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TEST RIDE: First time starter for trainer Michael Pender was breaking from post position 1 and broke slow. He settled down on the inside but had to come out for room leaving the turn and made a nice four wide run just missing the place money. He will be very hard to beat in start No. 2. $$$

BIG BANE THEORY: Was coming off the layoff and just ran a bang up race. He really wanted to run and was pulling jockey Leparoux along the rail when he tried to take hold of him. Was ready to make a winning move but was steadied hard when in tight. When finding room he made his run but was a hair late losing by a neck in a race he was best at 8-1. 

NEW YEAR’S DAY: First time starter for trainer Bob Baffert ran a better than looked third when making a four wide move into the stretch. Finished fast just missing the place money and will be tough in start No. 2.

RED VINE: Was in from Saratoga for trainer Christophe Clement and this colt ran like something good going a mile on the grass. We will follow him next time out going long on the grass again either here or back East. We will keep our eyes open. 

BONITA STAR: Looked solid in this mile 10k claiming race but she broke in the air and then stumbled at the start to be far back. She did make a little late run to split the field. Trainer Mike Mitchell put up the 10k for the claim (if not voided by the stewards) so if this girl comes back with Mitchell as the trainer we will be heading to the windows. $$$

NICHOLAS M: First time starter looked set for action but he broke slow and then got squeezed out. He was taken to the outside in this 12 horse field going 5½ furlongs and continued outside when making a four wide run into the stretch. Came flying late but could only settled for fourth just missing the place by 3/4 of a length and the show a 1/2 length. This 20k maiden claimer can run and if sent 6 furlongs next time out we will play. $$$

TOPPER’S GHOST: When at Del Mar or at the books playing the ponies you must watch the betting in these maiden races. The betting tipped us on this first time starter as he was listed at 20-1 on the morning line but got hammered down to 2-1 and won like a 2-1 shot. Trainer John Sadler knew and he put up the 50k for the claim. 

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