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Najjaar Ready for Class Test in Rebel

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 3/16/2012 5:55:42 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Scatman, Sabercat, Secret Circle, Najjaar, Ellafitz
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Rebel, The Santa Margarita Invitational
Where: Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita
When: Saturday, March 17th

Secret Circle will get all the press prior to Saturday’s Grade2 Rebel at Oaklawn, but look for a freight train named Najjaar to garner the headlines after it’s over. Out west, the likelihood of rain makes front-runner Ellafitz an even more prohibitive favorite in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Invitational at Santa Anita. We’ll take a closer look at these races below.

In The Rebel, #8-Secret Circle (9-5) figures to sit a nice trip pressing the pace of #3-Scatman (8-1) to his inside…similar to what we saw in The Southwest. This time, however, at a mile-and-a-sixteenth, they must run the full length of the Oaklawn stretch, with powerful finisher #11-Najjaar (6-1) bearing down on them. Secret Circle will be toting an extra five pounds this time too, equaling the weight he’ll be spotting Najjaar. Najjaar, making his stakes debut, will offer a square price at 5-1 or better, in part because of the rather modest lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 84 he earned last out. Keep in mind, though, that he defeated older horses in that allowance score, something that none of the other members of the Rebel field have even attempted at this early stage of their careers. I’ll bet on #11-Najjaar to win at odds of 5-1 or better, and key him top and bottom in exactas with #3-Scatman, #7-Sabercat and #8-Secret Circle. The exacta tickets will look like this: 11/3,7,8 and 3,7,8/11.

It appears that #4-Ellafitz (6-5) will have an easy time of it on the front end in The Santa Margarita. No other member of the field has had the lead at any of the first three points of call in any race since the beginning of 2011! The likelihood of rain may make her task even easier. Although she’s never raced in off going, she’s certainly bred to love the slop, with a Tomlinson mud mark of 421. #5-Include Me Out (9-5) is in career form, having won the Grade 2 La Canada last out in convincing fashion. She won her only try on an off track, so I’ll use her to round out the chalky exacta. I’ll bet a straight 4-5 exacta, Ellafitz over Include Me Out.

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

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