09/07/2012 2:39PM

Fairplex: Mile High Magic the standout, but the price is short

Shigeki Kikkawa
Mile High Magic will be a heavy favorite in Sunday's Jim Kostoff Stakes.

POMONA, Calif. – Wagering value might be hard to find Sunday in $50,000 Jim Kostoff Stakes at Fairplex Park, home of the Los Angeles County Fair race meet.

Mile High Magic towers over four rivals in the 6 1/2-furlong stakes race for 3-year-olds, and he would be a tempting proposition at even-money. But the program odds are expected to drop.

Mile High Magic could start at odds-on.

Bob Baffert trains Mile High Magic, a son of Roman Ruler whose 5 starts have produced 2 wins, 2 seconds, and the fastest speed figures in the field. Three of his last four starts, Mile High Magic earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94 or higher. On numbers, he stands out.

Beyond ability of the horse is the ability of the jockey. Martin Pedroza has led the Fairplex meet 13 successive seasons, and entered Friday’s opening-day card with more wins than any jockey in fair history – 686 wins.

Four others are entered in the Kostoff, race 10 on an 11-race card. The likely second choice is Got Even, whose murky recent form is expected to change with a return to a traditional dirt surface. Got Even has raced three times on dirt – two wins and a second.

Peter Miller, the leading individual trainer at Del Mar, will start Got Even, a 3-for-12 gelding who will be ridden by Kevin Krigger. Got Even is listed as the 3-1 second choice in the program. Bling Cha Bling, Explain, and Born Force complete the field.

Mile High Magic is owned by and bred by Mike Pegram, and produced by Silverbulletfolly, an unraced daughter of Baffert-Pegram champion filly Silverbulletday. Mile High Magic has not raced since July 8, when he finished second at Hollywood Park in a second-level allowance against older, but his recent works have been solid.

While Baffert’s operation is based at Santa Anita, his Fairplex roots are deep. One of his first top horses was Gundaghia, whose six Fairplex stakes from 1991 through 1994 ties him with Dawn Lark and Rob Bob as all-time fair leader. Baffert entered the current meet with 14 Fairplex stakes wins, seventh all time.

Bettors hoping to knock off Mile High Magic could do worse than settle on second choice Got Even. He is proven on dirt, with a jockey. Kevin Krigger, who began the meet with a slew of live mounts.

Bling Cha Bling adds speed, and the potential for a heated pace battle is one reason longshot closers Explain and Born Force figure in the hunt.