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.

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

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 yos and up

Possible overlays                            Morning line

#2 Carrie Rose                                         3/1
#3 Ride a Wave                                       6/1
#6 Rising Honour                                      9/2

Without a doubt, the top early speed horse in this race is #2 Carrie Rose. In her past two sprints, Carrie Rose was pressured on the lead against maiden special weight competition. But today, she should get to the front rather easily and therefore should have more moxie in the stretch.

With the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class being 66, either of Carrie Rose’s sprint finishes would have beaten many a $25k maiden claiming field. If this race were shorter, she would be a better bet, but speed is usually overvalued at 6-1/2 and 7 furlongs where pressers and closers do well.

Two promising closers in here are also returning from long layoffs. Trained by Eoin Harty, #6 Rising Honour is dropping from maiden special weight where she had been most recently routing on the turf. The move from turf route to maiden claiming sprint after a long layoff is a profitable one. And Rising Honour has the talent to win today, as all of her Beyer numbers either meet or exceed the median 66 BSF for this class.

Although #3 Ride a Wave is making her seventh lifetime start, this is her first in Southern California after campaigning in Florida throughout 2009. Her new trainer Kathy Walsh has a good record with newly-acquired horses and Ride a Wave ran decently in December before being put away.

As far as the odds go, if #6 Rising Honour is bet to 2-1 to 3-1 that would be a great sign that race track insiders think she is training well. If her price drifts to 7-2 or higher, then I will discount her chances.

Ride a Wave doesn’t look as good as Rising Honour on paper, but Kathy Walsh produces top results and I like this filly from 2-1 to 9-1.

I’ve been watching Mike Mitchell’s runners over the years, and he has an outstanding record in maiden claiming races like this one when his horses are bet below 3-1. The morning line maker believes Carrie Rose will be 3-1, but I think she’ll be more like 8-5 or 9-5.  

If #6 Rising Honour is 2-1 to 3-1 then I will be $500 on her.

If #2 Carrie Rose is 5-2 or less and Rising Honour is 7-2 or more, then I will bet $200 exactas 2 with 3,6.

Finally, at 4-1 to 9-1, I will bet $200 on #3 Ride a Wave.

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

Results: Lost $400 by betting two $200 exactas keying #2 Carrie Rose at 6-5 to #3 Ride A Wave at 15-1 and #6 Rising Honour at 4-1.

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PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Nosegay (CA) Pedroza M Barba A 28.70 8
2 2 Carrie Rose (CA) Smith M Mitchell M 1.20 3
3 3 Ride a Wave (KY) Flores D Walsh K 15.50 6
4 4 Junes Blue Moon (OR) Gihua J Martinez S 10.80 9
5 5 Storm’n Marisa (KY) Bisono A Chew M 39.60 4
6 6 Rising Honour (KY) Valenzuela P Harty E 4.00 1
7 7 Long Legged Lovely (CA) Bejarano R Jones M 10.30 5
9 8 Gavita (NM) Quinonez A Gonzalez S 60.60 11
10 9 Real Obvious (KY) Garcia M Mullins J 10.80 2
11 10 Love Song Mellody (KY) Cedeno A Martinez R 70.80 12
12 11 Atta’ Girl (CA) Valdez F Polanco M 18.00 7
13 12 Lady Adelle (KY) Velazquez J Sadler J 12.10 10
SCR Touch a Dream (CA)    
SCR Le Defi (CA) Quinonez A Lloyd J
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $10.00 $5.80 $3.60
10 $10.40 $5.60
2 $2.40
 
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $143.65 (3-3-4/10-6)
$1.00 Exacta paid $48.20 (6-10)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $33.20 (3-4-6)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $1005.40 (10 OF 10)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $16190.40 (6-10-2-5-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $1893.10 (6-10-2-5)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $137.20 (6-10-2)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $26.80 (4-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $4411.20 (3-2/5-3-3-4/10-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $78.60 (3-2/5-3-3-4/10-6)
$2.00 Quinella paid $71.80 (6-10)

Thursday, Del Mar Race 8 — 5:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32K, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2-year-olds 

Possible overlays                         Morning line 

#1 Certainly Certain                            3/1
#3 Elessar                                         6/1
#6 Gibson Home Run                           7/2
#7 Chiloquin                                      6/1
#9 B.J.’s Hope                                    6/1

Of the horses with racing experience, the one with the quickest first quarter-mile is the gelding on the rail, #1 Certainly Certain. 

