Pictured left is Kip Deville, the 2006 winner of the Grade III Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita Park. We continue to pray that Kip survives a battle against failing health. This is opening day at Santa Anita, an exciting day with the unveiling of a John Henry statue and a parade by 2009 Horse of the Year Zenyatta. Good stuff!
Race 7 Santa Anita, post time 5:30 ET; The Sir Beaufort Stakes Grade III; 1 Mile on Turf for 3 YOs.
It's a rather unaccomplished group after The Usual Q.T. and Massone. The Usual Q.T. has a nice resume; 5 straight Wins, 5 straight improving Beyers, a last race best 100 BSF, 2 of 2 at SA, 6 of 6 in the money on Turf, 3 Turf Miles and 3 Wins, 9 of 10 lifetime in the money, a Grade I winner and the race career earnings leader. Not bad for a $12,500 Unusual Heat gelding! Will go off at less then even money so let's take a stand that he will win and then insert into the bet runners 2-4 in a mixture of straight picks and boxes, something I call a matrix, and see if we can't hit a superfecta.
For Place I like Massone. I'll shade him up to win on a few tickets, but for the most part I like him right here. No races at this distance. 5 straight races with 90+ BSF including an even 100 BSF at LaD in the Super Derby, a no match Show finish. Gomez up for Trainer McAnally, who by the way, does not have super trainer stats. A late goer, with less distance will have to go sooner but has the skill too.
The crap shoot begins for the Show Spot and 4th. It's not a bad thing as some longer odds here could increase the payout to make these bets worth it from risk/reward perspective. A group of horses of similar quality make up the pool I'm backing. Pleasure Ride, son of Candy Ride (Arg), is 9 of 14 in the money in 2009, 7 of 7 in the money on Turf and 4 of 4 in the money at distrance, as well as 2 of 2 in the money at SA. The Hollendorfer/Solis combination has been competitive and the horse has run off 7 straight game efforts. Watch the tote, worth at least one $2 buck win bet if >8-1 and a few tickets will slip him into Place. Little separates Pleasure Ride from Riviera Cocktail and Tamborim. That leaves me Gallant Son, Mr. Rod, Quoted and Brenthurst as the only horses right now I'm not accounting for with Quoted and Brenthurst my only confirmed tosses.
Don't make these decisions too soon. Watch the tote, the weather, the turf condition, and the changes and adjust your base handicap and bet strategy accordingly. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency. I hope Santa left this for you in your stocking because its the best tool for long term success.
Merry Christmas, Have Fun and Turk Out!