These are the races and early picks for this afternoon’s Beat the Host contest. Of course this may change if strategy dictates. The tracks are Gulfstream and Santa Anita, and I’ll describe with Prime Power for relative strength vs field.
GP 4 [$45K Mdn C 3yo’s 1 mile]
ML 6-1 Moe Man - Two starts, ships in from Ky, gets Leparoux in the saddle, 5th in Prime Power, but I’m expecting improvement.
GP 5 [$100K 3yo’s 6f] Spectacularbid
ML 6-1 Westover Wildcat – Trained by Dutrow, has 2 wins and a 2nd in 4 starts, improving each race, 1st in Prime Power.
SA 1 [$32k Mdn C 3yo’s 1 mile]
12-1 Warrens Matchmaker – This race is filled with similar types, just a matter of who is ‘on.’ Warren’s started in $50k company with two 4ths and a 5th, hoping the slight class drop will see him to victory. Prime Power 5th of 7.
GP6 [$100K F&M 4&up 6f] G3 Sugar Swirl
Two horses Warbling and Thunders Dove. Thunders Dove the ML favorite and off for 105 days, so I’ll prolly go Warbling.
ML 6-1 Warbling – 2 starts and 2 wins both rough trips but she got it done. I believe she has more to give. 5th in Prime Power
SA 3 [$49k 4&up T 6.5f]
ML 6-1Calimonco – A six horse field, Calimonco has raced in the east, but winters in California for the 1st time. If he likes the odd downhill turf, he could surprise. Most horses don’t like the odd downhill run, or at least take a race or two to become familiar; thus his seemingly high morning line odds of 6-1. Prime Power 2nd of 6.
SA 4 [$25k Mdn C F&M 4&up 6f]
ML 7/2 Stylin Deputy – In a 9 horse field, this one seems ready making her 3rd start off a layoff. Of course she was on a layoff since her record is 0-2-2 in 7 starts. The favorite has had only one start and if she runs that again, she wins. 2nd of 9 in Prime Power.
GP 9 [$100k F 3yo’s 6f] G3 Oldhat
ML12-1 Malibu Legacy – 2 starts and 2 wins. Hasn’t faced the toughest company but winning wire to wire. If she can get the lead, she may surprise. This is the next to last race, but wish it was 1st as this is my favorite long shot pick. If other contestants are struggling they’ll be looking for a price late. Prime Power is 10th of 11.
SA 5 [$25k C 4&up 7f]
ML 8-1 Raingear – Claimed at 10k in the summer at Del Mar, this horse was moved to the turf and tougher company and was soundly beaten. Now it is back to dirt - or more exactly all weather at Santa Anita – but still in the class hike. His summer dirt form puts him right in the chase with these, but does he regain that form? Prime Power is 2nd of 7.
The six through 8th and final race of this contest are scheduled to go off within 30 minutes (5:05 and 5:35), so that last half hour will see much begging and strategy changes. Below are the Host’s picks nicely posted the morning of the contest.
Saturday, January 9th
Track Race Post
(ET) Host Pick
Gulfstream Park 4 2:38pm #7 Systemic Risk
Gulfstream Park 5 3:07pm #9 A Little Warm
Santa Anita 1 3:30pm #4 Moonskipper
Gulfstream Park 6 3:36pm #9 Prerry Prolific
Santa Anita 3 4:32pm #2 Banner Lodge
Santa Anita 4 5:04pm #6 Dame Camille
Gulfstream Park 9 5:08pm #7 Touching Beauty
Santa Anita 5 5:35pm #7 Stand Tall
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. ~ Wayne Gretzky
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