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

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $20,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 4-yo’s and up

Median winning Beyer Speed Figure: 70

Possible overlays                               Morning line

#1 Joburg Star                                       7/2
#3 Our Last Monte                                    3/1
#8 Brite Dreamer                                     8/1

Since Santa Anita opened on Dec. 26, I’ve been betting on nothing but 6-1/2 and 7-furlong maiden races on this blog. But that doesn’t mean I’ve been ignoring shorter sprints at the wagering window in real life.

In fact, I’ve hit quite a few nice-paying horses in the last month.

Last night I looked at the third race, which is a 6-1/2 furlong maiden claimer for 3-year-old females. Since I couldn’t find any solid plays in there, I decided to replace that race with this 5-1/2 furlong dash instead. One reason I like this race better is that two horses in this race are being saddled by trainers who I cashed many juicy tickets with over the recent years.

In my opinion, Darrell Vienna is one of the best horsemen on the grounds when it comes to winning maiden races with horses that the public overlooks. In this race, Vienna starts #3 Our Last Monte and he has given this gelding all slow workouts. A 4-year-old, Our Last Monte is running in his third race back off an 11-month layoff and can likely run better than the mid-60 Beyer Speed Figures he’s hung up in his last two runs.

Our Last Monte, who is making his seventh lifetime start, has demonstrated good early speed in most of his past races. The early foot will hurt this horse’s price, but he stands an excellent chance of winning today at a square mutuel.

Trainer Rafael Becerra won with only 5 of his 70 starters in 2011, so he doesn’t have much of a following. However, he has shown in the past that he’s excellent at winning races with maiden claiming sprinters that are coming off of long layoffs. Of his last 18 runners like this, Becerra won with seven of them, or 39 percent. Each $1 wagered on these animals returned $3.27.

On the rail, #1 Joburg Star ran well as a 2-year-old against maiden special weight company. But he hasn’t raced in one-and-a-half years. It would be no surprise to see Peter Miller getting his photo taken with Joburg Star in the winner’s circle, but I expect the presence of jockey Joel Rosario to drag this horse’s odds well below 7-to-2.

My betting strategy: I will put $300 to win on #3 Our Last Monte at 2/1 or more. Also, I want $250 on #8 Brite Dreamer at 3/1 to 14/1, but only $100 at 15/1 to 19/1.

Advertisements

Thursday, Santa Anita Race 6 — post time 3:36 pm

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $50,000, 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Median winning Beyer Speed Figure: 75

Possible overlays                       Morning line

#1 Midnight Con                             6/1
#2 Cruxus                                   20/1
#3 Towering                                 4/1
#7 Charlie Company                          6/1
#8 Visible Marq                             7/2
#9 Congrats Ski                             4/1

After a slow start to the Santa Anita meet, trainer Mike Mitchell is on fire right now. According to the Daily Racing Form, Mitchell has won with seven of his last 15 runners and he saddles second-time starter #3 Towering in this event.

Mitchell has an outstanding record with maiden claiming second-time starters and he is even better when those horses are running in 6-1/2 and 7 furlong races. Towering, who ran evenly in his Dec. 8 debut at Gulfstream Park, was previously trained by Joseph Catanese III. With the trainer shift, Towering should significantly improve based solely on the colt moving from an 8 percent horseman, Catanese, to Mitchell, who won with 32 percent of his starters in 2011.

Also, Mitchell will leg up Joel Rosario on Towering and this combination his won with 15 of their last 34 runners for a return of $2.49 for every $2 wager.

But, by no means is this a one-horse race. Hard-knockers like #1 Midnight Con and #7 Charlie Company could easily win by merely repeating some of their previous races.

Trainer William Morey is bringing Charlie Company down from Golden Gate where this gelding hit the board in his last three starts. In two of the three, Charlie Company earned a better Beyer Speed Figure than the median winning number of 75 when I adjusted for the ground lost on the turn. Charlie Company’s running style is to break in the middle of the pack, and although Santa Anita favors speed more than Golden Gate, this gelding has a great chance today.

