Results, Sunday, Santa Anita Race 9 — won $682

 The ultimate winner, #4 Jim’s Decision, was no surprise as I noted in my race preview that he was one of the three top contenders expected to cross the finish line first.

However, getting the money wasn’t easy, as jockey David Flores was all out through the length of the stretch to outgame #3 Smart Hombre and to hold off the late rally of #1 Crestatorre.

Jim’s Decision looked good because he was steadily dropping in class and, in several of his previous six races, he earned Beyer Speed Figures that could win a bottom-level maiden claiming race like this one. I planned to wager $200 on him to win, but it was contingent on his price being longer than that of #14 Salty Robbin.

Salty Robbin showed recent dramatic improvement, but was breaking from post #14 on the far outside. This gelding missed by just a nose last time after going wide on the turn, but was no factor today at 6-to-1. As the 9-to-5 favorite, I couldn’t bet Jim’s Decision to win in this 13-horse field.

But I did combine him with two longshots that I keyed for second in the exacta. Fortunately, one of those runners, a 25-to-1 shot named Crestatorre, came on the outside and hit the wire a neck behind Jim’s Decision. Battling on the inside in this three-horse blanket finish was #3 Smart Hombre, and both he and Crestatorre seemingly hit the wire together. The photo finish showed Crestatorre nailed Smart Hombre by a long nose, keying an exacta that paid $62.60.

In $20 exactas, I used both Crestatorre and #12 Warren’s Tiger — who was 21-to-1 — for second place only underneath Jim’s Decision, #13 Indian Knight and #14 Salty Robbin. The result allowed me to collect $1,252, which gave me a $682 profit on the race after subtracting out my $120 in exacta wagers, a $250 win bet on Indian Knight and another $200 to win on Salty Robbin.

In the running of the race, longshot East Sky knocked heads with Smart Hombre as they led the field down the backstretch. As usual, Indian Knight did not break alertly so jockey Martin Garcia tardily brought his mount into contention as the field swung into the turn.

By the time they hit the bend, Indian Knight was three-wide with Garcia asking the gelding for more run, but the horse wasn’t giving him much of a response. Meanwhile, Jim’s Decision was sitting just behind the leaders while Flores looked for a running lane.

Flores saw his opportunity at the quarter pole and surged to challenge Smart Hombre for the lead as the field entered the top of the stretch. Jim’s Decision looked like he put away Smart Hombre at the eighth pole, but the inside runner was game and Smart Hombre came right back at him. Either horse looked like they could win as the wire approached.

Also, on the outside, Crestatorre rallied to be on even terms with Smart Hombre.

But a few jumps from the finish, Jim’s Decision accelerated for the neck victory.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Crestatorre (CA) Verenzuela J Periban J 25.60 2
2 2 Gamblin On Jack (CA) Quinonez A Capestro P 23.80 6
3 3 Smart Hombre (KY) Berrios H Jones M 7.50 3
4 4 Jim’s Decision (KY) Flores D Cerin V 1.90 1
5 5 Broken Glass (CA) Santiago Reyes C Bernstein D 6.20 4
6 6 East Sky (CA) Scott J January E 122.20 7
7 7 Sharp Upbeat (CA) Stra K Gallagher P 74.30 11
8 8 Maybe Tuesday (CA) Flores E McCarthy S 19.50 5
9 9 Bluffside (KY) Figueroa O Harris A 70.20 12
10 10 Roheryn Strider (KY) Vergara D Jackson D 14.00 8
12 11 Warren’s Tiger (CA) Krigger K Sherlock G 21.30 10
13 12 Indian Knight (VA) Garcia M Baffert B 4.60 9
14 13 Salty Robbin (CA) Delgadillo A Spawr W 6.00 13
SCR Own It (CA)    
 
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $5.80 $3.60 $2.80
1 $17.40 $10.60
3 $5.00
 
Exotic Payoffs
$0.50 Pick 4 paid $212.50 (1/6-8-6-4)
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Results, Friday Del Mar Race 3 — won $90

Jockey David Flores shot to the lead on #5 Missilette and never looked back

In this race, seven of the 12 fillies that went to post were running for the first time. But it was #5 Missilette, who was making her fifth start, that dominated the race from start to finish.

Back on June 10, Missilette competed in her only claiming race. She got the lead early and was cruising by three lengths in the stretch before Gator AtFonz’s nailed her.

