Results, Del Mar Saturday Race 4 — lost $400

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is part owner of Lions Story, who won Saturday's 4th.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is part owner of Lions Story, who won Saturday's 4th.

The best value horse in this race turned out to be #3 Seattle Ruler. He was making his fourth start and his Beyer Speed Figure improved every time he hit the track. Also, Seattle Ruler showed the quickest first quarter mile in his past performances of any of these runners.

At 19/1, I had $100 on him and Seattle Ruler led most of the way, but was no match for #7 Lions Story, who wore him down in the stretch. I also liked #5 Magic Max, who was making his first lifetime start for trainer Bob Baffert.

Magic Max, who fit the profile of a Baffert debut winner, broke slowly but made a quick wide move on the turn. In the stretch, jockey Victor Espinosa didn’t seem to be riding as hard as he was on the turn and Magic Max flattened out at 6-to-1.

The bettors enthusiastically went for second-time starter Lions Story, who was 7-to-5, and #2 Ivory Fudge, whose post time odds were a mere 2-to-1.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Worth a Punt (KY) Solis A Zucker H 15.40 6
2 2 Ivory Fudge (KY) Gomez G Sadler J 2.30 4
3 3 Seattle Ruler (KY) Garcia M Harrington M 19.20 2
4 4 Alfarabi (KY) Gryder A Harty E 4.20 3
5 5 Magic Max (FL) Espinoza V Baffert B 6.90 5
6 6 Wayman (KY) Pedroza M Mollica M 30.80 7
7 7 Lions Story (FL) Rosario J Hollendorfer J 1.40 1
8 8 Happy M. B. A. (CA) Stra K Ho H 61.00 8
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $4.80 $3.60 $2.80
3 $12.20 $6.20
4 $3.40
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $27.50 (7-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $11.90 (2-1-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $223.00 (7-3-4-2)

Saturday, Del Mar Race 4 — 3:30 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden special weight, 6 furlongs, 2 year olds

Possible overlays                 Morning line

#2 Ivory Fudge                              3/1
#3 Seattle Ruler                             12/1
#5 Magic Max                                 8/1
#7 Lions Story                                2/1

Bob Baffert trains #5 Magic Max and he looks like the type of first-time starter that Baffert wins with regularly. I expect a decent price even though this horse has win-early breeding and has been working out well.

Two second-time starters, #2 Ivory Fudge and #7 Lions Story, look like good bets also, but only at 5/2 or more. The morning line maker made Lions Story the 2-to-1 favorite and I won’t be backing him if his odds are that low.

Baffert's debuter Magic Max looks like a strong bet today

Baffert's debuter Magic Max looks like a strong bet today

A sleeper in here might be #3 Seattle Ruler. He’s been improving with every race and he ran the quickest opening quarter mile of any of these horses when he raced on June 20.

I want $300 to win on #5 Magic Max at 7/2 to 9/1, but $200 at 10/1 to 19/1. I will also take $200 to win on the higher odds horse between #2 Ivory Fudge and #7 Lions Story, as long as that runner is 5/2 or higher.

Finally, at 8/1 or more I will bet $100 on #3 Seattle Ruler.

Results, Hollywood Park Saturday Race 10 — lost $300


Trainer Patrick Biancone is winning with more than 20 percent of his HollyPark runners

The only thing I hate more than watching 7-to-5 shots win races, is when they’re followed home by 2-to-1 second choices.

Who likes that? Even horseplayers clutching $4.80 win tickets and $7.30 exactas squack and humbly make jokes at the payout windows about how little they won.

But these short-priced winners need to come in from time to time to feed the confidence of the people who wager on them. That way, the rest of us can get better prices when chalk players use their winnings to pound the next losing favorite.

That brings me to this race where the Patrick Biancone-trained #11 Zip Quick, 7/5, stalked the pace, went three-wide on the turn and accelerated away from the field in the stretch. Inside of him, was the 2-to-1 first time starter #6 Alfarabi who rushed up on the rail to the lead, but couldn’t hold off Zip Quick.

All of the first-time starters that I was considering went off at higher odds than my 20-to-1 maximum. However, second-time starters #5 Seattle Ruler and #8 Ranger Heartley fell into my odds range, so I was able to wager $150 on each.

I was hoping that these colts learned something in their first starts and were ready to uncork something huge in this race. But nothing unexpected happened, which is why the exacta money covered little more than a hot dog and a Coke at the snack bar.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

4 1 Zero Manners (KY) Pedroza M Tekos, Jr. A 28.60 10
5 2 Seattle Ruler (KY) Garcia M Harrington M 8.50 3
6 3 Alfarabi (KY) Rosario J Harty E 2.30 2
8 4 Ranger Heartley (KY) Sorenson D Hebert J 7.40 8
1 5 Amore Di Aleyna (FL) Arambula P La Croix D 7.60 7
9 6 Saarface (KY) Flores D O’Neill D 18.10 6
10 7 Deputy Max (KY) Blanc B Koriner B 24.50 5
11 8 Zip Quik (NY) Talamo J Biancone P 1.40 1
1A 9 Summers At Delmar (KY) Solis A La Croix D 7.60 4
12 10 Google Me (CA) Scott J Zamora R 99.40 9
SCR Luv Dragon (KY)    
SCR Sterling Outlook (KY)    
SCR Paddy’s Prayer (FL) Bejarano R O’Callaghan C
Pgm Win Place Show
11 $4.80 $3.00 $2.40
6 $3.20 $3.00
5 $4.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $7.30 (11-6)

Saturday, Hollywood Park Race 10 — post time 5:30 pm

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden special weight, 5-1/2 furlongs, 2 year-olds

Possible overlays             Morning line

#3 Paddy’s Prayer                 5/1
#4 Zero Manners                   20/1
#5 Seattle Ruler                    12/1
#8 Ranger Heartley                6/1
#1 Amore Di Aleyna                6/1
#10 Deputy Max                    20/1
#1A Summers at Delmar        6/1

My strategy is to play against #6 Alfarabi, #11 Zip Quick and most likely #3 Paddy’s Prayer. According to the morning line maker, these three colts all figure to be bet from 9/5 to 5/1 and my figures show that these types of horses are terrible wagers at low odds in this type of race.

Instead, I will spread and try to catch a price. None of the second-time starters except #11 Zip Quick ran too strong of a Beyer Speed Figure in their debuts. Mike Harrington trains #5 Seattle Ruler and that one has the quickest first quarter mile, however several of the others either hopped at the start or were off slowly in their first races.

Many times, horses who had trouble at the start in their debuts will comeback and run much better with a good break. First-time starters #3 Paddy’s Prayer, #4 Zero Manners and #10 Deputy Max look like decent wagers, but only if their odds are right.

I will bet $150 to win on both #5 Seattle Ruler and #8 Ranger Heartley at 4/1 or more, and any of these first-time starters but only at odds of 10/1 to 19/1: #3 Paddy’s Prayer, #4 Zero Manners, #10 Deputy Max and #12 Google Me.

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