This appeared to be a weak field for the level because none of these runners approached the median 82 Beyer Speed Figure that’s usually needed to win.
Surprisingly, the public settled on #5 Rented Cop as the 8-to-5 favorite. I assume it was because Rented Cop was dropping from maiden special weight into claiming. Although this gelding showed some speed in his debut, he really had not shown much overall promise.
Rented Cop’s 43 and 64 Beyer Speed Figures were nothing special and he was an easy favorite to wager against. On the rail, #1 Crazy Wager was 10 or 11 paths wide entering the stretch in his last, so I bumped his speed figure from 66 to 76 to make up for the lost ground.
And #7 Final Journey could have been any kind. He ran OK in his only lifetime start last February, but his workouts were all slow ones. Regardless, I gave trainer Marty Jones the benefit of the doubt.
In the race, apprentice jockey Christian Reyes-Santiago went right to the lead with 18-to-1 shot #3 Del Mar Express. The only problem with that strategy is that early speed is not as valuable at 6-1/2 furlongs as it is at shorter distances. Before even hitting the turn, Del Mar Express was tackled by #2 Velikaya on the inside and Rented Cop on the outside.
Del Mar Express backed up fast on the turn while Rented Cop continued to duke it out with Velikaya. By this time, Final Journey had worked his way through the pack to be third at the top of the stretch.
At 7-to-1, Final Journey rallied to the lead at the eighth pole and Crazy Wager, at 9-to-2, also showed a good late kick to get second.
I bet $400 on Crazy Wager and $300 on Final Journey. I got back $2,520 for a gain of $1,820.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.