Results, Sunday, Santa Anita Race 2 — won $530

The glaring problem when looking at this lineup in my race preview was that all of the runners had serious flaws.

My task was then to try to find the fillies who were going off at decent prices that may either dramatically improve or run well enough to win a weak race.

On the inside, #2 Mango Tart had the best races of any in her past performance lines. Her main knocks were that she was stretching out a bit and had run just three times. Therefore, I couldn’t bet her at anything less than 2-to-1. At post time, the public made her the overwhelming 6-to-5 favorite, so I quickly eliminated her as a betting possibility.

Two fillies —  #3 Warren’s Assassin and #5 Kvell — competed in the same race three times since September and they finished within a half-length of each other every time. These two experienced runners had a total of 17 starts between them, but the highest Beyer Speed Figure either of them ever earned was the 56 granted to Kvell on Dec. 2.

In the past, they hit the board several times, but with the median winning Beyer Speed Figure being 64 for this class, Kvell and Warren’s Assassin would need to improve by some four lengths to match the par.

Of course, it could be done, but it wouldn’t be easy.

A second-time starter, #6 Frannie was being hyped by the Daily Racing Form where the handicapper noted that she ran OK after a wide trip. I adjusted her Beyer Speed Figure from 50 to 60 after watching the replay, but I had no faith in this horse either because she had run just one time.

Breaking from the far outside, #7 Here Comes Bonnie showed good early speed in her last two races. In a race on Dec. 4, Here Comes Bonnie missed by just a nose, but earned an abysmal 44 Beyer. When she popped and stopped on Dec. 30, she got just an 11 from the Beyer crew.

Again, no faith.

Of course, one of these fillies had to win this race, but since anything could happen I saw no reason to take a low price. I reduced my bets and planned to watch the tote board.

I figured that Kvell could win if none of the inexperienced runners fired. And since Santa Anita has an early speed bias, maybe Here Come Bonnie might run the race of her life.

Finally, I bet $200 on Kvell at 4/1 and $100 on Here Comes Bonnie at 7/1. I collected $830 for a horse that I really didn’t know much about or like too much, which is the beauty of playing the board and shopping for value.

In the end, Victor Espinoza rode Here Comes Bonnie with confidence, as he surged the filly to the lead while going wide on the turn. She was clearly in front throughout the stretch and nobody threatened her the rest of the way. She earned a 64 Beyer.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Wild in the Saddle (CA) Castanon A Lucas R 70.00 6
2 2 Mango Tart (KY) Flores E Capestro P 1.20 3
3 3 Warren’s Assassin (CA) Quinonez A Gutierrez J 5.00 2
4 4 Central Heat (CA) Vergara D Abrams B 29.90 7
5 5 Kvell (FL) Bejarano R Miller P 4.30 5
6 6 Frannie (KY) Blanc B Tsagalakis M 3.40 4
7 7 Here Comes Bonnie (CA) Espinoza V Cassidy J 7.30 1
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $16.60 $7.20 $4.20
3 $5.60 $3.20
2 $2.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $39.60 (7-3)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $403.80 (7-3-2-6)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $150.10 (7-3-2)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $69.40 (6-7)
Fractional Times
23.25, 47.03, 1:12.08, 1:24.97

Results, Del Mar Sunday Race 5 — won $270

ist2_5589853-moneytip-jar-series[1]In this race, jockey Garrett Gomez was riding the 9-to-5 morning line favorite #3 Bench the Judge. This colt was making its second start and had performed well in its July 5 debut.

Maybe if Bench the Judge was 5-to-2 or more I would have considered him, but with Gomez it wasn’t difficult to forecast this colt’s minuscule 4-to-5 post time odds. And that made it easy to look elsewhere for the winner.

I had a few possibilities: The owner of #6 Runaway Bandido, Judi Partridge,  won with a couple of debuters from a limited sample and Carla Gaines, the trainer of #5 John Scott, has a good record when her first-timers get betting action.

I also saw a few things to like in other debuters #10 L’Il Charlie Rose, #11 Twenty Hawks and #1A Full Effect. 

I was waiting for odds of 10/1 to 19/1 on #6 Runaway Bandido, #10 Charlie Rose and #11 Twenty Hawks. With a minute to post they were all in the range, so I bet them and #5 John Scott, who fell into my 3/1 to 9/1 parameter.

Runaway Bandido broke toward the back of the back, but came with a huge run in the stretch to briefly hold the lead with 100 yards to go. He almost gave me a giant payoff, as he clicked up to 21-to-1 in the final flash. Of course, I couldn’t have claimed the win on the blog, but real money is OK, too.

