On The Contrary: Santa Anita’s Most Playable Longshots on Friday Feb 13


>Santa Anita / February 13th / Go to Racecard

Note: The goal of “On The Contrary” is to point out several horses every day who may be overlooked in the wagering and who can possibly add value to trifectas and superfectas (in high holes and low) and to Pick 3s, Pick 4s, etc. We will not be making “selections” per se in “On the Contrary.” Rather, we’ll encourage readers to give extra consideration to certain horses who may seem a little overmatched at first glance–but who are in fact the type of horses we often build our bets around.


This is not the worst card we have ever seen. There was a Caliente card in ’78 that was slightly worse. Anyway, we’ll be skipping over the races that have tiny fields, and do the best we can with the rest today:

Race 1: Pass.

Race 2: Pass.

Race 3:

We were going to break our own rule by discussing the 2nd choice on the ML, Coded Message. But she scratched. She had a very interesting trip in her debut and is worth following.

Race 4: Pass.

Race 5: #3 Upbeat Tempo

We had him marked as a horse to watch: he improved from his first start to his second, and then he managed to make his way to a dead rail (after starting from post 7) in his third start. But for some reason he is entered in a grass route instead of the dirt sprint where we want him. So we are NOT going to endorse him. But he is worth watching closely for any signs of continued life, in which case he will certainly show up in this space down the road–when he is entered in a dirt sprint.

Race 6: #3 Take a Risk

Overmatched on paper, 15-1 on the ML, and figures to be a big price when the gates open. Lacks talent. We think he has practically no chance to win this race. But we give him a chance to get onto the bottom of the board. In his last start, he was crowded out of the gate, to be away last, and he cornered poorly around the first turn and went unnecessarily wide, and he was wide again later.

Race 7: #4 Louden’s Gray

20-1 on the ML. Ran just fine in a turf sprint at Del Mar. This 6.5F downhill sprint is vastly different from the 5F turf sprint Del Mar offers. Moreover, it plays a lot, lot longer and this colt has never been farther than 6F. But he has some distance breeding and has been training fairly well, and we are quick to forgive the “sins” of horses who are 20-1 on the ML. Chance to get into the super at a big price.

Race 8: #9 Kelbaker, #2 Claret Cove

First-time starter has shown big gate speed in the morning. Tyler Baze has been up in the morning and rides in the afternoon. Filly has a terrific debut sire. Early speed usually plays well at this distance.

And finally: Claret Cove looks perfectly awful on paper and will be a huge price. We expect her to go from awful to only semi-awful today, and that could get her into the very bottom of the super.

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4 Responses to On The Contrary: Santa Anita’s Most Playable Longshots on Friday Feb 13

  1. Mark Combs says:

    Surprised you didn’t like Muchos Besos in the 6th race on this day, I like to play longer priced horses as well. But instead of playing long shots that bad on paper, I prefer horses that won, or just missed, and now step up at a price


  2. ricbldwn says:

    I bet Tampa Bay all day & finally hit one that didn’t have a chance on paper,but:
    “Voler Les Coeurs”was a flying heart at the end for $42.60,Friday the 13th wasn’t all that bad.


  3. This is hilarious. Love these things. It may get so bad you’ll turn to chariot races like I did.



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