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.

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