Eight years

Bob Baffert announced to his Facebook friends that today is his eight-year wedding anniversary to his wife, Jill. They were married just before War Emblem’s Haskell Stakes in 2002.

Also, Baffert said that Lookin at Lucky is recovering well from the 102-degree temperature that he suffered this morning.

Owner Mike Pegram and Baffert were considering the Travers before the setback, but now the 3-year-old colt will not run at Saratoga.

Lookin at Lucky will stay at Monmouth Park until completely healthy, Baffert said.

Advertisements

Ponying up

horse eyeballing

Not Unusual is making sure that I get a picture of her good side

Pegram horse

While Stuck on Go, with Pedro Arambula up, is staring me down

Sunday, Santa Anita Race 6 — 3:05 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden Special Weight, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo filles

Possible overlays                        Morning line

#1 Bread ‘n Water                            15/1
#2 Belated Bid                                   8/1
#3 First Grade                                   4/1
#8 Ride Me Fast                                5/1

The most talented horse in this race, I believe, is #8 Ride Me Fast, who is owned by Mike Pegram and trained by Bob Baffert. In her last race on March 4, Ride Me Fast was a length away from a pace setter who burned a quarter mile in 21.60 seconds and was two lengths behind a half in 44 seconds flat. And in her debut, she showed that she could finish by running a 77 Beyer Speed Figure while missing by a half a length.

Early speed isn’t that important at 6-1/2 furlongs, but I believe jockey Tyler Baze will get her to relax and she’ll finish with good energy.

Baffert also starts #2 Belated Bid who led in her debut without much encouragement from the jockey, but the pace was not quick. The only way I can see this horse winning is if it comes from behind and Baffert is slick enough to make that happen after baiting us with Ride Me Fast.

First-time starters #1 Bread ‘n Water and #3 First Grade look like good possibilities if their prices are right.

I will bet $400 to win on #8 Ride Me Fast at 2/1 and up, $1oo on #2 Belated Bid at 4/1 and higher, $150 on #1 Bread ‘n Water at 10/1 to 19/1 only and $250 on #3 First Grade at 7/2 and up.

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 7 — lost $350

Trainer Bob Baffert won Sunday's seventh with #9 Irish Gypsy, owned by Mike Pegram. (Flickr photo by Yausser)

Trainer Bob Baffert won Sunday's seventh with #9 Irish Gypsy, owned by Mike Pegram. (Flickr photo by Yausser)

When it comes to winning maiden sprints in Southern California, Bob Baffert is the master. He trains the most talented young horses on the grounds and he gets surprisingly decent pari-mutuel prices because he wins early and knows how to set things up.

For years, Baffert has often won when he starts two maiden sprinters in the same race. On Sunday, he had three runners in this 10-horse Santa Anita maiden field, so I strongly suspected at least one of them would be ultra live.

Baffert named leading jockey Garrett Gomez on first-time starter #3 Mother Ruth and Rafael Bejarano, who is second in the rider standings,  on another debuter, #1 Belated Bid. But the money horse here was #9 Irish Gypsy.

Irish Gypsy is owned by Mike Pegram, who is a close friend and long-time client of Baffert’s. This filly ran well in the summer, as she lost to juvenile filly champion Stardom Bound by just two lengths.

Entering Sunday’s race, Irish Gypsy was coming off an eight-month layoff with a series of good workouts — but the lengthy absence typically causes horseplayers to wager with caution. The rider, David Flores, is competent but doesn’t have the pari-mutuel following that Gomez and Bejarano have. And over the years, Baffert has had lots of luck with Flores.

The betting public made #3 Mother Ruth the 5-to-2 favorite after no doubt seeing her published $425,000 purchase price, six fast workouts and the fact that Gomez had won on 12 of the last 25 Baffert-trained horses. Bejarano’s mount #1 Belated Bid was a late foal and hadn’t been working out as well, but was still 9-to-1.

If Baffert entered neither of these fillies in this race, and Gomez was named on Irish Gypsy instead of Flores, then it’s safe to say that Irish Gypsy would have been less than 2-to-1. But instead she paid $10.40 to win.

I am not saying that Gomez on Mother Ruth did not try hard, as anyone who watches the replay can see the rider all over this filly in the stretch to just miss at the wire. And I am not saying that the Baffert-Pegram-Flores team is doing something wrong or unethical.

All I am saying is that Baffert is very savvy, he knows the tendencies of the betting public, and tries hard to get decent prices on his maiden winners. So, it’s profitable to learn this trainer’s maiden moves.

Speaking as somebody who hates seeing 6-to-5 shots win, I wish more trainers were like him.

After the race, (why don’t reporters ask trainers before the race??) Baffert told the Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman that Irish Gypsy developed foot problems in 2008, so she had to be rested. “She just needed some time. If you don’t give them time, they’ll make you wait longer.”

When looking at this race for the site on Saturday night, I was tempted to bet Irish Gypsy, but put $350 on Mother Ruth because she just looked too good. But after thinking about this situation on Sunday, when my real money was on the line at race time I split my bet with 60 percent going on Mother Ruth and 40 percent on Irish Gypsy.

But, of course, I will take the $350 loss for betting Mother Ruth on the site.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Belated Bid (KY) Bejarano R Baffert B 9.60 9
3 2 Mother Ruth (KY) Gomez G Baffert B 2.90 2
4 3 Indomitable (KY) Baze T Gaines C 8.60 10
5 4 Michelle Marie (KY) Russell C West T 23.20 8
6 5 Guided Wave (KY) Solis A Gallagher P 7.90 7
7 6 Beloved Deputy (KY) Nakatani C Dollase C 30.20 5
8 7 Shehadmefromhello (KY) Baze M Guillot E 4.80 6
9 8 Irish Gypsy (KY) Flores D Baffert B 4.20 1
10 9 She’s Borracho (KY) Talamo J Mullins J 5.80 4
11 10 Lisa Jean (NY) Rosario J Jones M 24.40 3
SCR Lion Heart’s Bluff (KY)    
 
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $10.40 $4.80 $3.60
3 $4.40 $3.60
11 $10.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $19.80 (9-3)
$1.00 Pick
%d bloggers like this: