Wednesday, Santa Anita Race 9 — 5 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Today is opening day at Oak Tree and this ninth race looks like it should have a good bet or two. I’m still a bit behind in record keeping, so after this I will only be posting on the weekends while I catch up.

Possible overlays                   Morning line

#3 Red Door Drive                      7/2
#8 Good Newsman                      9/2
#9 Markus D.                            12/1
#10 Little Heater                       12/1
#11 De Brief Me                         8/1
#13 Boo Too                             4/1

Owner Arnold Zetcher transferred #3 Red Door Drive from trainer Ron McAnally to Bob Baffert since the colt’s last race one year ago. This colt tried nine times to win on the turf against better horses, but was often wide and never quite got the job done.

Red Door Drive, who last raced in September 2008, has the right running style for 7 furlongs and has a good shot to win despite the layoff — especially if there’s some betting action. Also, jockey Martin Pedroza jumped off #13 Boo Too, 4-to-1 on the morning line, to ride for Baffert.

Four other runners are also coming off recent layoffs. Trainer Dan Hendricks saddles #8 Good Newsman and Hendricks has done well in the past with this type of horse. I would only consider geldings #9 Markus D. and #11 De Brief Me if they are bet drastically below their morning lines of 12/1 and 8/1 respectively. But the Jeff Mullins 5-year-old #10 Little Heater could spring an upset at a good price.

I will bet $300 on #3 Red Door Drive at 2/1 to 7/2, but only $150 if the odds drift from 4/1 to 10/1. In the unlikely event that any of these horses are 2/1 to 7/2, I will bet $150 on the highest priced runner in that odds range among #8 Good Newsman, #9 Markus D., #10 Little Heater and #11 De Brief Me.

At odds of 4/1 and up, I’ll put $100 on #10 Little Heater.

Results, Del Mar Sunday Race 10 — won $400

One%20Hundred%20Dollar%20Bill[1]Last summer, #12 Legend of My Own ran 76 and 73 Beyer Speed Figures in two consecutive maiden special weight races, but then tailed off into the 60’s while racing three times against maiden claimers.

Something was obviously wrong. So, trainer Jeff Mullins gave Legend of My Own eight months off and the gelding responded well by coming back in June to run a 76 Beyer.

Breaking from the outside in Sunday’s race, Legend of My Own was able to avoid trouble from a spill. Alex Solis shot #3 Endless Moon up the inside to the lead, but the gelding went head over heels soon after. Solis’ body tumbled to the ground as the other 10 horses attempted to avoid him.

But #8 Captain Cash slammed into the rolling Endless Moon causing that horse to fall and tossing Aaron Gryder. Luckily, neither of the jockeys were seriously hurt.

As the race continued, longshot #1 Richardminichiello led down the backside, but was overtaken by #10 Afleet Hopetown who took the field to top of the stretch. On the turn, #6 Pinstripe Kid made a move on the inside and Legend of My Own went with him.

In deep stretch, Pinstripe Kid briefly held the lead but succumbed to Legend of My Own, who was just too good.

I bet $300 on Legend of My Own and $200 on Pinstripe Kid. I collected $900 and profited $400.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Richardminichiello (CA) Valdez F Truman E 64.30 8
2 2 Ryland (CA) Garcia M Yakteen T 37.90 6
3 3 Endless Moon (KY) Solis A Lewis L 4.70 11
4 4 Mister Jo Jangles (KY) Kaenel K Fulmer D 60.80 7
6 5 Pinstripe Kid (CA) Santiago Reyes C Morey, Jr. W 4.50 2
8 6 Captain Cash (KY) Gryder A Harty E 10.40 10
9 7 Whizer (CA) Stra K Bradvica L 19.40 4
10 8 Afleet Hopetown (KY) Delgadillo A Capestro P 14.60 3
11 9 Lucky B Lou (CA) Quinonez A Schiewe P 57.90 9
12 10 Legend of My Own (CA) Rosario J Mullins J 2.00 1
14 11 Strong Belief (KY) Baze T West T 3.30 5
SCR Peeka Buddha (KY)    
SCR Tralee Creek (KY) Arambula P DeLima J
SCR Surprisefor Toulla (CA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
12 $6.00 $3.20 $2.60
6 $4.80 $4.00
10 $7.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $14.00 (12-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $12.90 (10-6-12)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $177.60 (4-2/3/6/10-4/6-5/7/12/1
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $28318.90 (10 OF 10)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $1537.30 (12-6-10-9-14)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $595.00 (12-6-10-9)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $109.60 (12-6-10)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $15.20 (6-12)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $113.40 (9-3/5-4-2/3/6/10-4/6-5/
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $11540.00 (9-3/5-4-2

Sunday, Del Mar Race 10 — 6:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Possible overlays                   Morning line

#3 Endless Moon                      5/1
#6 Pinstripe Kid                        5/1
#8 Captain Cash                       6/1
#12 Legend of My Own              7/2
#14 Strong Belief                      9/2

This race has a few possible winners and #12 Legend of My Own looks like a strong play at 2-to-1 or more.

