Results, Friday, Santa Anita Race 3 — lost $700

Troy Taylor won Friday's third with 8/1 shot Coparcenary

In my race preview, I had many questions about favorite #11 Warren’s Performer and second-choice #7 Golden Nip. I came to the conclusion that neither one represented a good bet at low odds and that two second-timers in the race that were both coming off long layoffs — #5 Dani’s Sis and #6 Coparcenary — were horses that could win at a decent price.

Dani’s Sis is trained by Mike Puype, who is good with horses making their second lifetime starts and even better when they are coming off long layoffs. Dani’s Sis was making her first start in 10 months.

Coparcenary was being saddled by one of the leading horsemen at Hastings Park in Vancouver B.C., Troy Taylor. Taylor hit with 55 of 222 starters in 2011 — or 25 percent — so he is without a doubt a competent horseman. But since I had no statistics on how Taylor does with inexperienced horses coming off layoffs, and Puype is one of the best with this second-time starter move in Southern California, I opted to wager $500 on Dani’s Sis.

I should have known Taylor had a betting coup in the works with Coparcenary because virtually the same thing happened on January 15, 2009. On that day at Santa Anita, another Canadian invader, Mark Casse — who took  the Sovereign Award as Canada’s top trainer three times — also won with a horse who hadn’t raced in many months and was making just its second lifetime start. One other glaring similarity should have made Coparcenary, an 8-to-1 shot, an obvious play: both Taylor and Casse brought their own jockeys in from the Great White North — with Taylor using Mario Gutierrez and Casse legging up Patrick Husbands.

At the very least, I should have split the betting money between Dani’s Sis and Coparcenary. But, overall, second-timers in these cheap maiden races for older horses are not good bets. I typically need strong evidence that the trainer profitably uses this move. So, I played it safe and went with the Puype horse.

As the gates opened, Dani’s Sis broke slowly to be three lengths behind the leaders. At the quarter mile mark, jockey Freddie Lenclud used Dani’s Sis a bit to get into fourth place, just two lengths from front runner #1 Our New Dancer.

Meanwhile, Coparcenary broke alertly to be running with the first flight without rider Gutierrez even asking the filly for speed. Coparcenary settled into fifth place at the quarter mile, but was only three lengths from the front. Midway on the turn, Coparcenary came up the rail and was on even terms with Dani’s Sis. Lenclud was working hard on Dani’s Sis, but not getting much response.

At the top of the lane, Warren’s Performer overtook 50-to-1 shot Our New Dancer, but then Coparcenary came on in the middle of the track to mow them both down. Meanwhile, Dani’s Sis found enough energy to get by the tiring Our New Dancer for third place.

In all, I ended up losing $700 on the blog as I called an audible with 20 minutes to post and noted that I was preparing to put $200 on Golden Nip at 3/1 or more in the hopes she could match the 72 Beyer she ran four races back in November 2010. Golden Nip finished seventh.

To watch a replay of this race go to

1 1 Our New Dancer (CA) Maldonado E Dunham D 53.80 4
2 2 Silver Luna (KY) Vergara D Knapp S 12.10 5
4 3 Warrens Matchmaker (CA) Steiner J Van Berg J 54.00 9
5 4 Dani’s Sis (KY) Lenclud F Puype M 4.00 3
6 5 Coparcenary (BC) Gutierrez M Taylor T 8.90 1
7 6 Golden Nip (CA) Nakatani C Miller P 3.20 7
8 7 Key Allegro (KY) Bejarano R Periban J 8.70 8
9 8 Tusun (CA) Stra K Locke T 88.40 10
10 9 Babeneau (KY) Talamo J Ellis R 10.00 5
11 10 Warren’s Performer (CA) Santiago Reyes C Gutierrez J 2.00 2
SCR Annie Lou (KY)    
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $19.80 $8.40 $5.80
11 $3.40 $3.20
5 $4.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $40.00 (6-11)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $90.30 (5-5-6)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $2492.20 (6-11-5-1)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $156.40 (6-11-5)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $74.20 (5-6)
Fractional Times
21.95, 44.95, 1:10.72, 1:17.70

Friday, Santa Anita Race 3, Post Time — 2:02 pm

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

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

Possible overlays                  Morning line

#5 Dani’s Sis                                   5/1

#6 Coparcenary                           6/1

#7 Golden Nip                               3/1

#10 Babeneau                               6/1

#11 Warren’s Performer           5/2

In this 10-horse field of maiden claimers, few of these runners have approached the 66 median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class.

One filly that has arguably exceeded the speed number, though, is #11 Warren’s Performer who had a troubled trip in a turf  route on Sept. 7. In that race, which was Warren’s Performer’s last start, she was three paths wide on the first turn and four wide on the second. She pulled jockey Chantal Sutherland along early and seemed hard to handle throughout. After being bumped in the stretch, Sutherland looked like she breezed this filly through most of the stretch. Yet with all of the trouble, Warren’s Performer still earned a 61 Beyer, which I upgraded to a 68. 

The one drawback for Warren’s Performer is that her trainer, Jorge Gutierrez, is much better when running a horse for the second time after a long layoff, not the first. The same can be said for Ron Ellis, who trains #10 Babeneau, a filly that hasn’t run since last April.

One of the more experienced contenders in the race is #7 Golden Nip, who will be making her seventh start. If this five-year-old can run back to the 72 Beyer figure she ran on Nov. 4, 2010 she’d be difficult to beat. But this horse seems like another one with major problems. After she ran the 72, Golden Nip was laid off for 11 months. In her three races back, she has yet to finish within five lengths of the winner.

Two of those races, however, were against higher class horses. And after Golden Nip flopped when running a 39 Beyer last November, the owners changed trainers. She is now in the Peter Miller barn after being taken from Vladimir Cerin.

With no strong runners to choose from, I am considering a couple of second-time starters that may run well at good prices. Mike Puype won last Sunday’s nightcap when Rass Stone went wire-to-wire and paid $13.20 while was making his second lifetime start. Puype does well with this training angle and when a second timer is coming off a long layoff, Puype’s numbers are even better. In here, #5 Dani’s Sis ran an unremarkable debut on April 24 and hasn’t run since. In her first start, Dani’s Sis was bet down to 5/1 in an eight-horse field. She has a couple of fast workouts and is scheduled to be ridden by Freddie Lenclud, a native of France, who has been riding in the Midwest.

Breaking right beside Dani’s Sis will be #6 Coparcenary. This filly last ran on May 6 at Hastings Race Course in Vancouver, BC and she is trained by one of the leading horsemen at that track, Troy Taylor. I don’t know much about Taylor, but Coparcenary has a weak-looking past performance line in her only lifetime race, and the barn could cash a nice bet if they have this horse ready to win off the layoff. But I am reluctant to wager on this animal because I don’t have any information that says Taylor is good in this situation.

My Betting Strategy: I will bet $500 to win on #5 Dani’s Sis from 3/1 to 7/1, but reduce the bet to $100 if she goes off at any other odds. At 1:43 pm, I see that with 20 minutes to post Golden Nip and Warren’s Performer are both more than 3/1. Therefore, I will bet $200 to win on whoever goes off the longer of the two, just as long as they are 3/1 or more.

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