Results, Friday (Jan. 27) Santa Anita Race 1 — lost $300

Trainer Dave Hofmans saddled #6 One Fast Frog to an easy win

In a race without much speed and light on overall talent, jockey Martin Pedroza and #6 One Fast Frog took an easy lead and the outcome was never in doubt as they won by open lengths.

In my race preview, I avoided One Fast Frog because she was lightly raced and figured to be a short price. However, this filly was dropping in class from maiden special weight, and two races back on Oct. 20 she ran a 69 Beyer Speed Figure, which was just two points away from the winning median Beyer for this level of 71.

She looked good, which is why One Fast Frog paid just $5.

Instead, I took a shot on #3 Cee’s the Year. Trained by Ron Ellis, this was another filly who was a lightly-raced dropper that had a big race on her resume. On Oct. 2, Cee’s the Year, was steadied hard out of the gate by jockey Victor Espinoza. And by the time she got her stride back, she’d lost an estimated eight lengths.

She rallied well to earn a 60 Beyer, but I thought she could do much better with a clean break.

However, she never threatened in this race. When the gates opened, Cee’s the Year broke toward the rear of the seven-horse field. She showed some fleeting hope on the turn by responding to Espinoza’s urging while passing three horses.

On the front end, though, One Fast Frog was opening up a commanding six-length lead and Cee’s the Year had left herself too much to do.

She continued to hug the rail, but seemed to be all out to finish a disappointing third, some eight lengths behind the winner. After Cee’s the Year earned just a meager 55 Beyer, I was out $300.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Hot Little Honey (CA) Delgadillo A Marquez A 24.20 7
2 2 Missie Ky I You (WA) Rosario J Glatt M 4.50 2
3 3 Cee’s the Year (CA) Espinoza V Ellis R 2.30 3
4 4 Pretty Much (CA) Stra K Semkin S 26.50 4
5 5 Constant Saros (CA) Sutherland C Martinez S 31.90 5
6 6 One Fast Frog (KY) Pedroza M Hofmans D 1.50 1
7 7 Regina S. (KY) Talamo J Mulhall K 3.70 6
 
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $5.00 $3.60 $2.40
2 $4.80 $2.60
3 $2.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $9.00 (6-2)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $98.70 (6-2-3-4)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $18.10 (6-2-3)
Fractional Times
22.02, 44.84, 1:09.39, 1:16.03

Simon, Ron and Todd doing their thing

The TVG crew was broadcasting just outside the paddock on Wednesday

Friday, Del Mar Race 2 — 3:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $50K, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo+

Possible overlays                  Morning line

#2 Great Home                              3/1
#4 Temerity                                  5/2
#6 Greely’s Ghost                          12/1

In this seven-horse field, I think #2 Great Home and #4 Temerity have good chances to win at decent odds. On April 29, Great Home was tugging jockey Joel Rosario, which suggests his best distance is probably shorter than the 1-1/16 miles he was running.

Today, trainer Neil Drysdale enters him at this shorter 6-1/2 furlong distance where his lack of speed won’t hurt him and his good late kick fits the winning profile. Great Home has the best last race Beyer Speed Figure, which happens to also be the best Beyer overall.

But Temerity probably ran the best race by any of the runners in here. On Feb. 7, Temerity broke toward the back of the pack in a maiden special weight sprint. On the turn, he came running about seven paths wide and despite the bad trip Temerity still earned an 80 Beyer Speed Figure. Temerity’s race could easily be adjusted to an 88 figuring that he’ll be no wider than the three path today.

As recently as a few years ago, Carla Gaines had one of the highest win percentages with second-time starters. She hasn’t been as successful with these types recently, but #6 Greely’s Ghost looks like the type that could improve dramatically enough to win.

Greely’s Ghost is moving down in class and has at least one quick workout. I’ll like him more if he gets betting action.

I am hoping that the public pounds #5 Loyal Son, who ran an 81 Beyer on July 5. This gelding, who is 5-to-2 on the morning line, hugged the rail that day and had a good trip.

It is difficult for me to separate Great Home and Temerity. But trainer Ron Ellis has had much more success in sprints than Neil Drysdale, so I am leaning toward Temerity.

Anyway, my plan is to bet $250 Temerity at 2/1 to 7/2. But if Temerity is bet outside the zone then instead I will bet $200 on Great Home at 2/1 or more.

Also, if Greely’s Ghost is between 5/1 and 9/1, then I will put $100 on him.

Results, Del Mar Sunday Race 2 — lost $200

Jockey Pedro Arambula and trainer Silverio Martinez rocked Del Mar with a $30 winner

Jockey Pedro Arambula and trainer Silverio Martinez rocked Del Mar with a $30 winner

I did a couple of things right in this race — like laying off the two Doug O’Neill-trained  horses, #5 Moon Over Malibu and #11 Juicy Lucy. These two fillies, who were 7-to-2 and 4-to-1 respectively, have had many chances to win, are usually bet well and have deteriorating form.

