Sunday, December 27, 2009
Post Race Analysis for Race Day December 26, 2009: Race 7,8 and 9 of opening day at Santa Anita
What an opening day at Santa Anita. The legend, John Henry, was memorialized in a lasting manner and the Champion Mare, Zenyatta, was paraded and showered with the love and praise of her fans. It's hard not to believe another bronze statue won't one day adorn Santa Anita Park in the image of this soul stirring warrior and it is encouraging to see that the fans do connect deeply with the stars when given the opportunity to see them mature in their fourth and fifth years. A problem seems to be our stars reach their zenith and then they are gone, but problems are for another time and another blog: I'm focusing on the positives of 30,000 plus fans on opening day and the good that Zenyatta brought to the Southern California racing fans. OK, Let's go!
Race 7-9 Santa Anita Park
In the Sir Beaufort Stakes, I thought the chalk was heavy and deserved and The Usual Q.T. did not disappoint. My handicap was pretty solid and I had the top five accounted for with one exception, the failure of Pleasure to Ride to finish and the final 1/8 that Gallant Son put together.
In the La Brea Stakes, I didn't have much going for me. I said pre race that I had the three Irish Bred's finishing last and when I got done with the handicap I knew that didn't seem right. It wasn't. Starlarks (Ire) closed hard and the horse I thought would add value, Pinkarella, didn't. I didn't like my handicap so I did what I suggest pre race, I watched the tote, looked for value, and I settled on some win bets, one of which Evita Argentina, got me back to almost break even for the race. The tote board was offering lots of value with these big field, beatable chalk, stakes races and for the bettors second favorite choice, she paid well and it was a good defensive bet.
And in the final stakes race, The Malibu, The Turk made his bacon. I was indifferent to M One Rifle or Misremembered, as I thought either would win. Again, the important thing about a base handicap is slotting of the horses, not always the exact finish. Where I did really well is identifying that the payouts on the Superfecta had a chance to be really good and I worked six horses into the mix, including Papa Clem and Square Eddie, who I thought just had too much class to not be in the top six. I backed Supreme Summit much higher then the bettors did, as he was the 11th pick of the folks at the windows and I backed him top four. Those decisions led to a nice win, exacta and superfecta payout.
All in all, a good day for lots of reasons, the least of which were a few winning bets, but more importantly, the momentum of two Breeders' Cup events in Southern California has paid some dividends, at least I'd like to think so for racing sake.
Have fun. This may be it for 2009, I'll be singing happy birthday to our 2 YOs next week and we start another Triple Crown trail. Very Good Stuff indeed!