob Baffert has been running #12 Hurley’s Way in maiden special weight routes and now cuts back to maiden claiming 7 furlongs. Hurley’s Way was third best of 41 while working out at 4 furlongs on Jan. 15 and should perform better facing weaker. Second-timer #5 You Wood was bet to 4-to-1 versus nine others in his debut and he looks like a solid gelding for trainer Vladimir Cerin.

And finally, you can’t ignore the 72 Beyer Speed Figure run by #6 Rise Above in a Jan. 4 route race. Trainer Mel Stute hit at only eight percent in 2008, but Stute looks like he’s got this one headed in the right direction.

At 2/1 or more, I’ll bet $300 on #6 Rise Above and $200 on #12 Hurley’s Way. 

But if either Rise Above or Hurley’s way are 9/5 or less, then I’ll replace which ever horse has unbettable odds with a $200 wager on #5 You Wood at 2/1 to 10/1 and $200 on Zemphaniah, #9, at 7/2 or more .

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