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Pete’s Picks: Tamarando in El Camino Real Derby, Kobe’s Back in San Vicente

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 2/15/2014 5:04:58 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Tamarando, Enterprising, Grazen’s Hope, Cherubim, Kobe’s Back

What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The El Camino Real Derby, The San Vicente

Where: Golden Gate Fields, Santa Anita

When: Saturday and Sunday, February 15th and 16th

It’s unlikely that any major Kentucky Derby prospects will emerge from either The El Camino Real Derby (Grade 3) at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday or The San Vicente (Grade 2) at Santa Anita on Sunday. Still, on the off chance that one or more of these sophomores jumps up with a big effort, we’ll examine the prospects of the major players in these races below.

#4-Tamarando (3-1) is the most experienced and accomplished of the El Camino Real entrants, boasting a Grade 1 win in The Del Mar Futurity as well as a listed stakes score in The Real Quiet at Hollywood Park. In his two most recent starts, however, he was no match for 2YO champ Shared Belief and the up-and-coming Candy Boy in The Cash Call Futurity, nor did he pose a threat to runaway winner California Chrome in The California Cup Derby. Local bigwig Russel Baze takes over the riding chores on Tamarando, and you know he and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer have hooked up for a zillion winners on the No-Cal circuit over the years. Tamarando seems to be a bit of a plodder, though, and he’ll probably have to go get the lightly-raced #5-Enterprising (5-2) to earn the top prize. Enterprising’s numbers are steadily improving, and he was a game second last out in the Califonia Derby at this venue. Gary Stevens regains the mount and has won both times he’s been aboard this Tom Proctor runner. I’ll box these two in the exacta, with a slight lean towards Tamarando for the win, especially if he’s the second choice on the board.

The only multiple-race winner in The San Vicente is #1-Grazen’s Hope (6-1), who brings his perfect 2-for-2 record to So-Cal for trainer Steve Miyadi. This will be the colt’s first start on dirt, and he got familiar with the Santa Anita main oval with a solid six-furlong work last Sunday. The rail could be a bit tricky for this youngster, who will face early pressure from #5-Cherubim (5-2) to his outside. Cherubim flashed speed in his second start to break his maiden going away. His Beyer Speed Figure for that race (90) is the field’s best, so he’ll attract plenty of support for that reason alone. If he clears, he could be gone. #6-Kobe’s Back (2-1) was well-backed in his first two starts, which resulted in a maiden score and a distant second to the aforementioned Shared Belief in the Hollywood Preview (Grade 3) last November. He clipped heels in The CashCall Futurity, losing all chance. Although he has yet start on dirt, Kobe’s Back has been training lights out on the Santa Anita main track in preparation for this engagement. The outside post should suit his closing style, and the talented Joel Rosario sees fit to try again after that CashCall debacle. Kobe’s Back, a $480,000 2YO purchase, looks poised to live up to his hype in this seven-furlong event. I’ll bet on Kobe’s Back to win at odds of 8-5 or better.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for this weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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