Horses to Watch

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SANTA ANITA

FLAMBOYANT

Was shipping in from France for trainer Paddy Gallagher. This 3yo colt hit the board in all six of his starts in France and had a bullet work going 5 furlongs on the grass with the dogs up. He was let go at 6/1 and had to alter his course when looking for room in midstretch. Once clear, he motored home to get up at the wire. This colt is a real runner and will be a force on the grass when heading to Del Mar. $$$$$

SHAKAHARI

Speaking of where the turf meets the surf, this one was last seen there in July of last year running up the track. He came back in this straight maiden race for trainer Vladimir Cerin, who is having a solid meet, and looks good on the track. He showed good early speed, battling from the bell with the winner, but could not hold that one off. Held well to pick up the show dough and if able to clear early next time out will be long gone.

RUFF PROOF

Ran her heart out in defeat as she just failed to run down the winner, finishing second by a dwindling ¾ of a length. Was almost six lengths clear of the rest in this one mile starter allowance race. We will be using her as a single next time out. $$$

SUZY MALIBU

A big wow goes out to this filly as she made a monster move coming from last to first with a four-wide run and was five-wide down the lane. Drew away under a long hold by jockey Mike Smith. Trainer Doug O’Neil looks to have a real good prospect in this girl, and Smith knows when to get up on a good first time starting filly. Just ask him about Zenyatta!

SAFETY BELT

Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally doesn’t win many any more but he can train. He put three straight 7 furlong works into this gelding for this, his second start in the States. Sent him down the hill after going long on the dirt in his first start. Had hit the board in five of his six grass starts in his native Argentina going 5 and 7 furlongs, so this distance looked perfect. Was let go at almost 9/1 in the betting and just won as much the best, paying $19.60. Hooked up with the chalk in a $56.60 exacta given out on our daily horse selections. We hope Ron keeps him on the grass. If so we will be playing again.

NAZARETH

Was being dropped in for a price for the first time, and going down the hill broke sharp but took back and got in tight midway on the hill. That may have cost her the race as she made a good late run to just miss the place by a ½ length and the win by ¾ of a length. She moves into a new barn but we will still take our shot with her next time out at this level or lower.

GOLDEN GATE

LADY OF THE NILE

Shipped in from Santa Anita and just did miss running down the lone speed by a head; no mistakes next time out.

AMARANTH

Was last seen back in November. She looked good on the track and was taking some action. Came out running and put them away down the lane beating the even money Baze runner. She has the look of a filly that can come right back and score.

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper.  Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].

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