VIP Horses to Watch

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SANTA ANITA

AX MAN: First time starter for trainer Bob Baffert got off at 7/5. After watching him win by more than nine lengths in this full field of ten 3yo, the price was a bargain. We would have been standing in line to make a Kentucky Derby future book wager but since this race was run Jan. 1 he falls into the curse of Apollo. He does have a big time future and will be one to watch on the Kentucky Derby trail.

NEXT SHARES: Was in from Aqueduct and landed in the barn of Richard Baltas. He ran huge in his first try going down the tricky hill side turf course, finishing a fast closing second vs. the lone speed in here and beating the favorite, Richard’s Boy, who was proven on this course. $$$

THE TULIP: Was in from Ireland for trainer Paddy Gallagher who does well with these Irish imports. This girl made a last-to-fourth big time move just blasting down the lane in this mile turf race. Look for her in the winner’s circle in the very near future.

EMBOLDENED: Baffert had two entries in this maiden race for 3yo fillies. The favorite Hottalabama was a late scratch, giving Emboldened with Joe Talamo a rare shot for Baffert. She ran like something special, winning going away by more than four lengths while under a very snug Talamo hold.

WINEMENOW: One of my favorite sayings ran a solid second going down the hill when coming from last in this 10-horse field, missing the win by a dwindling half length. We may see this girl going long on the grass next out. If so we will be firing!

TONY BLACKJACK: Made a big time four-wide move after hopping in a slow start to be dead last. He blazed home to win going away with a lot left in the tank. Look for another big time run next out. $$$$$

RED LIVY: You either love this downhill turf course or don’t and this is one runner who loves it. She won this downhill $25K claimer for fun and will get a move up in class next out as D’Amato keeps her going down the hill and keeps collecting those checks.

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