This 4-year-old gelding, who is trained by Jeff Mullins, is making his eighth start and his fourth at this class. But on June 27, Legend of My Own came off an eight-month layoff  to rally powerfully in a 6-furlong race. He not only has the right running style for this distance, but Legend of My Own also ran a series of Beyer Speed Figures last summer that are fast enough to win this.

A couple of stall doors down, #14 Strong Belief was competitive with Legend of My Own on June 27 when the two were separated by less than a length. However, jockey Christian Santiago Reyes jumps from Strong Belief to ride #6 Pinstripe Kid.

It’s possible Pinstripe Kid is far better than he looks. This gelding ran a 68 Beyer as a 2-year-old last summer and it’s logical that his natural growth  allows him to run in the low 80s now.

Another coming off a long layoff is #8 Captain Cash. Trained by Eoin Harty, this horse has been working out well and showed speed before dumping the jock in his last race in November.

Finally, #3 Endless Moon is a second-time starter that is dropping in class after not disgracing himself in a turf sprint.

I rank the horses this way: #12 Legend of My Own, #6 Pinstripe Kid, #14 Strong Belief, #3 Endless Moon and #8 Captain Cash.

I will bet $300 to win on #12 Legend of My Own at 2/1 to 7/2 only, and $200 on #6 Pinstripe Kid at 2/1 to 9/1. If Legend of My Own drifts to 4/1 to 9/1, then I’ll reduce my wager to $200. If either of them are less than 2/1, then I will replace that individual horse with $150 to win on #14 Strong Belief at 3/1 to 9/1,  or if that one isn’t in the zone then I’ll play $150 on #3 Endless Moon at 5/2 to 7/1.

Results, Del Mar Friday Race 4 — lost $450

David Flores rode Hayley's Halo to victory for trainer Jerry Fanning

David Flores rode Hayley's Halo to victory for trainer Jerry Fanning

In a race seemingly full of good betting opportunities, a bland horse that I had no information on ended up winning.

But that just shows me the value of adhering to proper odds before wagering. No matter how confident horseplayers are about a race’s outcome, it’s clear that, really, anything can happen. 

In this race, trainer Mike Mitchell had #1 Sheza Foxy Jackpot making her debut. Mitchell has an outstanding record with these types of horses, according to my records, and owner Vessels Stallion Farm was 2-for-2 with first timers.

Over the last year or so, trainer Jeff Mullins has also excelled with young maiden claimers making their first starts. In this race, he had #3 Royally Large.

Mike Puype, who saddled post time favorite #11 Ms. Salt Mine, was 4-of-6 when training second-time starters dropping into maiden claiming and #8 Salty Fries was adding blinkers and dropping for her second start — which was an angle that produced a scorching eight wins in the last 16 races. 

But none of them got close to #2 Hayley’s Halo, who was making her third start after two unspectacular runs.

When the stalls sprang opened, Ms. Salt Mine shot right to a clear lead and she stayed in front until the top of the lane. Down the backstretch,  Ms. Salt Mine was chased by #8 Salty Fries and Hayley’s Halo.

Ms. Salt Mine was gassed in the lane and Hayley’s Halo inherited the lead when she quit. Then another surprise horse, #7 Right to Work who got a zero Beyer in her debut, came running late for second at 11-to-1.

I bet $300 on 6-to-1 shot Sheza Foxy Jackpot and $150 on #3 Royally Large, at 14-to-1, who both ran on late. The damage could have been worse because I considered wagering on both #8 Salty Fries and #11 Ms. Salt Mine, but they were bet below my odds threshold. 

To watch a replay of this race go to www.

