When I was preparing for this race, it looked as if value would be found betting against the Bob Baffert-trained first-time starter, #8 Benergy.
It’s not because Benergy couldn’t win. He could. But I chose against him because he was the 5/2 morning line favorite and he was likely to be bet too low to justify his chances of victory.
However, the veterinarian scratched Benergy in the morning, so it made this race a bit more difficult to play.
Anyway, just one of the three horses that I thought might run well, 6 Gahnzo Bob, had a bettable price. And jockey Corey Nakatani gunned him for the lead even though in his July 4 debut, Gahnzo Bob was in last place after a quarter mile.
Going for the lead so early was a curious move by both Nakatani and by Patrick Valenzuela. P Val rode #1 Joburg Star, who was another horse who led early in this race after not showing speed in the past. Maybe they thought the pace would be soft and their horses would last. But 6 furlongs is not like 5 furlongs or even 5-1/2 furlongs where speed dominates. At 6 furlongs, the race plays much more fair to pressers and stretch runners.
When the race began, Joburg Star shot to the front with Gahnzo Bob on his flank as race caller Trevor Denman said “they could not be going any quicker.” Jockey Martin Pedroza, riding #3 Asno Del Caramelo, sat behind the leaders and cut the corner on the rail to surge to the front at the top of the lane as Denman announced “now that fast early pace taking its toll.”
Just then, #5 Ribat started making his run from far back. In deep stretch, Ribat quickly came into the picture, but gained slowly on Asno Del Caramelo during the last sixteenth of a mile until both noses simultaneously hit the wire.
I ended up putting $100 to win on #2 Alert Rocket at 19/1 and $300 to win on #6 Gahnzo Bob.