Results, Santa Anita Monday Race 6 — lost $450

Trainer Mike Harrington lit up the board with 30/1 first timer #2 Shock the Board

Trainer Mike Harrington lit up the tote with 30/1 first timer #2 Shock the Board

In horse racing, winning is so sweet because there are so many ways to lose a race.

And some beats sting a lot more than others.

The laws of probabilities seem to be stacked against  horseplayers in any one race, even if they choose the right contenders and only bet them at good prices.

Of course, it’s easy to shrug off winning horses that are tossed out as non-contenders — whether they are favorites or long shots — because they are going to win their share of races.

You can easily rationalilze those because they don’t win enough at prices that make them profitable in the long run.

But the real pain starts when the odds on a horse you really like dip below your betting zone, so you lay off. Then you sit there and watch it win, while gritting your teeth as others celebrate around you.

You can rationalize those, too, easily enough by looking at the measly prices of $5.60 or $4.80 on the tote board.

But, to me, the biggest punch in the stomach in racing is when the odds on a runner you picked are sitting perfectly in your betting zone, then drift too high at the last minute. You can’t bet, and when the horse wins it’s really a killer.

Which brings us to Monday’s sixth race, where the odds on first-time starter #2 Shock the Board were fluctuating between 16-to-1 to 18-to-1 for all of the pre-race period. I was fully prepared to bet it at anything less than 20-to-1.

But with two minutes to post, the odds on Shock the Board went to 23-to-1.

Mike Harrington trained it, owned it and worked it two bullets. And he did one more thing right with Shock the Board — after seeing the $62.40 price the horse paid, it was obvious that he gave the animal the right name.

I also bet $350 on the Mike Mitchell-trained #3 Morton Owen at 7-to-2, $100 on #4 Gretsky, who was second.

To watch a replay of this race, go to


1 1 Foreign Taurean (KY) Gryder A Knapp S 5.10 7
2 2 Shock the Board (CA) Garcia M Harrington M 30.20 1
1A 3 Fiery Rebel (KY) Nakatani C Knapp S 5.10 9
3 4 Morton Owen (KY) Bejarano R Mitchell M 3.60 4
4 5 Gretsky (KY) Rosario J Drysdale N 5.20 2
5 6 Ben’s Bullet (FL) Potts C La Croix D 22.30 5
6 7 Bradytomoss (NY) Baze T Kitchingman A 9.10 8
7 8 Arm Chair Q B (CA) Talamo J Koriner B 15.40 6
8 9 Dubai Rainbow (FL) Valdivia, Jr. J Ellis R 2.40 3
9 10 Atlantic Victory (CA) Rios J McAnally R 7.20 10
Pgm Win Place Show
2 $62.40 $24.00 $11.20
4 $6.60 $4.00
8 $2.80
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $205.20 (2-4)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $405.80

Thursday, Santa Anita Race 2 — 1:31 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $75,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 year olds

Possible overlays                          Morning line

#2 Delahoosee                                     5/2
#3 Gretsky                                         8/1
#4 Dapper Gene                                   7/2
#7 Cat’s Causeway                               8/1

Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Eddie Delahoussaye have horses named for them in this race — although both are spelled differently from their surnames.  

Former jockey Eddie D. is the breeder of #2 Delahoosee who attracts Garrett Gomez after leaving the gate slowly on Dec. 6 then making a nice mid-race move. Breaking next door is first-time starter Gretsky out of the sire Toccet, who is named for Rick Toccet a good friend of Gretzky’s from their playing days with the Los Angeles Kings. Gretsky is scheduled to be ridden by Joel Rosario, who must get on a lot of horses in the morning because he regularly lands on live debuters during the afternoon. 

Danny Velasquez trains #4 Dapper Gene, who is the only experienced horse in this race that didn’t get off slowly last time. This gelding fits the winning profile for this race and he wouldn’t have to improve much from his 72 Beyer Speed Figure to beat this group. Finally, the connections of #7 Cat’s Causeway routinely pop with good-priced first time starters.

I will bet $300 on #7 Cat’s Causeway at 8/1 to 19/1; $100 on #3 Gretsky at 7/2 to 19/1; and $300 on #2 Delahoosee at 2/1 and higher. 

If Delahoosee goes off at 9/5 or below then I will get off him and put $200 on #4 Dapper Gene at 3/1 or better.

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