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Yesterday’s early morning rain wiped out the two turf races (2nd and 4th races), which were probably the most interesting races on the card, at least from a gambling perspective. Although there were two stakes races on the card, let’s face it, it was pretty boring out there. Here’s a quick recap:

2nd race–Turf to dirt as only a field of five remained. GRAND POINT followed up his maiden score with an easy victory over a weak bunch. The next level will be a whole lot tougher.

3rd race–I liked AUGMENT a lot going in (he was the Free Pick of the Day on my website) but he was life and death as Gomez carried him home. He appeared to be going nowhere on the far turn but Gomez just kept riding until the Gallagher-trained gelding finally prevailed in the final 70 yards. Talk about a rider making the difference.

4th race–Guillot-trained first-time starter SOUTHERN INVASION (under Michael Baze) pulled off the upset in the first leg of the Pick Six. Odds-on favorite ASCARI couldn’t have run worse, hanging badly through the lane. I know he had never been on dirt before but he’s a bum–dirt or turf.

6th race–SLOW N EASY overcame a slow n easy start to win first off the claim for Ellis (had been a Danny V). Heavy favorite and suspicious dropper OUT OF COAL was eased through the lane. Interesting sidenote: in the winner’s circle after the race were Dennis O’Neill’s kids, who are friends with the Ellis kids. Amy Ellis was one of Tammy O’Neill’s (Dennis’ wife) bridesmaids . Guess who claimed ‘EASY? That’s right, Doug O’Neill with Dennis listed as one of the owners. Interesting game we play.

7th race–NOBLE COURT won the San Vicente in all-out style over LAW BREAKER. We weren’t impressed. Slow time, visually unimpressive, low-rated heat.

8th race–BALANCE got back on the winning track by taking the La Canada over a very weak Grade 2 field. BAI AND BAI tried her best but wasn’t good enough in finishing second.

9th race–Dropper SUPERSTAR JUSTIN dominated in the finale. Don’t know what his issues are but he looked like he was worth the money for new trainer Becerra.

Two other observations: the Peter Miller barn has really cooled off lately. And should have mentioned how bad Tyler Baze was yesterday, particularly his ride on RED NECK GAL (4th race) and not much better on HERE COMES RAY RAY (1st). Expect the O’Neill barn to start using a different Baze–Michael–much more in the future.

Thanks to a couple of readers who answered my question about Saturday’s 6th race winner ABALANCHE being a “Bi-Lateral Crytorchid”. It basically means that the horse has undescended testicles (did not drop from his abdomen) and is not fertile. Â

See you on Wednesday.

To view a Free Sample of yesterday’s Premium Plays, click on the line below: Premium Plays for Feb. 11

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