1 1 Sheza Foxy Jackpot (CA) Gomez G Mitchell M 6.20 3
2 2 Hayley’s Halo (CA) Flores D Fanning J 6.40 1
3 3 Royally Large (CA) Baze T Mullins J 14.10 4
4 4 De Car Chic (CA) Valdez F Dahl T 54.10 11
5 5 Ee to Kinzie (CA) Garcia M Lage A 8.20 9
6 6 Fatal Edge (CA) Scott J Davis D 90.10 10
7 7 Right to Work (CA) Santiago Reyes C O’Neill D 11.40 2
8 8 Salty Fries (CA) Talamo J Knight T 3.40 5
9 9 Warren’s Skater (CA) Pedroza M Gutierrez J 37.20 7
10 10 Boots n’ Bangles (CA) Arambula P Yakteen T 43.10 8
11 11 Ms. Salt Mine (CA) Rosario J Puype M 1.80 6
SCR Royalty Gone Wild (CA) Santiago Reyes C Sadler J
SCR Saturn Moon (CA)    
SCR Frequent Fame (CA) Baze M Polanco M
Pgm Win Place Show
2 $14.80 $6.80 $4.40
7 $10.00 $6.80
1 $5.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $61.80 (7-6-2)
$1.00 Exacta paid $107.30 (2-7)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $737.20 (7-12-2)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $4649.80 (2-7-1-3)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $641.10 (2-7-1)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $159.40 (12-2)
$2.00 Quinella paid $157.40 (2-7)

Friday, Del Mar Race 4 — 4:30 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 yo, F

Possible overlays                     Morning line

#1 Sheza Foxy Jackpot                   5/1
#3 Royally Large                            8/1
#4 De Car Chic                              20/1
#7 Right to Work                            8/1
#8 Salty Fries                                9/2
#10 Boots n’ Bangles                       20/1
#11 Miss Salt Mine                          7/2

This race is full of money making angles and I can see any of seven of the 12 runners winning it. When wagering, I will consult the odds board for clues and to determine value.

First-time starter #1 Sheza Foxy Jackpot breaks from the rail for trainer Mike Mitchell, who has an excellent record with debut horses in this class. Garrett Gomez has won on both first timers that he rode for Mitchell and the owners, Vessels Stallion Farm, is also 2-for-2 with debuters.

Jeff Mullins is another trainer who does well with maiden claiming first-time starters. Mullins saddles #3 Royally Large, who is owned by David Lanzman Racing Stable and that outfit frequently wins first time out. 

An early foal, #4 De Car Chic is another filly making her first start. She’s been working out well and I’ll need to see the tote board for more clues.

I most likely won’t be betting #7 Right to Work, who is trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Christian Santiago-Reyes. However, if she’s bet below 5-to-1 she becomes a player.

Second-time starter #8 Salty Fries ships in from the Northern California fair circuit.  She ran decently on July 2 and now adds blinkers while dropping in class. 

Owners D & E Racing usually employ Bob Baffert to train their stock, but this time former Baffert assistant Tim Yakteen gets the call. Their debuter #10 Boots n’ Bangles has been working out at San Luis Rey Downs and is a good bet if the price is right.

Trainer Mike Puype won with four of his last six maiden claiming second timers that were dropping in class. Although, unlike #11 Ms. Salt Mine, most of them were coming off long layoffs. In Ms. Salt Mine’s first race on July 2 she dueled for the lead for a quarter mile and showed much better early speed than any of the other experienced runners in this race.

With so many horses to like, it complicates the win wagering. My best bet is #1 Sheza Foxy Jackpot and I will put $300 on her at 3/1 to 9/1, but just $100 if she drifts to 10/1 and up. My second choice is #11 Ms. Salt Mine and I’ll take $250 to win on her at 3/1 to 9/1 only.

If either of those two horses are out of the betting zone, then I will put $200 to win on both #3 Royally Large and #8 Salty Fries at 4/1 to 10/1, and $150 at 10/1 to 19/1. But if both #1 Sheza Foxy Jackpot and #11 Ms. Salt Mine have bettable odds then I’ll put only $100 on #3 Royally Large and #8 Salty Fries and bump their acceptable odds to 7/1 to 19/1.

Finally, if #4 De Car Chic and #10 Boots n’ Bangles are 10/1 to 19/1 then I’ll put $150 to win on them both regardless of anything else.

Results, Hollywood Park Sunday Race 6 — lost $700

Trainer Jeff Mullins won with second-time starter #12 I Want My Money

Trainer Jeff Mullins won with second-time starter #12 I Want My Money

Four horses looked like they could win this race, and although they all ran well, second-time starter #12 I Want My Money was clearly the best.

Trainer Jeff Mullins, whose Hollywood Park win rate is hovering around 30 percent, dropped I Want My Money in class from a $50,000 maiden claimer where he debuted on May 21. In that race, I Want My Money was obviously not at his best as jockey Martin Garcia hustled him the whole way, but could only muster a 68 Beyer Speed Figure.

