Racing at Santa Anita With Marc Doche: O'Neill Sends Six and The Megahertz

Marc DocheCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2011

Eclair de Lune, pictured winning the Grade I Beverly D at Arlington Park last year, is favored in today's $75,000 (added) Megahertz.
Eclair de Lune, pictured winning the Grade I Beverly D at Arlington Park last year, is favored in today's $75,000 (added) Megahertz.

With six starters on Sunday at Santa Anita, trainer Doug O’Neill hopes to add to his 13 wins so far this meet that have him ranked second behind the 18 wins amassed by Bob Baffert.

O’Neill’s horses range in price from 5-to-2 to 8-to-1, including long shot Southern Fireball in the featured $75,000 (added) Megahertz for older females going one mile on the turf course.

Coming off a victory in the Grade I Beverly D and a sixth place finish, beaten just two lengths, in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Éclair de Lune is the 7-to-5 morning line favorite in the short field of six on the massive drop into an ungraded stake.

Trained by Ron McAnally and ridden for the first time today by Rafael Bejarano, the five-year-old German-bred daughter of Marchand de Sable can push her career earnings over $600,000 with a win today.

We move our focus back to the late Fity Cent Pick 4 today, looking to close the week out with a bang and snap our three-day losing streak.

Championship Sunday serves up a pair of classic match-ups on the NFL’s grid iron to add to a festive day and …

We’re off to the races!

Best Bet of the Day (ROI based off $2 WPS bet)

Race 9 - #6 Dave’s Pacemaker (9/2 ML) – We’re in jockey limbo as of press time as no replacement has been named for Patrick Valenzuela, but we’re still confident this five-year-old son of Petionville can win off the layoff for The Witch Doctor. All four of his wins have come when he’s run fresh and he has tactical speed to stay close to the pace in a wide-open field of eleven.

Yesterday’s Result – Off the board with Zees Chris (-$6.00)

Total for 2010-11 Santa Anita meet – (-$27.30)

Late Pick 4

Leg 1 – Race 6 (2,5,8) – Bottom of the barrel older maiden claimers sprint six furlongs on the main track for a $20,000 tag and we go three deep.

No. 2 Member Of the Tribe showed nothing in his debut at Fairplex a year and a half ago, but he gets a major barn upgrade and has a solid work tab for his return.

No. 5 Lead Blocker was odds-on last time against a field of ten, but regressed in his second career start. He can make amends today on the lead.

No. 8 Wild Hombre gives O’Neill his best shot at a win today. He ran terrible here in his last, but any of his previous four starts make him a contender today.

Leg 2 – Race 7 (3,6,9,11) – A decent group of older males sprint seven furlongs in this optional claiming event and we go four deep.

No. 3 Streakin’ Mohican could be long gone, but the extended sprint distance could make him vulnerable. He should be the quickest early, but there are a couple others in here that have the potential to keep him company on the lead.

No. 6 Korban is one of the others that can be forwardly placed, but he’ll likely sit just off the lead and get first run should Mohican fold.

No. 9 Hot Damon rolled from off the pace to win here two weeks ago and has proven himself to be a consistent late runner.

No. 11 Nextdoorneighbor chased some nice horses throughout his career and was always cut out to be something good for trainer Mike Machowsky. He can win from the middle of the pack.

Leg 3 - Race 8 (2,3,4) – The featured Megahertz and we’ll use the aforementioned No. 4 Éclair de Lune as well as No. 2 Burg Berg, who will be towards the front early and can stalk the speed of Southern Fireball to her inside, and No. 3 Lilly Fa Pootz, who steps down in company after disappointing in her last two.

Leg 4 – Race 9 (4,6,8) – Along with our top choice, we’ll use No. 4 Position A on the drop in class and No. 8 Brenthurst in his second start off a layoff.

Recap – (2,5,8) w (3,6,9,11) w (2,3,4) w (4,6,8) – Total cost of ticket = $54

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Good luck!

Yesterday’s Result – (-$72)

Total for 2010-11 Santa Anita meet – (+$3,715.60)

Total for 2010 Del Mar meet – (-$554.55)