However, John Scott’s jockey Victor Espinoza was also hitting the gas in the stretch and that colt outran Runaway Bandido to the wire. Favorite Bench the Judge led at the top of the lane, but faded to third.

I had $150 on John Scott and collected $720, however subtracting out my three $150 wagers left me with only a $270 profit.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

2 1 Killer Bear (CA) Blanc B Knapp S 37.90 5
3 2 Bench the Judge (KY) Gomez G O’Neill D 0.90 3
4 3 Sammy’s a Runnin’ (CA) Baze M Sherman A 7.70 6
5 4 John Scott (CA) Espinoza V Gaines C 3.80 1
1 5 Zees Echo (CA) Talamo J Harrington M 9.10 8
6 6 Runaway Bandido (CA) Quinonez A Becerra R 21.30 2
9 7 Ministers Power (CA) Kaenel K Bonde J 46.70 7
10 8 L’Il Charlie Rose (CA) Pedroza M O’Neill D 13.90 10
11 9 Twenty Hawks (CA) Baze T Warren D 12.70 4
12 10 Screwball (CA) Delgadillo A Cenicola L 63.40 11
1A 11 Full Effect (CA) Garcia M Harrington M 9.10 9
SCR A Plus Topper (CA)    
SCR Boldnregent (CA) Atkinson P Stute M
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $9.60 $6.80 $3.80
6 $16.40 $6.80
3 $2.40
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $73.90 (5-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $265.30 (2-7-5)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $1796.20 (5-6-3-11)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $221.30 (5-6-3)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $183.20 (7-5)
$2.00 Quinella paid $116.00 (5-6)

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)

Results, Hollywood Park Saturday Race 5 — won $1,540

suitcase-money_~bxp27828[1]When I looked at this race the night before, I couldn’t figure out why the morning-line maker was favoring #2 Sterling Outlook and #4 Roman Counsel over #9 Really Uptown.

In his two lifetime races, Really Uptown ran Beyer Speed Figures of 71 and 74, while Sterling Outlook earned just a 59 in his only race and second-time starter Roman Counsel got a 69 for his debut. The figures on the latter two horses would have been OK had they shown superior early speed, but Really Uptown pressed a quarter mile in 21-4/5ths seconds on May 7, while the other two sat behind a pace that was a full second slower in their debuts. Furthermore, in his May 7 race, Really Uptown broke out of the disadvantageous post postion number 6 at 4-1/2 furlongs, so he didn’t get an easy trip. 

Yet, the morning line had Sterling Outlook at 3-to-1, Roman Counsel at 5-to-2 and Really Uptown at 9-to-2. To me, something was very wrong with that picture.

During Saturday’s actual betting, the public pounded first-time starter #10 The Skinny Man down to 6-to-5 and sent Roman Counsel off as the 7-to-2 second choice. They were more realistic about Sterling Outlook’s chances, making him 5-to-1, and Really Uptown left the gate at 9-to-2.

During the running of the race, Roman Counsel shot from the stalls and quickly established a one-length lead on three horses: Sterling Outlook, #7 Southern Saint and The Skinny Man, who ran together into the turn. Meanwhile, jockey Victor Espinosa was content to sit four-lengths off the pace with Really Uptown.

But midway on the turn, Espinosa made a three-wide move with Really Uptown to get within a length of Roman Counsel who was game. He inched into that one’s lead, then Really Uptown got up in the final stride to beat his stablemate.

I bet $150 on first timers #1 Icey Temper at 13/1 and $150 on #5 Siete Machos at 19/1. Also, I had a $400 bet on Really Uptown for which I got back $2,250 resulting in a $1,550 profit.

© Copyright Maiden King, 2009. Written exclusively for Not to be duplicated or reprinted.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Icey Temper (KY) Solis A Ayers R 13.20 6
2 2 Sterling Outlook (KY) Baze T Miller P 5.10 4
3 3 Ranger Heartley (KY) Sorenson D Hebert J 62.10 5
4 4 Roman Counsel (CA) Gryder A Harrington M 3.90 2
5 5 Siete Machos (NY) Rosario J Solis W 19.10 9
6 6 Summers At Delmar (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J La Croix D 75.00 7
7 7 Southern Saint (KY) Garcia M Guillot E 29.20 10
9 8 Really Uptown (CA) Espinoza V Harrington M 4.60 1
10 9 The Skinny Man (KY) Nakatani C O’Neill D 1.20 3
11 10 Saarface (KY) Baze M O’Neill D 53.80 8
SCR Get My Fix (KY) Talamo J Koriner B
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $11.20 $4.80 $3.00
4 $4.20 $2.60
10 $2.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $18.70 (9-4)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $92.10 (8-3-9)
$1.00 Superfecta

Results, Hollywood Park Monday Race 10 — lost $450

Trainer Bob Baffert closed out Memorial Day by winning with #8 Only Be Cause

Trainer Bob Baffert closed out Memorial Day by winning with #8 Only Be Cause

Second-time starter #12 Bango popped out of the gate and led for most of the race by open lengths. This 9/2 shot, who is trained by Jorge Periban, had a two-length lead in midstretch, but he quit badly as #8 Only Be Cause inherited the front and put trainer Bob Baffert back in the winner’s circle.

