Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 2 — lost $500

Baffert and Gomez tandem is the worst kept secret at Santa Anita

The Baffert and Gomez tandem is the worst kept secret at Santa Anita

I think I need to buy a noise maker, or at least a balloon.

It seems like the only appropriate thing to do at a parade.

Since Feb. 15, I have been watching a procession of maiden chalk march into the winner’s circle at Santa Anita. Roll back your mouse wheel to the last nine races bet on this site and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

If you don’t have time to look back, then I’ll tell you: The winners of six of the last nine races I bet paid a stimulus-seeking $5.20 or less, and three of the nine returned no more than $3.20. 

And, of course, I am left with empty pockets because I would never bet a So. Cal. maiden at 2-to-1 or less.

The paltry payoffs began Feb. 15 with High Note’s $5.20, Shock the Board followed at a hefty $30.70, then it was Mr. Holmes, $4.60; Elusive Chief, $7; Zensational, $3.20; Lady Lumberjack, $3; Scored, $14.60 and in race 2 on Saturday, Turk, $3.

To make matters worse, I finished second at fat prices in six of these races, some of which were tight photos. I had Sangaree at 7/1, Shiksa, Off the Wall and Zephaniah — all at 11-to-1, I Can Here at the respectable odds of 7-to-2, and Monolingual at 5-to1. I won with Elusive Chief at 5-to-2 and was waiting to bet monster longshot Shock the Board, but his odds drifted past 20-to-1 two minutes before post.

The damage has amounted to $2,600 in losses so far. I’m confident that these overbet favorites will start to lose sooner or later, but God only knows when.    

And that, my friends, is why you don’t quit your day job.

My bets on Saturday were $250 on both #2 Monolingual and #4 Great Legacy.

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

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Turk (KY) Gomez G Baffert B 0.50 1
2 2 Monolingual (KY) Bejarano R Sadler J 5.30 2
3 3 Sweet Maker (KY) Talamo J Koriner B 27.70 3
4 4 Great Legacy (KY) Husbands P Harty E 8.60 6
5 5 Fabulous Forum (TX) Rosario J Miller P 15.30 4
6 6 Caspian (KY) Solis A Hendricks D 4.70 5
 
Pgm Win Place Show
1 $3.00 $2.40 $2.10
2 $3.80 $3.00
3 $4.60
 
Exotic Payoffs
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Results, Santa Anita Monday Race 6 — lost $450

Trainer Mike Harrington lit up the board with 30/1 first timer #2 Shock the Board

Trainer Mike Harrington lit up the tote with 30/1 first timer #2 Shock the Board

In horse racing, winning is so sweet because there are so many ways to lose a race.

And some beats sting a lot more than others.

The laws of probabilities seem to be stacked against  horseplayers in any one race, even if they choose the right contenders and only bet them at good prices.

Of course, it’s easy to shrug off winning horses that are tossed out as non-contenders — whether they are favorites or long shots — because they are going to win their share of races.

You can easily rationalilze those because they don’t win enough at prices that make them profitable in the long run.

But the real pain starts when the odds on a horse you really like dip below your betting zone, so you lay off. Then you sit there and watch it win, while gritting your teeth as others celebrate around you.

You can rationalize those, too, easily enough by looking at the measly prices of $5.60 or $4.80 on the tote board.

But, to me, the biggest punch in the stomach in racing is when the odds on a runner you picked are sitting perfectly in your betting zone, then drift too high at the last minute. You can’t bet, and when the horse wins it’s really a killer.

Which brings us to Monday’s sixth race, where the odds on first-time starter #2 Shock the Board were fluctuating between 16-to-1 to 18-to-1 for all of the pre-race period. I was fully prepared to bet it at anything less than 20-to-1.

But with two minutes to post, the odds on Shock the Board went to 23-to-1.

Mike Harrington trained it, owned it and worked it two bullets. And he did one more thing right with Shock the Board — after seeing the $62.40 price the horse paid, it was obvious that he gave the animal the right name.

I also bet $350 on the Mike Mitchell-trained #3 Morton Owen at 7-to-2, $100 on #4 Gretsky, who was second.

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

 

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Foreign Taurean (KY) Gryder A Knapp S 5.10 7
2 2 Shock the Board (CA) Garcia M Harrington M 30.20 1
1A 3 Fiery Rebel (KY) Nakatani C Knapp S 5.10 9
3 4 Morton Owen (KY) Bejarano R Mitchell M 3.60 4
4 5 Gretsky (KY) Rosario J Drysdale N 5.20 2
5 6 Ben’s Bullet (FL) Potts C La Croix D 22.30 5
6 7 Bradytomoss (NY) Baze T Kitchingman A 9.10 8
7 8 Arm Chair Q B (CA) Talamo J Koriner B 15.40 6
8 9 Dubai Rainbow (FL) Valdivia, Jr. J Ellis R 2.40 3
9 10 Atlantic Victory (CA) Rios J McAnally R 7.20 10
 
Pgm Win Place Show
2 $62.40 $24.00 $11.20
4 $6.60 $4.00
8 $2.80
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $205.20 (2-4)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $405.80
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