The Morning Line: El Camino Real & Robert B. Lewis

Good morning race fans, it should be an exciting day of three-year old racing in California.  When the races unfold we’ll know more about which horses qualify as derby contenders heading into March and those that won’t be up for the challenge.  Our first race of the two Cali preps will be the Robert B. Lewis Stakes from Santa Anita.  With Comma to the Top electing to head north today for the El Camino Real, this race is will send out 7 total, six of which will battling to take out Tapizar, the morning line favorite at 4-5.  Here are your morning line odds:

Robert B. Lewis | GII $250,000 Purse | 1 1/8 Mile | 3 yr olds | Race 6, Post Time 3:06 PT PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds                                                                                      

  1. Wegner                         R. Bejerano          118         B. Baffert             10-1
  2. Anthony’s Cross          J. Rosario             118         E. Harty                6-1
  3. Comma to the top       C. Nakatani          123         P. Miller               Scr 
  4. Tapizar                         G. Gomez             120         S. Assmussen      4-5
  5. Ten Devils                   J. Talamo              118         R. Mandella         6-1
  6. Riveting Reason         V. Espinosa           118         M. Cho                  4-1
  7. Quail Hill                      M. Pedroza           118         D. Hofmans        20-1 
  8. Thirtyfirststreet         P. Valenzuela       118          D. O’Neil             10-1

Here are my rankings in order: Tapizar, Anthony’s Cross, Riveting Reason, Wegner.  I’m not counting on any of these contenders to take down Tapizar so the only action I’m going to be playing is an exotic wager with Tapizar, Anthony’s Cross and Thirtyfirststreet. There’s too many questions for me with Ten Devils since this will be his first trip on dirt after 3 races on turf.  While Bob Baffert is as good as gets in California I don’t expect Wegner to be making too much noise. 

Onto Northern California & Golden Gate Fields for the El Camino Real Derby.  Comma to the Top and its connections are obviously looking at only one thing and that is: Winners Circle first, Head to Head battle with Tapizar next.  Today could have been fireworks in the Robert B. Lewis but that will have to wait.  Similar to the Robert B, this race is lined up for the favorite with Comma to the Top listed at 6-5 on the morning line. 

El Camino Real | GIII $200,000 Purse | 1 1/8 Mile | 3 yr olds | Race 8, Post Time 4:22 PT PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds 

  1. Comma to the Top             C. Nakatani           121        P. Miller               6-5
  2. Blue Grass Reward            J. Hernandez        121        S. Miyadi             15-1
  3. Formula Gold                     H. Romero             121        L. Mason             30-1
  4. Silver Medallion                 R. Baze                   121       S. Assmussen      5-2
  5. Positive Response              J. Couton               121        W. Morey            7-2
  6. Jakesam                              F. Alvarado           121        J. Hollendorfer    8-1

My rankings are following the morning line odds: Comma to the Top, Silver Medallion, Positive Response, and Jakesam.  I really don’t see much here as I expect C. Nakatani to head back to So. Cal with a win under his belt.  Steve Asmussen is expected to have a good day with a Tapizar win but I don’t see him taking both races.  I’m expecting Positive Response and Silver Medallion to fight down the stretch but only for 2nd and 3rd as Comma to the Top proves too much. 

Good luck to all of the owners, trainers, jockeys and other connections in California.  We hope that all of the horses finish strong and return to the barns in good health. 

  •  Written by: Little Brink                                                                      thederbypost@gmail.com
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