But I Want My Money was working out right along and he had a fast drill on June 6, which set him up well for this win at 7-to-2.

The race began as jockey Tyler Baze shot #5 Gifted Student to the front. This John Sadler runner hadn’t raced since Oct. 13, but Sadler excels at getting horses like this gelding into the winner’s circle. Gifted Student was challenged at the top of the stretch by #14 Quality Plus, another second-timer who had the desirable combination of early speed and the best last race Beyer Speed Figure.

But Gifted Student shook Quality Plus off at the top of the lane to pull ahead by a length. However, Quality Plus fought right back, closing the gap.

Their stretch duel was interrupted by I Want My Money who came blasting up between horses and blew them both away to win by 2-1/2 lengths. Born to Cus, an improving Doug O’Neill runner making his third start at 7-to-1, ran late and won a three-way photo for second.

I put $400 to win on #5 Gifted Student at 6/1. Also, I had $200 to win on #14 Quality Plus, whose odds were 3.0-to-1, but if he’d been bet to 2.9-to-1 instead then my $200 would have shifted to the winner #12 I Want My Money.

I also had $100 to win on #13 Born to Cus.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Truly a Delight (CA) Pedroza M Bernstein D 17.50 8
2 2 Bango (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Periban J 6.70 9
4 3 Street Premier (KY) Arambula P Guillot E 59.00 11
5 4 Gifted Student (CA) Baze T Sadler J 6.30 4
6 5 Turbo Energy (CA) Baze M Barocio L 12.30 5
7 6 Deification (KY) Talamo J Hofmans D 10.50 13
8 7 Santi Santi Santi (KY) Sorenson D Gonzalez S 11.80 7
9 8 Ryland (CA) Delgadillo A Yakteen T 101.60 6
10 9 Illusive Dealer (CA) Sandoval D Fama D 82.00 12
11 10 Tralee Creek (KY) Valdez F DeLima J 74.80 10
12 11 I Want My Money (KY) Garcia M Mullins J 3.90 1
13 12 Born to Cus (CA) Rosario J O’Neill D 7.10 2
14 13 Quality Plus (PA) Nakatani C Hess, Jr. R 3.00 3
SCR Valentine Gift (WA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
12 $9.80 $5.20 $3.60
13 $7.80 $5.00
14 $3.40
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $30.90 (12-13)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $713

Sunday, Hollywood Park Race 6 — 3:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 6 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up

Possible overlays                  Morning line

#5 Gifted Student                     6/1
#12 I Want My Money               9/2
#13 Born to Cus                       10/1
#14 Quality Plus                       7/2

John Sadler, who trains #5 Gifted Student, has a very good record when bringing older maiden claimers back from long layoffs, especially when they are dropping in class. Gifted Student showed good speed in his debut on Oct. 13, as he was bet to 5/1 and had the lead after a half a mile versus eight others.

Jockey Tyler Baze, a 14 percent rider, is aboard. Baze, however, won with 23 percent of his last 103 mounts for Sadler, so he turns into Garrett Gomez when riding Sadler’s horses. Gifted Student is 6-to-1 on the morning line, but judging from Sadler’s other layoff winners I expect him to be bet to less than 4-to-1.

Breaking from the far outside, #14 Quality Plus is another second-time starter who had the lead for a half mile in his debut. This horse has many things to like: It has good early speed, competent connections and ran a decent Beyer Speed Figure last time. But it seems like the type of horse that will be bet below 3-to-1, which will likely cause me to try to beat it.

Jeff Mullins is one of those Southern California trainers that wins whenever he wants to and can never be totally eliminated. His runner #12 I Want My Money has been working out well and is worth a bet at the right price. The same goes for #13 Born to Cus, who Doug O’Neill bred, owns and trains. Born to Cus adds blinkers and makes a positive jockey switch from Alonso Quinonez to Joel Rosario. With older maiden claimers like these, O’Neill seems to run them into form rather than trying to win early, and Born to Cus seems to be going in the right direction.

I will bet $400 to win on #5 Gifted Student at odds of 2/1 to 9/1 only. Also, I will take $200 to win on #14 Quality Plus at 3/1 or more, but if he is bet below that then I’ll put the $200 on #12 I Want My Money instead, also at 3/1 or better.

Finally, if #13 Born to Cus goes off at 6/1 or better, then I’ll put $100 on him.

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 4 — lost $150

Trainer Jeff Mullins' SA maiden win was overshadowed by his Gotham victory

Trainer Jeff Mullins' SA maiden win was overshadowed by his Gotham victory

What a difference a race makes.

