01/15/2014 4:11PM

Santa Anita: Dice Flavor due for boxcar-odds win in Strub

Benoit & Associates
Dice Flavor has won stakes at 9-1 and 8-1, and should be a big price again on Saturday in the Strub.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Dice Flavor is due for an upset win in Saturday’s $200,000 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita.

Last February, Dice Flavor won his stakes debut as a 9-1 shot in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby on the synthetic track at Golden Gate Fields. He lost his next three races, including an eighth in the $2 million United Arab Emirates Derby in Dubai, before rebounding with a thrilling win as an 8-1 shot in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap on turf at Del Mar in August.

Dice Flavor lost his final three starts of 2013, including a fast-closing fifth in the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort Stakes over a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Dec. 26. Dice Flavor was beaten only three-quarters of a length, leaving trainer Paddy Gallagher willing to try the Strub and hopeful that the 4-year-old can end the losing streak.

[Strub Stakes: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

The Grade 2 Strub Stakes is run over 1 1/16 miles on dirt, and it will be the first time Dice Flavor has run on the surface. In 12 starts, Dice Flavor has won 2 of 8 races on turf and 1 of 4 races on synthetic tracks.

“It will probably be a tough spot, but you’ve got to give it a shot and see if it works,” Gallagher said on Wednesday. “He is coming back a bit soon.”

wned by Oda Racing Stable and U.S. Equine, Dice Flavor is part of a projected field of eight in the Strub. Gallagher said he is attracted to the race because it is limited to 4-year-olds.

The Strub, previously run in early February over 1 1/8 miles, will not include Flashback, who was fourth as the 9-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs on Dec. 26.

Trainer Bob Baffert said that he was not encouraged by Flashback’s six-furlong workout in 1:14.40 on Jan. 12.
“His energy level wasn’t that good,” Baffert said. “I want to give him more time between races.”

Baffert starts Malibu winner Shakin It Up, who has yet to win beyond seven furlongs, and Govenor Charlie, unraced since finishing eighth in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico last May.

The Strub field is expected to include two leading prospects trained by Jerry Hollendorfer: Hear the Ghost, who was second in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes against older horses at Hollywood Park on Dec. 14, and Zeewat, who was third in the Malibu. Zeewat worked a half-mile in 47.60 seconds on Wednesday.

Other candidates are Heir of Storm, Rookie Sensation, and Say Ow.

jaybern1 More than 1 year ago
Steve...If that's the way you handicap, you should be think about getting a new hobby. You don't give one good reason why you think Dice Flavor should win, other than he "is due."
Perl More than 1 year ago
I agree. I'm all for looking for a price, but his "logic" seems lacking. Reading this I couldn't help but wonder if the guy has scored with Dice Flavor in the past and is reaching. I like other longshots more.
michael More than 1 year ago
I believe the Strub once was 1 1/4. Previous ly 1 1/8. These races should not be shortened, its hurting the game. Trainers making distance horses sprinters.
Perl More than 1 year ago
It was 10 furlongs prior to 1998.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
3 years from now,it will be a mile
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Rookie Sensation is an interesting hombre and one to keep an eye on. I would do some DRF bashing but what good would that do, nothing good will come of it and it will fall on deaf ears, besides I have all of you to do that for me.
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
And Dice Flavor loses by at least 10 lengths
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
Race of the day PPs are not working - again. Says it's expired but the race is some 10 hours away. Whoever is in charge of updating the PPs each day should be canned. This happens at least every couple weeks.
Roger More than 1 year ago
Hey Steve - DAY 13 at Santa Anita is having a very disappointing Meet thus far being DOWN over $7.3 million. How that's Restricted 3 Doubles package doing....given that you quoted SA Exec at CHRB meeting back in November saying this new double package would drive additional "eyeballs" to their meet and the game. Ludt was completely wrong.....his vision FAILED TERRIBLY where there is currently an online Petition wanting Rolling Doubles reinstated with over 200 signatures from all parts of the country. When can we expect the mighty DRF to REPORT what's really going on rather than just taking the Santa Anita press releases?
J Vette More than 1 year ago
I agree 100%, this new DD promo is TERRIBLE & only an IDIOT would have don't this promo...bring back the rolling DD's
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DRF has lost a lot of business because every betting service now gives you free PP's. Most of us bet online, so why pay for the form when you get great handicapping information free? On Xpressbet you get basic DRF PP's free for every track you play. Many of the articles before the subscription service started were filled with negative comments and harrassing comments just as the free ones are now. Now tell me that doesn't discorage new players. If they make a comment and get called an idiot or moron? All too often that seems to be the case. But as a printed paper, DRF's material and labor costs have skyrocketed, its plain to see. They are just struggling along and they are probably even struggling with DRF Bets, but if you use them to wager you get free DRF PP's.
iknownothing114 More than 1 year ago
Drf sucks
John More than 1 year ago
Exactly the reason lots of people are leaving the game ! DRF should change its banner to DRF= GREED ! I just buy the Digest now, just because of the DRF's management greed,. The time is to prospect , and cultivate more clients and new players, not insult the core bettors who have been along for the bumpy ride these last few years !
m More than 1 year ago
Mike Reinhardt More than 1 year ago
Your argument is terrible. Most popular articles will always be free, because every visitor has a chance to read them. The fact that there is an article on there from DRF + hurts your theory.
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
It's still a joke. Those same DRF+ articles are available on Bloodhorse.com for free. I come here for the race of the day PPs and even that doesn't work sometimes.