Wednesday, Del Mar Race 6 — 4:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2 yo fillies

Possible overlays                    Morning line

#1 Escape Plan                             4/1
#2 Storm Needed                          8/1
#3 Private Valentine                    10/1
#9 Royalty Gone Wild                 6/1
#10 Sheskey                                5/1

The median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class is 59, but none of the fillies in this race has run better than a 44.

Three second-time starters — #1 Escape Plan, #11 Rose S. and #12 Goldeneh Medina — may improve. But I think the three first time starters are better bets.

Owner Harris Farms, who won with debuting 7-to-2 shot John Scott on Sunday, sends out first time runner #2 Storm Needed. And trainer Carla Gaines has a great record when her first timers go off at odds of 3/1 to 9/1.

Carla Gaines, who won with debuter John Scott on Sunday, trains FTS #2 Storm Needed

Carla Gaines, who won with debuter John Scott on Sunday, trains FTS #2 Storm Needed

Another owner that does well with first timers is Tommy Town Thoroughbreds. They’re employing trainer John Sadler today to saddle #9 Royalty Gone Wild. 

It’s curious that #3 Private Valentine shows up at Del Mar. This Washington-bred switched circuits from the Peg. training track, which I’m unfamiliar with. Every now and then one of these outsiders comes to San Diego and lights up the tote in its first lifetime run.

In her second career race on July 16, #10 Sheskey was bet to 3-to-1 in an eight-horse field, and that was despite her low-profile connections. She showed good speed that day and might be a play at proper odds.

I will bet $200 on #2 Storm Needed but only at 3/1 to 9/1 and $150 on #9 Royalty Gone Wild at 7/2 to 9/1. However, if Royalty Gone Wild breaks into the 10/1 to 19/1 zone they I’ll bump my bet on her to $200.

Also, if #3 Private Valentine is 10/1 to 19/1 then I’ll wager $150 to win on her. Finally, if either Storm Needed or Royalty Gone Wild are 10/1 or greater then I’ll put $150 to win on #10 Sheskey at 3/1 or more.

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Saturday, Hollywood Park Race 5 — 3 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo’s +

Possible overlays                         Morning line

#1 Extended                                 3/1
#4 Brilliant Response                       5/2

There are two $40,000 maiden claiming races for fillies and mares today and the Harris Farms-Carla Gaines-Rafael Bejarano team has a good shot to win them both.

Gaines trains #4 Brilliant Response, who ran decently in two maiden special weight races last summer at Del Mar. Today, she’ll try to win off a nine-month layoff.

Gaines is OK off a layoff, but trainer Brian Koriner is outstanding when the layoff horses he saddles are getting bet. Koriner trains #1 Extended, who has been idle for almost a year, but looks to have the best early speed and that’s important at 5-1/2 furlongs.

I will bet $400 to win on #1 Extended at 2/1 to 7/2, but $200 at 4/1 or better. If #4 Brilliant Response is in the 2/1 to 7/2 range then I will bet $300 to win on her, but only if Extended is either 4/1 or more or 9/5 or less.

© Copyright Maiden King, 2009. Written exclusively for  maidenking.wordpress.com. Not to be duplicated or reprinted, especially by the notorious website “Our Blogs Kentucky Derby Everything You Need To Know.”

Saturday, Hollywood Park Race 1 — 1 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3+, f&m

Possible overlays            Morning line

 #4 She’s Very Rare                   5/1
#6 Asanti                                  5/2
#9 Gold Image                            8/5

 Of the nine horses going to post, three of them are first-time starters. I will let them beat me if they’re good enough.

Two fillies in here look strikingly similar. Both #6 Asanti and #9 Gold Image are coming off long recent layoffs, they’ve run close to the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class, and both have the right running style.
 
Gold Image has great connections. Over the years, the Harris Farms-Carla Gaines team won plenty of maiden claiming sprints in Southern California, but they have recently underperformed. Also, jockey Rafael Bejarano won on 15 of the last 51 horses he’s ridden for Gaines, or 29 percent.
 
But Gold Image is likely to be overbet, which is why I’ll probably have my money on Asanti.
 
Another possibility is #4 She’s Very Rare. She was off slowly in her only start and now Garrett Gomez takes the mount. Also, trainer Donald Warren won with four of his last 17 second-time starters.
 
I will bet $250 to win on #6 Asanti or #9 Gold Image at 2/1 to 7/2 only. If both fall into the betting zone, then I will put my money on whoever is longer and wager nothing on the lower-priced one.
 
Also, I want $100 on #4 She’s Very Rare regardless of the prices on Asanti and Gold Image.

 © Copyright Maiden King, 2009. Written exclusively for www.maidenking.wordpress.com. Not to be duplicated or reprinted, especially by a website called Our Blogs Kentucky Derby Everything You Need To Know

Saturday, Hollywood Park Race 2 — 1 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up, f

Possible overlays                                 Morning line

#3 Ruffled Feathers                                   5/2
#5 Irridescent Red                                     3/1
#6 Gold Image                                           6/1

Of the nine horses in this race, three of them are first-time starters — and I don’t like any of them. That leaves six fillies and mares of which #3 Ruffled Feathers looks to have the best chance to win.

This Patrick Gallagher-trained filly drastically upgrades jockeys from Danny Sorenson to Garrett Gomez and is on the improve. On March 29, Ruffled Feathers lost ground when she walked out of the gate then swang ultra-wide into the turn.  Because of the bad trip, I adjusted her 69 Beyer Speed Figure to a 74, which is in the range of what it takes to win a race of this class.

Irridescent Red, #5,  ran against Ruffled Feathers last time and she finished second in that March 29 race.  She set the pace and beat Ruffled Feathers by a half a length at the wire.

Coming off a 10-month layoff, #6 Gold Image has great connections. She’s owned by Harris Farms which gives all of their best horses to Carla Gaines. Over the years, Gaines has won with many second timers coming off long layoffs and her winning percentage with jockey Rafael Bejarano is outstanding.

I will bet $250 to win on #3 Ruffled Feathers at 5/2 or more, and $200 to win on #6 Gold Image between the odds of 3/1 and 5/1 only. If Ruffled Feather’s post time odds are 2/1 or less then I will instead bet $150 on #5 Irridescent Red.

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

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo fillies

Possible overlays                       Morning line

#2 Play Reveille                                 5/2
#4 Dream Season                              6/1
#7 Track Majesty                             5/1
#8 Roll Model                                    4/1

Historically, Harris Farms, Inc. has been tremendous with second-time starters. They own #2 Play Reveille, who broke slowly in her first start then took the lead before weakening in the stretch. The main knock on this horse is that jockey Joel Rosario opts for #7 Track Majesty.

Coming off a six-month layoff, Track Majesty should be right near the lead and is a huge threat to wire the field. She had a decent workout Feb. 9, but the rest are slow. However, that is common practice for this barn.

I give two other second-time starters a puncher’s chance: #4 Dream Season delivered a satisfactory rally in her Jan. 23 debut and #8 Roll Model ran OK first time out, also.

But I will bet $250 on both #2 Play Reveille and #7 Track Majesty at 2/1 or more.

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