On opening day at Santa Anita, which was the first time #8 Unionize ran, he went off at 15-to-1 for trainer Clifford Sise. Sise had him ready to roll as Unionize earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure while unsuccessfully trying to chase down Point Encounter.

On Satuday, with Garrett Gomez up, Unionize’s odds were smashed to 1-to-2, and although much more money was bet on him this time, the results were exactly the same.

Unionize finished second once again.

This time Unionize was chasing #1 Leavenworth, a 4-to-1 shot who was showing a purchase price of $250,000 and was training well for Jeff Mullins. It was a big day for Mullins, who also won the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct Saturday with I Want Revenge.

Anyway, the only time it looked like any horse could possibly catch Leavenworth was at the top of the stretch. But then jockey Tyler Baze eased into another gear and drew off. 

I bet $150 on #3 Temerity who was running in his second race back off a layoff, but never threatened.

To watch a replay of this race, go to


1 1 Leavenworth (KY) Baze T Mullins J 4.40 1
2 2 Dixie Passion (KY) Rosario J Machowsky M 12.50 4
3 3 Temerity (KY) Smith M Ellis R 6.00 6
4 4 Gaz (KY) Espinoza V Greely C 38.00 7
5 5 Brian the Brave (KY) Sutherland C O’Callaghan C 25.30 8
6 6 Devil On the Roof (KY) Albarado R Greely C 20.00 5
7 7 Margarita Shot (KY) Delgadillo A DeLeon R 24.60 3
8 8 Unionize (KY) Gomez G Sise, Jr. C 0.50 2
Pgm Win Place Show
1 $10.80 $4.00 $3.20
8 $2.20 $2.10
7 $5.40
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $12.40 (1-8)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $969.40 (6-10-


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.

Results, Santa Anita Thursday Race 6 — won $1,400

imgres23It seems to me that the stable waited until the last minute to wager on #7 Dish the Dirt. This 4-year-old, who is trained by Peter Eurton and owned by his main man Frank Alesia, opened at just over 10-to-1 and stood at 9-to-1 as the field loaded into the gate. But after Dish the Dirt ran down 4-to-5 shot #9 Lavender Touch in the stretch, she paid a mere $16, or 7-to-1.

I’ll take it though, as I wagered $200 on this filly, who was running in her second race off a long layoff.

Jockey Joel Rosario, broke well with Dish the Dirt, but he grabbed hold of her and she was six lengths behind on the backstretch. She began noticeably accelerating midway on the turn, then unleashed a strong stretch drive in the middle of the track to nail the pace setter for the money.

Jeff Mullins trained #9 Lavender Touch, who sat off the flank of longshot #1 Junior’s Aces before taking the lead at the top of the stretch. She clearly led until a few jumps from the wire, but couldn’t last.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Junior’s Aces (KY) Nakatani C Guillot E 27.10 7
2 2 Sweetpea (FL) Gomez G Robbins J 10.00 3
3 3 Hard Eight (KY) Smith M Headley B 18.40 9
4 4 Keira’s Way (KY) Potts C Lucarelli F 25.90 5
5 5 Justalittlewicked (IL) Scott J Bellasis R 105.00 10
6 6 Kicken Vixen (KY) Bejarano R Canani J 3.60 4
7 7 Dish the Dirt (FL) Rosario J Eurton P 7.00 1
8 8 Spokane Dancer (KY) Garcia M Lucarelli F 69.80 8
9 9 Lavender Touch (KY) Baze M Mullins J 0.90 2
10 10 More Than Music (KY) Baze T Yakteen T 10.50 6
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $16.00 $5.20 $3.60
9 $2.80 $2.40
2 $5.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $20.30 (7-9)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $687.80 (10-5-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $382.00 (7-9-2-6)

Thursday, Santa Anita Race 8 — 4:37 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

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

Possible overlays                           Morning line

#1 Rochelle’s Jimmy                          12/1
#2 Belongs to Gotham                        6/1
#4 Coleville                                      7/2
#6 Hasty Trend                                 5/2
#7 Cole’s Favorite                              5/1

Of the 10 horses running, six of them are making their second lifetime start. The most likely winner of the second timers is probably #6 Hasty Trend, who broke slowly in his last then made a nice run. During that race, which was run Dec. 28, jockey Pedro Arambula was sitting back in Hasty Trend’s saddle throughout the whole backstretch. Today, trainer Jeff Mullins is switching to Garrett Gomez, and Gomez won eight of the last 13 times he’s ridden for Mullins.

