Friday, May 16th – Santa Anita
Scheduled local post time 6:07 pm
In the midst of a blazing heat wave in Southern California, let’s look to pay off that ghastly air conditioning bill with a six-year-old gelding who appears to be spotted for victory in Friday’s featured seventh race at Santa Anita.
My Slew (#8, 7-2 ML) has a number of positive handicapping angles that make us fancy his chances in this 6.5-furlong turf race. The only thing that gives us pause is his lack of historical success at this quirky trip, but the sample size is small enough for us to give him another chance in this spot. We are more than willing to forgive My Slew’s most recent effort prior to the layoff, as he was clearly on the downside of his form cycle and racing against better horses than he faces today. Now that he has had time to recuperate, we take note of his history of running well off the bench. He is two-for-two in such situations (most recently following a layoff of 196 days which is identical to this one), and his trainer, Peter Miller, has an outstanding record (95 trainer rating) with horses coming off significant but reasonable layoffs of approximately 5 to 8 months.
The Pace Projector puts My Slew in a terrific stalking position just off a pace expected to be set by Three Vases (#3, 12-1), a horse that My Slew should dominate in the late stages, based on his superior Late Pace rating.
The danger horse is 5-2 morning line favorite Boozer (#2, 5-2). Boozer is the fastest horse on paper, and it would be no surprise if he was the first horse to make it to the wire in this race. He had a subtly difficult trip in his last race, dropping off the pace after breaking alertly, and then making a strong and wide middle move before flattening out late as the odds-on favorite. The race leaves us with mixed feelings: We don’t love the way he lost tactical position in the early stages. We think it probably cost him the race. Today, he gets a jockey switch to Joe Talamo, which could make the difference. Our issue with Boozer comes down to expected value, or lack thereof: Because he has fired such sharp efforts in his two starts as a four-year-old, we expect Boozer to be bet below his morning line in this race.
Win bet on #8 My Slew. Exacta: #8 My Slew over #2 Boozer.