I opted, instead, for #10 Artistryandrhythm who was an 8-to-1 shot coming off a layoff of more than a year. This horse’s trainer, Ron Ellis, has a good record with this type of horse and over the years this angle has been profitable.

Artistryandrhythm bounded out of the gate first, which is always a good sign, but ran in the middle of the pack the rest of the way. I also made one major mistake and that was not taking a closer look at the winner, #6 Classy Attraction.

When I checked the early pace with my software, Classy Attraction had the top speed to the quarter mile, which is another money-making angle. In 2008, she was four lengths behind a 20-3/5 second quarter mile and in another race she had the lead with a 21-3/5 second quarter.

But Classy Attraction hadn’t run since May 2008 and I shied away from his low-profile connections of jockey Pedro Arambula and trainer Silverio Martinez. If she was any good, I thought, why wouldn’t somebody more accomplished be training her?

Others must have overlooked her too, as she wired the field and paid $30.40. In the end,  it looks like Arambula and Martinez got the last laugh.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Aldora (KY) Pedroza M Pender M 2.70 2
2 2 Emba U. T. K. (KY) Stra K Ho H 28.60 6
3 3 Dee Dee’s Flight (CA) Delgadillo A Sierra C 19.90 8
4 4 Dan’s Morning Sky (CA) Kaenel K Fulmer D 80.00 10
5 5 Moon Over Malibu (KY) Baze T O’Neill D 3.80 3
6 6 Classy Attraction (KY) Arambula P Martinez S 14.20 1
7 7 Cisco’s Girl (CA) Scott J Flores F 58.00 11
8 8 With Respect (CA) Blanc B McCarthy S 15.80 4
9 9 Sweet Allie Marie (CA) Rosario J Abrams B 4.70 5
10 10 Artistryandrhythm (CA) Santiago Reyes C Ellis R 8.80 7
11 11 Juicy Lucy (CA) Gryder A O’Neill D 4.00 9
 
Pgm Win Place Show
6 $30.40 $13.20 $8.20
1 $4.20 $3.20
5 $3.20
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $75.90 (6-1)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $2928.40 (6-1-5-8)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $325.20 (6-1-5)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $184.80 (3-6)
$2.00 Quinella paid $69.40 (1-6)

Sunday, Del Mar Race 2 — 2:30 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, F

Possible overlays                      Morning line

#10 Artistryandrythm                 6/1

This race looks weak for the level, as the median winning Beyer Speed Figure is 67, yet few horses in the field have run recent races in the 60’s. Yes, trainer Doug O’Neill starts two runners, but #5 Moon Over Malibu lost his last five sprints at less than 4-to-1, and #11 Juicy Lucy was the beaten favorite in her last three.

They are both desperately in need of a win and no doubt have found their correct level — the bottom. Instead of taking another chance on either one of them, I will probably be betting #10 Artistryandrythm, who trainer Ron Ellis is bringing back from a layoff of more than a year.

Over the years, this is the type of horse that hits the winners circle frequently enough to be a long-term money winner for backers. The public is infatuated with Beyer Speed Figures run by recently raced horses and, in general, shies away from those laid up for long periods. To me, that flawed thinking equals $$$.

Trainer Ellis has a good record with this type of animal, and the only thing that concerns me is that most of these layoff winners ran their best after having a race back.

In any event, I will put $200 on #10 Artistryandrhythm at 2/1 to 9/1 only.

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 6 — lost $400

Trainer Ron Ellis continues to do well with horses coming off of layoffs

Trainer Ron Ellis continues to do well with horses coming off of layoffs

Horseplayers bet #2 Unionize in this race like he couldn’t lose.

And, of course, not only did he lose but Unionize didn’t even hit the board.

The Clifford Sise-trained colt was coming off of two second-place finishes where he earned Beyer Speed Figures of 90 and 87. Bettors pounded Unionize to 3-to-5, and I looked at the show pool with about 10 minutes to go and Unionize had $51,000 of the $60,000 that was wagered.

Obviously, a bride jumper dumped $40,000 to $45,000 to show on Unionize, which created inflated payoffs for the first, second and third finishers in that pool.

For example, #6 Speight the Halo ran third at 7-to-2 and paid $16.40 to show while #9 Truest Legend won the race, but his show payoff of $32.80 was larger than the $24.60 he paid to win.

Score one for the folks who bet horses across the board.

Truest Legend, who was making his second lifetime start, had a published purchase price of $240,000. But the best thing about him was that Ron Ellis was doing the training.

