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Saturday, March 12, 2011

San Felipe

As Dirty has mentioned, the G2 San Felipe at Santa Anita is a wild and wooly betting affair. I think that an open-minded handicapper could make some kind of case for each and every one of the ten horses entered. On the other hand, questions abound about most of them. You have horses coming straight out of maiden wins (Albergatti and Runflatout), horses trying dirt for the first time (Comma to the Top, Jakesam), horses trying two turns (on dirt) for the first time (Premier Pegasus, Bench Points), and morning line favorite Jaycito coming off a layoff and needing to prove he can handle this surface. The two horses that have shown that they can handle the route and the dirt are amongst the longest shots on the morning line (Awesome Patriot and Quail Hill), and are both certainly eligible to improve here.

Not entirely clear that Jaycito will indeed be the post time favorite, but I think he has to be considered an automatic bet-against if he is. He won the Grade 1 Norfolk on the synthetic track at Hollywood, and even though second and third place finishers JP Gusto and Riveting Reason have run well on dirt since, that's surely no guarantee he will as well. Had trouble in the Juvenile, so no clue there as to whether he can make the switch from synthetic. Figures to take money in his first start for Baffert with the fast works that we usually see from that barn.

I'm going to go with Bench Points (8-1); not entirely an objective selection, but nothing wrong with playing a personal favorite at a fair price in a race such as this. My affinity for this son of Benchmark stems from the fact that he got me out on my final bet during my visit to Del Mar last summer, as well as his late running style which will hopefully serve him well stretching waaaay out from six furlongs to a mile and an eighth. I had him singled to complete the Pick Three on Labor Day, and wrote at the time:

Man, I love closers like this guy - final furlong in 11.99, yeah, now that's what I'm talking about!! Bench Points is out of a mare by Free House; so a real Left Coast-bred here. His 4th dam is Alma North, a durable multi-stakes winning campaigner from the early 70's, the kind we don't see anymore. On any surface.
He handled his first race on dirt with class and style in his return race last month, overcoming a shaky start to run down 3-10 Baffert favorite Da Ruler on the lightning fast track. Excellent Tomlinson and dosage numbers for the route, and surely figures to get some early pace to run late at here.

Premier Pegasus was three-for-three on synthetic last year before a more than respectable third off the layoff behind The Factor in the San Vicente, and would seem well-suited for the distance on pedigree. He's a son of Fusaichi Pegasus out of a Summer Squall mare, and he's a half-brother to the Norfolk winner Street Hero; his second dam is a half to Trojan Bronze, who won the mile and a half San Luis Rey in 1974. However, his 4-1 morning line seems rather short and I'd want more value there. Jakesam (20-1) has shown the kind of improvement at three that you love to see; comes off a bang-up second in the El Camino Real at Golden Gate to the similarly-improving Silver Medallion. Nice blowout on this surface for his dirt debut, for Jerry Hollendorfer. Grade 1 winner Comma to the Top ran 4th behind those two, so you might want more than 4-1 in his dirt debut despite the ample foundation he figures to have attained from his ten starts as a juvenile. Runflatout did just that in his debut, but similarly seems underlaid at his 4-1 morning line in his first start against winners; figures to take some of that West Point money too.


Amateurcapper said...


If you wanna see BP pics, check out a post I did after his last win ( He's a great looking chestnut!

When a horse goes two turns, either for the first time or off a layoff/freshening, do you prefer sprint/route or 2sprints/route?

BP's only sprint/route but the pace/race shape sets up for a nearly identical trip as last out. The pace looks very hot and heavy, speed drawn in 1,2,4,5,6,8,10 holes...esp. the 8. Saw him school today, he was a handful.

Also, JAYCITO went well galloping this a.m. and is very fit. No excuses despite first race back.

Have a great Saturday!

Anonymous said...

Worst Wager Ever: The 10k future bet on Runflatout. Waiting until Sunday morning to see how he comes out of his race is probably better.

steve in nc said...

;I guess you guys aren't boycotting SA, although I guess you're only supposed to avoid the exactas and DDs, so just play Bench to win Alan.

I'll be in FL today, at least in my mind, hoping to beat Pluck wherever he shows up.

I'm tired of all this bending over backwards for owners of horses worth 6 and 7 figures.

If I ran the zoo, I'd permit only one entry in one goddam stake for each horse within 7 days with expensive scratch fees to help fund weekday purses.

If the competition comes up tough, that means we horseplayers have a great race to watch and bet. If you want to scratch and enter somewhere else, OK, but with some stiff supplemental fees to discourage this cherry-picking. The fee wouldn't matter to Repole or Team Valor, but if they need to enter everywhere, let 'em pay through the nose for the privilege to fund purses for claimers and allowance types.

They're like celebrities making reservations at 3 restaurants the same night because they can't decide in advance. And instead of resenting this, the restaurateurs shower attention and free appetizers on them when they do show up. Uncle Mo's presence guarantees an unbettable race somewhere today. The tracks should be vying to get him to run somewhere else.

DiscreetPicks said...

Santa Anita - Race 8

#7 Bench Points (8/1 ml)

Speaking of overlays. As talented as this field is, you can argue that none of them have looked any better than Bench Points has, as this undefeated gelding has simply been a terror in the lane throughout his short career. His first three all came in state-bred 2yo events, which i guess is why we're getting a big price here (that, and his low-profile connections), but he came off the long layoff last month and simply torched Da Ruler late, a horse that you may notice happened to beat the much-hyped Albergatti (also entered here) in their common debut race. There's also a ton of early speed in here, which sets it up beautifully for this guy's powerful late run. Unfortunately, this will be Bench Points' first start around two turns, so we really don't know if he'll show the same kind of late kick here that he does in the shorter races, but he's bred to route top-and-bottom, and the way he's able to relax early in his races seems to indicate that he'll stretch out well (you might compare him to Dialed In, in fact). Big value any way you look at it.

Anonymous said...

San Felipe was as wildly run as it was to handicap. The fastest pace in the history of horse racing (btw Comma to the Top ran HUGE).

Lets talk futures now. Sway Away catches my eye quite a bit now (need 40-1 to bet). So does the field (lol) at like 3-1 or 7-2.