Keying a juvenile in deep maiden race on Santa Anita Opener
Race 5 on the 10-race card on opening day at “The Great Race Place” is a maiden special weight event for juveniles. A field of 11 will go postward in a race that looks loaded to me. The 6 1/2-furlong dash is among the top betting races on the card. Bob Baffert has a pair and entrants hailing from the barns of Jerry Hollendorfer, Peter Miller, Mike Puype and John Shirreffs. But the horse I am keying with is Peter Eurton’s Mo Mississippi (#6) (6-1). Bay colt is bred to be a good one and I expect him to improve off his third-place showing on debut. $370,000 son of Uncle Mo took plenty of money when going off at 2-1 at Los Alamitos and finished a clear third in the slop while facing some fine prospects. April foal was wide throughout his first voyage and Mo Mississippi has since come back with a sharp five-eighths drill on the Santa Anita strip. Kentucky-bred has a lot of reason for appeal to me, including the jockey change to Flavien Prat. Mo Mississippi is from a classy and precocious family. His dam is a half-sister to Grade-1 queen Asi Siempre, who herself produced 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) hero Outstrip. One that I will dabble with for the exotics is first-time starter One Bad Boy (#1) (6-1). Dark bay has trained in swift fashion to date for Richard Baltas. Son of 19% debut sire Twirling Candy is bred to be a runner on debut for a heady outfit. His half-sister Ms Bad Behavior runs in the previous race on the card and she flashed speed from day one. Scalper (#9) (7-2), Jumpin Thru Hooops (#10) (5-1) and Big Scott Daddy (#11) (10-1) are first-time starters from top barns that could be cranked up for opening day. I will bet Mo Mississippi straight and key in the first and second slot for exacta and trifecta purposes at an expected nice price. Suggested Exotic Wagers: $5 Exacta Key Box 6 with 1,9,10,11 = $40 $1 Trifecta Key 6 with 1,9,10,11 with all = $36 $1 Trifecta 1,9,10,11 with 6 with all = $36 Good Luck!