Results: Lost $1,090. Had $700 to win on #6 Royal Import at 4-1, $50 on #2 Born to Waltz at 14-1, and $40 worth of trifectas keying #6 Royal Import.
Possible overlays Morning line
#1 Donthaveatizzy 10/1
#5 Born to Cus 8/1
#6 Wicked Mischief 8/1
#7 Sven Diesel 8/1
#9 Fiery Rebel 7/2
#10 Megillah 9/2
#11 Hotsie 8/1
This race has many possible winners and I will be paying close attention to the odds board for further clues.
The horse who has the best past performances is #9 Fiery Rebel. On June 19, he was wide on the turn, so I adjusted his 72 Beyer Speed Figure to 76. then on July 3, Fiery Rebel shot to a 2-1/2 length lead down the backstretch and kept that margin into the stretch in a 7-furlong race, only to lose by a nose at the wire. He still ran an 80 Beyer and if the race was a half a furlong shorter, his speed figure likely would have been better. Jockey Felipe Valdez, who went too wide on June 19 then too fast too early on July 3, is being replaced today by Garrett Gomez — a huge upgrade.
One training move Robert Hess seems to excel at is bringing maiden claimers off layoffs. He saddles #11 Hotsie and I will like this son of Flame Thrower more if the betting action is hot.
However, jockey Victor Espinoza jumps off Hotsie to ride #10 Megillah. This Erik Kruljac trainee ran two credible races in the Spring at Santa Anita and is coming off a four-month layoff. My figures scream at me not to bet this horse, but in the Daily Racing Form I see that Kruljac won with six of his last 20 runners who were off from 61-180 days. And the average payoff for those runners was 7-to-2. Also, Kruljac and Espinoza won with nine of their last 36 and anybody who bet them all would be have gotten $1.76 for every $1 wagered.
One of the quickest horses in the race is #5 Born to Cus. I am throwing his last race out as jockey Joel Rosario took him to the lead then merely breezed him from the turn to the wire. On May 22, this 3-year-old showed good speed in a 7-furlong race before tiring, then on June 21 he came with a nice 4-wide rally. Today’s 6 furlong distance fits this gelding’s running style and, although he’s never run better than a 68, I believe Born to Cus can run a low-to-mid 70’s Beyer Speed Figure.
The key to the rail horse, #1 Donthaveatizzy — a second-time starter who has been laid off for a year — will be his post time odds. If Donthaveatizzy is 10-to-1 or higher I don’t think he’ll run well. But he’s dangerous if bet to 2/1 to 7/2 and has an outside chance at 4/1 to 9/1.
Finally, two first time starters deserve a long look. The first is #6 Wicked Mischief, whose listed purchase price at the Keeneland September sale is $160,000. Today, Wicked Mischief is entered for just $25,000, but Rosario is riding this one instead of Born to Cus and trainer Mike Mitchell has a great winning percentage in maiden claiming sprints for older horses.
The second debuter is #7 Sven Diesel. Usually, I would not consider a first time starter in these types of races, but Sven Diesel’s trainer Peter Eurton has won with two first timers in three tries at this class. Larry Zap, who purchases horses with Eurton, wrote today on his Twitter page: “(Sven Diesel is) something to root for and maybe bet a couple $$ on…little guy can run a little.”
My wagering possibilities are many, so I am ranking my horses in order of preference. So if more than one horse fits into the following betting zones, then I will bet the top three horses in this ranking order #9 Fiery Rebel, #5 Born to Cus, #7 Sven Diesel, #10 Megillah, #11 Hotsie and #6 Wicked Mischief.
If #11 Hotsie is 2/1 to 7/2 then I will bet $200 to win on him, but if he is 4/1 to 9/1 then my bet reduces to $150. At 10/1 and up, I’ll bet just $50.
On #10 Megillah, I will take $150 to win at odds of 3/1 to 8/1 only. As for #9 Fiery Rebel, I want $200 to win at 5/2 and up.
At 4/1 and up, I will take $150 to win on #5 Born to Cus. At 3/1 to 6/1, I will bet $150 on #6 Wicked Mischief and $200 on #7 Sven Diesel at 7/2 to 11/1.
