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“They can put a man on the Moon but they can’t…” How many times in your lifetime have you heard that expression? To update that dated saying, they can crack the human genome, they can put GPS navigation systems in cars and they can freeze Ted Williams’ head, but they CAN’T properly announce equipment changes at Southern California tracks before the races start. It happened twice again yesterday. Horses were delayed in the paddock for the 5th race before it was announced that one of the favorites, KICKIN BACK, was NOT removing blinkers after all. Then it was announced before the 6th race that OCEAN MELODY (8th race) would be adding blinkers. Both announcements came after $158,000 had been bet in the Pick Six pool and a good chunk of the $317,000 had been bet in the late Pick 4. Now neither horse won, but ‘MELODY (with blinkers) showed heretofore unseen early speed to make a clear lead and held on for second at 15-1, signaling a big improvement off his recent form. When is this unprofessional treatment of horseplayers going to end? When someone (track or human) is given a large fine, that’s when.

Yesterday was bizarro day at Hollywood Park. Favorites in the early races (GENERAL BUENO in the 1st and UNRIVALED SONG in the 2nd) were hammered down to 1/9 in the early betting before eventually floating up a bit. ‘BUENO won but ‘SONG was horrible, finishing last as a show-plunging bridgejumper splashed into the water. LANG FIELD, the 2-1 favorite, returned $7.40 to show, runner-up COREY COUNTY $14.20 and third horse MARSILIO FICINO a whopping $26.80 in a five-horse field. I can’t help but laugh to myself when these huge favorites run out, pitying the poor fool who plunked down thousands while trying to make a quick 5% on his money. It’s the most idiotic bet on the racetrack but gives contrarians who play against the “show” horse a chance to make easy money when these horses run out, and they do so with surprising regularity.

I’m in Kentucky for a few days and Michael Baze goes crazy with three consecutive hat tricks. He holds a 19-14 lead over Victor Espinoza, who is taking 12 days in appealed suspension time, so the riding title is Baze’s to lose. The 20-year-old has improved in leaps and bounds and probably will get his main challenge from apprentice Joe Talamo…two winners yesterday for Richard Migliore, who continues to carve out a top-five niche in SoCal…congratulations to Gonzo Almeida, who ended a long drought and got his second winner of the year aboard YOUR QUOTE in the 4th…BILLIE BOB was impressive breaking her maiden under wraps in the 3rd and looks like a potential stakes type in the Cal-bred ranks.

On Wednesday: Martin Garcia and The Mig got a pair of riding victories, and Vladimir Cerin continued his hot hand with a training double. His FLEETHEART made it three-for-three with a game victory in the 7th…TICE has found his niche going 1 1/4 miles in paceless fields…ROYAL PRANA was visually impressive winning the 4th on turf for Mike Machowsky/Jose Valdivia.

To view Free Samples of Wednesday and Thursday Premium Plays, click on the links below: Premium Plays for May 9Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Premium Plays for May 10

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