Santa Anita Top Play for Sunday: Aftermarketslam shows patented Hollendorfer move

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Santa Anita / Race 9/ 5:00 PM PDT

The three-year-old gelding Aftermarketslam enters this maiden claiming 5.5F race with a pattern that his trainer, Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, has used with much success over the years: dropping in class after a race it failed to finish.

After a strong debut in a Golden Gate Maiden Special Weight, in which he forced the pace, finished second, and earned a speed figure of 93, Aftermarketslam tried the quirky, love-it-or-loathe-it Santa Anita downhill turf course. He loathed it. And he was pulled up after half a mile.

Now Hollendorfer is dropping him all the way to maiden claiming $20,000. The Race Rating for his debut race was a 94. The preliminary Race Rating for today’s race is only an 82. That is a serious drop in class.

Hollendorfer is also giving him his first race on real dirt, a surface he is bred top and bottom to handle just fine. In addition, he has been training very well over this surface, culminating with a strong gate work on May 28.

Aftermarketslam will be getting in light today (113 pounds) because of his age and because hot-riding apprentice Drayden Van Dyke is up.

Given that this is a 5.5F race, the Pace Projection showing Aftermarketslam at the back of the field early would ordinarily be a major concern. However, we believe that this projection is distorted by the debacle down the hill last time. Indeed, using the “adjusted fractions” feature, one sees that in his debut, Aftermarketslam ran faster variant-adjusted fractions than Real Deal Appeal has been running, and Real Deal Appeal is the horse the Pace Projector projects to be the early leader today.

If Aftermarketslam is in one piece and ready to get back to his debut effort today, he figures to be very hard to handle in this spot. He is our selection.

The play: Aftermarketslam to win.

Use Aftermarketslam in exotics over and under Real Deal Appeal, Super Reagan, and Warren’s Sunny Boy.

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