Doug O’Neill claimed #1 Midnight Con away from trainer Jeff Mullins for $30,000 on Jan. 20. Midnight Con’s best race was on Dec. 4 when he came within three-quarters of a length of the winner while running against $50,000 maiden claimers. However, only three horses ran in that race, so he had a perfect trip.

On Jan. 20, Midnight Con had the lead in the stretch, but ran out of gas going a mile. He has an outside chance, but I like Charlie Company better.

Another horse who has run some interesting races is #9 Congrats Ski. In this gelding’s second lifetime start on Dec. 17, Congrats Ski broke in the air and bumped the horse inside of him to lose at least a length. He then lost more ground when circling the field wide on the turn, yet still he ran a 68 Beyer, which I upgraded to 75.

On Jan 7, in Congrats Ski’s first start over the Santa Anita dirt, he pressed the pace chasing Consulado who was motoring through fractions of 21-2/5th seconds for the quarter-mile and 44-seconds flat for the half. Consulado, who is likely a future stakes winner, cruised to a 7-1/4 length victory while Congrats Ski’s jockey saw the chase was futile and breezed him throughout the stretch.

Congrats Ski has early speed, is dropping into maiden claiming for the first time today, and trainer Kathy Walsh does well when employing jockey Rafael Bejarano. Congrats Ski looks solid.

I wouldn’t care too much for #8 Visible Marq, except that his trainer is Bob Baffert, so he must be considered. In his previous race on Jan. 5, Visible Marq ran second to wire-to-wire winner Sir Allison, his barnmate, to complete a Bob Baffert exacta.

In that race, Rosario broke Visible Marq in the middle of the pack, then came with a nice stretch run to earn a 73 Beyer Speed Figure. This colt, who sports several quick workouts, was purchased as a 2-year-old for $50,000 and seems to be placed in the right spot for his third start.

The main knocks on both Congrats Ski and Visible Marq, however, are that they are lightly raced. At 7-furlongs, their lack of experience might be difficult to overcome. It’s true that Towering is also making just his second start, but Mitchell seems to have his second-timers ready to tackle all obstacles.

Finally, #2 Cruxus and #6 Ron Burgandy are both new geldings with good angles in their favor. If their odds stay below 20-to-1, then I’m slightly interested.

My betting strategy: I will be satisfied if at post time I am sitting with win money on #3 Towering at 5/2 and #7 Charlie Company at 9/2. Considering their morning line odds are 4/1 and 6/1 respectively, that doesn’t seem too unreasonable.

Because Mitchell’s horses tend to run better when less than 7/2, I will put $400 to win on #3 Towering at 3/1 or less, but $200 to win at 7/2 or higher. At odds of 5/2 or more, I will put $300 to win on #7 Charlie Company.

If #9 Congrats Ski is 5/1 or more, then I want $50 exactas 9 with 3,7.

If #2 Cruxus and #6 Ron Burgandy are between 10/1 and 19/1, then I want $50 to win on Cruxus and $100 to win on Ron Burgandy. Also, I will take $10 exactas 3,7,9 with 2,6.

Finally, if Charlie Company is 9/2 or more, then I’ll bet $50 exacta 3 with 7; $30 exactas 8, 9 (any odds) with 7; $20 exactas 1 with 7; and $5 exactas 2,6 (if less than 20/1) with 7.

Results, Saturday, Santa Anita Race 1 — lost $100

Jockey Joel Rosario dominated Saturday's first race with Scream Queen

Scanning the past performances for these 10 runners, I noticed that none of these fillies ever had the lead at any point from the quarter mile forward. So, with no natural speed horse in the lineup, I expected a cavalry charge from the gate as the jockeys tried to establish themselves as the front runner.

But Joel Rosario made a clear lead with #6 Scream Queen and the strategy paid off as they were never challenged on this speed-favoring surface. The race favorite, #1 Silver Threat, was pushed along in second place down the backstretch, but was no threat to Scream Queen who smoked the first quarter mile in 21 and 4/5ths seconds and the half mile in 44 and 3/5ths.

