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Royal Mo romps to win in Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Royal Mo won the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by 3+ lengths Saturday at Santa Anita, giving owners Jerry and Ann Moss a second contender for the Kentucky Derby.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Royal Mo ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.48. The 3-year-old colt trained by John Shirreffs earned 10 points toward qualifying for the Kentucky Derby’s 20-horse field.

The Mosses’ other 3-year-old, Gormley, won the Sham Stakes by a head last month at Santa Anita. The couple won the 2005 Kentucky Derby with 50-1 Giacomo, tied for the second-longest shot to win the race.

“We haven’t had two horses in this position in a long time and it’s fun,” said Jerry Moss, co-founder of A&M Records. “We don’t really see anyone else coming up that scares us.”

Royal Mo paid $5, $3.40 and $2.20. The colt’s sire is Uncle Mo, who was undefeated as a 2-year-old but got knocked out of the 2011 Kentucky Derby because of illness.

Irap returned $4.20 and $2.60 while 7-5 favorite Sheer Flattery was another neck back in third and paid $2.20 to show in the Grade 3 race.

“Royal Mo just ran lights out,” said Doug O’Neill, who trains Irap, fourth-place Term of Art and last-place Dangerfield. “When you give a horse like Royal Mo an uncontested lead, you’re going to be in trouble.”

Breaking from the rail in the field of five, Espinoza took Royal Mo to the early lead. Irap pulled even with Royal Mo heading into the stretch turn, but soon fell back.

“He’s such a big, heavy horse,” Espinoza said. “He doesn’t have that quickness for the first couple of strides. As soon as he gets into a rhythm though, he’ll keep going.”

Royal Mo ran second in his first two starts and then won by 1\ lengths at Del Mar on Nov. 27. The Mosses purchased the colt for $300,000 at auction.

“He’s improving a lot,” Espinoza said. “From the last few races to this race, he’s really coming along. He’s going in the right direction. Hopefully, we keep going all the way.”

Moss said he wants to separate Royal Mo and Gormley, who is being pointed toward the San Felipe Stakes on March 11 at Santa Anita.

“I like Arkansas and it’s been great for us,” said Moss, whose superstar mare Zenyatta won at Oaklawn Park. “We’ll take one of them back there.”

Sheer Flattery was floated four-wide into the first turn, moved up inside leaving the second turn and just missed finishing second.

In the $200,000 Palos Verdes Stakes, 3-5 favorite St. Joe Bay won by 2\ lengths under Kent Desormeaux.

The 5-year-old gelding ran six furlongs in 1:08.75 and paid $3.40 to win in the Grade 2 race.

Moe Candy was second and Ike Walker took third.

Bruins Solid Betting Favorites at Red Wings for Wednesday Night

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The Boston Bruins have had the Detroit Red Wings’ number recently, but there is a case for jumping on Detroit as a value pick that has improving puck luck on the way.

The Bruins are a -145 road betting favorite with the Red Wings coming back at +125, while the total is 5.5 goals in this matchup that takes place on Wednesday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Boston is 8-1-1 (with six wins in regulation time) over its last 10 games against its Atlantic Division rival Detroit, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. Detroit also comes in scuffling with a 1-5-4 record across its last 10 games.

The Bruins had a slow start, but have corrected course and are 14-9-4 overall, including an 8-2-0 record in their last 10 games as well as a respectable 5-5-2 road record. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy has a full lineup, including the Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand-David Pastrnak first line and a No. 2 trio of center David Krejci between wings Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork. Boston has been a productive lot, going 4-1 in its last five road games.

Goalie Tuukka Rask will start for Boston, and he has been dialed in lately with a 1.55 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage. The Bruins’ strong contributions from the last line of defense – and the second-last, with rookie Charlie McAvoy combining with old pro Zdeno Chara on the first pairing – have led to four of their last five road games finishing under the posted total.

On form, the Red Wings are a shaky play at 11-13-6 overall, which includes a poor 5-6-5 home record so far in their first season at Little Caesars Arena. Leading scorer Dylan Larkin is on a 10-game goal drought, while promising RW Evgeny Svechnikov has a goose egg in the goal column over the last 12.

The Red Wings under coach Jeff Blashill have been struggling to score, managing just a single goal in five of their last eight games. They have, however, had the lion’s share of scoring chances over their last three games; as hockey types often say, everything evens out in the sport eventually.

The Red Wings’ No. 1 goalie, Jimmy Howard, has received a “mercy pull” from some recent games, but had a solid 27-save performance in a 2-1 overtime loss against the Florida Panthers on Monday.

The tea leaves probably point to a Boston victory, but bettors should keep a corner of one eye on the Red Wings as long as the young team continues to offers plus money. Six of their next seven games are against either playoff-position teams or the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, so that will likely continue for a few weeks yet.

The total has gone over in six of the last 10 games between Boston and Detroit. The total has gone over in six of the Red Wings’ last eight home games.

 

Predators favored against Penguins on betting lines for Game 4

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have an excellent track record as a bounce-back team, but they are giving off some distressing signals against the Nashville Predators going into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Predators are a -155 moneyline favorite against the +135 underdog Penguins with a 5.5-goal total for Monday’s matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Predators are 9-1 in their last 10 home playoff games, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. Nashville is 11-4 in its last 15 home games as a favorite of -140 to -500 on the moneyline.

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-seven series 2-1. The home team has won each of the clubs’ last six meetings.

The Penguins are 13-2 in playoff games after a loss under coach Mike Sullivan and are also 6-4 in in their last 10 playoff games as an underdog on the road. However, star centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were each held without a shot on goal during Game 3, a first in their time playing together.

Pittsburgh has also counted on its power play throughout much of its playoff run, but it is only 1-for-13 with the extra skater so far against Nashville. Crosby has yet to score in the series.

Health-wise, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan might have to shuffle his forward lines if center Nick Bonino (left foot) is unable to play. Bonino is listed as doubtful, although he practiced on Sunday. Pittsburgh also needs to create more opportunities for Phil Kessel. While Jake Guentzel has a series-high four goals, those have come on only six shots on goal (hardly a sustainable shooting percentage).

Nashville, which is 13-6 in the playoffs, has been the better team in even-strength play during the course of the series. The Predators are often able to control the tempo of a game due to the defensive foursome of P.K. Subban, Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis, who all have at least 10 points during the playoffs.

While some puck luck played into the 5-1 score during the Predators’ first win against Pittsburgh on Saturday, other key elements included staying out of the penalty box as well as getting an injection of speed from the creation of a line of Frederick Gaudreau, Harry Zolnierczyk and P.A. Parenteau.

Goalie Pekka Rinne (27 saves on 28 shots) also regained his usual form. If that continues, Nashville should have an excellent chance of taking another win at home and reducing the series to a best-of-three.

The total has gone over in seven of Nashville’s last 10 home games against Eastern Conference teams. The total has gone over in 11 of Nashville’s last 16 home games (playoffs and regular season) when it was a favorite of -150 to -500 on the moneyline.