In that race, Missilette showed that she had legitimate early speed for this class. And at 5-1/2 furlongs early speed is important and these days experience is too.

In fact, since the beginning of 2009, 2-year-old and 3-year-old horses making their debuts at odds of 7/2 to 19/1 have won much less frequently than first timers did in 2007 and 2008. I don’t know what is causing this, but it’s possibly the synthetic surfaces.

Anyway, in this race, Flores hustled Missilette hard from the gate to get the early advantage. She led #9 Darling Disarray and the other eight runners by a length down the backstretch.

On the turn, Martin Garcia was all out on Darling Disarray, but the filly was not gaining ground. At the top of the stretch, Missilette and Darling Disarray were 3-1/2 lengths ahead of the other runners. Missilette pulled away and Darling Disarray tired, but held on for second place.

I ended up betting $300 to win on #9 Darling Disarray at 5/1 and $200 on #1 Darling Ciana at 14/1. Also, I played $30  exactas with Missilette on top and I caught the 5-9 $1 payoff of $22.50.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Darling Ciana (KY) Talamo J Sherman A 14.10 6
2 2 Eloquence (KY) Nakatani C Fulmer D 42.00 8
3 3 Sparrow (FL) Rosario J Ward W 1.70 3
4 4 Sweet Consolidator (KY) Santiago Reyes C Bonde J 15.70 5
5 5 Missilette (CA) Flores D Solis W 3.20 1
6 6 Amor de Mi Alma (NM) Medellin A Gonzalez S 66.80 12
7 7 Planet Janet (CA) Atkinson P Truman E 35.10 10
9 8 Darling Disarray (KY) Garcia M Hollendorfer J 5.30 2
10 9 Natural Pearl (CA) Quinonez A Machowsky M 26.10 9
11 10 Lucky Sis (CA) Pedroza M O’Neill D 7.40 4
12 11 Lemon Drop Ridge (KY) Garcia M Stute G 15.60 7
13 12 Mama’s Spell (CA) Espinoza V Lewis C 52.90 11
SCR Family Plan (FL)    
SCR The Zapana (KY) Atkinson P Hendricks D
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $8.40 $4.20 $3.20
9 $5.60 $3.40
3 $3.20
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $22.50 (5-9)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $55.30 (2-3-5)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $193.80 (5-9-3-11)

Results, Thursday Del Mar Race 3 — lost $1,000

Jockey Martin Garcia eased #1 Lost Prophet to the lead then poured it on in the stretch.

Looking at this race beforehand, it was easy to tell that #1 Lost Prophet was a contender. She clearly had the best speed, trainer Mike Mitchell has an outstanding long-term record with horses he just claimed, and she worked a bullet on July 23.

Her only drawback was that 7-furlong races are not usually won by horses on the lead. They are mostly won by horses like #3 Indiara and #4 Kaysa Deeya that either press the pace or run midpack then come on strong in the stretch.

As the gates opened, jockey Martin Garcia restrained Lost Prophet a bit, although the filly’s natural speed got her to the lead anyway. On the backstretch, she was able to establish a clear one-length lead with minimal encouragement by Garcia.

In second place, #6 East Lake Shore was plugging away until midway on the turn when #4 Kaysa Deeya passed her rather easily. In the stretch, Lost Prophet widened her lead to win by 8-1/2 lengths, while Kaysa Deeya ran on strongly under jockey Patrick Valenzuela, but was no match.

At 3/1 on the morning line, I planned to wager $700 on Lost Prophet at odds of 5/2 to 4/1, but since she went off at 6/5 my betting plan changed. Instead, my $700 bet went to #4 Kaysa Deeya at 9/1 and I also put $300 to win on #6 East Lake Shore at 11/1.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Lost Prophet (KY) Garcia M Mitchell M 1.20 1
2 2 Pocatello Wild Kat (CA) Nakatani C Fanning J 23.60 5
3 3 Indiara (KY) Bejarano R Harty E 1.80 4
4 4 Kaysa Deeya (KY) Espinoza V Sadler J 9.90 2
5 5 My Romance (KY) Smith M Headley B 6.60 7
6 6 East Lake Shore (FL) Rosario J Yakteen T 11.90 6
7 7 Lisa Lulu (CA) Pedroza M Abrams B 18.80 3
 
Pgm Win Place Show
1 $4.40 $3.60 $3.20
4 $7.00 $4.60
7 $5.80
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $17.40 (1-4)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $27.00 (2-6-1)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $300.90 (1-4-7-3)

 

Results, Del Mar, Saturday, Race 7 — lost $800

Jockey Alonso Quinonez

Eight of the 10 runners in this race were making their first lifetime starts. Many of them hailed from the world’s top barns: Those run by Bob Baffert, John Sadler, Jerry Hollendorfer and Doug O’Neill.

