Maybe the focus should be on Pick 3’s since I hit two more nice ones yesterday. Red boarding sucks, but I don’t want the Pick 4 struggles to steal the headlines completely.
Whether it was the sun finally coming out or the track being dug up in the morning, or probably a little of both, the bias was finally different yesterday.
The place to be was off the pace storming down the middle of the track, even in the sprints.
The only horse to win on the front was maiden winner Faisca, who cleared by nearly seven lengths and was able to roll home.
We’ll look for the track to play similarly today, which could compromise morning-line favorite Cost of Freedom (pictured in the shocking pink silks and black hat) in the featured Grade 1 $250,000 Bing Crosby going six furlongs on the main track.
We’re off to the races!
Leg 1 – Race 6 (ALL) - This maiden special weight race going a mile and a sixteenth on the turf is impossible to decipher. So, we’ll use them all and hope for a price.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (1,10) - A solid allowance race for fillies and mares three-years-old and up sprinting six furlongs on the main track includes two stakes horses returning from long layoffs.
No. 10 Nan’s last race came here on the turf last year in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks, where she finished second by half a length.
Her last eight races have come in graded stakes company and her closing style should benefit her today. Her two recent works over this track are eye catchers.
In her two starts of 2010, both going a mile on the turf, No. 1 Jet Blue Girl missed by a head in a stakes at Santa Anita and ran behind some stakes horses in an optional claiming event.
She finished second in her debut here last year over the Polytrack and hits hard from off the pace here.
Leg 3 - Race 8 (1,4) - We’re counting on Bob Baffert to break his early meet slump with a Grade 1 victory here. And, he has two chances to do it.
No. 1 E Z’s Gentleman has turned into a monster, and with his versatile running style, he can win from just off the pace.
In his latest win at Hollywood Park in the Triple Bend, he was closer to the pace to keep M One Rifle honest and blew his rivals away down the stretch.
While he only has one win in five starts over this track, all that came two years ago and in the hands of a different trainer.
The other Baffert, No. 4 Brujo, is the potential upsetter. He will be coming from further off the pace and has run well off of layoffs and on Polytrack at Woodbine and Keeneland.
He’s been training lights out since moving to Southern California and gets Joel Rosario to climb aboard.
Cost of Freedom is unlikely to get an easy early lead with Smiling Tiger drawn to his outside, and even My Summer Slew could mix things up early.
He also loses the services of regular rider Tyler Baze, who is out with an injury, and while there is no doubt Rafael Bejarano is more than capable, we’ll use this as a knock to play against the likely favorite.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (2,8) - Bottom level $25K maiden claimers sprint the demanding distance of six and a half furlongs to conclude the second week of racing.
No. 8 Dazzling Razz ran a solid second going two turns in his last race and is a likely candidate to close a huge week for trainer Doug O’Neil and the aforementioned Rosario.
Who will win today's Haskell?
No. 2 Willis will be making his second start off a layoff and in his second career start he closed well to finish second by just under a length. It’s unfortunate that he draws the inside again, but he can win from off the pace.
Recap – (ALL) w (1,10) w (1,4) w (2,8)
Total cost of ticket = $40
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @mdoche for last-minute changes caused by scratches.
Yesterday’s Result – (-$54)
Total for meet – (-$231.15)