SURFCUP: First time starter for Bob Baffert was being sent a mile on the grass and this Unusual Heat colt ran huge. He broke slow, was bumped hard and pulling jockey Martin Garcia out of the saddle as he really wanted to be let loose. Garcia steered him outside to avoid trouble and then four wide into the stretch made a big wide run to get up on the line.
FIT TO RULE: Was coming off a lackluster performance in his last start at Santa Anita but worked like he took to this course and turned in a freaky performance. Drew away late to win by more than nine lengths. Would love to see this colt come back before the meet ends Dec. 16.
PUSSYCAT LIPS: Was making her first start in the States for trainer John Sadler and she ran a big time race in the Grade 3 Miesque. She was in tight at the start when between horses and then lost momentum. Had to wait off heels in midstretch, but once clear motored home and was gaining with every stride on the lone speed. Lost by a half length in what was a Grade 1 performance. $$$$$
BELVIN: Just put this 2yo colt on your list and keep him there. He really looks like a big time runner for Baffert and owner Donald Dizney as the races get longer on the way to the Kentucky Derby. Look for this Empire Maker colt to go long next time out and score big time. He will be a single. $$$$$
MISS AMERICAN PIE: Trainer Doug O’Neill pulled one off here as this first time starter running for a 30k price tag won for fun by more than 12 lengths. Trainer John Sadler tossed in the 30k in what looks to be a real nice claim.
DYNAMIC HOST: Old pro was dropped into this 40k optional claimer going 1 1/16. He ran his race but needs longer for his best. If he returns at a longer distance we will play.
SWEET TOFFY: First time starter had been working for a while down South but trainer Mark Glatt shipped him in for this spot. Just did fail at 6/1 after breaking slow and losing several lengths at the start. Closed strong and finished a game second beaten less than a length.
STRYKER PHD: Was coming into this race off a good win on the grass and was let go at 25/1 in the betting. I took my shot and he ran big, finishing fourth beaten less than a length. Was more than four lengths clear of the rest in this 11 horse field. He likes this grass course and will be a must use next time out at what will be another good price.
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].