 This was a rematch for these two runners, who met on Dec. 18. In that meeting, Silver Threat broke slowly then went wide, but still beat Scream Queen by a head while finishing second. Scream Queen’s tactics that day were to lay back a few lengths from the leaders then make a stretch run. Scream Queen’s change of running style from stalker to front runner on Saturday seemed to make a world of difference, as her Beyer Speed Figure increased from 63 on Dec. 18 to 70 on Saturday.

In my write-up before the race, I identified Scream Queen and Silver Threat as the logical contenders.  Although I noted that no natural speed horses were entered in the race, I did not attempt to identify who would likely go to the front. I should have taken a shot at it, because when I ran the past performances through my pace software, it showed that a repeat of one of Scream Queen’s past races would give her an easy early lead. 

But I was fixated on the bad trip by Silver Threat even though I knew her odds would likely be pounded down to an unbettable price of less than 2-to-1. In the Daily Racing Form, Silver Threat was picked on top by all of the handicappers and Brad Free wrote in detail about the trouble she encountered last time.

So, everybody knew.

I wrote that Scream Queen could win if she improved by a couple of lengths while Silver Threat regressed. And the way the race shaped up, that seems to be what happened. 

But I wanted 7-to-2 on Scream Queen for my $200 bet, yet she went off at only 2-to-1. My potential $400 wager on Silver Threat never materialized either because her post time odds were an ugly 7-to-5.

Anyway, I lost $100 on the race due to a flier I took on #10 Wild Date, who ran well four starts back, however has performed poorly in her last three — now make it four — starts.

To watch a replay of this race go to www.calracing .com.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Silver Threat (KY) Talamo J Miller P 1.40 3
2 2 Cal Bayers (KY) Gomez G Hess, Jr. R 8.70 10
3 3 Ansede (KY) Gutierrez M Taylor T 10.00 2
5 4 Candy and Nuts (KY) Krigger K Pederson D 15.40 4
6 5 Scream Queen (KY) Rosario J Sherman A 2.40 1
7 6 Call Me Tough (CA) Flores E Collins D 69.40 8
8 7 Causeway Express (KY) Quinonez A McAnally R 15.50 7
9 8 Secret Genius (CA) Santiago Reyes C Knapp S 37.60 5
10 9 Wild Date (FL) Bejarano R Harty E 9.00 6
11 10 Four Forty Second (ON) Stra K Bernstein D 24.50 9
SCR Janie Girl (CA)    
SCR Bull Rush (FL)    
 
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $6.80 $4.00 $2.60
3 $8.20 $4.40
1 $2.40
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $26.50 (6-3)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $303.90 (6-3-1-5)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $61.70 (6-3-1)
Fractional Times
21.77, 44.55, 1:09.58, 1:16.24
 

Sunday, Del Mar Race 7 — 5 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2-yo Cal-Breds

Possible overlays                     Morning line

#2 Bruno B                                          12/1
#3 Spot of Salt                                      8/1

Speed does well at this distance and the colt with the best demonstrated early foot is #2 Bruno B. Admittedly, this colt has a projected first fraction that is on the soft side compared to other races, but big odds will make up for the risk.

In his last race, Bruno B’s trainer Steve Knapp tried the $100,000 Graduation Stakes. Jockey Felipe Valdez had Bruno B just three lengths off the lead after a half mile, but Valdez must not have believed Bruno B could win because he did not encourage him much in the stretch. The morning line favorite in today’s race, #4 Woodman’s Luck — who is also Brad Free’s best bet in the Daily Racing Form — came on to finish in front of Bruno B by a slight 1-3/4 length margin. In my mind, considering how Valdez practically breezed Bruno B in the stretch, not much separates the ability of Woodman’s Luck from Bruno B.

