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SANTA ANITA PLAYS THE MATCH GAME

What in THE hell happened in the first race last Friday at Santa Anita? A better question might be what didn’t happen.

A $16,000 conditioned claimer that started out with five runners became four the morning of the race, then there were two, count ‘em two, vet scratches with less than five minutes to post reducing the field to a match race.

Amazingly, the favorite went off at 1-2, while the second choice was a juicy 3-5. While this may seem mathematically impossible with only a 15.35 percent takeout, our best guess would be that the 1-2 shot was close to 59 cents on the dollar, while the 3-5 runner was in the neighborhood of 79 cents to the dollar.

Either way, what an ugly graphic.

The icing on the cake came after the race, when the 11-length winner, Watch Me Now from the Doug O’Neill barn, turned out to be a voided claim.

This is not to be confused with the O’Neill-trained Jimmy Bouncer, who won the day before and was a voided claim for the third straight time.

(Favorite Video)

That would have to be the Golden Gate maintenance worker who saw his life flash before him last week when he found himself at the top of the stretch on the turf course with a field coming at him head-on. Fortunately, everyone escaped without injury.

Aside from this employee doing his best impression of Fredo out on the lake, it’s hard to believe none of the stewards, the patrol judge or anybody else for that matter didn’t see this Einstein out on the course prior to the running of the five-furlong lawn party.

(Favorite Racecall)

Prior to the Kentucky Derby, NBC’s announcer Larry Collmus was interviewed and said his one fear was mixing up Hence and Patch and coming up with Pence.

Sure enough, on the clubhouse turn Hence became Pence according to Collmus, just like Pence is going to become President very soon if Donald Trump continues to run to this past performances.

(Favorite Quote)

This one is lifted right out of the Baltimore Sun in an article about Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.

“When we run the Preakness here we try to get everybody out before it gets too dark,” said Tim Ritvo, Stronach chief operating officer, but he acknowledged that a commitment from the city to improve the area could change the company's mind about Pimlico.

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ratzkym@yahoo.com @TashmanMortyS