Horses to Watch

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FAIRPLEX/SANTA ANITA

BACK TO BAKO: First time starter out of the Blake Heap barn who didn’t run many at Del Mar but the ones that he did run were all live. Had this one ready to roll, but he hopped at the start and lost a good position. He chased on the inside, came out into the stretch and ran well. Just missed by a neck in a race he may have been best. Will show up at Santa Anita and get the win. $$$$$

GRADUATOR: Should have graduated in this spot at 15-1, but she broke slow and got in tight on the turn. Came out into the stretch and rallied with a purpose only to lose by a nostril. Next time, but not 15-1. 

HALF DOME DUDE: Was sitting on the win at Del Mar but a four wide trip got the best of him. Settled for second, beaten a half-length. Another poor ride by the old Garrett Gomez, who wants to take back on all his mounts and make that one wide run. He will get some wins, but more than often his horses will come up short. Let’s make a double bet on this guy when he comes back with a new jock first off the John Sadler claim. $$$$$

PORK CHOP: Had been a closer but showed high speed in this 32k maiden claimer winning by almost four lengths. Ran like he loved the dirt and should take to Santa Anita or make a quick return to Fairplex. 

GOOD LUCK REDD: Was steadied at the start, which cost him the race. Made a big four wide run on the backstretch and just failed to get there by a neck in a top effort. Will not be a maiden for long. 

JUMEIMA: First time starter out of the Neil Drysdale barn, who just doesn’t run many here at the fair. Got bumped in the early going, sat back and came wide in the stretch. Picked up the show dough in what was a good prep for Santa Anita maybe going long. 

GOLDEN GATE

CIAO BELLA LUNA: First time starter out of the Dennis Patterson barn was bet like a winner. She was listed at 8-1 on the morning line, but the money kept rolling in and was sent off at 7-2 at post time. Won like odds on. This filly can flat out run and will come right back to score, single material. $$$$$

KOBY JO: Was exiting our HTW list and now was going long and on the grass both for the first time. She ran like she loved it, circling the field with a four wide move and winning going away at the end. Has never been out of the money in 6 starts. Will come right back on the grass and repeat. 

CURVY CAT: Was best in here, but got bumped hard at the start and was very slow to recover. She made a five wide run on the turn and came home like a freight train to just miss by a nostril on the line. Will be a solid single next time out. 

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper.

Contact [email protected].

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