Hmmm, Alex Solis in decline, huh? For the past couple of years, many in the industry have talked about the 43-year-old jockey being a shadow of his former self. Some have even gone so far as refuse to bet the native of Panama. Well, I seem to remember a day not so long ago they were saying the same things about a guy named Laffit Pincay, Jr., who then proceeded to find his second wind and end a scintillating career on a high note before being forced to retire because of injury.
On a day when we’re celebrating the end of the synthetic-track mess at Santa Anita with the announcement that a new surface will be put in at the end of the winter-spring meet, let’s add to the festivities by playing an early pick four. The ticket will cost $24 and I think we got an excellent shot at winning.
First leg — Minister Blair and Soupy
Second leg — Warren’s Grandslam, Sherry’s High, Flamingo Princess and Berjando
Third leg — Skimmetry
Fourth leg — Renees Beauty, Ellkin’s Time and Spanish Heat.
The key to a HUGE payoff is the fourth race and Ellkin’s Time, who is 30-1 on the morning line but is capable of pulling a major upset and prompting a big pick-four payout. Ellkins Time has had a race over the track and closed in the stretch while racing three-wide in his debut. He gets the services of Isaias Enriquez, who is a capable jockey who boots home some long shots.
There is a $274,952 Super High 5 carryover at Santa Anita today. The exotic wager, in its first year of existence, requires bettors to select the first five finishers in the day’s final race in their exact order. It’s a $1 minimum bet, and you can wager as many combinations as you like. This is the biggest pool yet for the Super High 5, and though I don’t play it myself, there are a couple of horses in the eighth race that I would recommend including if you want to take a shot.
The David Hofmans-trained Medjool came charging down the stretch to win Monday’s ninth race at Santa Anita like he could be something special. He was facing a field that included eight other colts nominated to the Triple Crown races. Michael Baze had him fifth in the field of 12 much of the way before moving to second at the head of the lane and then drawing off to win by 4 1/2 lengths over a revamped synthetic surface that is not playing nearly as quickly as last Wednesday or during the Cushion Track, i.e. 605 Freeway, days. Perhaps what was most impressive about the way Medjool won was that he wasn’t chasing lightning-quick fractions. He sat behind an average pace of :23.73, :48.20 and 1:13.10 before making his final late charge and running the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.06
Hmmmm …. $1.2 million pick-six carryover at Santa Anita? Guess where I’m going to be today?
But before you get too excited ladies and gents, this is a TOUGH card … I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we had a four-day carryover into Wednesday, and wouldn’t that send track officials into a frenzied tizzy with anticipation of a record pick-six pool?
We did pretty well yesterday, giving out Dine At Nine at $11 in the first and Surf Cat at $7 in the San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita. Let’s try again with the following horses ….
If you’re heading out to the Great Race Place today, take a look at Dine At Nine in the first with Jose Valdivia Jr. up … she’s got the speed to open up on ‘em and be long gone in this cheap field of maiden claimers … a good long shot in the race and maybe a horse to hook up with Dine At Nine in the exacata is Concinnous, who will be ridden by Joe Talamo and figures to be closing in the stretch.
Santa Anita president Ron Charles announced Thursday morning that Friday’s nine-race card has been canceled in order for track superintendent Richard Tedesco and his crew to finish renovation on the facility’s Cushion Track, which has failed to drain properly since installation was completed in August.
The rain that caused Santa Anita to cancel a record eighth day of racing Sunday appears to be moving out of the Southland, and weather.com has downgraded the chance for rain tonight. That’s good news for track officials, who had hoped to begin the maintenance program after today’s final race that they hope will solve Cushion Track’s drainage problem.
He was flying at the end, but best Trevor’s Clever could do was grab third money in the fourth race. Bet down to 5-2 from his 4-1 morning-line price, Trevor’s Clever was farther back than I thought he’d be. He was last in the field of nine turning for home when Gomez steered him to the outside and closed strongly.