In Bruno B’s July 25 debut he was shuffled at the start to be off slowly, then gained good ground while quickly moving four paths wide on the turn. Entering the stretch Bruno B was six wide yet closed to be beaten just over two lengths. See for yourself. In this video, Bruno B is horse #1.

The Beyer Speed Figures in this race seem weak compared to what other winners in this class have run in the past, which is why a horse like #3 Spot of Salt may hit the wire first. Owner La Canada Stables does well with debut horses and leading jockey Joel Rosario is also outstanding on 2-year-old MSW first-time starters.

I will bet $300 to win on #2 Bruno B at 9/2 or more. Also, I want $400 on #3 Spot of Salt at 7/2 to 9/1, but just $200 at 10/1 to 19/1.

*******************************************************************

Results: Lost $500 by betting $300 to win on 14-1 shot #2 Bruno B and $200 on #3 Spot of Salt at 12-1.

*******************************************************************

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Mi Marino (KY) John K DeLeon R 26.10 11
2 2 Bruno B (CA) Valdez F Knapp S 14.60 6
3 3 Spot of Salt (CA) Rosario J Carava J 12.20 7
4 4 Woodmans Luck (CA) Bejarano R Puype M 1.30 3
5 5 Thunder of Zion (CA) Scott J Bellasis R 25.60 10
6 6 Da Boomer (CA) Pedroza M Blincoe T 13.20 1
7 7 Shane Daniel (CA) Valenzuela P O’Neill D 4.60 2
8 8 Mr. Sierra (CA) Espinoza V Bonde J 9.30 5
9 9 Baby Bull (CA) Garcia M Saavedra A 44.70 9
10 10 Jailbird Jimmy (CA) Gihua J O’Neill D 8.40 4
11 11 What a Rush (CA) Berrio O Avila A 14.80 8
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $28.40 $13.40 $6.40
7 $5.40 $3.20
4 $2.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $61.80 (6-7)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $455.90 (4-3-6)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $1003.40 (6-7-4-10)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $204.60 (6-7-4)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $105.60 (3-6)
$2.00 Quinella paid $68.40 (6-7)

Friday, Del Mar Race 4 — 5:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden claming $40K, Cal-bred 2-yo F, 5-1/2 furlongs

Possible overlays                        Morning line

#2 She’sawontontomato                 9/2
#4 Yellow Slicker                                7/2
#7 Lola’s Lollipop                                 8/1
#12 Love At the Bay                          6/1

I like quite a few things about first-time starter #4 Yellow Slicker. This filly’s sire, Bertrando, has won with 9 of 36 of his recent 2-yo and 3-yo debuting So. Cal. progeny when their odds were less than 20-1. A $1 wager on all would have yielded a $2.06 return.

Yellow Slicker’s trainer is also top-notch with young horses running for the first time. John Sadler won with 11 of 38 of his recent 2-yo and 3-yo debuters when odds were between 2-1 and 9-1 for a $1.69 return on $1. Yellow Slicker’s slow workouts don’t bother me either because seven of Sadler’s maiden claiming debuters have had slow drills and three of them won regardless. Even owner Martin Wygod and jockey Joel Rosario have good records in this situation. 

But there is more to like in this race than just Yellow Slicker.

Bertrando is also the sire of #7 Lola’s Lollipop, who worked out fast at Santa Anita earlier this summer before coming to Del Mar. Trainer Blake Heap has done well with the few So. Cal. first-time starters that he’s run in recent years – but he is no John Sadler.

Patrick Valenzuela will ride #10 Alevei for Art Sherman. But this one has been working out at Pleasanton and I prefer horses that are stationed at Del Mar.

In the far outside post, #12 Love At the Bay was bet to 8-1 in her July 17 debut, but showed little. She worked out fast over the Del Mar Polytrack on Aug. 6, is adding blinkers, dropping in class and upgrading riders. This is a horse that can surprise.

Finally, early speed is dominant in these short sprints so #2 She’sawontontomato has to be respected. This Lewis Cenicola-trainee doesn’t have the greatest early gas I’ve ever seen, but she is only a step or two behind recent wire-to-wire winner Faisca.

