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.