Mastery has been made the 1-2 morning line favorite to stay unbeaten in Saturday’s $300,000 Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (GI).
After an impressive 4 ¾-length score in his maiden debut, Mastery stepped up in class and won again in the Grade III Bob Hope, while recording a very impressive -3 late speed ration (see key below).
Of course, every time I encounter a race like this, I feel compelled to state the obvious: Mastery is clearly the horse to beat and will probably win. Still, I think the son of Candy Ride may be an underlay in Saturday’s juvenile feature.
Here are three reasons to bet against Bob Baffert’s budding superstar:
1) Mastery has won both of his races in wire-to-wire fashion, yet hasn’t been asked to go that fast — relatively speaking — early. In a race loaded with other potential speedsters — Bobby Abu Djabi, Show Me Da Lute and maybe even Dangerfield — this could be an Achilles’ heel.
2) His last Brisnet speed figure was lower (slower) than his previous one. Normally, this is not a big deal, especially when one considers that both of Mastery’s Brisnet speed figures are better than any of those recorded by his rivals; however, I never like to see a regression with a young horse moving up in distance, as it raises the distinct possibility that the horse may not be as good over a route of ground. Nothing in Mastery’s pedigree suggests that this will be the case, but still…
3) As I noted in a podcast I did with database guru Dave Schwartz recently, some of the worst bets in racing are horses with limited past performances. The Triple Crown Trail, in particular, is littered with hyped horses that didn’t pan out.
Below are my fair odds on the Los Alamitos Futurity:
2-Bobby Abu Dhab (4-1)
4-Show Me Da Lute (6-1)
My Wager: I’ll look to play 1-Dangerfield to win at 7-2 or greater and I’ll use him in any negative place or show pool that develops .