Only Be Cause was making his eleventh lifetime start, however only three of them came at maiden claiming $32,000. I had him rated about the same as #7 Domestic Gold, who did not fire at 7/2.

In his previous five races, Only Be Cause never went off at odds higher than 3-to-1, and this race was no different as he was the 2-to-1 favorite. On social networking site Twitter, poster @larryzapeye was at Hollywood Park and minutes before the race he provided his reasoning for betting Only Be Cause:  “Baffert is still here and horse looks healthy.”

During the race, jockey Victor Espinoza sat Only Be Cause about four lengths off Bango’s lead. Espinoza asked for more in the stretch and, with the wire approaching, it looked like the son of Giant’s Causeway would lose for the 11th straight time. But Bango could not last and Only Be Cause ran onto victory.

I wagered $200 on #7 Domestic Gold, $150 on #12 Bango and $100 on #13 Candy Coat.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

© Copyright Maiden King, 2009. Written exclusively for Not to be duplicated or reprinted.

2 1 Classical Bartok (CA) Delgadillo A Papaprodromou G 41.40 8
4 2 Decarchy Fever (CA) Quinonez A Sticka R 37.50 7
7 3 Domestic Gold (MD) Sorenson D Gallagher P 3.60 6
8 4 Only Be Cause (KY) Espinoza V Baffert B 2.40 1
9 5 Truly a Delight (CA) Baze M Bernstein D 5.90 4
11 6 Richardminichiello (CA) Valdez F Truman E 45.00 9
12 7 Bango (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Periban J 4.90 3
13 8 Candy Coat (KY) Stra K Sise, Jr. C 7.00 5
14 9 Box Office Star (KY) Bejarano R Yakteen T 4.80 2
SCR Fire Scout (CA)    
SCR Benjamin Z (KY) Baze T Mitchell M
SCR Sovereign Lord (CA)    
SCR Boomtown (KY)    
SCR Downtown Banker (FL)    
Pgm Win Place Show
8 $6.80 $3.60 $2.40
14 $5.20 $4.60
12 $4.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $20.70 (8-14)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 1 — lost $600

Jockey Victor Espinoza on #13 Lanie's Way eeks out victory over #11 Fine Time to Leave

Lanie's Way, #13, eeks out victory over #11 Fine Time to Leave

Coming into this race Mike Mitchell, the trainer of #11 Fine Time to Leave, had won with 24 of his last 66 maiden claimers and anybody who was on them all made 24 percent on their money.

So, even though Fine Time to Leave had not run a Beyer Speed Figure in the 60’s, she figured to make an impact. Jockey Rafael Bejarano broke Mitchell’s filly in the middle of the pack then made a five-wide move on the turn. She rallied on the outside in the stretch, but couldn’t run down #13 Lanie’s Way, who held on by a head.

Lanie’s Way had almost the same exact trip as Fine Time to Leave. The only difference was that jockey Victor Espinoza moved earlier on the turn and was always a couple of lengths ahead of Fine Time to Leave until the very end.

I bet $400 on Fine Time to Leave at 2/1 and $200 on #3 Latego Light at 4/1.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

2 1 Sister Derek (CA) Nakatani C Hess, Jr. R 38.10 10
3 2 Latego Light (FL) Baze M Eurton P 4.10 5
4 3 Misstrailcityzone (CA) Quinonez A Nettles K 108.40 11
5 4 Runway Starlet (CA) Baze T O’Neill D 6.00 6
6 5 Fleet Royale (KY) Blanc B French N 54.90 3
7 6 Champagneforchelle (CA) Stra K Lewis G 63.00 13
8 7 Coatcheck Girl (KY) Gryder A Marquez A 6.60 4
9 8 My Reality (CA) Russell C Mendoza J 94.40 12
10 9 Minor Issues (CA) Sorenson D Semkin S 10.40 7
11 10 Fine Time to Leave (KY) Bejarano R Mitchell M 2.30 2
12 11 Warrens Sweetheart (CA) Valdivia, Jr. J Gutierrez J 42.20 9
13 12 Lanie’s Way (KY) Espinoza V Kitchingman A 4.50 1
14 13 Swingin Storm (FL) Garcia M Harty E 18.00 8
SCR Poolside (CA)    
Pgm Win Place Show
13 $11.00 $5.00 $3.40
11 $3.80 $3.00
6 $17.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $21.60 (13-11)

