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Jan 18, 2008





CARMAN: Was right there in return from a nine-month layoff and may not be a maiden for much longer.

DRAFT CHOICE: First starter broke slowest in a 10-horse field but then got right into the fray and ran well thereafter for third. May not be a maiden for long.

GHOSTLY GIRL: Finished off the board but lost by less than half a length after racing close up to a pace that didn’t hold up on 1/3.

IGRAINE: Led the way in a three-way, eight-length-gap battle for the lead and held on for a close third while easily clear of the rest of the field.

JUSTINPLACE: Broke slow and then was hustled up in a mile turf race but could get no closer than third behind a wire-to-wire winning favorite. Try again.

KISS THE COOKE: Got caught in a protracted duel for the lead in return from a year+ layoff and finished third after outlasting her early challenger. Looms a speed threat.

LE CIRQUE: Finished with interest too late after breaking slow and starting too far behind a moderate pace on turf. Just needs a good pace to chase.

LUCK IS MANDATORY: Went as far as he could as fast as he could before a :21.3, :43.4 pace eventually took its toll in the final yards of a 6 1/2F race. May finally graduate.

MAHALO LANI: Yet another excuse on 1/3 when she broke poorly from the rail and then rushed up into a duel for the lead. Can make amends if able to get off the rail.

MARMAIDA: Equipment troubles may have cost her a better finish after the saddled slipped on 1/10. Ready to roll in second race off the three-month layoff.

ONE CHIN AGAIN: Finished two heads out of third in return from a seven-month layoff. Live vs. maidens.

PLAN FOR FUN: Closed well behind a wire-to-wire winning favorite and should do even better next time off the claim by Mullins.

RUN RIGHT THRU: Battled for the lead and set a blazing pressured pace in :21.2, and :43.3, which is very demanding at 6 1/2 furlongs. Held on the best of the front-runners and deserves another look.

TONTINE TOO: Came down from NoCal and emerged from a speed duel to just miss after wearing down his early challenger. Next time’s the charm.

ZAYED: Broke poorly and rushed up to stalk the pace before tiring late as a result and settling for fifth. Can make amends with a better start.

BEST BET:  SHAWKLIT SUNDAE: Was the only close-to-the-pace horse still around at the finish in a race otherwise ruled by the closers. Deserves a long look vs. the local competition.

LONGSHOT:  POLITICAL MANEUVER: Faded badly after setting an unrealistic :22.2, :45.2 pace in a 1 1/16th-mile race where all the front-runners finished far back. Worth another chance.


Golden Gate


ANDREW’S TURN: Lost a pair of heartbreakers in November and December before rounding out the trifecta in his last two starts. Always in the mix at the basement.

BLACK HORSE MONEY: Seven-year-old has really improved since getting claimed last September. Two wins out of his last five starts, and may go off at a price following the fifth-place finish.

CHRISTIE’S FAME: Has stepped up her game over the Golden Gate all-weather, posting back-to-back third-place finishes. Game performance last time after dueling for most of the way; tab.

GETNDOWNTHELANE: Quietly showed some life at 47-1 when stretched out to one mile. Expecting him to build off that fourth-place finish.

HEZA TWELTH MAN: His last two starts haven’t been pretty, but he does have a solid third-place finish over the Tapeta three starts back in early December. Worth including at the right price.

LA JOLLA LADY: Didn’t show much in her unveiling last July, but has been training smartly for her return. Fired a three-furlong bullet in :35 at Golden Gate Jan. 16.

M. I. A. MICHAEL: If you ignore his eighth-place finish going six furlongs, the remainder of his form isn’t all that bad. Will go off at a major price and won’t be facing any monsters at the $8K maiden claiming level.

MADEAR: Winless in eight career starts, but has clearly gotten better in her last three since the freshening. Makes an impact at a price.

PLEASANTLY: Has shown improvement in each of her three career starts, including a fifth-place finish at 93-1. You’ve been warned.

WATCH ME GO BYEBYE: Speedster can’t run a race without rattling off a :44 and change half mile. Disappointing in his last two, but is always a threat to steal one.

WILMORE: Outran his 21-1 odds to place fourth most recently. In good form since the racing has shifted to Golden Gate; from William Morey’s barn.

4 STAR SPECIAL: TRUE MAN: Stone-closer trailed the field by as many as 19 lengths before rallying to finish fifth, beaten 5 ½ lengths versus allowance company. Good enough to win a $40K claimer at Hollywood in December; very dangerous.  

LONGSHOT: HOPEFUL HUNTER: Ran a much better race two starts back when sent to the front end. Followed that fourth-place finish at 18-1 with a fifth-place finish at 30-1; upset-bound.


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