In his last race, Certainly Certain broke from post 9 and had to be used a bit to stay close to the leaders. Entering the turn, Certainly Certain was 4-wide, but jockey Christian Santiago Reyes was able to negotiate his way toward the rail while on the bend. In the stretch, Certainly Certain gamely challenged the ultimate race winner JJ Minister while running a 70 Beyer Speed Figure, which would win most of the races at this level. 

However, this difficult race was on July 21, which was just two weeks ago, therefore Certainly Certain may bounce. 

A see quite a few trainer angles in this race. Kathy Walsh, who saddles #3 Elessar, has a great record with young horses making their second lifetime starts. 

First time starters have not been a good bet at this level since the beginning of 2009. But trainer Peter Miller seems to specialize with young maiden claimers making their first lifetime starts. Between January 2009 and May 2010, Miller won with 5 of 12 maiden claiming debuters that had post time odds between 7/2 and 19/1. In here, Miller saddles first-timer runner #6 Gibson Home Run. 

Another who has a great record with young maiden claimers is Adam Kitchingman, who trains #2 Mi Alma. Although Mi Alma will be ridden by leading jockey Joel Rosario, this gelding is a late foal so I am not interested. 

Finally, trainers that also own a piece of the horse do well in these types of races.  Trainer Scott Hansen is partners on #7 Chiloquin, who is by Tribal Rule. This sire’s 2 year-old and 3-year-old progeny have won 6 of 30 races at first asking recently in Southern California. Hansen doesn’t start many, but he has worked as an assistant to top trainers like Bobby Frankel and Julio Canani. 

At odds of 5/2 or higher, I will wager $600 to win on #1 Certainly Certain. Also, at 4/1 to 9/1, I’ll put $300 to win on whichever horse is the longer price between #3 Elessar and #6 Gibson Home Run. 

Finally, if #7 Chiloquin is 7/1 to 12/1, I will put $100 to win on him.  

If Certainly Certain’s odds are below 5/2, then instead I will change my bets to $400 to win on both #3 Elessar at 7/2 to 9/1 and #6 Gibson Home Run at 7/2 to 19/1; and $200 to win on #7 Chiloquin at 5/1 to 12/1.

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

RESULTS: Lost $500 with a $300 win wager on #3 Elessar at 4-1 and $200 to win on #7 Chiloquin at 11-1.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Certainly Certain (CA) Santiago Reyes C Solis W 1.80 3
3 2 Elessar (KY) Garcia M Walsh K 4.40 2
4 3 Celestic Night (KY) Nakatani C French N 15.60 5
5 4 On Golden Time (CA) Gihua J Aguayo V 47.60 9
6 5 Gibson Home Run (FL) Valenzuela P Miller P 2.80 1
7 6 Chiloquin (CA) Pedroza M Hansen S 11.30 4
8 7 Unbridled Score (CA) Rivera C Stute M 45.50 6
9 8 B. J.’s Hope (KY) Espinoza V Velasquez D 5.40 7
10 9 Express Train (KY) Garcia J Bernstein D 20.00 8
SCR Mi Alma (KY) Rosario J Kitchingman A
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $7.60 $5.00 $3.40
3 $5.40 $3.00
1 $2.20
 