Can leading jockey Joel Rosario get the job done on FTS #4 Yellow Slicker?

At odds of 5-2 to 9-1, I’ll put $300 to win on #4 Yellow Slicker and at 7-2 to 19-1, I’ll put $200 to win on #12 Love At the Bay. If Yellow Slicker is 2-1 or less, I’ll move the $300 wager win wager from her to #2 She’sawontontomato at 3-1 or higher.

Also, I want $50 exactas 2 with 4,7,12; 4 with 7,12; and 12 with 4,7. And I’ll take $35 exactas 7 with 4,12.

Although She’sawontontomato has a good chance of winning, her chances for finishing second are slimmer. So I will play her for second in the exacta at a reduced wager: $25 exactas — 4,7,12 with 2.

*******************************************************************

Results: In the stretch it looked like #12 Love at the Bay was the winner, but she took a bad step and broke down. I bet $300 on eventual race winner #4 Yellow Slicker and made a profit of $705 after subtracting out my exotic wagers that did not connect.

********************************************************************

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Elegant Strides (CA) John K Locke T 85.10 9
2 2 She’sawontontomato (CA) Pedroza M Cenicola L 3.70 3
4 3 Yellow Slicker (CA) Rosario J Sadler J 4.00 1
5 4 Warren’s Lover (CA) Bejarano R Gutierrez J 4.80 2
6 5 Good Acktress (CA) Medina L Harrington M 22.30 4
7 6 Lola’s Lollipop (CA) Verenzuela J Heap B 19.40 7
8 7 One More Palo (CA) Quinonez A Gonzalez S 64.30 8
9 8 Freewayracer (CA) Santiago Reyes C Moreno H 63.40 6
10 9 Alevei (CA) Valenzuela P Sherman A 6.10 5
11 10 Cosafina Carina (CA) Valdez F Moger, Jr. E 28.10 10
12 11 Love At the Bay (CA) Espinoza V Becerra R 2.40 11
SCR Secret Althea (CA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $10.00 $5.20 $3.80
5 $5.20 $3.40
2 $3.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $18.70 (4-5)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $122.40 (3-10-4)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $380.70 (4-5-2-6)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $45.30 (4-5-2)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $79.20 (10-4)
$2.00 Quinella paid $18.80 (4-5)

Sunday, Del Mar Race 4 — 3:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden Claiming $25,000, 7 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up
 
Possible overlays                    Morning line
 
#2 Born to Waltz                          15/1
#6 Royal Import                            3/1
#8 Aeromon                                    5/2
 
This race is mainly between two horses: #6 Royal Import and #8 Aeromon.
 
Trained by Robert Hess, Royal Import is making his tenth career start and first on anything other than grass. Eight of Royal Import’s last 10 races were routes, but that shouldn’t put him at a disadvantage at this 7-furlong distance. This gelding has shown a good late kick, which will be needed to catch Aeromon.
 
Aeromon has the best demonstrated speed in this field. The question will be whether leading jockey Joel Rosario can slow down Aeromon enough during the second quarter mile so this gelding will have the energy to hold off Royal Import in the lane.
 
At 7 furlongs, speed isn’t as great an asset as it is in short sprints. That is why I would be reluctant to bet Aeromon if Royal Import is a longer price.
 
The only other horse I’m looking at in this race is #2 Born to Waltz, who is running in his second race back from a long layoff. The past performances on this Jerry Fanning-trainee are on the dismal side which should help the odds. In his first race, Born to Waltz was pulled up and walked off. In his second start, he broke dead last in an eleven-horse field and stayed there until closing good ground in the stretch to finish seventh. Horses of this type have shown to be profitable win-place bets at 10/1 to 19/1.
 
Therefore, at 5/2 and up, I will bet $700 on #6 Royal Import. But if Royal Import is 2/1 or below at post time, then I will wager $300 on #8 Aeromon at 3/1 or higher.
Also, at 10/1 to 19/1, I will put $50 on #2 Born to Waltz.
 