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 4 — lost $350

Trained by Bruce Headley, #4 Scored sat 10 lengths off the pace then came late

Trained by Bruce Headley, #4 Scored sat 10 lengths off the pace then came late

You can’t blame Bob Baffert this time. Sangaree was ready to roll and he went gamely all the way to the wire. But this brother of Congaree lost for the fifth straight time because of either poor racing tactics by Victor Espinoza or bad luck — depending on how harsh you want to be.

Sangaree, who went off at 7-to-1, broke with the leaders but settled into stride a couple of lengths off the pace. As they approached the turn, Espinoza allowed Sangaree to run up to the leading group — the only problem was that he was four paths wide on the whole turn, causing him to lose a ton of ground. 

Throughout the turn, a four-horse wall vied for the lead together, which was an unusual sight to see. On the rail was #6 Stretchdrive, then #3 Lucius Antonius was just outside with #7 Ribald right next door. Sangaree was outside of them all, as the four bobbed heads through a 45.14-second half mile.

Sangaree outran the other pace setters, but his bad trip left him without the energy to hold off first-time starter #4 Scored. Alex Solis took the winner off the early pace by more than 10 lengths, then Scored swung wide entering the stretch and moved like an express train in the lane to get up by a head.

I bet $150 on Sangaree and $200 on #7 Ribald.

To watch a replay of this race, go to

1 1 Wharf Cat (KY) Flores D Marlow M 2.60 4
2 2 His Sisters Mister (KY) Baze M Headley G 56.50 7
3 3 Lucius Antonius (KY) Stra K Green J 39.30 8
4 4 Scored (KY) Solis A Headley B 6.20 1
5 5 Holladay Road (CA) Gomez G Gaines C 6.70 6
6 6 Stretchdrive (FL) Talamo J Biancone P 28.40 10
7 7 Ribald (CA) Rios J Sherman A 5.10 5
8 8 Sangaree (KY) Espinoza V Baffert B 7.00 2
9 9 Lunar Humor (KY) Smith M Carava J 8.30 9
10 10 Adebayor (KY) Bejarano R Gaines C 4.80 3
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $14.40 $7.00 $4.80
8 $6.80 $4.60
10 $5.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $49.30 (4-8)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $99.40 (5-5-4)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $873.40 (1-5-5-4)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $2516.50 (4-8-10-1)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $552.40 (4-8-10)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $90.80 (5-4)

Wednesday, Santa Anita Race 1 — 1 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $50,000, 6 furlongs, 3 year olds

Possible overlays                   Morning line

#1 Eddie the Hat                               3/1
#2 Cracked Code                              10/1
#6 Hammurabi                                  4/1

The obvious horse in here is #4 Uncle Jeep, but the odds on this one are almost certain to be minuscule. Uncle Jeep was the beaten favorite in his last three races, he is ridden by money magnet Garrett Gomez and Mike Mitchell is by far the most accomplished and recognized trainer of the six in here.

Uncle Jeep’s morning line is 4-to-5 and even if he goes off at even money, he would only be a good bet if you thought Uncle Jeep had 65-to-70 percent chance of victory. That’s a difficult argument to make, considering this horse so far has lost five sprint races at this class level.

His previous jockey Victor Espinoza jumps to #3 Khurt Harry, and I don’t like him either because he raced greenly in his initial race on Dec 27. On that day, Khurt Harry broke slowly, remained in last on the turn and zig-zagged through the stretch while never showing anything.

However, second-timers #1 Eddie the Hat and #6 Hammurabi both ran OK in their debuts, posting Beyer Speed Figures of greater than 50. Richard Matlow, the trainer of Hammurabi, has been winning at 30 percent second time out for two years now, while Eddie the Hat flashed speed in a turf sprint and has four good workouts on his ledger.

Finally, debuter #2 Cracked Code has a shot, as the owners De Renzo & Hartly won with their only first timer. That horse was trained by Jeff Mullins and it paid $10.40 on Aug. 8.

I will bet $200 on both #1 Eddie the Hat and #6 Hammurabi at odds of 5/2 or more. Also, at 6/1 to 19/1, I’ll take a $150 shot to win on #2 Cracked Code.

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