Racing at Santa Anita with Marc Doche: Don’t call it a comeback
- Updated: January 6, 2013
A horse coming off a brief layoff and a jockey returning from an extended one generates a touch of buzz in the air as we close the first week of racing for the new year.
Two months after winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1) against the boys, Mizdirection is back to defend her reign of Santa Anita’s hillside turf course looking for a repeat victory in the $150,000 Monrovia Stakes (G2) as the 6-to-5 morning line favorite. The five-year-old Mizzen Mast mare owned in party by Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing is perfect in three spins down the hill and has never finished out of the money in 12 career starts. Showvivor anyone?
The one she’ll have to catch is 5-to-2 second choice Kindle, who earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure when wiring the Cool Air Stakes at Hollywood Park in November after blazing too fast early and getting run down by Broken Dreams in the Senator Ken Maddy (G3) in her first try down the hill in October.
Broken Dreams is co-third choice at 7-to-2 with a pair of wins and runner-up efforts in four tries down the hill and also finished behind Kindle in the Cool Air.
Byrama packs a late punch as well and is also 7-to-2 making her first start since finishing just ¾ of a length behind Broken Dreams in the Senator Ken Maddy.
Seven years after last competing on horse back in the afternoon, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens attempts one final comeback two months before his 50th birthday. His first task is a tough one, needing to improve Jebrica 20 lengths from his effort when trying turf for the first time at Hollywood Park on December 8.
We’re off to the races!
Late Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (4,5,7) – Both No. 4 Smokey Lonesome and No. 5 Jimmy Simms are turf specialists dropping in class and No. 7 Rock This Way could get brave again if left alone on the early lead.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (1,3,5,6,7,8) – A competitive main track sprint for allowance optional claimers and we spread with No. 1 Floating Feather, No. 3 Luckarack, No. 5 Smoking G, No. 6 Obsess, No. 7 One world and No. 8 Hardtap.
Leg 3 – Race 8 (3,6) – No. 6 Mizdirection will need to lay much closer early than she did in her last to have a shot at running down No. 3 Kindle.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (3,4,7,8) – In another candidate for one of the worst races ever seen around these parts, No. 7 Vonn Nez drops out of maiden allowance company and can make the last run against a field staggering to the wire. She’s been consistent in her turf efforts until her latest and ran well in her only try over this main track last April.
However, Vonn Nez is 0-for-22 so we’ll add the trio of No. 3 Monarcha Blanca, No. 4 Tiz Lovely and No. 8 California Roll.
Recap – (4,5,7) w (1,3,5,6,7,8) w (3,6) w (3,4,7,8) – Total cost of ticket = $72
Yesterday’s Result – (+$334.55)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (+$635.60)
Total from 12/26/10 – 12/16/12 – (-$2,090.45)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (1,2,5,7) – An extremely difficult sequence begins with marathoners on turf and we use No. 1 Sebastian Flyte, No. 2 All Squared Away, No. 5 Dreamcatcher and No. 7 Fire with Fire.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,2,3,6) – Four more with claiming sprinters No. 1 Solar Rocket, No. 2 Cayambe, No. 3 Courtside and No. 6 Malibu Rum.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (2,3) – We could go much deeper in this leg, but settle on No. 2 Red Rachel and No. 3 Senorita Cautelosa.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (5,7,11,12) – Another quartet, this time Cal-bred maiden allowance runners at a mile on turf with No. 5 Troy Story, No. 7 Empty Headed, No. 11 Waitwaitdonttellme and No. 12 Magnum Force.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (5,8,11) – No. 5 Arinyes Love has suddenly become a consistent sort at this level, No. 8 Gem in the Rough is realistically placed off the long layoff with a pair of wins from three starts and No. 11 Melanistic gets back to her preferred dirt surface.
Recap – (1,2,5,7) w (1,2,3,6) w (2,3) w (5,7,11,12) w (5,8,11) – Total cost of ticket = $192
Yesterday’s Result – (-$240)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (+$4,387.35)
Total from 7/20/11 – 12/16/12 – (+$13,891.70)
Best Bet of the Day – Can now be found in the Pros Picks section at www.santaanita.com.
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