Thursday, Santa Anita Race 8 — post time 4:38 pm

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $30,000, 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Median winning Beyer Speed Figure: 68

Possible overlays                 Morning line

#1 Mr Pappagiorgio                     15/1
#2 King Bill                           10/1
#3 The Black                           2/1
#4 I Know That                         8/1
#5 Airplane Mode                       12/1
#8 Patriotic Lion                      4/1
#9 Jamakagoodsense                     8/1
#10 Papa P B                           3/1

Without a doubt, the strongest horse in this race is #3 The Black. Trained by Doug O’Neill, this colt has run in enough races to build the stamina necessary to survive 7 furlongs and his 74 Beyer Speed Figure — albeit earned on the grass — stamps him with the ability to get the job done today. The switch from Blanc to Bejarano should also help lead to good things.

But all of O’Neill’s plans with The Black today could easily be foiled if #8 Patriotic Lion shows the dominant early speed that he’s capable of. On Oct. 1 at 5-1/2 furlongs, Patriotic Lion outbroke eight others in a maiden special weight race while rolling through brilliant fractions of 21-2/5ths seconds for the quarter mile and 44-2/5ths seconds for the half. In Patriotic Lion’s next two races — at 7 furlongs and 1 mile — he unimpressively pressed the pace then faded badly.

And what happened with Patriotic Lion last time he ran is anybody’s guess. On Jan. 21, jockey Freddie Lenclud took Patriotic Lion to the back of the pack then rallied mildly to finish a well-beaten third. On that day, maybe trainer Patrick Biancone was trying to teach Patriotic Lion to rate and it may all pay off today with a wire-to-wire score.

Looking over the past performances, I can’t see any horse that can keep up with Patriotic Lion down the backstretch. Unless one of the first or second time starters surprise by gunning for the lead, then Patriotic Lion should get away with easy early fractions. The only question that will then remain is whether this runner can ration his energy across seven furlongs.

 This colt looks like a horse to use on top in the gimmicks, but not for second or third as he may pop and stop.

Of the five second-time starters, the best bets to hit the board look like #4 I Know That and #10 Papa P B.

In I Know That’s debut on Jan. 21, he trailed down the backstretch over a wet-fast track then was very wide into the lane while passing a few horses to finish seventh. He doesn’t look like much, but adding blinkers today may aid in the dramatic improvement he would need to win. With the other talent in this race, I would need at least 5-to-1 to consider him. 

The far outside horse — Papa P B — has a good chance to run well because trainer Dan Hendricks does better as the sprints get longer. The Daily Racing Form reports that Papa P B has flashed early speed in the morning, but he broke slowly in his only race. This colt is 3-to-1 on the morning line and I will need at least 5-to-1 before I reach into my pocket.

The first time starters have hidden angles in here, so they may fire at big prices. Breaking from the rail, #1 Mr Pappagiorgio has the type of debut breeding that wins 6-1/2 and 7-furlong maiden claiming races. And this gelding’s trainer, Kristin Mulhall, does well in spots like this.

Bertrando, who is the sire of the other firster #5 Airplane Mode, is winning with more than 20 percent of his debut horses on the circuit with post-time odds of less than 20-to-1. Every $1 bet on these runners returned $1.54.  But Airplane Mode’s trainer Tim Yakteen usually does best with horses making their second starts. At odds of 10/1 to 19/1, however, both he and Mr Pappagiorgio may be worth the risk.

If The Black or Patriotic Lion do not fire, then Golden Gate invader King Bill looks like he could pick up the pieces at a fat price. In his last, jockey Russell Baze took King Bill five paths wide on the turn and they drifted into the seven path while entering the stretch. I bumped King Bill’s Beyer Speed Figure from 58 to 65 to make up for the lost ground and just a slight improvement would win most races at this class.

My betting strategy: I am betting $350 to win on #3 The Black at less than 2/1 and $500 to win on him at 2/1 or higher. I will try to hit a decent exacta by excluding #8 Patriotic Lion from the second spot while playing some others. I want $20 exactas 3 with 1, 2, 4, 5.  If #4 I Know That is 5/1 or better, then I will take another $10 exacta box 3,4. And at the same 5/1 or better odds, I will take $100 to win on #4 I Know That.

At 10/1 or more, I want a $10 exacta box 2, 3 and $100 to win on #2 King Bill.

Patriotic Lion may dominate this race, so as a hedge I want a $10 trifecta 8 with 3 with 1, 2, 4, 5.  And a $5 trifecta 8 with 2 with 1, 3, 4, 5.

Finally, at odds of 10/1 to 19/1, I will put $100 on both #1 Mr Pappagiorgio and #5 Airplane Mode.

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Facial fractures may keep Baze out of saddle 3-to-8 weeks

Tyler Baze, who was hurt when his mount Night Justice reared at the gate July 24, remained at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla Sunday with orbital fractures around his eye and a broken nose.

Dr. Jeff Umansky, who worked on similar injures suffered by jockey Rafael Bejarano last July, said that Baze may need surgery after the swelling goes down, according to the BloodHorse.  When Night Justice reared, Baze’s face slammed into the back of the horse’s head and the horse stepped on Baze’s calf before running off.

Baze was taken by ambulance to the hospital on Saturday and after the races Bejarano came to support Baze.

“Rafael was holding Tyler’s hand and he had his other hand on Tyler’s forehead,” Baze’s agent Vic Stauffer told the BloodHorse. “When bleeding from Tyler’s broken nose would develop, Rafael would take a tissue and wipe it away. It was amazing; he got Tyler to become much more comfortable with the situation.”

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 5 — lost $450

Trainer Bob Baffert gave a leg up to jockey Rafael Bejarano on 4-to-5 shot Excellent News

Trainer Bob Baffert gave a leg up to jockey Rafael Bejarano on 4-to-5 shot Excellent News

Almost all of Bob Baffert’s horses are bred to win stakes races, so they can dominate a field of maiden special weight sprinters at any moment.

Rafael Bejarano rode #10 Excellent News in her third lifetime race after she spun an 82 Beyer Speed Figure in her second race on Aug. 29. Since the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this race was just an 80, Excellent News was a standout — especially considering that the next highest Beyer was just a 69.

There were no secrets with this filly. She had the top Beyer, a top jockey and a top trainer. It was easy to see her outstanding qualifications and it was no surprise that the public knocked Excellent News’ odds to 4-to-5.

But with odds this low, horses need to win some 70-to-80 percent of the time to make a bet worthwhile. And all of us bettors are all dealing with incomplete information, so it’s tough to find angles that work seven out of 10 times.

A couple of first timers in this race — #4 Stunning Ally and #7 Carrie Rose — had strong long-term angles working for them. And I also took a chance on second-time starter #5 Evening Jewel.

However, Excellent News won like a 4-to-5 shot should win.

At the window, I wagered $200 on Stunning Ally at 9/1, $100 on Evening Jewel at 5/1 and $150 on Carrie Rose at 8/1.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Dance the Dance (CA) Talamo J Hofmans D 37.50 6
2 2 Shesoprovocative (CA) Espinoza V Becerra R 13.20 5
3 3 Pocatello Wild Kat (CA) Baze M Fanning J 63.20 8
4 4 Stunning Ally (CA) Quinonez A Canani J 9.50 4
5 5 Evening Jewel (CA) Smith M Cassidy J 5.40 2
6 6 Giveme Onereason (CA) Santiago Reyes C Solis W 35.10 3
7 7 Carrie Rose (CA) Gomez G Mitchell M 8.30 9
8 8 Tiz Cee’s Ballet (CA) Martin G Locke T 57.40 10
9 9 High Five Gal (CA) Rosario J O’Neill D 7.00 7
10 10 Excellent News (CA) Bejarano R Baffert B 0.80 1
Pgm Win Place Show
10 $3.60 $2.40 $2.40
5 $4.60 $4.20
6 $8.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $8.80 (10-5)
$1.00

Masked man

Jockey Rafael Bejarano will ride with a protective face mask when he returns from injury Aug. 28.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano will ride with a protective face mask when he returns from injury Aug. 28. Bejarano broke his jaw, cheek and nose when his mount Mi Rey went down on Del Mar's Opening Day.

Sunday, Hollywood Park Race 2 — 1:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40,000, 6 furlongs, 3 yo and up, F

Possible overlays               Morning line

#1 Brilliant Response                  3/1
#5 Hannah’s Moment                  6/1
#9 Angel of Mystery                   6/1
#12 Lady Alex                           7/2

Jockey Rafael Bejarano chooses to keep the mount on #1 Brilliant Response after that one ran poorly coming off a nine-month layoff on May 23.  The filly, who is trained by Carla Gaines, has positive long-term angles going for it if betting action shows up.

Also, Gaines’ is only a 12 percent trainer this year, but she wins at 29 percent over the last two years when Bejarano rides.

Two second-time starters look good at the right price. Both #9 Angel of Mystery and #12 Lady Alex have been working out well and they ran decently in their debuts.

Finally, #5 Hannah’s Moment deserves a chance because she has the kind of good early speed that wins at 6 furlongs.

At 2/1 to 7/2, I will bet $300 on #1 Brilliant Response. If she falls out of the betting range, then I will put $150 on #5 Hannah’s Moment at 3/1 or higher, and $200 on both #9 Angel of Mystery and #12 Lady Alex at 5/2 to 7/1 only.

Saturday, Hollywood Park Race 5 — 3 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Calif. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo’s +

Possible overlays                         Morning line

#1 Extended                                 3/1
#4 Brilliant Response                       5/2

There are two $40,000 maiden claiming races for fillies and mares today and the Harris Farms-Carla Gaines-Rafael Bejarano team has a good shot to win them both.

Gaines trains #4 Brilliant Response, who ran decently in two maiden special weight races last summer at Del Mar. Today, she’ll try to win off a nine-month layoff.

Gaines is OK off a layoff, but trainer Brian Koriner is outstanding when the layoff horses he saddles are getting bet. Koriner trains #1 Extended, who has been idle for almost a year, but looks to have the best early speed and that’s important at 5-1/2 furlongs.

I will bet $400 to win on #1 Extended at 2/1 to 7/2, but $200 at 4/1 or better. If #4 Brilliant Response is in the 2/1 to 7/2 range then I will bet $300 to win on her, but only if Extended is either 4/1 or more or 9/5 or less.

© Copyright Maiden King, 2009. Written exclusively for  maidenking.wordpress.com. Not to be duplicated or reprinted, especially by the notorious website “Our Blogs Kentucky Derby Everything You Need To Know.”

Saturday, Hollywood Park Race 1 — 1 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $40,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3+, f&m

Possible overlays            Morning line

 #4 She’s Very Rare                   5/1
#6 Asanti                                  5/2
#9 Gold Image                            8/5

 Of the nine horses going to post, three of them are first-time starters. I will let them beat me if they’re good enough.

Two fillies in here look strikingly similar. Both #6 Asanti and #9 Gold Image are coming off long recent layoffs, they’ve run close to the median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class, and both have the right running style.
 
Gold Image has great connections. Over the years, the Harris Farms-Carla Gaines team won plenty of maiden claiming sprints in Southern California, but they have recently underperformed. Also, jockey Rafael Bejarano won on 15 of the last 51 horses he’s ridden for Gaines, or 29 percent.
 
But Gold Image is likely to be overbet, which is why I’ll probably have my money on Asanti.
 
Another possibility is #4 She’s Very Rare. She was off slowly in her only start and now Garrett Gomez takes the mount. Also, trainer Donald Warren won with four of his last 17 second-time starters.
 
I will bet $250 to win on #6 Asanti or #9 Gold Image at 2/1 to 7/2 only. If both fall into the betting zone, then I will put my money on whoever is longer and wager nothing on the lower-priced one.
 
Also, I want $100 on #4 She’s Very Rare regardless of the prices on Asanti and Gold Image.

 © Copyright Maiden King, 2009. Written exclusively for www.maidenking.wordpress.com. Not to be duplicated or reprinted, especially by a website called Our Blogs Kentucky Derby Everything You Need To Know

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