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Friday, February 04, 2005


I found the two stakes at Santa Anita to be more interesting from a betting standpoint than any of the Gulfstream races. In the Grade 2 Strub, there’s certainly a case to be made for LOVE OF MONEY (Not for Love) to be a lone speed winner of the 1 1/8 race. I’m willing to throw out his last race, a fading 6th some 15 lenghts behind, at the quirky 1 1/4 route at Belmont in a Grade 1, and prior to that was his breakthrough 112 Beyer romp in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby. But he’s been out four months, and could possibly face some early pressure from SKIPASLEW (Skip Away), who showed greatly improved speed in the G2 San Fernando, battling outside and between horses into the top of the stretch in his first race with Kent Desormeaux, who returns. ROCK HARD TEN (Kris S) returned from a nearly 5 month layoff to win the G1 Malibu at 7 furlongs, closing off of some torrid fractions. He’s won at this distance too. But he won’t have a fast pace to chase if Love Of Money does get loose, so perhaps it’s worth looking to beat him. IMPERIALISM (Langfur) ran a good 4th in the San Fernando, just behind Skipaslew, but his best races of late have been on the turf. CASTLEDALE (by some Irish horse I’ve never heard of) was the surprise winner of the G1 Santa Anita Derby at this distance last year, edging Rock Hard Ten (dq’d). That race was his second off of a layoff, the return being a dull 6th. Castledale came off a longer layoff last month with an even 5th, also in the San Fernando, just 1/4 length shy of the show spot. He’s had two sharp workouts since then, and his trainer Jeff Mullins hits at 31% in the 2nd-off-Over-180-day category. If he’s anywhere close to his 15-1 morning line, he could be worth a shot.