03/04/2015 1:25PM

Ocho Ocho Ocho set for 3-year-old debut in San Felipe

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Barbara D. Livingston
Undefeated Ocho Ocho Ocho will start in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

Ocho Ocho Ocho, unbeaten in three starts at age 2, is among a bulky field entered Wednesday for Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes, an important prep at Santa Anita Park for both the Santa Anita Derby on April 4 and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2.

The race is worth 85 Kentucky Derby qualifying points overall, including 50 to the winner. Ocho Ocho Ocho will be looking to add to the 10 points he earned in his last start, the Delta Downs Jackpot on Nov. 22. But while remaining perfect would be an ideal scenario for Ocho Ocho Ocho, his trainer, Jim Cassidy, cautioned on Wednesday that the San Felipe is a means to an end.

“He’s coming into the race fine. He’s done everything we could have done,” Cassidy said at Clocker’s Corner. “But the plan is for two races before the Derby. I don’t want to knock him out. But if he runs well, that’s okay.”

Cassidy said that recent wet weather compromised the training of Ocho Ocho Ocho coming into the San Felipe.

:: SANTA ANITA HANDICAP: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s Santa Anita card live

“I wish we didn’t have the rain. I wish I had a couple more works in him. That would be nice,” Cassidy said. “But it is what it is. The plan has been pretty close to what we wanted.”

In addition to Ocho Ocho Ocho, the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe was expected to lure the likes of Dortmund and Lord Nelson from trainer Bob Baffert’s barn as well as the rapidly improving Prospect Park, trained by Cliff Sise.

TRacingLifeMore More than 1 year ago
Cassidy has never been the best off a layoff. I'd be skeptical Ocho Ocho Ocho will fire his best race on Saturday.
tommy More than 1 year ago
I will bet prospect park and Ocho Ocho Ocho in pick 4, and daily double because I do think they can win Dortmund!! I wonder if you apply for a job if they see you gamble?? Anyway if they knew, does it really matter??
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
This is going to be a great race. I guess they are taking Firing Line to the Sunland Derby to avoid Dortmund. Not sure if I agree with that decision, but I'm sure they know best. I believe Dortmund will be the favorite in this spot, but it will be interesting to see how the race is run and, of course, how they finish. All these horses are monsters and I'll have to wait to read the Form to decide who I think will win. One thing for sure...this Saturday is a great day to be a horse racing fan.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Now thru Derby Preakness.Hopefully the hyped 3 year olds survive.It seams they drop like flies when it gets close to the first sat in May.Many of the (modern "fragilebred")do not handle when the screws start getting cranked tight.Remember the year Mine that Bird won.The morning line favorite scratched the morning of the race.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Why bet Dortmund if he's the favor and it's not a sure thing he will win???? If Dortmund loses to prospect park or Ocho Ocho Ocho, by nose, the pick 4 should be huge right?
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
I agree Tommy. I don't know who I'm going to bet in this race yet.....but I'm sure Dortmund will be the favorite. I don't bet horses less than 2/1 anyway. But, yes...the pick 4 will have a huge pool on Saturday....and no question if Dortmund gets beat, it'll help the payout. My advice to you is if you really think a horse will win....like Shared Belief for instance...and that horse is less than 2/1......just don't bet that race. You can still watch and root. For sure, if you stay away from betting the heavy favorites...your ROI will go up. I truly wish you the best of luck. Oh....also......and I'm only telling you this after betting on this great sport for over 4 decades....you will enjoy the sport more if you actually start wagering LESS amounts. Remember, ROI is everything...make sure you have a bankroll separate for horse racing and not needed for your life....and never bet more than 5% of that bankroll on any given race. I respect you and I'm not acting like I know more than you. I'm just giving you advice from a very long horse player to a younger horse racing fan. Money is only to keep score. This sport is awesome. Enjoy it.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Thanks Frank!!!! Your advice is correct and hopefully I can do at least half of the things you said. I have lost lots of money this year in some races that were fixed and I get outraged because of it!!! Whether you agree or not if a race is fixed, I would like for you to understand my logic behind it at least. Horses are either pulled by their jockey or the trainer slips the epo drug to the horse so that it wins which should be illegal. Also the stewards make bad calls so that I lose. I'm not as dumb as you think I am. I have a PHD in exercise physiology and nutrition so I know how to do cardiac stress testing,and Vo2 max testing ( takes distance, time, body weight to calculate maximal oxygen consumption as the highest intensity attained). Vo2 max enables you to predict which athletes are fit and who were to win if they were to race. I use that calculations to see generally where the horses will finish and some races I predicted exactly who will finish from 1st to 5th to last. Anyway I have one more important question to ask you ; ) How do I make money in horse racing ?? Do I focus on exactas, trifecta, $1 super, picks 3 and 4, or daily doubles??? I usually play $300-$400 every week so I don't know how to spread my money. I'm thinking not to play exactas at all and just play pick 4 and $1 superfecta. What is your take on this??
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Hi Tommy, Geeze, I do NOT think you are dumb. Actually I think the opposite. That's why I want you to enjoy the sport and start winning. My advice to you....if you really want to start being a winning horse player....is to STOP betting all the gimmicks. For now....on the straight bets....bet WIN only. Do NOT bet place or show. Then yes....bet the pick 4's and pick 5's. Just don't go too crazy on the amounts. But, the pick 4 is a good bet. When there is a good carryover in the pick 6 , it's ok to take a swing at that too. I will tell you I personally don't bet the pick 6, just because I don't like investing that much necessary, but with a carryover it is a good bet. Bottom line, have desclipline to NOT bet tri's, supers and such. Once you get used to it...it'll be more fun for you. There are plenty of races to bet, so you won't get bored. It's about making money. Betting a big win bet on a horse is fun, trust me. Plus, you are getting the odds you are looking for on that horse. Do NOT bet a horse less than 2/1. If you think that horse will win, don't bet the race. On the pick 4's or 5's you single that horse of course. But, remember to make money on those bets you have to have a race where you really like a longer shot, so you get paid. Although, I'll admit, if that sequence looks chalky...I'll just have a really small ticket. The problem with tri's and super's ...it turns into more of gambling or chance on who comes in behind and the takeout's are horrible. By the way, don't stress is you bet win only and your horse gets beat at the wire and you wish you had a Place ticket. In the long run, your ROI will be much better , because the return on the win end is way better than the 50/50 if your horse gets caught or not. Plus, your handicapping will get better when you look at who can win and why....because truth is any horse in any race can pick up the pieces. You want to enjoy the sport. And handicapping is where it's at. Have fun Tommy. What is true is ONE race CAN and WIll BEAT you. But, you can beat the horse races in the long run if you just stay disciplined.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
I respect your philosophy about not betting less than 2-1.Ive read some professional horseplayers would'nt bet less than 4-1.(patiently waiting for false favorites) The problem nowadays is the odds change as your horse is coming down the stretch,2-1 becomes 7-5 halfway through the race.
tommy More than 1 year ago
I agree!!! Yes, his is what I'm talking about. They fix races for the winners and they also fix payouts. What are we supposed to do?? I bet one long shot at Gulf Stream and was 10-1 up until the top of the stretch where he built a 4 length lead and his odds dropped to 9-2
Mike Shea More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure if Firing Line is ducking Dortmund or the race is just coming up crazy tough. Ocho3, Lord Nelson, Prospect Park and Bolo are all legit Derby prospects. For the record I have Lord Nelson winning.