SENSE OF A WOMAN: Mora trainee was up close early and challenged the pacesetter from the outside into the second turn. Battled that one into defeat and gained the lead in upper stretch to briefly pull away. Could not handle the fast closing winner despite digging in late. This was a top effort in this 32k maiden claimer as he was 11 lengths clear of the field. This one will break his maiden on the Santa Anita dirt and a flat mile would be perfect for him.
LITE THAT BABY UP: First time starter for trainer Vladimir Cerin took some action in this 1 1/8 route. Cerin pulled one off like this a week before so this one was not going to get away from the smart bettors. He ran big despite losing some ground in a four wide run into the final turn. Kept to his task and ran a very game third. Look for Cerin to strike with this guy very soon.
NORTHERN IOWA: Those who singled this 3yo in the Pomona Derby really got a bad beat as he was best. Made a three wide move in the clubhouse turn while between horses on the final bend, but got blocked behind horses at the furlong marker. Jockey Maldonado took hold and got him out late, surging at the wire to just miss in a three horse photo in a bad beat. One of the few rides Maldonado got in trouble. This guy has a ton of ability and a lot of upside. We will follow. $$$$$
SOUTH FLOYD: First time starter ran a very professional race in winning at first asking for trainer Mora. He was under a slight hand ride late in winning by four lengths. It could have been more as he had a lot left in the tank. Will be able to move up and beat winners.
LUKES LEGACY: I took a big shot on this guy at 8-1. He settled off the leader while moving to the inside. Was then caught three abreast into the backstretch and remained well off the rail when fanned out. Was bumped hard on the second turn and caught five wide into the stretch. Surged late from the outside and was getting to the winner at the wire, but fell short due to the wide run and the trouble in another bad beat.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Contact Richard at [email protected].