Los Ponies Longshots: Educational Debut, Ready to Regroup

Looking into the paddock at Santa Anita Park before a race. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

Welcome to Los Ponies Longshots! Each week, America’s Best Racing’s Southern California correspondent Jose Contreras – Los Ponies to those who follow him on Twitter – will provide two or three longshots at 8-to-1 odds or better on the morning line that he identifies as strong value bets. Contreras also will map out a betting strategy for how to play his selections and keep track of his return on investment (ROI).

Stop back each week if you love a longshot!

Saturday, Feb. 11

Santa Anita ParkRace 3, 4:29 p.m. ET

#7 Gunner Grey (8-1): Although he finished fifth of nine in his debut, I thought he looked good. He broke sharply and then settled behind the leading group. The track was wet that day and it looked like he wasn’t comfortable with all the kickback. He dropped back to third to last but then made a good move on the turn before tiring late. That was a good educational run, and I think he’s got plenty of room to improve.

Strategy on $10 Budget

$2 win on Gunner Grey ($2)

$2 exacta: 7 with 4,6 ($4)

$1 exacta: 2,3,4,6 with 7 ($4)

Strategy on $25 Budget

$5 win on Gunner Grey ($5)

$1 trifecta: 6,7 with 4,6,7 with 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 ($20)

Strategy on $50 Budget

$4 win on Gunner Gray ($4)

$2 exacta: 7 with 3,4,6 ($6)

$1 trifecta: 7 with 2,3,4,5,6 with 2,3,4,5,6 ($20)

$1 trifecta: 2,3,4,5,6 with 7 with 2,3,4,5,6 ($20)

Sunday, Feb. 12

Santa Anita ParkRace 5, Sweet Life Stakes, 5:30 p.m. ET

#5 Miss Sunset (8-1): She was a perfect 2-for-2 until her disastrous trip last time. That race was scheduled for the turf but was rained off and run on a muddy surface. She stumbled, was steadied, then jumped over tracks on the wet track and lost all chance. She’s been given about a month regroup and now she will get her chance to show what she can do on the turf. We will get a price on her because she’s facing runners with good turf experience and because she now has a bad race on her resume. Based on what I saw in her first two starts, I’m willing to take a gamble on her in this spot.

Strategy on $10 Budget

$2 win on Miss Sunset ($2)

$1 exacta: 5 with 1,2,8,9 ($4)

$1 exacta: 1,2,8,9 with 5 ($4)

Strategy on $25 Budget

$7 win on Lady Beware ($7)

$3 exacta: 5 with 1,8 ($6)

$1 exacta: 5 with ALL ($8)

$1 exacta: 1,2,8,9 with 5 ($4)

Strategy on $50 Budget

$4 win on Miss Sunset ($4)

$1 exacta: 5 with 1,8,9 ($3)

$1 exacta: 1,8,9 with 5 ($3)

$1 trifecta: 5 with 1,2,6,8,9 with 1,2,6,8,9 ($20)

$1 trifecta: 1,2,6,8,9 with 5 with 1,2,6,8,9 ($20)

ROI Year to date: $8,222 wagered/$6,075.21 returned

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!