Results, Sunday, Santa Anita Race 2 — won $530

The glaring problem when looking at this lineup in my race preview was that all of the runners had serious flaws.

My task was then to try to find the fillies who were going off at decent prices that may either dramatically improve or run well enough to win a weak race.

On the inside, #2 Mango Tart had the best races of any in her past performance lines. Her main knocks were that she was stretching out a bit and had run just three times. Therefore, I couldn’t bet her at anything less than 2-to-1. At post time, the public made her the overwhelming 6-to-5 favorite, so I quickly eliminated her as a betting possibility.

Two fillies —  #3 Warren’s Assassin and #5 Kvell — competed in the same race three times since September and they finished within a half-length of each other every time. These two experienced runners had a total of 17 starts between them, but the highest Beyer Speed Figure either of them ever earned was the 56 granted to Kvell on Dec. 2.

In the past, they hit the board several times, but with the median winning Beyer Speed Figure being 64 for this class, Kvell and Warren’s Assassin would need to improve by some four lengths to match the par.

Of course, it could be done, but it wouldn’t be easy.

A second-time starter, #6 Frannie was being hyped by the Daily Racing Form where the handicapper noted that she ran OK after a wide trip. I adjusted her Beyer Speed Figure from 50 to 60 after watching the replay, but I had no faith in this horse either because she had run just one time.

Breaking from the far outside, #7 Here Comes Bonnie showed good early speed in her last two races. In a race on Dec. 4, Here Comes Bonnie missed by just a nose, but earned an abysmal 44 Beyer. When she popped and stopped on Dec. 30, she got just an 11 from the Beyer crew.

Again, no faith.

Of course, one of these fillies had to win this race, but since anything could happen I saw no reason to take a low price. I reduced my bets and planned to watch the tote board.

I figured that Kvell could win if none of the inexperienced runners fired. And since Santa Anita has an early speed bias, maybe Here Come Bonnie might run the race of her life.

Finally, I bet $200 on Kvell at 4/1 and $100 on Here Comes Bonnie at 7/1. I collected $830 for a horse that I really didn’t know much about or like too much, which is the beauty of playing the board and shopping for value.

In the end, Victor Espinoza rode Here Comes Bonnie with confidence, as he surged the filly to the lead while going wide on the turn. She was clearly in front throughout the stretch and nobody threatened her the rest of the way. She earned a 64 Beyer.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Wild in the Saddle (CA) Castanon A Lucas R 70.00 6
2 2 Mango Tart (KY) Flores E Capestro P 1.20 3
3 3 Warren’s Assassin (CA) Quinonez A Gutierrez J 5.00 2
4 4 Central Heat (CA) Vergara D Abrams B 29.90 7
5 5 Kvell (FL) Bejarano R Miller P 4.30 5
6 6 Frannie (KY) Blanc B Tsagalakis M 3.40 4
7 7 Here Comes Bonnie (CA) Espinoza V Cassidy J 7.30 1
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $16.60 $7.20 $4.20
3 $5.60 $3.20
2 $2.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $39.60 (7-3)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $403.80 (7-3-2-6)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $150.10 (7-3-2)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $69.40 (6-7)
Fractional Times
23.25, 47.03, 1:12.08, 1:24.97

Sunday, Santa Anita Race 2 — post time 1 pm

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $30,000, 7 furlongs, 3-year-old fillies

Possible overlays                      Morning line

Median winning Beyer Speed Figure: 64

#2 Mango Tart                               2/1
#3 Warren’s Assassin                        4/1
#5 Kvell                                    5/2
#6 Frannie                                  7/2
#7 Here Comes Bonnie             5/1

This seven-horse field includes two contenders who ran their best races in weak fields.

The best-looking filly of the five listed above is #2 Mango Tart, who is bred for stamina and earned a 69 Beyer Speed Figure in a Nov. 6 maiden special weight sprint. If this horse had a few more starts under her belt, then I would bet her with confidence. But 7-furlongs is a tricky distance which leaves many a lightly-raced runner gasping for air as they near the wire.

A rider switch from Kerwin John to apprentice Eswan Flores allows Mango Tart to drop from 120 pounds to 114, which should help keep her strong in the stretch.

One experienced filly that I am taking a long look at is #5 Kvell. This Peter Miller-trainee has hit the board in six of her last eight races, but her Beyer numbers are weak. That can only mean she probably was lucky enough to be running in fields full of slow horses for the level. Kvell would have to improve significantly to beat Mango Tart if that filly runs at 7-furlongs like she does in shorter sprints.

Warren’s Assassin, who is trained by Jorge Gutierrez, ran against Kvell in three of her last four races and the two runners finished within a half length of each other every time.

With Santa Anita favoring early speed, the chances of #6 Frannie and #7 Here Comes Bonnie get a boost. Although Frannie has only run one time, she was bet down to 7-to-1 in her debut then ran a 50 Beyer Speed Figure in a race where she had a wide trip. I bumped the number to 60 when I adjusted for lost ground. It’s possible she could show more early energy in her second start.

Here Comes Bonnie’s three career Beyers are 31, 44 and 11. Her early foot and her cagey trainer, Jim Cassidy, make her an upset possibility. But she, too, is lightly raced.

It’s interesting to note that the Daily Racing Form consensus selects Kvell on top. This runner is by no means a strong favorite and bettors should proceed with caution.

Without a doubt, I am trying to find the cleanest dirty shirt among these fillies and won’t wager much.

My Betting Strategy: At odds of 2/1 or more, I will bet $200 to win on #2 Mango Tart. If #7 Here Comes Bonnie is 6/1 or better, I will place $100 to win on her. If #2 Mango Tart is bet below 2/1, then I will instead put $200 to win on #5 Kvell at 3/1 or more.

%d bloggers like this: