Maiden 3yo first time starters going 6 furlongs calls for some board watching or hitting the all button but we will narrow it down to three that we like. No. 5 Rhett’s Image who has a big 7 furlong work here on the 3rd and then a nice 4 furlong blow out on the 17th. No. 7 Grazen Sky has run two times finishing second in both. No. 8 Howdy exits our HTW list and looks set for a big effort. 5-7-8
More maidens, this time its 4yo and up going 6 furlongs. No. 4 Alfiero is a first time Ron Ellis runner sporting some real nice works. No. 5 Trash Talkin has also been working like a runner for trainer Mike Puype and that Jan 10th bullet sticks out. 4-5
Down the hill the go. No. 5 Forest Chatter just won going down the hill at .80 cents on the dollar when breaking his maiden here on the 8th. No. 10 Gangnam Guy has run 2nd two times and 3rd once in his three starts down the hill and he gets a real nice post. No. 12 Law Dog gets the best of the draw and will get a nice trip with Kent D in the irons and this one exits our HTW list. 5-10-12
3yo Cal bred maidens go 6 furlongs. No. 5 Chief of Staff comes here from Emerald Downs and lands in the barn of Jerry Hollendorfer and gets Mike Smith. He exits a race in which he ran second and the winner came back to score and he was sent off at 5/2 in the race, this one looks like a runner. No. 9 The Grumbler looks live at first asking for trainer Marty Jones. 5-9
THE $200K CAP CUP OAKS AT 1 MILE ON THE GRASS
We will take our shot and single the No. 4 Heat the Rocks in the players pick five as she has done little wrong in her four starts. Just missing in her last at this mile distance to the very tough My Fiona and there are no My Fiona’s in this race. 4**
THE $250K CAL CUP DERBY GOING 1-1/16
No. 2 Acceptance will try and keep his undefeated streak alive and win his fourth straight race. No. 5 Kluszewski exits the same race as does No. 7 Pulmarack, both will try and turn the tables on Acceptance.
THE $150K SUNSHINE MILLIONS FILLIE AND MARE TURF SPRINT GOING DOWN THE HILL
We like three runners in this race, No. 4 Velvet Mesquite who has won 5 of 7 going down the hill but she will find a lot of other speed in this race. No. 8 Doinghardtimeagain who has won over $700k, she gets her second shot going down the hill. She finished second in her one try but will get a nice set up to make her late run. No. 14 Heat Trap will get the best trip from this post and is the one to beat at a fair price.
EXACTA BOX 4-8-14 AND WIN AND PLACE 14
THE $150K DONALD VALPREDO CAL CUP SPRINT
No. 1 Big Macher has won 3 of 6 at this distance and can stand heat on the front end. No. 3 Rousing Sermon lost by a neck to the Big Macher last out, he will rate today behind the speed. No. 9 Spirit Rules has the price play connections we like with Iggy riding for Paul Aguirre. 1-3-9
THE $250K CALIFORNIA CAL CUP TURF CLASSIC
We will use three horses that are exiting the same race. No. 3 Alert Bay the winner by a neck, No. 4 Patriots Rule who finished 8th but only 3-1/2 lengths behind, he will be flying late and No. 7 Awesome Return who finished 3rd by 1-1/4 lengths. 3-4-7
$30k maiden fillies go 6-1/2 furlongs on the dirt. No. 1 Erte drops in with maiden claimer for the first time, she will show some big early speed today. No. 6 She Got Away had a bad trip last out in her first try at this level, look for much better today with a clean trip, Maldo gets the call today. No. 11 Powerful Girl finished a nice second at this level last out and the filly who finished 3rd came back to score next out.
No. 2 New Nature got the job done last out when holding on to win by a head at this trip. No. 3 Beautranda gets the stretchout and the hot riding Ricardo Gonzalez. 2-3
No. 3 Topper’s Ghost gets the stretchout and may end up all alone on the front end. No. 5 The Bounty Man just missed in his last going this distance and moves up a notch. 3-5
No. 3 Seductive Charm drops into a maiden claimer and gets the improving bug boy Carson Sullivan. No. 6 Che Che losses Carson but gets R Gonzalez. 3-6
The start of the .20 cent rainbow pick six. No. 1 Havoc comes off a nice win and this may be his best distance. No. 5 Foolhardy gets his second start here and gets off the grass and drops in class, Baze sticks.
No. 4 Nicole Michelle gets off the grass and has a nice last work. No. 5 Lucky Julie also gets off the grass and she just missed on the synthetic by a nostril one race back. No. 6 Gem of a Gal also gets off the grass and she won on the synthetic surface here in her lone try. 4-5-6
No. 3 Nina’s Dragon has found his level. No. 6 American Aristocat is the speed and will once again try and outrun the Dragon who caught him on the line last out. 3-6
No. 5 Already Rockin gets off the grass and won on the synthetic surface going long two races back. No. 6 He’s Cagey just missed by a neck here last out, he is a hanger but a must use in this race. 5-6
No. 5 Lucky Moment gets off the grass and a turn back in distance, she will be flying late and has won sprinting in the past. No. 7 Commandress comes back to town and gets a needed drop in class, she gets a big break in the weights. 5-7
No. 1 Van Lingle Mungo gets back on the synthetic surface where he won one race back at this trip. No. 5 Warren’s Joe T. lands in a new barn, he looks ready to fire a big shot off his last two works. No. 6 Star Student also gets off the grass and he won in his last going long on the synthetic surface one race back when beating Mungo. 1-5-6
CHECK FOR LATE SCRATCHES AND CHECK THAT THE SADDLE CLOTH NUMBERS MATCH OUR SELECTION NUMBERS.
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].