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $742.50 (6-1-6/10/11/12-6)
$1.00 Exacta paid $18.60 (6-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $712.70 (1-6-6)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $633.10 (8 OF 8)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $1176.00 (6-3-1-7-4)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $296.00 (6-3-1-7)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $37.40 (6-3-1)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $26.40 (6-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $140.20 (4-1-6-1-6/10/11/12-6)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $22113.60 (4-1-6-1-6/10/11/12-6)
$2.00 Quinella paid $20.60 (3-6)

Friday, Del Mar Race 8 — 7:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden 32k, 3-yo and up, 7 furlongs

Possible overlays                Morning line

#3 D’oro Dancer                         9/2
#7 Big Wags                              3/1
#8 Spinco Bob                           15/1

Besides having jockey Joel Rosario aboard, I can’t see why #9 Titus Aurelius is favored in the morning line over #3 D’oro Dancer. I guess the morning line maker believes that Doug O’Neill, who claimed the gelding on June 4, will combine with Rosario to work their magic.

But trainer Kathy Walsh is also very good, too. D’oro Dancer is dropping from maiden special weight and the 74 Beyer Speed Figure he earned in a May 2 route makes him a strong contender.

Rafael Bejarano rides #7 Big Wags and he should lead or be close to the front at the half mile mark. If D’oro Dancer doesn’t fire, this one might be tough to run down.

Finally, #8 Spinco Bob ran well going 1-1/16 miles on May 21 and he has the right running style for 7 furlongs. This longshot could blow up the trifecta.

I will spread my $1,000 out this way: At 5/2 or better, I want $650 to win on #3 D’oro Dancer.  If both D’oro Dancer is 7/2 or more and #7 Big Wags is 3/1 or better, then I will take $200 to win on Big Wags, also.

In the exotics, I want a $50 exacta box 3/7 and I will play #8 Spinco Bob in the secondary slots with $20 exactas 3,7/8 and $5 trifectas 3,7 with 3,7,9,2,4 with 8.

Wednesday, Del Mar Race 10

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Possible overlays    

#4 Tiger Trysts
#7 Proud Jenny
#8 Bigmikeistheman
#9 Elessar
#10 Jakesam
#12 Celestic Night
#13 Liquid Asset

I am writing this early Tuesday morning, so I do not have access to the morning lines. But, by the looks of the past performances, the likely favorites are #8 Bigmikeistheman, #9 Elessar and #13 Liquid Asset — a colt that needs to draw in from the also eligible list.

First time starters at nice prices win lots of these 2-year-old maiden claiming races, and five of them are scheduled to run in this one. The median Beyer Speed Figure for this class is 64, which is 10 points higher than any of the experienced runners have earned.

Although owners First Home Thoroughbreds haven’t won with many debut runners, #4 Tiger Trysts looks to have potential. Trainer Adam Kitchingman has done very well with this class of runner when the horse is making its first start. However, all Tiger Trysts’ workouts are slow, which suggests that either Kitchingman has taken great pains to hide the horse’s talent or Tiger Trysts can’t run.

Jerry Hollendorfer sends out #10 Jakesam and he’ll leg up jockey Tyler Baze, who always seems to be sending his maidens to the lead. Hollendorfer wins with 29 percent of his debuters, according the Daily Racing Form, but most of his victories came in Northern California. Jockey Joel Rosario, who was the leading rider at the recently completed Hollywood Park meet, has a great record on debuting horses. Rosario rides #12 Celestic Night.

The horse who will probably be the best wagering opportunity is #9 Elessar. Trainer Kathy Walsh is very good with horses running for the second time and Elessar showed a good burst in the stretch on June 11 at Golden Gate while zig-zagging down the lane.

Another experienced runner, #8 Bigmikeistheman, has also shown some ability. Bigmikeistheman probably would have won on May 20, as he was cruising on a two-length lead. However, the gelding lost his action when he banged into the rail in a fluke occurence.

In his last race on July 1, Bigmikeistheman was four-wide all the way on the turn then bore out throughout the stretch to miss by a head as the 7-to-5 favorite in a weak contest.

If #9 Elessar is 2-to-1 or greater, I will bet $600 on him to win. Also, I will put $100 on #7 Proud Jenny and #10 Jakesam if their post time odds are in the 10/1 to 19/1 range. Finally, at 7/2 to 19/1, I will wager $150 on #4 Tiger Trysts and #12 Celestic Night.

It’s true that my bets total $1,100, but I do not expect every horse to fall into the necessary odds ranges, so I will likely end up wagering less than $1,000.

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

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $50,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2 yo fillies

Possible overlays                 Morning line

#2 Deputy Judy R N                  3/1
#3 Dixie Saint                          20/1
#4 Our Bellini Bikini                   5/1
#5 Punctual                             6/1
#7 Action Gal                           6/1
#9 Wicked Trip                        20/1

Lots and lots of inexperienced runners in here. In fact, only three of the nine fillies have raced and two of those ran only one time.

I like these races because bettors usually won’t pound down a first-time starter, and if they do, the low price makes that horse one of the worst long-term wagers at the race track.In this race, the horses who have run before didn’t show much, so I’ll take my chances that the winner will be a horse making its first start.  

Breaking from the rail, #1 Bye Bye Hollywood did well on May 21 to get the lead while leaving from a wide post position at 4-1/2 furlongs. The gate is positioned so close to the turn at 4-1/2 furlongs that it’s almost impossible to win from any stall outside of the 4 post.

The problem I see with Bye Bye Hollywood is that her Beyer Speed Figure was only 26 and this class of fillies usually run in the low to middle 60s.  At 3-to-1, she is too risky.

The two first timers that look the best are #2 Deputy Judy R N and #7 Action Gal. Trainer Kathy Walsh has a poor winning percentage with first-time runners, but Deputy Judy R N is working out well and this type of horse is a good bet at 7/2 to 19/1. Mike Machowsky, who trains Action Gal, has a good win record with Lo Hi Stable over the years when they send a horse out for the first time. But I will need a much better price than 7/2.

Also, #4 Our Bellini Bikini has strong breeding, trainer and jockey angles in it’s favor.  

For some reason, I don’t know why, Florida-breds have been winning with greater frequency first-time out than horses bred in California or Kentucky. I don’t particularly like when debuting horses train at Fairplex or San Luis Rey Downs, but #3 Dixie Saint, #5 Punctual and #9 Wicked Trip were all bred in Florida. Therefore, I give them all a longshot’s chance.

At the betting windows, I will put $250 to win on #2 Deputy Judy R N at 7/2 to 19/1, $100 on #7 Action Gal at 5/1 to 19/1, but $200 if Action Gal is 10/1 to 19/1.  On #4 Our Bellini Bikini, I’ll bet $200 at 5/1 to 9/1, but just $100 at 10/1 to 19/1.

Also, I’ll put $50 on any of these runners at 10/1 to 19/1 only: #3 Dixie Saint, #5 Punctual, and #9 Wicked Trip.

Friday, Santa Anita Race 4 — 2:34 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $100,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                           Morning line

#2 Bubbley Blonde                            7/2
#5 Malibu Artiste                              5/2

Jockey Rafael Bejarano rides #2 Bubbley Blonde who shows lots of good workouts. But it seems that all of Kathy Walsh’s first timers work out well, get bet, then run poorly in their debuts.

But I still like the filly at 7/2 or higher.

Malibu Artiste, the #5 horse, seems to be the speed. She dueled three-wide on the turn Dec. 5 and hung in there for second. Trainer Paul Aguirre won with six of his last 17 second-time starters and Malibu Artiste has shown some life in morning workouts.

I will bet $150 on #2 Bubbley Blonde at 7/2 to 19/1 and $200 on Malibu Artiste at 2/1 or higher. However, I expect the public to bet one of these two below the odds range, so I’ll likely end up with only one wager.

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