I can see Aeromon getting away loose on the lead with Royal Import closing to be second. So, I will bet a straight $20 trifecta 8 with 6 with 2, a $5 trifecta 8 with 2 with 6, and $5 trifectas 8 with 6 with all horses 10/1 to 30/1.
 
The above exotic bets are contingent on either Aeromon being 3/1 or more, or Royal Import being 5/2 or higher.
********************************************************************

Results: Lost $1,090. Had $700 to win on #6 Royal Import at 4-1, $50 on #2 Born to Waltz at 14-1, and $40 worth of trifectas keying #6 Royal Import.

********************************************************************  
 

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Cynical Wager (CA) Quinonez A Pearson M 20.90 8
2 2 Born to Waltz (KY) Flores D Fanning J 14.00 6
3 3 Swiss Emperor (CA) Garcia M Zucker H 6.20 9
4 4 Truco (CA) Velazquez J Mollica M 46.10 3
5 5 Sir Bolly (CA) Gonzalez A Mandella G 18.30 10
6 6 Royal Import (GB) Espinoza V Hess, Jr. R 4.10 2
7 7 Valley Cat (CA) Bejarano R Eurton P 2.30 1
8 8 Aeromon (KY) Rosario J Cerin V 2.10 4
9 9 Warrens Temptation (CA) Atkinson P Van Berg J 46.10 5
10 10 Oneinamillionyou (CA) Medina L Pender M 47.10 7
SCR Who U Foolin (CA)    
 
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $6.60 $3.20 $3.40
6 $5.00 $4.00
4 $10.00
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $13.50 (7-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $3214.00 (10-1-7)

 

 

Results, Sunday Del Mar Race 3 – lost $1,000

Riding for trainer Marty Jones, jockey Joel Rosario took #3 Hugs to All wire-to-wire.

Well, everything in this race was pointing to #9 Breakmark. He was a second-time starter dropping in class after a long layoff.

This type of horse has been very good to me in the past. In fact, of the last 20 of these types that were less than 8/1, 14 were winners.

Also, the colt’s owner, Martin Wygod is scheduled to sell 110 of his horses at a special Barrett’s Equine Ltd. sale on Oct. 12. So, why would he care if Benchmark got claimed? 

Everything was a go. Except nobody told the horse.

Benchmark broke slowly from the far outside. He showed a little run on the backstretch, then he faded to last in the stretch as the 5/2 favorite.

But for Wygod, there was at least some good news. After the race, it was announced that Benchmark was claimed by owner-trainer Steve Knapp for $40,000.

Meanwhile, a horse can’t win the race if he never gets the lead. Knowing this, jockey Joel Rosario went right to the front with the gray #3 Hugs to All. Rosario slowed the pace down just enough to allow this Harris Farms front runner to have something left for the drive.

Hugs to All held off #5 Fortunate Appeal by a neck and paid $7.80.

I wagered $1,000 on #9 Benchmark.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 It’s Not Unusual (CA) Bejarano R O’Neill D 9.10 4
2 2 Melo Laser (CA) Espinoza V Herrick J 31.10 3
3 3 Hugs to All (CA) Rosario J Jones M 2.90 1
4 4 Salah Salah (CA) Flores D Solis W 6.10 5
5 5 Fortunate Appeal (CA) Pedroza M Machowsky M 2.90 2
6 6 Sea Viper (CA) Santiago Reyes C Periban J 12.10 8
7 7 Romeo Royale (CA) Nakatani C Abrams B 32.10 6
8 8 Jump On Board (CA) Quinonez A Capestro P 51.30 7
9 9 Breakmark (CA) Valenzuela P Shirreffs J 2.50 9
Pgm Win Place Show
3 $7.80 $3.80 $2.80
5 $3.60 $2.80
2 $6.80
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $13.50 (3-5)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $16.80 (3-3-3)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $1081.70 (3-5-2-1)
%d bloggers like this: