Results, Del Mar Sunday Race 6 — lost $400

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Riding for trainer Jack Carava, Garrett Gomez got #12 Lunar Humor up in the final strides

Three horses were dropping into maiden claiming $25,000 for the first time after running decently against classier animals. And #12 Lunar Humor, #2 Al N Con and #4 Morton Owen finished 1-2-3.

 Trainer Jack Carava ran Lunar Humor against maiden special weight company until his fifth race. But when the gelding could finish no better than third in four straight races, Carava began descending the class ladder.

In the maiden claiming ranks last May and June, Lunar Humor ran low-to-mid 70 Beyer Speed Figures while finishing second two times — first for $80,000 claiming and then for $40,000. On July 24 something curious happened, as jockey Michael Baze merely breezed Lunar Humor in the stretch, which caused the Beyer to sink to an all-time low of 63.

I am sure that the low last-race Beyer kept some betting money off of Lunar Humor, a 3-to-1 shot, despite the presence of jockey Garrett Gomez, who has a large following. In a recent TVG video, Carava — who is the son of a horse trainer — said that he enjoys picking spots for his runners, strategizing and compared horse racing to poker.

So maybe, just maybe, Carava was “strategizing” by breezing his horse in the stretch, so it would pay a good price when he picked his spot on the drop.

This race began with #2 Al N Con, #8 She Made Me Do It and #11 Cafe Con Leche all battling head-to-head down the backstretch.  Al N Con, who had led in his last two races against $40,000 maiden claimers, shook clear by a length on the bend, as Cafe Con Leche kept chasing.

As the field swung into the lane, Morton Owen and Joel Rosario were making a move some eight paths wide with Lunar Humor also coming on just inside of him. They had to make up four lengths on Al N Con, 4/1, at the top of the stretch.

When Joe Talamo rode Al N Con past the sixteenth pole, he still had what appeared to be a safe 2-length lead. But Lunar Humor came with a late charge to get up with two jumps to go.

Despite being extremely wide, Morton Owen, at 9-to-2, only missed by two lengths.

I bet $400 on Morton Owen because he had lots of positive long-term betting angles going for him. This gelding was 3-to-1 on the morning line, but was cold on the board throughout the betting period and ended up at 9-to-2.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Deltamax (FL) Gryder A Cerin V 30.20 11
2 2 Al N Con (CA) Talamo J Rosales R 4.10 2
3 3 Joys Last One (CA) Stra K Martinez S 65.30 10
4 4 Morton Owen (KY) Rosario J Mitchell M 4.50 3
5 5 Spartan Jet (KY) Pedroza M Lopez J 41.60 7
6 6 Smokenomore (CA) Garcia M Spawr W 6.50 4
7 7 Warren’s Juan (CA) Santiago Reyes C Lewis C 37.10 8
8 8 She Made Me Do It (CA) Blanc B Bacorn H 16.80 12
9 9 Secret Lure (CA) Valdivia, Jr. J Puype M 21.80 6
10 10 Yrunvs M. B. (CA) Valdez F Becerra R 27.30 9
11 11 Cafe Con Leche (KY) Quinonez A Miller P 3.70 5
12 12 Lunar Humor (KY) Gomez G Carava J 3.20 1
SCR Ol’dogtown (CA) Scott J Bellasis R
SCR Objectified (CA) Baze T West T
 
Pgm Win Place Show
12 $8.40 $4.40 $3.20
2 $5.20 $3.60
4 $3.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $17.30 (12-2)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $126.60 (7-1-12)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $264.80 (12-2-4-6)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $40.90 (12-2-4)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $51.20 (1-12)
$2.00 Quinella paid $17.20 (2-12)
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Sunday, Del Mar Race 6 — 4:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 6 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up

Possible overlays                    Morning line

#2 Al N Con                                  5/1
#4 Morton Owen                            5/2
#6 Smokenomore                           12/1
#12 Lunar Humor                            3/1

Mike Mitchell leads over #4 Morton Owen. While it’s true that this gelding has had six chances to break his maiden and couldn’t get the job done. And that he was bet below 4-to-1 in his last four starts.

It is also true that this 3-year-old is coming off of a four-month freshening and is dropping in class to his lowest lifetime level. Furthermore, the 74 Beyer Speed Figure Morton Owen ran in February equates to an 83 after adding on six points for growth in his 3-year-old season and three more points for a wide trip.

If Morton Owen can run in the neighborhood of an 83 Beyer then he’ll be very tough considering that the median winning Beyer Speed Figure is just a 74.

Another who I give a chance to is #2 Al N Con. He’s also running in a $25,000 maiden claimer for the first time. On July 29, he tired after a speed duel in a maiden claiming $35,000 sprint to earn a 71 Beyer. With softer early fractions, Al N Con may be able to run a 77.

Lastly, Jack Carava, the trainer of #12 Lunar Humor, changes jockeys from Michael Baze to Garrett Gomez. Looking at the July 24 race replay, it appears that Lunar Humor breezed in the stretch. In the past, Lunar Humor has earned low-to-mid 70s Beyer figures, which may be enough to win if Morton Owen and Al N Con aren’t at their best.

I will bet $400 to win on #4 Morton Owen at 8/5 to 9/1 and $100 on #2 Al N Con at 9/2 and above. If Morton Owen’s odds are out of the zone, then I will substitute $200 to win on #12 Lunar Humor at 2/1 and up.

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 2 — won $1,375

at-pawn-shops-the-cash-strapped-trade-in-memoriesAlthough he didn’t look like much in the Daily Racing Form, #5 My Man Sumo outclassed this field while dominating the race from start to finish.

It was a tremendous training job by the underrated Rafael Becerra, who does good work bringing maidens off layoffs. He took My Man Sumo over from Wesley Ward after the gelding had run three unspectacular races last summer at Del Mar and Fairplex.

My Man Sumo, who last ran on Sept. 13, had always shown speed, but couldn’t last. Becerra hid this horse’s talent from horseplayers by working him out slowly, but jockey Alex Solis broke him well from the gate and he was never challenged for the lead, winning by four lengths.

The favorite trained by Mike Mitchell, #4 Morton Owen, made a wide run on the turn then flattened out in the stretch while Bob Baffert’s runner #7 Only Be Cause pushed the pace then came up empty late.

I bet $250 on #5 My Man Sumo and collected $2,025. But I also put $400 on #4 Morton Owen, so I profited a total of $1,375 on the race.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 King Farha (CA) Blanc B Metz J 25.60 5
2 2 Marquet Rebel (KY) Talamo J Ellis R 2.50 6
3 3 Cracked Code (FL) Quinonez A Mollica M 15.90 7
4 4 Morton Owen (KY) Bejarano R Mitchell M 1.90 3
5 5 My Man Sumo (KY) Solis A Becerra R 7.10 1
6 6 Domestic Gold (MD) Sorenson D Gallagher P 43.10 2
7 7 Only Be Cause (KY) Rios J Baffert B 2.10 4
 
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $16.20 $9.60 $5.20
6 $26.20 $8.00
4 $3.20
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $202.90 (5-6)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $873.80 (5-6-4)
$2.00 Daily Double paid

Results, Santa Anita Monday Race 6 — lost $450

Trainer Mike Harrington lit up the board with 30/1 first timer #2 Shock the Board

Trainer Mike Harrington lit up the tote with 30/1 first timer #2 Shock the Board

In horse racing, winning is so sweet because there are so many ways to lose a race.

And some beats sting a lot more than others.

The laws of probabilities seem to be stacked against  horseplayers in any one race, even if they choose the right contenders and only bet them at good prices.

Of course, it’s easy to shrug off winning horses that are tossed out as non-contenders — whether they are favorites or long shots — because they are going to win their share of races.

You can easily rationalilze those because they don’t win enough at prices that make them profitable in the long run.

But the real pain starts when the odds on a horse you really like dip below your betting zone, so you lay off. Then you sit there and watch it win, while gritting your teeth as others celebrate around you.

You can rationalize those, too, easily enough by looking at the measly prices of $5.60 or $4.80 on the tote board.

But, to me, the biggest punch in the stomach in racing is when the odds on a runner you picked are sitting perfectly in your betting zone, then drift too high at the last minute. You can’t bet, and when the horse wins it’s really a killer.

Which brings us to Monday’s sixth race, where the odds on first-time starter #2 Shock the Board were fluctuating between 16-to-1 to 18-to-1 for all of the pre-race period. I was fully prepared to bet it at anything less than 20-to-1.

But with two minutes to post, the odds on Shock the Board went to 23-to-1.

Mike Harrington trained it, owned it and worked it two bullets. And he did one more thing right with Shock the Board — after seeing the $62.40 price the horse paid, it was obvious that he gave the animal the right name.

I also bet $350 on the Mike Mitchell-trained #3 Morton Owen at 7-to-2, $100 on #4 Gretsky, who was second.

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

 

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Foreign Taurean (KY) Gryder A Knapp S 5.10 7
2 2 Shock the Board (CA) Garcia M Harrington M 30.20 1
1A 3 Fiery Rebel (KY) Nakatani C Knapp S 5.10 9
3 4 Morton Owen (KY) Bejarano R Mitchell M 3.60 4
4 5 Gretsky (KY) Rosario J Drysdale N 5.20 2
5 6 Ben’s Bullet (FL) Potts C La Croix D 22.30 5
6 7 Bradytomoss (NY) Baze T Kitchingman A 9.10 8
7 8 Arm Chair Q B (CA) Talamo J Koriner B 15.40 6
8 9 Dubai Rainbow (FL) Valdivia, Jr. J Ellis R 2.40 3
9 10 Atlantic Victory (CA) Rios J McAnally R 7.20 10
 
Pgm Win Place Show
2 $62.40 $24.00 $11.20
4 $6.60 $4.00
8 $2.80
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $205.20 (2-4)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $405.80
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