But amazingly, the debuter with the no-name jockey — Alonso Quinonez — and the low-profile trainer — Myung Kwon Cho — got the job done.

Although lots of these eight debuters had quick workouts and great connections, each one seemed to have strong drawbacks, also.
By looking at years of past results, I know that Florida breds have better records for precociousness in Southern California than horses bred in Kentucky or California. So, I prefer them.
 
But in this race, Florida breds #4 Rock So Hard and #6 The Phenom were both May foals, which are usually a money-losing propositions when debuting. Other information sent me mixed messages, too. 
 
For example, trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled Rock So Hard, also ran #7 Prayer for Relief, who was a February foal with good workouts – both positives. 
 
Baffert has an outstanding record when he uses jockey Martin Garcia on his first timers. But Garcia was on Rock So Hard and not Prayer for Relief. So Baffert’s money horse was unclear to me.
 
In the race, #10 Premier Pegasus, who is a son of Fusaichi Pegasus, shot out of the gate at 44-to-1. As the field went down the backstretch, Rock So Hard took the lead, but some seven runners were within two lengths of each other. On the inside, jockey Tyler Baze tried to make a move with #1 Red Sharp Humor, but that didn’t work, so he backed off.
 
Throughout the turn and at the top of the lane, the running order didn’t change much. Rock So Hard led on the inside, Premier Pegasus was a head behind in the two path, while #9 Just Imagine was looming three wide and a half a length away.
 
The field remained compact as race caller Trevor Denman told the crowd “this one’s wide open.” In deep stretch, Garcia was wailing away with his whip on Rock So Hard, while Quinonez was essentially hand riding Premier Pegasus, although the rider did give him a few taps of the stick as the wire approached.
 
Just Imagine disappointed his backers by hanging in the stretch as the even money favorite. I’ve heard race track myths that when first time starters are bet down below 3-to-1 they are great bets. But, in reality, they are some of the worst wagers in racing.
 
I had $200 on #1 Red Sharp Humor at 16/1, $300 on #6 The Phenom at 8/1 and $300 on #7 Prayer for Relief at 10/1.
 

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Red Sharp Humor (KY) Bejarano R Hollendorfer J 16.40 4
2 2 Clubhouse Ride (KY) Espinoza V Lewis C 9.20 5
3 3 Joburg Star (KY) Flores D Miller P 9.20 7
4 4 Rock So Hard (FL) Garcia M Baffert B 5.20 2
5 5 Palio Prince (KY) Smith M Barba A 42.40 9
6 6 The Phenom (FL) Talamo J Sadler J 8.00 10
7 7 Prayer for Relief (KY) Pedroza M Baffert B 10.10 6
8 8 Purgestein (KY) Santiago Reyes C Bonde J 22.20 8
9 9 Just Imagine (KY) Rosario J O’Neill D 1.00 3
10 10 Premier Pegasus (KY) Quinonez A Cho M 44.40 1
SCR American Wildcat (VA)    
 
Pgm Win Place Show
10 $90.80 $30.60 $11.00
4 $6.00 $3.60
9 $3.00
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $434.80 (10-4)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $5813.30 (4-10-10)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $18710

Results, Del Mar Sunday Race 6 — lost $150

Martin Garcia rode the rail to victory Sunday aboard #5 Champagne d'Oro.

Martin Garcia rode the rail to victory Sunday aboard #5 Champagne d'Oro.

Trainer Eric Guillot thought enough of Champagne d’Oro to enter her in both the Cinderella Stakes and the Landaluce off a second-place finish in a maiden race.

In the Cinderella, Champagne d”Oro was in tight at the five-sixteenths pole, but earned a 77 Beyer Speed Figure when she finished third. Considering the median winning Beyer for maiden special weight is just an 81, Champagne d’Oro looked to be a strong contender.

She didn’t disappoint.

