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.
In the movie “Owning Mahoney,” the peerless Philip Seymour Hoffman played a gambling addict who was cut off by his bookie. He was still allowed to go to the racetrack. He just couldn’t bet.
“What am I supposed to do?” he asked, “watch?”
Well, Santa Anita has had plenty of interesting cards this meet. It will have interesting cards over the next few days and months. But even the Philip Seymour Hoffman character would have had no trouble passing every race today. This card is awful. In fact, the only real difference between this card and a cancelled card is that this card has a few more horses running.
We cannot in good conscience recommend any horses today. Every race below is a pass. But some will contain comments.
Race 1: Good Lord. Pass.
Race 2: Pass.
Race 3: Pass.
Race 4: Pass. (Pretty Emma is 20-1 on the morning line and will be a huge price when the gate opens. Looks terrible on paper. Has shown no talent. Makes route debut off decent route breeding for a solid trainer but one who specializes at winning races at 4.5 furlongs. Had a fairly ugly trip last time, duelling on a legitimate pace and then getting bogged down on a bad rail through the stretch. Looked ready to fold but didn’t–not quite. Chance to get into exotics at massive price.)
Race 5: Pass. (Seek a Star has a post we hate for this downhill race. Also has a trainer we try to avoid playing, and a rider who is better at other things than he is down the hill. But she is 10-1 on the morning line, and we think she has a smidgen of talent. Maybe she can get into the trifecta here.)
Race 6: Pass.
Race 7: Pass.
Race 8: Pass. (Not to put too fine a point on it, this race is so awful we thought we were the victim of some sort of practical joke. Candid Camera or something. Anyway, we do not like the first-time starters at their morning line odds. We expect the race to go to Sunshine Bandit (lots of luck getting the ML odds on him) or Price of Glory, and we’ll give Bern (20-1 on ML) a chance to slip into the super at a huge price.)