Jockey Michael Baze had a problem with #9 Cole’s Favorite in the stretch of his debut. Baze was sitting behind the pace setter and as he tried to rally up the rail another horse shot into the gap, forcing Baze to steady. Cole’s Favorite then lost his momentum. Today, trainer Rafael Becerra adds blinkers.

Also, if trainer Herbert Bacorn can teach #1 Rochelle’s Jimmy to ration his speed he can wire a field like this.

At odds of 2/1 or more, I will bet $200 on #6 Hasty Trend and I want $100 on #1 Rochelle’s Jimmy at 10/1 or more.

Also, if Hasty Trend goes off at 9/5 or less,  then instead of him I want $150 to win at 3/1 to 8/1 on #2 Belongs to Gotham, #4 Coleville and #9 Cole’s Favorite.

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 6 — lost $300

It is said that trainer Julio Canani likes to heavily bet his horses, so they usually offer little value

It is said that trainer Julio Canani likes to heavily bet his horses, so they usually offer little value

I never seem to be on a Julio Canani-trained horse when they win because they’re always bet too low. From what I hear, it’s because this trainer is a huge Southern California bettor.  

However, wagering against Canani has been profitable in the past because, when he brings a suitcase full of money to the window, it boosts the odds on the other horses. And his ponies lose quite often.

But on Sunday, the Canani-trained #5 Miss Silver Brook made her first start a winning one. The gray filly laid off the pace early, then jockey Alex Solis rallied her on the outside where she mowed down #8 Ride Me Fast and #1 Storm the Church in the stretch. 

But she paid a paltry $6.80, which is a price that doesn’t come close to covering the risks associated with a horse running in its first lifetime start. Even Secretariat lost the first time he ran.

But enough history. Back to this race: Trainer Jeff Mullins had two fillies going  — the 9-to-5 shot #6 No Saint But Sweet and #1 Storm the Church at 10-to-1. And the longer- odds horse ran better. I bet $150 on Storm the Church, a debuter, who broke slowly but came on strong with a run four-paths wide on the turn. She held the lead at the top of the stretch before fading to third.

Jockey Garrett Gomez was stuck behind a wall of horses at the eighth pole while riding #2 White Lamb, who I also bet $150 on at 9-to-2. This horse looked like he wanted to make a run, as race caller Trevor Denman commented, “White Lamb needs somewhere to go,” at the eighth pole —  and with a sixteenth of a mile to run  “White Lamb desperate to get through.”

But Gomez couldn’t find any room.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Storm the Church (KY) Arambula P Mullins J 10.00 3
2 2 White Lamb (FL) Gomez G Harty E 4.80 5
3 3 Shadow Queen (CA) Pedroza M Fernandez V 20.50 6
5 4 Miss Silver Brook (KY) Solis A Canani J 2.40 1
6 5 No Saint But Sweet (FL) Talamo J Mullins J 1.80 4
8 6 Ride Me Fast (KY) Baze T Baffert B 3.20 2
SCR Black Magic Mama (FL) Bejarano R O’Neill D
SCR Guided Wave (KY) Rosario J Gallagher P

Pgm Win Place Show
5 $6.80 $4.20 $3.40
8 $4.80 $4.00
1 $4.80
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $14.70 (5-8)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $223.20 (2-6-5)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $179.20 (5-8-1-6)

Sunday, Santa Anita Race 6 — 3:05 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, 3-year-old fillies

Possible overlays                                   Morning line

#1 Storm the Church                               12/1
#2 White Lamb                                       9/2
#4 Guided Wave                                       8/1
#6 No Saint But Sweet                              5/2
#7 Black Magic Mama                                7/2
#8 Ride Me Fast                                       5/1

I wouldn’t be surprised to see any filly but #3 Shadow Queen win this race. So, I’ll use the tote board as a guide, make some good bets at decent odds, and everything should work out in the long run.

Coming off a six-month layoff, #2 White Lamb should be near the front of the pack at the quarter pole. On July 5 at Arlington Park, White Lamb was bet to 6-to-5 in a 10 horse field and she flashed early speed before fading, however jockey Rene Douglas merely breezed her from the eighth pole to the wire.

The median Beyer Speed Figure to win this race is an 80, and trainer Jeff Mullins runner #6 No Saint But Sweet earned a 79 Beyer in her Dec. 7 debut. She broke slowly and came running late that day. Mullins also sends out first-timer #1 Storm the Church, who will have no-name jockey Pedro Arambula aboard, and she has several good workouts that make her a good bet at the right price.

On New Year’s Day, Mullins won with a hidden entry horse named Jaylo’s Mark at 10-to-1. She was running for the second time while Mullins’ first-time starter Katie G. finished seventh at 11-to-1.

Also debuting in this race is #8 Ride Me Fast. Although owner Mike Pegram hasn’t historically done well with this type, if Ride Me Fast gets some betting action then she’ll fit the profile of winning Bob Baffert first timers.

Finally, #4 Guided Wave broke slowly in her first race before making a decent run and she could wake up. And trainer Doug O’Neill must think highly of #7 Black Magic Mama because she ran in both the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Hollywood Starlet. Today, she cuts back to a sprint, but I’d like her more if they were going 6-1/2 or 7 furlongs.

I will bet $200 on #8 Ride Me Fast from 7/2 to 9/1, but just $100 if her post time odds drift up to between 10/1 and 19/1. I want $150 on #1 Storm the Church at 7/2 to 19/1 and $150 on #2 White Lamb if her post time odds are 2/1 to 6/1. 

If White Lamb’s odds fall out of the betting zone — either too high or too low — then I’ll  put $150 on #6 No Saint But Sweet at 2/1 or higher. 

Note: I also plan to bet the ninth race today, which goes off at 4:38 p.m., but won’t be able to post it until 3:30.

TrackNet may pull Nevada pari-mutuel plug Wednesday

With the economy flying south in 2008, horseplayers across America have been betting less money.

It seemed that whenever meets ended last year, race track leaders announced handle declines. And, because tracks make money by holding a percentage of the betting dollars, the situation has led to lower purses for owners, and smaller commission checks for jockeys and trainers.

Some horsemen — like Jeff Mullins in Southern California — opted to ship some of their stock to racinos like those in Santa Fe, N.M. that pay better purses for claiming races.

Furthermore, leading track operator Magna Entertainment is up to its eyeballs in debt and in 2007 company leaders even announced the possibility of selling Santa Anita to help pay the bills.

So, with the racing game obviously struggling, track operators should stick to trying to find new revenue sources rather than cutting off their old ones.

But on Wednesday, Magna and Churchill Downs, negotiating under the name TrackNet Media Group, plan to pull the plug on pari-mutuel racing to 80 Nevada Casinos  — unless a last-minute deal can be struck, according to The racetrack companies believe casinos should pay a drastically higher percentage to them for pari-mutuel wagering than the current agreement calls for.  

If the tracks do stop pari-mutuel wagering, bettors in Nevada will still be able to bet. Plans are for betting windows at casino race parlors to stay open, as Nevada operators plan to book the action themselves. But that means that some multi-race bets like pick sixes and pick fours will not be offered.

Figures released on Tuesday show that thoroughbred pari-mutuel wagering in the United States, dropped 20.3 percent in December compared with the same month in 2007, while betting declined 7.2 percent in the full year of 2007 to 2008 — to it’s lowest total since 1998.  Horse bettors wagered $13.67 billion in 2008 after betting $14.72 billion in 2007, according to information released by Equibase and published on

Pari-mutuel history in Nevada goes back to 1990 when the state linked to the tracks, allowing betting money to be co-mingled in track pools. In 1998 statewide handle peaked at $619 million, but betting began to tail off shortly afterward. Nevada’s betting total slipped to $472 million in 2002, but steadily increased up until 2007.

One cause of the decline was that in 1997 Nevada outlawed rebates to horseplayers, so many of them began wagering on the telephone to rebate shops in St. Kitts and other offshore locations. Hollywood Park management believed their customers were moving to Las Vegas to get rebates, so in 1997 it blacked out Southern California races until rebating was prohibited. 

Looking at today’s poor economy in general and Magna’s situation in particular, clearly, now seems like the wrong time for track operators to shut out Nevada bettors from pari-mutuel pools at Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, Golden Gate and the Fairgrounds.

These are very lean times for Magna, which according to its third quarter earnings report ending Sept. 30. 2008, has lost $105 million, $87 million and $113 million in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively. And for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2008, Magna lost $116 million.

On Monday, Magna’s stock price closed at just 82 cents a share.

“The company’s ability to continue as a going concern is in substantial doubt,” said the report, which tallied the company’s accumulated debt at $626 million.

In light of this, race track leaders should make the rational choice of agreeing to keep the pari-mutual system operating in Nevada uninterrupted. And as the hours dwindle down to the first race at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday, one can only hope that sensibilities by TrackNet leaders will prevail.

