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Matchen, The Factor Get Tested for Class

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 2/18/2011 3:41:45 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Rogue Romance, Mucho Macho Man, Machen, Santiva, Indian Winter, The Factor
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Risen Star, The San Vicente
  • Where: Fair Grounds, Santa Anita
  • When: Saturday and Sunday, February 18th and 19th

The talent runs deep in both The Risen Star (Grade 2) on Saturday at Fair Grounds, and The San Vicente (Grade 2) on Sunday at Santa Anita. While not favored (6-1 morning line), the undefeated Machen is the ‘buzz’ horse at Fair Grounds. He’ll get tested for class by the likes of Rogue Romance, Mucho Macho Man and Santiva. Meanwhile, at Santa Anita, everyone is waiting to see what The Factor will do for an encore, after blazing six furlongs last out in 1:06 4/5. He may have company on the front end in The San Vicente, with speedsters like Metropolitan Man, City Cool and Premier Pegasus signed on.

There’s ample speed in The Risen Star. Decisive Moment, Pants on Fire, Mucho Macho Man and Justin Phillip have all led or pressed the pace on multiple occasions. It seems unlikely that the winner will emerge from this group. Morning line favorite (3-1) Rogue Romance has been training forwardly at Gulfstream Park. He’ll be making his Fair Grounds debut, however, and his first start in 3 ½ months, so I’ll look elsewhere for value. Like Rogue Romance, the classy Santiva is making his Fair Grounds bow off a layoff. At least his price looks a bit more appealing at 6-1. Machen has gotten away slowly in both his starts, yet managed to draw off with authority each time. He’s beautifully bred, owns a pair of wins over the track, and drops six pounds off his most recent tour de force. He could wind up being a major player on the first Saturday in May, and I’m expecting him to stamp his ticket to Louisville this Saturday. I’ll bet on Machen to win at odds of 4-1 or better.

The Factor posted a monster Beyer Speed Figure (108) in his Santa Anita six-furlong romp, and there was plenty left in the tank. Seven furlongs should be well within his scope. He may just prove to be the speed-of-the-speed, and too talented for this bunch. Still, at a likely short price, and with the presence of other legitimate front-runners, I’ll try to beat him with a proven finisher. Interestingly, jockey Rafael Bejarano, who rode The Factor last out, will be aboard Sinai. While Sinai had an excuse in The San Pedro last out, being steadied on the inside, I was more impressed with the winner, Indian Winter. Indian Winter was making his dirt debut in The San Pedro off a 4 ½-month break, but passed this test with flying colors. He was much the best in the final sixteenth, despite trying to lug in. Jockey Martin Pedroza did a masterful holding a straight course with his mount. Indian Winter’s gallop out was equally impressive. I’ll take a shot with Indian Winter to collar The Factor in the late going at odds of 3-1 or better.

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

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