The Horse Race Insider is a privately owned magazine. All copyrights reserved. “Bet with your head, not over it.”

The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

IS FAIR GROUNDS’ GUN RUNNER A TRAP, CAN ANY RIVAL HANDLE TAIBA AT SANTA ANITA?

We don’t know the answer to that but this juvenile test in New Orleans sure has the potential. The fact is that the two-turner has drawn a field of seven and the linemaker installed a 3-1 favorite with three rivals listed at 7-2.

A quick look at the past performances lends the impression that Andthewinneris (7-2_is the “best horse.” Agreed that his future appears to be on grass but he was not disgraced in his lone dirt try sprinting .

He finished third at CD in what appeared to be a bridge to his turf and two turn debut at Saratoga even if that effort did come in a stakes following a 5.5F turf maiden breaker. Two starts later he won Keeneland’s G2 Bourbon in high stlyle.

The 3-1 choice is Jace’s Road, a good third in Churchill’s G3 Iroquois prior to his misadventure in the G3 Street Sense in which he failed to handle the slop after throwing his rider pre-race

Parenthetically, there’s no rain in the forecast and Brad Cox is 31% effective with beaten favorites.

Ken McPeek’s Hayes Strike (7-2) is interesting. He’s had troubled trips in four of his six starters since his two-turn maiden breaker at Ellis.

Never mind the racing gods owe him one but in his last two he was graded-stakes placed and gets Brian Hernandez back. He’s slower than these on the Thoro-Graph scale but is on a forward line, improving incrementally.

We do believe that Mark Casse’s Determinedly (7-2) should, and will, be favored ante post. After three turf two-turners, he turned back to 7 furlongs for his dirt return and was second to Arabian Knight, who ran off the screen.

On his sixth try, he broke maiden at that same Churchill trip by 7-1/4, pairing up fast figures. Whether or not they were too fast we’ll see but Luis Saez is not letting this guy out of his sights, forsaking Gulfstream’s Championship Meet meet opener for a day in NOLA.

We also believe he will prove best in show. Taking Determinedly to win, no price restrictions, and key-boxing trifectas first and second with his rivals above.

Another Opening, Another Show

Boxing Day is being celebrated Arcadia today and while I opened the PPs looking to beat Taiba on the traditional opening day of the prestigious Santa Anita winter meet, I can’t. Too talented, too fast, and too much on the line: Eclipse Award as three-year-old champion.

I really don’t want to vote for him to win the title but a third Grade 1 this year, today’s 7-furlong Malibu Stakes the leader in the sophomore clubhouse, and his excellent third vs. elders in the Classic makes him an undeniable choice for us.

But who knows, that’s why races on the sand and loam or turf or synthetic surfaces and not on paper. Taiba, 6-5 on the early line, will be odds-on ante post.

We will be watching with interest but with little cash on the line, keying him in Dime Supers with early-season Dick Mandella-trained sensation Forbidden Kingdom (3-1); Messier (6-1) another in that same mold whose last was too bad to believe.

Horse for Course Apprehend (8-1) should be in that mix, and finally the sharp, improving Nakatomi (10-1), with Tyler G shipping west for the ride.

Facebook Share
Twitter Share
LinkedIn Share
Email
Print

⚠ Before you comment

Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

2 Responses

  1. Sorry Frankie jumped up and bit you, Doc.

    A legendary figure, his reputation is well deserved, not only for the requisite skills of an elite rider but, just like our Johnny V.,, he has a propensity for finding the sweet spot in virtually any contest.

    One of he best I’ve ever seen, I intend to savor his farewell tour, whether backing him or not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *