There is a good reason why a majority of horses who run in the Breeders' Cup are given time off. The hard training preparing for a peak effort and the energy expended in the race take a huge toll on these star horses.
Thus, the upset losses by My Miss Aurelia and The Lumber Guy on opening day of Santa Anita have historical context to them.
My Miss Aurelia ran second in the Breeders' Cup Classic yet ran third in the La Brea at 2-5 odds. I still think she is a fantastic filly. However, she ran into a buzz saw in Reneesgotzip, who melted her down on the front end to set up the race for closer Book Review to steal the verdict.
The Lumber Guy ran second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint but could not keep up in the Malibu, fading to a distant seventh as the 4-5 favorite.
In my humble opinion, I prefer betting horses coming out of the Breeders' Cup who didn't run all that well, like Jimmy Creed. Jimmy Creed upset The Lumber Guy in the Malibu, paying $19.20.
Before one accuses me of red-boarding, a horse racing term used for predicting the result of a race after it's been run, please check out my newspaper picks for the Breeders' Cup.
I picked Jimmy Creed to win the Breeders' Cup Sprint; instead he ran a miserable ninth. I had egg on my face that day, but if you believe in your own handicapping, he could be bet back on Wednesday.
Thus, the angle with stars like My Miss Aurelia and The Lumber Guy is after emptying their gas tank in the Breeders' Cup, there was potential they might bounce their next time out.
■ JACK KLUGMAN - The late actor Jack Klugman loved to play the ponies and made no bones about it. I suspect a Daily Racing Form might have been placed in his casket. Klugman died this week at age 90. His two most famous roles were in hit TV shows: as sports writer Oscar Madison in "The Odd Couple" and as the chief medical examiner in "Quincy, M.E."
His claim to fame in the sport was owning Jaklin Klugman, a homebred who ran third in the 1980 Kentucky Derby.
Klugman was a genuine, approachable fixture at the Southern California racetracks. He was unlike many Hollywood stars who when the cameras were turned off changed character. Jack Klugman was truly like one of us.
■ COAST CASINO QUALIFIER - The third of four Coast Casino live-money qualifiers for the 2013 Horseplayer World Series is today. You can play at the Gold Coast, Orleans, Sam's Town or Suncoast.
■ $10,000 TWIN QUINELLAS - Station Casinos will be offering enhanced $10,000 twin quinella pools on Monday and Tuesday in honor of the new year.
Richard Eng's horse racing column is published Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @richeng4propick.