Possible Overlays Morning line
#1 No Caps No Floors 15/1
#3 Learn the Sport 10/1
#4 Justice Reigns 5/1
#6 Escaping the Storm 3/1
#8 Eisenheim 4/1
Three contenders in here are coming off recent layoffs and, at the right prices, I think they are better bets than either #2 Great Raid or the 5-to-2 morning line favorite, #5 Box Office Star.
Garrett Gomez rides #8 Eisenheim and this $250,000 purchase ran five times in the maiden special weight ranks before dropping into a $62,500 claimer on April 24. In this more realistic spot, Eisenheim led for half of the 6-1/2 furlong race before finishing third. After a two-month break, Eisenheim came back for $40,000 on June 25 at Hollywood Park, but curiously Gomez restrained the colt toward the back of the pack. This sudden change in running style leads me to believe that owner Jerome Moss and trainer John Sadler were saving Eisenheim’s best shot for today at Del Mar.
Robert Hess trains #6 Escaping the Storm who is switching from turf to synthetic after two decent runs in 6 furlong maiden special weight races. When bet, both Hess and Sadler have excellent records with these types of horses.
On June 25, the Lisa Lewis-trained #4 Justice Reigns looked like he was on cruise the whole way, as jockey Alex Solis didn’t appear to be asking the gelding to give his all. In my eyes, this colt looks alot like Escaping the Storm and Eisenheim, although I like the other two more.
I will be watching the toteboard on two second-time starters, #1 No Caps No Floors and #3 Learn the Sport. Both can be safely avoided in the win pool at 10-to-1 or more, but I will give them a chance at 5/2 to 9/1.
At the window, I will play $350 to win on #8 Eisenheim at 2/1 to 7/2, but just $200 at 4/1 or more. On #6 Escaping the Storm, I want $200 to win at 2/1 to 7/2, but just $100 at 4/1 or better. If either of the top are bet below the 2/1 to 7/2 zone, then I want $175 on #4 Justice Reigns at 2/1 or more.
Also, if Eisenheim or Escaping the Storm are bet below 2/1 then I will also put $50 to win on the longer price of #1 No Caps No Floors and #3 Learn the Sport as long as they are 9/1 or less.
Maiden claiming $25,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 4 yo’s and up
Possible overlays Morning line
#8 Smokin Anne 3/1
A few horses, in their previous races, have exceeded the median winning Beyer Speed Figure of 68 for this level.
Speed horse #6 Hannah’s Moment ran a 73 Beyer on Jan. 3 when she was loose on the lead against $40,000 maiden claimers. A 7-year-old maiden, #7 Shezbad is coming off a 21-month layoff, but four of her five races in 2006-07 met or exceeded a 68 Beyer. And the 2-to-1 morning line favorite, #11 River Spey finished third on Jan. 30 while running a 73.
However, I am focusing on #8 Smokin Anne. This 5-year-old mare has been off for 2-1/2 years, but showed good speed as a 2-year-old while finishing second against 10 maiden special weight rivals. Trainer Robert Hess has put a couple of quick workouts into her and if she’s well bet I will take it as a positive.
Therefore, I will wager $350 to win on #8 Smokin Anne at 2/1 to 7/2 only.
It was only his third attempt at maiden claimers, but it took #8 Magna Cum Laude sixteen races to earn his diploma. Trainer Robert Hess got this gelding from Aidan O’Brien who had been running him in sprint races on the Irish courses — Fairyhouse, Dundalk and Naas.
Magna Cum Laude was given lasix, which is illegal in Ireland, but didn’t hit the board in six Southern California tries against maiden special weights — five of which were on the grass.
Hess dropped him to maiden claiming on Oct. 26 and the horse responded with a clear lead for most of the 7-furlong race, as he tried to wire the field but faded to third. On Monday, jockey Chantal Sutherland put Magna Cum Laude back on the lead and he survived a late run by #1 Larrylarrylarry to hit the winner’s circle.
I bet $300 on Larrylarrylarry, who went off at 4-to-1, and he ran well to finish second. I also considered #10 Six Pack Man, but he was bet below my minimum odds of 2-to-1.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com