Results, Santa Anita Thursday Race 10 — lost $400

Trainer Jeff Mullins won with second-timer Jaylo's Mark at 11/1.

Trainer Jeff Mullins won with hidden entry at 10/1

When a competent So. Cal trainer enters two horses in a maiden race, it usually pays to take a close look at both. And I wouldn’t argue with anybody who thought that a profitable long-term angle was to blindly bet them both, as long as they were paying decent odds. 

Trainer Jeff Mullins ran two fillies in Thursday’s tenth, with #11 Jaylo’s Mark getting the money in her second lifetime start at 10/1, while first-timer #9 Katie G finished seventh at 11/1.

Jockey Chantal Sutherland, who rode a recent winning first-time starter for Mullins, took Jaylo’s Mark immediately to the front then, with rivals closing in on her, pulled away by finding another gear in the stretch. 

Jaylo’s Mark had the curious morning line of 20/1. She had run a 51 Beyer Speed Figure in her only race while second-timer #3 Captivating Lyrics, trained by Thomas Bell II, ran a 54 in her debut, but was listed at 6/1. Furthermore, Mullins runs more horses than Bell II and wins at a higher percentage than him.

I bet $200 on Katie G., which was Mullins’ other horse, and $200 on #12 Ocean Style, who loomed at the top of the stretch, but had no late kick.  

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Ultra Cat (CA) Espinoza V Mandella R 2.30 2
2 2 Flash Dance (CA) Talamo J Becerra R 6.80 3
3 3 Captivating Lyrics (KY) Court J Bell, II T 7.60 6
4 4 Mac One (CA) Valdivia, Jr. J Harris A 72.20 12
5 5 Count’n Tears (CA) Solis A Saavedra A 26.40 9
6 6 Dona Mary (CA) Potts C Gonzalez S 28.00 4
7 7 Bonita Birdie (CA) Rosario J Mendoza J 34.60 10
8 8 Sand Bridled (CA) Nakatani C Stein R 67.10 5
9 9 Katie G. (CA) Garcia M Mullins J 11.80 7
10 10 Warren’s Lisa (CA) Pedroza M Gutierrez J 6.00 13
11 11 Jaylo’s Mark (CA) Sutherland C Mullins J 10.30 1
12 12 Ocean Style (CA) Flores D Cassidy J 4.10 8
13 13 Stormy Runaway (CA) Stra K Zucker H 78.80 11

Pgm Win Place Show
11 $22.60 $9.40 $7.00
1 $4.00 $3.00
2 $4.40
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $49.40 (11-1)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $2637.50 (1-3-11)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $6039.00 (4/9-1-3-11)

Thursday, Santa Anita Race 10 — 4:37 p.m. post time


Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                                Morning line

#1 Ultra Cat                                               7/2
#3 Captivating Lyrics                             6/1
#6 Dona Mary                                           12/1
#9 Katie G.                                               12/1
#11 Jaylo’s Mark                                       20/1
#12 Ocean Style                                         9/2
#13 Stormy Runaway                               30/1

Coming off of two turf sprints, #12 Ocean Style is dropping in class and has shown some ability. She probably fits better in here than with the maiden special weight company that she was keeping. She ran well on the synthetic at Oak Tree on Sept. 24, finishing second in a race for maiden special weight state breds. A three-way battle for the early lead might materialize as three filles are rated about equal: #1 Ultra Cat, #3 Captivating Lyrics and #10 Warren’s Lisa.

With the pace war brewing, Ocean Style might be the main benefitiary.

Second-time starter #2 Ultra Cat stumbled in her debut to lose three lengths then stumbled again in the stretch. Thomas Bell II trains #3 Captivating Lyrics who was making a run through the stretch in her Dec. 5 debut, but jockey Rafael Bejarano had trouble keeping her head straight. 

Of the first-time starters, I like #9 Katie G., trained by Jeff Mullins, who also runs #11 Jaylo’s Mark. Althought Mullins has a lousy 4 percent winning mark with first starters showing in the racing from, I have him down as winning with five of his last 14 high-priced debuting maiden claimers. Also worth a wager at the right price are #6 Dona Mary and #13 Stormy Runaway, who are also starting for the first time.

I ‘m betting $200 on #9 Katie G. at 7/2 to 19/1, and $150 on both #6 Dona Mary and #13 Stormy Runaway, but only at 10/1 to 19/1. Also, I’ll take $200 on #12 Ocean Style at 7/2 or more, but if she’s less than 7/2 then I’ll put $150 on the highest odds of the following two that are less than 5/1 : #1 Ultra Cat and #3 Captivating Lyrics.

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