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


>>Friday March 4th| Go To TFUS PPs for today’s races at Santa Anita

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. >>See related interview on betting longshots.

 Race 1:

Commander King:

20-1 on ML:

He is terribly overmatched on the win end. He is also way up in class off a 16-length loss. Now with that out of the way, he has decent back figures, gets back on the grass, and has been training as if we may see a better effort from him today. Should be a huge price for a smart trainer. Chance to crash the bottom part of the superfecta.

Race 4:


15-1 on ML:

Here we go again. Her best dirt effort leaves her about a furlong short in here. And she’s way up in class off a lousy effort at Turf Paradise at 52-1. (One can begin to take perverse joy in this sort of disclaimer.) Be that as it may, we believe that we have not seen her best dirt effort yet. We would not exclude her from the bottom of exotics if the price is massive.

Race 5:

Eleven Zip:

20-1 on ML:

To our way of thinking, this gelding has much more to offer, in terms of relative ability, than either of the two horses above. Draws well and gets back on his best surface. Can run with these if he shows up off the ship from up north.

Race 6:

Love My Bud:

6-1 on ML:

That workout  a week ago was very uncharacteristic of Marty Jones, who likes to see his horses crawl in the morning and run in the afternoon. It impressed the private clockers visually, too. Jones is a terrific trainer whose recent stats do him not a bit of justice. This gelding showed a hint of talent before the gap and can run with these if taking a step forward today.

Race 7:

Beat of the Drum:

12-1 on ML:

Has competitive back figures and has trained as if she’s ready to show more than she has in her last two starts, both of which were comprehensively awful. Need a very big price here because the negatives are endless.

Race 8:

Big Guy Benny:

6-1 on ML:

First-time starter has mediocre breeding (rating of only 60), and trainer Hector Palma (who is an underrated trainer) does not specialize in getting big performances out of firsters. But this colt’s workouts are interesting. Palma doesn’t always show his hand in the morning.

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