From the outset, Champagne d’Oro was ready to run. She broke alertly when the bell rang and eased to the lead on the backstretch with little encouragement from rider Martin Garcia. She knocked heads with first-time starter #10 Stockings on the turn. But even so, Garcia was sitting chilly in the saddle, while jockey Christian Santiago Reyes was riding hard on Stockings.

Once Garcia let loose in the lane, Champagne d’Oro opened up on the field and won easily.

In the race preview, I noted Champagne d’Oro’s potential superiority, but figured her odds would not be high enough. In the end, I bet $150 to win on #9 The Great Atlantic, who did nothing.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Hondo’s Way (KY) Espinoza V Mandella R 18.20 6
2 2 Pure Class (KY) Smith M Sadler J 3.60 5
4 3 Saint Isabelle (KY) Talamo J Puype M 23.90 4
5 4 Champagne d’Oro (KY) Garcia M Guillot E 2.10 1
6 5 Go Ask Alex (KY) Delgadillo A Glenney J 38.20 8
7 6 Softly Singing (KY) Rosario J Hollendorfer J 2.80 2
8 7 Miss Peanut (CA) Stra K Martinez S 61.40 9
9 8 The Great Atlantic (KY) Gryder A Glatt M 6.20 10
10 9 Stockings (KY) Santiago Reyes C Sadler J 13.80 3
11 10 Pulpit Magic (KY) Solis A Dominguez C 20.10 7
SCR Back Nine Doc (FL)    
 
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $6.20 $3.40 $2.80
7 $4.00 $3.40
10 $6.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $12.50 (5-7)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid

horse on paddock tv

Afleet's Picasso with Martin Garcia aboard readies for the Opening Day nightcap

Gaines and Solis

As trainer Carla Gaines chats with Alex Solis before he rides Eleventh Hour for owner B. Wayne Hughes

Results, Hollywood Park Saturday Race 10 — lost $200

Jockey Martin Garcia sat behind the pace with #5 Coatcheck Girl then exploded in the stretch

Jockey Martin Garcia sat behind the pace with #5 Coatcheck Girl then exploded in the stretch

In her second lifetime race on April 4, #5 Coatcheck Girl blasted out of the gate to be just a head off the pace in a field of 13 maiden claimers. She battled the whole way and was never more than a length away from the lead until the very end when she lost by two.

That race showed Coatcheck Girl could run some, as according to my pace ratings, her April 4 race was the quickest first quarter mile of any of the runners in Saturday’s tenth.

But having the quickest first quarter, as I’ve found out by observation, doesn’t necessarily mean she would get the lead. However, it does strongly suggest that she will likely put it all together in the near future and run well for the whole race.

Usually, I will bet a horse like this at 3/1 or more, but since other angles and contenders presented themselves, I bumped her minimum acceptable odds up to 6-to-1.

And for that I paid the price, as Coatcheck Girl sat off the early pace and came storming home to win by 3-1/4 lengths while paying $11.60.

I ended up wagering $200 on #1 Bouncer, who was coming off a long layoff for trainer Gary Mandella and got some betting action. I love that type of horse too, but the problem with a 40-percent angle is that 60 percent of the time you lose.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Bouncer (KY) Talamo J Mandella G 3.90 6
2 2 Xtraordinary (TX) Baze M Mollica M 7.30 3
3 3 Where’s My Limo (CA) Sorenson D Sahadi J 55.10 10
4 4 Lion Princess (KY) Rosario J West T 3.40 4
5 5 Coatcheck Girl (KY) Garcia M Marquez A 4.80 1
6 6 Kaylie’s Joy (CA) Valdez F Dominguez C 65.20 2
7 7 Miss Reyna (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Gonzalez S 108.30 8
8 8 Alisa’s Windstorm (CA) Gavica G Martin, Jr. F 182.90 13
9 9 Flash Dance (CA) Solis A Becerra R 6.70 9
10 10 Metallic Waters (CA) Espinoza V Baffert B 2.90 11
11 11 Roomantic (LA) Vergara O Hajek I 87.10 12
12 12 Aislebebarbie (CA) Delgadillo A Sierra C 65.70 5
13 13 Warren’s Dancer (CA) Arambula P Gutierrez J 103.10 7
 
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $11.60 $6.20 $4.80
6 $41.40 $16.60
2 $5.00
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $223.20 (5-6)
$1.00 Pick
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