(Santa Anita opens Dec. 26)
DONTMESROUNDWITJIM: A must don’t miss! Claimed by Mike Mitchell for the sneaky Bob Bone and Desperado Stable, their name is very appropriate. Jim was wide the entire 1 1/16 route for 16k and lost several lengths turning for home. Made a better than looked late move picking up the show dough. A very good play next time out. $$$$$
CRY HALLELUJAH: This filly was coming off an extended layoff for trainer Kathy Walsh. Broke a step slow and looked like she really wanted to be let loose. She pulled the jock out of the saddle, running a determined race in finishing third, almost four lengths clear of the rest. This race will do her a ton of good, and she will be very tough next time out. $$$
ZARDANA: Was back in town for trainer John Shirreffs and was running in the Grade 2 Bayakoa. Had one of the worst trips I have seen in a Stakes race in a while by jockey Espinoza. It just seemed like no matter what he did it was a mistake. She may have been best, but we need to wait for her next start to cash.
RIBALD: Was last seen winning here back in April 2009. He looked good on the track but low profile jockey Maldonado got him in trouble on the turn when he had to steady hard. Came out five wide into the stretch and made a strong late move finishing third, beaten by a length for all the marbles. Next time he wins with a clean trip and will really unload with a jockey upgrade.
CLOCKER MOMENT: California horse racing is in deep doo-doo evidenced after this race. There was a long inquiry after Clocker Moment got crushed in the stretch by both the winner and the place horse after they drifted out some 10 lengths. The stewards said it would not have altered the original order of finish which was a crock. We need an inquiry of the stewards who made this decision. Another black eye for the sport.
UNEX DALI: In his first start in the States going a flat mile on the grass in this straight maiden race, he made a huge late run despite trouble. Stormed home like a runaway freight train to just miss by a head. No mistakes for this up-and-comer next time out. $$$$
GOLDEN GATE FIELDS
RAGIC: Was crowded in the early stages, took up and checked hard. Was in check almost to the turn when he swung out for room and finished good, just missing the place.
PEARL LAKE: Ran a goofy race as she was stalking in the early going. Tried to prop twice and was taken up sharply. Dropped back suddenly, but somehow got going again and put in a nice little late run for the show dough.
PRISON PRAYER: First time starter took all the action in this 8k maiden claimer. Broke slow and had to be urged to the front. Got the lead but tired late.