Coming into the race Ellis had won with four of his last 14 runners coming off layoffs of six months or more. And Truest Legend hadn’t run since September when he showed good speed at Fairplex before falling apart in the stretch at 53-to-1.

In this race, Truest Legend blasted from the gate and established a large lead by running the first quarter mile in 21.25 seconds. He rolled through the next quarter in 22.24 seconds, then if anybody was going to catch him they would have blown by when Truest Legend could only muster a third quarter in 25.52 seconds.

But none of the other eight horses made a move.

I focused my betting on #6 Speight the Halo, who I bet $200 on at 7/2 and boxed him in the exacta with the favorite for $100 each way.

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

 

 

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Absolutlypositivly (CA) Garcia M Chew M 55.50 7
2 2 Unionize (KY) Baze T Sise, Jr. C 0.60 4
3 3 Collalto (CA) Baze M Chew M 44.10 8
4 4 Kumiva (KY) Bejarano R Bell, II T 10.20 5
5 5 Brian the Brave (KY) Hill C O’Callaghan C 29.90 6
6 6 Speight the Halo (KY) Gryder A Harty E 3.60 3
7 7 Margarita Shot (KY) Delgadillo A DeLeon R 11.50 2
8 8 Right One (KY) Rosario J Lobo P 20.00 9
9 9 Truest Legend (FL) Espinoza V Ellis R 11.30 1
 
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $24.60 $13.20 $32.80
7 $10.80 $25.20
6 $16.40
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $100.30 (9-7)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $604.40 (8-6-9)
$1.00

Saturday, Santa Anita Race 4 — 2:03 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 6 furlongs, 4 yo’s and up

Possible overlays                               Morning line

#3 Total Sum                                             5/2
#7 Lago de Oro                                          3/1

Five of these eight colts and geldings are coming off of recent long layoffs, but the two best look like #3 Total Sum and #7 Lago de Oro.

Total Sum is trained by Ron Ellis who has had success with maiden claimers coming off long layoffs, especially when they are making their third lifetime starts. In February 2008, Total Sum came up the inside on his own power to press the pace in a $40,000 maiden claiming race, so he has the necessary speed to win here. This horse’s Beyer Speed Figures of 58 and 54 look weak considering that most of these races are won by a 74 or better.

But Total Sum posted his numbers early in his 3-year-old season, so his natural maturity should allow him to run faster.

Lago de Oro came off a 10-month break on Feb. 20 where he earned a 61 Beyer Speed Figure while showing a bit of early speed at this same class level. On March 13, he also ran a 61, but at the start Lago de Oro bumped another horse slightly, showed speed while four or five wide on the turn, then had no stretch punch. I adjusted his Beyer Speed Figure to 69 because of the trouble and he looks like he may put it all together today.  

Although #1 Winterscore’s speed is dangerous, I don’t think he can run with Total Sum or Lago de Oro. Trainer Mel Stute likes to run them into shape and he upgrades jockeys on Winterscore from Delgadillo to Tyler Baze. I would consider this horse if both Total Sum and Lago de Oro were dead on the board.

Big Water, #2, looks like he’d like 6-1/2 or 7 furlongs much better and first timers that look like #4 Treadwell don’t win often enough to make them  worthwhile bets.

I will wager $400 on #3 Total Sum at 7/2 or less and $200 on Lago de Oro at 2/1 to 7/2 only.

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 5 — lost $550

Trainer Ron Ellis scored with a longshot FTS #3 Canonize

Trainer Ron Ellis scored with longshot FTS #3 Canonize

Horseplayers have core handicapping beliefs that tend to make them favor safe maidens — like recently raced runners with high Beyer numbers, while steering clear of perceived riskier types — like longshot first time starters and horses coming off long layoffs.

Thoroughbred racing is a good gambling game, because if horseplayers look closely enough, and mine enough coal, they’ll discover a few types of bets where they’ll have a long-term advantage. Of course, if bettors show a healthy profit on certain types of wagers, then other types must be huge losers.

It’s just the nature of the game. 

If the track takeout is 15 percent, not every angle over time will return 85 cents for every dollar bet. Some will return $1.25, while others just 65 cents.

And I’ve discovered one of the absolute worst bets in Southern California. It’s a first-time starter whose post time odds are below 7-to-2. So many times I see debut horses breaking slowly or not running their best until their second start. So, why take a short price?

According to my records, of the 203 first timers I have who were less than 7-to-2, just 44 of them won or 21 percent. And if you bet them all, you’d be losing 33 cents on the dollar. So, why bet any of them?

Most of these horses have high percentage jockeys and trainers, a hefty purchase price, and lots of good workouts including several bullets. Believe me, when you see one of these animals do your bank account a favor and stay away.

