07/19/2008 10:18PM

Getaway Day!


Race 1:
Right idea, wrong horse.  I thought Guts was a terrible favorite at 17-10, but One Only just didn't have it.  After a grueling winning effort at Hollywood last out, I was concerned that One Only would regress, but he offered some value at 7-2, and I made a small wager on his nose.  He chased the pace, but couldn't go with the leaders late on the backstretch, and finished evenly while late to change leads.  Wild and Ready kept the Peter Miller train rolling as he swept past the field from well off the pace.  That's Miller's third win at the young meet, and we have to thank larryk for mentioning him as a trainer to watch.  Change Your Mask looked good in the paddock, but tired after chasing the pace.  Enactment was forced to wait behind horses at the quarter pole. 

Race 2:
Harlene was one of two horses I was excited to play this afternoon.  He raced about five or six paths wide every step of the way in his most recent start on turf, and was now returning to a synthetic track while drawing inside.  I made a pretty good win bet on him, but was immediately frustrated as he trailed behind a slow early pace (25.67, 50.03).  Harlene moved into contention on the turn, altered course to the rail, but he couldn't get near the old classmaster, Super Strut.  The 8-year-old Cal-bred gelding hadn't won in a long time, but was halving in price for John Sadler, and he received an aggressive ride from the hot-riding Tyler Baze.  Super Strut was claimed by Ben Cecil.  Muscle 'n Mane made a nice impression in the paddock, but seemed to want to bear out on the turn.  Echezeaux was a bit washy in the paddock.  Give Harlene another chance if he gets some pace to attack.

Race 3:
Didn't play this maiden special for older fillies as I liked Only First Class, but not at 13-10.  Only First Class is beginning to look like a professional maiden, but I thought she ran okay here, getting involved in a multi-horse pace duel, and still hanging around to the wire.  Firsters Stolen Heart (Harty), and Stunningly (Mike Puype) took advantage of the hot pace, and were closing best at the end.  Stunningly had some trouble at the break, and probably won't be a maiden for long.  Judy Patootie, a firster from the Paddy Gallagher barn, took lots of money, but seemed just a bit too relaxed in the paddock, and folded after dueling for the lead.

A full field of kids lined up for the Hippity Hop Derby between the third and fourth races.


The five kid looked like it had precocious breeding, but the two and the six seemed washed out in the post parade.  They couldn't have caught the one kid who showed blinding speed to wire his foes.  The five had no rally.  The eight closed stoutly on the outside, and is one to watch next time.

Race 4:
After Harlene's defeat, I had one bullet left in the holster.  Maroon was making his first start for Mike Mitchell, and the "Magic Man" has had great success in with new geldings in the past.  Here came another win bet at 5-2.  Maroon trailed for most of the way before angling widest turning for home.  He made up some lengths, but couldn't compete late with the ground-saving Rush Rush.  It probably wouldn't have mattered, but I'd have preferred it if Maroon's rider, Joel Rosario, stayed inside on the turn instead of going so wide.  Maroon was claimed by Jack Carava.  Rush Rush was repeating the same "second off the layoff" angle that resultd in his win at Del Mar last summer.    
Travers had the winner, Robert SD nailed the exacta, and I ripped up my tickets.

Race 5:
The fifth was a weak maiden claimer, and a threw down an action bet on Dice Afare at 5-2.  Simply put, the pick was terrible.  Dice Afare stalked the pace, then called it a day on the turn.  She finished last.  Shesalittlepistol rallied late to get up over Absolutely Smitten.  Shesalittlepistol was adding blinkers for the third start of the form cycle. 

Race 6:
Time for the San Diego.  Well Armed is a strong physical presence, and he looked well despite having to deal with the dreaded "Dubai Jinx."  He had the pace advantage on paper, and it played out on the track.  Ridden by Aaron Gryder, Well Armed went right to the front en route to breaking the track record.  Surf Cat missed a couple of days of training with a bruised foot, but the gallant veteran chugged on nicely for the place.  Rebellion made have found this distance a bit too far.  Well Armed looked good today, but is he Breeders' Cup good?

Race 7:
Ivan touted Beyla at 15-1 on the morning line, and I was quite surprised when the Mitchell-trained mare opened up at 5-2.  This race was full of early speed, but Heathersdaddysbaby, one of the pace runners, was scratched nearing the gate.  You'd think that would help the fleet-footed Exclusive Danielle, but she broke a beat slowly, and couldn't make the front.  Since she can't pass a parked car, that sealed her fate (and mine...I landed on her with a small bet).  Although the pace wasn't  as hot as expected, the closers still dominated with Bye Bye Ladies striking the front only to succumb to Beyla's late surge.  Missoula may have moved too soon down the backstretch. 

Race 8:
No opinions in this claimer.  Thought Soda Pop Kid was a terrible play at 3-1, but I beat the old "don't play maiden graduates at short prices when they step up to face winners" thread to death yesterday.  He was claimed by Gary Sherlock.  Gryder stole this thing on the front end with Outrageous Limit, a Tiznow five-year-old stretching out for his second start of the year.  Favored Angus chased throughout, but wouldn't go by.  He seems like a need-the-lead type.

Race 9:
Said goodbye to the boys as I decided to walk around the magnificent Del Mar facility one final time before I bade her farewell for the season.  Liked Fleet Caroline at 5-2, and she ran well for second, but no one was stopping Aaron Gryder today.  Zardana,  a 43-1 bomb trained by Ron McAnally, rated beautifully behind the leaders before angling out and taking control in the deep stretch.  Kudos to both McAnally and Gryder for getting this formerly speed-crazy mare to relax behind horses.  Favored Kris' Sis broke from a tough outside post position, and was hung wide behind the moderate pace.

Race 10:
Decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and I wasn't going to chase my losses in a race in which I had no firm opinion.  Even though this bunch of 25K maiden claimers probably didn't feature a graded winner, they put on a show with Dumaani's Gold and Improvising Gal dead-heating on the line.  Firster Friendly Mystery raced greenly coming out of the gate, then showed speed before tiring late.

Once again, the main track played fairly. 

Took quite the beating today, but there's always nine more tomorrow (or, in my case, Monday at Delaware).

Had a ball this week.  Hope you enjoyed it.  I did.

Tomorrow is travel day.  Will be back with the weekend recap on Monday night.