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After 16 previous chances, with 11 runner-up finishes, KING PALM finally broke his maiden for the Maloof Brothers (owners of Palms Resort in Vegas and Sacramento Kings) and trainer Vladimir Cerin. Second in eight straight (I believe) at one point in his career, ‘PALM ended his bridesmaid status by beating four other older maidens in Thursday’s 3rd race. Might he be the type who, finally finding out how to win, comes right back and scores again next time?

The track got back to normal yesterday, playing much more fairly than Wednesday’s speed-biased strip.

Two more wins for hot young rider Michael Baze, who scored in wire-to-wire style with VIRGINIA CITY in the 2nd and from slightly off the pace with QUIETLY GO in the 5th. Baze, now being handled by Nick Casato, is tied for seventh in the jockey standings while older cousin Tyler is missing from the top 10. Speaking of QUIETLY GO, not many could have anticipated trainer Jorge Alcala moving up this horse off Julio Canani, who had dropped him out of the sky last time to run poorly as the favorite. Alcala came back to double with favorite RAPID SILVER in the finale.

Pick Six carryover of $113,848 into Friday…Wesley Ward and Martin Pedroza combined to win their second straight baby race of the meet when YOUNG JOE ran away from Cal-breds in the opener. Winning from the outside post, ‘JOE ended a 0-for-51 losing streak for posts 9 and 10 in these quarter-mile sprints over the past four seasons…GETBACK TIME proved to be the only true racehorse in the feature, winning for the sixth time in 13 starts (while in the money 11 times). What a claim she has been, taken by Rafael Becerra for $40,000 in her second lifetime start.

Brutal night in college hoops last night. I had Tennessee, Southern Illinois and Texas A&M in my pool. Two one-point losses and a three-point loss make me realize why I prefer betting on horses over sports. At least the torture is over in a minute and change rather than dragging on for two hours. I’ll dive back in tonight with USC (+8 1/2) vs. UNC. I won’t be surprised if the Trojans win straight up.

Quote of the day: Heard on today’s Dennis Prager radio show, “Don’t be so open minded that your brains fall out.”

To view a Free Sample of Thursday’s Premium Plays, click on the link below: Premium Plays for Mar. 22


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