Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 4 — lost $200


After trying route races, trainer Bob Baffert found that Hurley's Way likes 7 furlongs

On Aug. 15, Hurley’s Way ran sixth in a Del Mar sprint and afterward Bob Baffert claimed him for $100,000. Over the next five months, Baffert raced his new runner in three route races, two of which were in the maiden special weight ranks, but Hurley’s Way never hit the board.

Finally on Jan. 19, Baffert bit the bullet and dropped Hurley’s Way into a 7-furlong maiden $32,000 claiming sprint, and the colt responded by almost winning after an extremely wide trip.

The race must have showed Baffert that his best chance with Hurley’s Way would be in the claiming ranks at 7 furlongs. So, the trainer spent the last few months tuning up his runner, then waited for the racing secretary to write a 7-furlong race for $32,000 claimers.

And like a baseball player waiting for his pitch, when Baffert finally got a fat one down the middle he knocked it for a loop.

When this race began, jockey Joel Rosario took Hurley’s Way to the back of the nine-horse field then made his move by riding the rail on the turn. In the stretch, Hurley’s Way rolled by pace setter #9 Olympic Magic with Rosario giving his mount a couple of swats of the whip 50 yards from the wire just to let the colt know that the race wasn’t over yet.

About the only thing wrong with this whole scenario was that Hurley’s Way’s price dipped below my 2-to-1 minimum acceptable odds. What can I say, but that I’m greedy. Not only do I want the best horse in the race, but I want good odds on him, too.

So, I ended up going to Plan B, which was to forget about my $250 Hurley’s Way bet and put $200 on the longer of #4 Mont La Salle and #9 Olympic Magic. Since Mont La Salle was 7/1, he got the money.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Warren’s Peanut (CA) Hill C Van Berg J 35.00 9
2 2 New York Baby (VA) Talamo J Knapp S 3.10 7
3 3 Class Dismissed (KY) Quinonez A Dunham D 50.60 3
4 4 Mont La Salle (FL) Delgadillo A Garcia V 7.50 8
5 5 Rogue River (CA) Blanc B Pender M 10.20 5
6 6 Late Nite Devil (CA) Garcia M Harty E 57.30 4
7 7 El Diablito (KY) Sorenson D Glatt M 28.10 6
8 8 Hurley’s Way (OH) Rosario J Baffert B 1.60 1
9 9 Olympic Magic (CA) Valdivia, Jr. J Ellis R 2.90 2
Pgm Win Place Show
8 $5.20 $2.80 $2.60
9 $3.80 $3.20
3 $11.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $7.30 (8-9)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $334.40 (1-6-8)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid

Sunday, Santa Anita Race 4 — 2:03 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 7 furlongs, 3 yo’s

Possible overlays                          Morning line

#4 Mont La Salle                                 4/1
#8 Hurley’s Way                                  5/2
#9 Olympic Magic                                3/1

This looks like a three-horse race to me.

The Ronald Ellis-trained #9 Olympic Magic has the best early speed and has been running Beyer numbers in the mid-to-upper 60’s recently.

In his last race, #4 Mont La Salle was wide on both turns while still earning a 65 Beyer Speed Figure, so it seems reasonable that he can run in the low 70’s.

On Jan. 19, #8 Hurley’s Way swung six or seven wide rounding the turn in a 7 furlong sprint. He didn’t have the final gear in the stretch to get by Jazzin Razz that day, but I think Bob Baffert learned something about his horse. After four previous unsuccessful tries at various class levels and distances, I think Baffert decided that Hurley’s Way was a 7-furlong horse that could win a $32,000 claiming race.

Hurley’s Way hasn’t run since Jan. 19, as Baffert’s been tuning him up and he looks to be ready to run a big one.

I will bet $250 on #8 Hurley’s Way at 2/1 or better, but if he’s bet to 9/5 or less then I want $200 on whoever is a longer price between #4 Mont Las Salle and #9 Olympic Magic.

Jazzin Razz nose better than You Wood in 9th


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