In Saturday’s fifth race, #10 Raymorrison was just such a beast. This first timer was hammered down to 2-to-1 by Santa Anita horseplayers, who must have been baited in by the perceived safety of Raymorrison’s six bullet workouts, decent connections and $110,000 purchase price.

Raymorrison ended up running fairly well, as he stalked the pace and hung on for second. The one positive aspect of these low-performing, heavily bet first timers is that they create opportunities for overlays on other horses in the race.

In Saturday’s race, first timers #6 Company Tiger and #11 Hidden Blessing  had long-term profitable angles going for them. And #3 Canonize was another profit fit until his price drifted out of my 7/2 to 19/1 betting zone as the horses were loading into the gate. Maybe it was the 50,000 fans onhand for the SA Derby that pushed up the price.

Anyway, Canonize ended up winning the race by open lengths for trainer Ron Ellis and he paid $49.20.

My plan was to bet $250 on #3 Canonize if his post time odds landed between 7/2 and 19/1. I would have won about $5,000 if he stayed at 19/1 but since Canonize was 23/1 my alternative plan kicked in so I did not have a nickel of website money on him. 

In the end, I ended up betting $150 on #6 Company Tiger at 9/1; and $200 on both #8 Vanquest at 5/2 and #11 Hidden Blessing at 5/1.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Caspian (KY) Solis A Hendricks D 15.50 5
2 2 Candy Store (KY) Nakatani C Yakteen T 21.10 10
3 3 Canonize (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Ellis R 23.60 1
4 4 Gato Roar (KY) Baze T Mullins J 16.80 6
5 5 Ego (KY) Baze M Vargas J 50.90 9
6 6 Company Tiger (KY) Rosario J Paasch C 9.60 11
7 7 Ducane (KY) Flores D Pletcher T 13.40 8
8 8 Vanquest (NY) Garcia M Sadler J 2.60 3
9 9 Best Mon (KY) Bejarano R Harty E 13.00 7
10 10 Raymorrison (KY) Gryder A McAnally R 2.30 2
11 11 Hidden Blessing (KY) Gomez G Armstrong J 5.50 4
 
Pgm Win Place Show
3 $49.20 $19.00 $7.20
10 $4.20 $3.20
8 $3.00
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $119.50 (3-10)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $758.10 (6-6-3)
$1.00 Superfecta

Sunday, Santa Anita Race 4 — 2:03 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 7 furlongs, 3 yo’s

Possible overlays                          Morning line

#4 Mont La Salle                                 4/1
#8 Hurley’s Way                                  5/2
#9 Olympic Magic                                3/1

This looks like a three-horse race to me.

The Ronald Ellis-trained #9 Olympic Magic has the best early speed and has been running Beyer numbers in the mid-to-upper 60’s recently.

In his last race, #4 Mont La Salle was wide on both turns while still earning a 65 Beyer Speed Figure, so it seems reasonable that he can run in the low 70’s.

On Jan. 19, #8 Hurley’s Way swung six or seven wide rounding the turn in a 7 furlong sprint. He didn’t have the final gear in the stretch to get by Jazzin Razz that day, but I think Bob Baffert learned something about his horse. After four previous unsuccessful tries at various class levels and distances, I think Baffert decided that Hurley’s Way was a 7-furlong horse that could win a $32,000 claiming race.

Hurley’s Way hasn’t run since Jan. 19, as Baffert’s been tuning him up and he looks to be ready to run a big one.

I will bet $250 on #8 Hurley’s Way at 2/1 or better, but if he’s bet to 9/5 or less then I want $200 on whoever is a longer price between #4 Mont Las Salle and #9 Olympic Magic.

Friday, Santa Anita Race 3 — 2:03 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 3-year-old fillies

Possible overlays                                           Morning line

#4 Sky Marni                                                       8/1
#7 Holychoir                                                       7/2
#8 Not So Plain Jane                                           8/1

In this 11-horse field, seven first-timers are going as well as four fillies running for the second time that were all trounced by more than 10 lengths in their first races.

The best-looking debut horse is #7 Holychoir who has been working out well and is the daughter of Swiss Yodeler. Another bettable first-timer is #4 Sky Marni, while second-time starter #8 Not So Plain Jane is trained by Paul Aguirre, who won with six of his last 16 horses running  for the second time.

Many capable trainers are in this race, so it would not surprise me to see Ron Ellis, Darrell Vienna or Craig Lewis getting their photo snapped in the winner’s circle at about 2:10 p.m PST. But I can’t bet their horses in this spot, so if they beat me, I will just move on to race eight. 

At the betting window, I will put $250 on #7 Holychoir at 7/2 to 19/1, $150 on #4 Sky Marni at 10/1 to 19/1 and $100 on #8 Not So Plain Jane from 3/1 to 8/1.

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