Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Saturday, April 19

FIRST RACE: 1. Timeless Indy, 2. Valley Cat, 3. Half Strike. LONG SHOT: Harlington Night.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Valdirone (best bet), 2. Boozer, 3. Back to Bako. LONG SHOT: Love Rules All.

VALDIRONE tired in his return to the races last month, but was hardly disgraced, finishing fourth at this level. Jockey Joe Talamo will have him forwardly placed early and that style has been working down the hill.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Yahilwa, 2. Fleet of Gold, 3. Sagebrush. LONG SHOT: Melasistic.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Born Lucky, 2. Fiesta Express, 3. Ronda Rocks. LONG SHOT: Quinnette.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Ruff Proof, 2. Mia’s Storm, 3. Silk in Silver. LONG SHOT: Among the Stars.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. King of Jazz, 2. Powerful, 3. Aqua Revelation. LONG SHOT: Lord Lochinvar.

KING OF JAZZ, a son of Giant’s Causeway, must overcome a couple of obstacles in his career debut: running long on the turf. Still, we think trainer Hector Palma will have this 4-year-old ready to go, especially off the last two works showing. On top of that, Palma owns a piece of the colt.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Midnight Storm, 2. Sooner Born, 3. Doctor Dempsey. LONG SHOT: Shakahari.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Home Run Kitten, 2. Enterprising, 3. Flamboyant. LONG SHOT: Excessive Kid.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Glitter of Silver, 2. Gospel Music, 3. Bart the Barrister. LONG SHOT: Tavern Law.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Hollywood Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita break wasn’t thought through

If case you didn’t realize it, Santa Anita won’t race again until Saturday and Sunday.

On top of that, it won’t race next week until Friday.

Say what?

As one Santa Anita executive explained to me, the track was concerned about its horse inventory since it took over most of Hollywood Park’s dates after the demise of the Inglewood track. Perfectly understandable. Santa Anita began asking Northern California horsemen to send entries south to Arcadia a couple of months ago if they thought they would be competitive and it has shown in the entries.

Here’s my problem with Santa Anita’s current hiatus: the winter/spring meet will end THIS Sunday with mandatory payouts in wagers like the Pick Six and the “new” spring/summer meet will begin on April 25.

If Santa Anita was truly concerned about filling races at this time of the year, and in the next two months, it would have ended the traditional meet LAST Sunday and given the sport an 11-day break.

Yes, I know the sport is year-round, but an extended break would have allowed for some mini-vacations for some backstretch workers and given the horses some needed days off. It also would have allowed gamblers to build up bankrolls.

It also would have given the Santa Anita turf course a break. It would have given it time for some rejuvenation and maybe a little extra water.

But God forbid, we take a weekend off when we could be making some money, sport be damned.

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Del Mar, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Del Mar: Casse coming from Woodbine

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club spent the last week talking to horsemen about coming to its annual summer meeting, looking to beef up a horse population that shrinks yearly. The efforts are working.

Woodbine trainer Mark Casse recently told Del Mar officials he will bring 30 to 40 horses this year for the first time. In Hot Springs, Ark., trainer Cody Autrey told Del Mar he will be back and hopefully earlier like during the the Los Alamitos meet.

Del Mar officials then moved on to Lexington, Ky., and the Keeneland meet to tell more horsemen about the third year of the “Ship N Win” program which gives horses a starting gate and purse bonus in their initial start of the meeting as long as their last start was out of state.

The big get is Casse, who started Delegation in last year’s Pacific Classic.

“He came close to coming last year,” said Tom Robbins, executive vice president/racing. “He was all set and then they had a virus outbreak and there was no movement into the United States. We’re excited. We have our fingers crossed.”

“That’s the plan,” said Casse on last week’s NTRA teleconference. “I’ve been in communications with Del Mar.  I’ve cleared it with my owners and the plan is currently to bring probably between 30 and 40 horses to Del Mar, and then probably stay there maybe for who knows how long; a long time.”

The key with Casse is that he has a lot of allowance horses, which will help increase the quality of Del Mar’s races.

“He liked what he saw last year, and he has California owners,” said Robbins, “but the key is he’s planning on staying beyond our meet and that’s good for the industry.”

Casse won nine races and $368,653 from 84 starters this winter at Gulfstream Park. In the first week of the Keeneland meet, he has a 27-5-3-5 record with earnings of $305,312 and during the first weekend of racing at Woodbine (in Toronto) Casse was 7-2-1-1, earning $86,193.

Another key to the Casse move is that Keeneland and Woodbine have Polytracks, a similar surface which will be making its swan song at the seaside oval this summer before being replaced by dirt next year.

Jockey Luis Contreras rides many of Casse’s top horses at Woodbine and rode Delegation (poorly, I might say) in last year’s Pacific Classic, but don’t expect him to come to Del Mar as the barn rider.

“No, I don’t think so,” said Casse.  “You know, Luis does really well at Woodbine.  It would be kind of crazy for him to come out there.  I don’t know who.  Somebody may come with me.  I mean there’s plenty of good riders in California.  I don’t think I really have to bring anybody.  You know, (Hall of Fame jockey) Mike Smith and we go back probably 25 or 30 years, and so there are a lot of good riders.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

“So far we’ve been very lucky recently at Keeneland with Stewart Elliott, and, you know, we’ll just have to see how things are going. I like the way he rides, and him and I have a good relationship, but we may or may not bring somebody.  That just remains to be seen.  But like I said, I’m not concerned.  There’s a lot of good riders in California.”

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 2 (Queen of the Hill $5.20, third; Cat Burglar $5.20, fifth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 1 (Kid Rollins $7, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (Stormy Lucy $5.40, fourth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Remind Mee $8.40, seventh)

Note: Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Saturday/Sunday for the close of the winter/spring meet. There will be mandatory Pick 6 and Super High 5 payouts on Sunday. The spring/summer meet opens Friday, April 24.)

 

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Sunday, April 13

FIRST RACE: 1. Caramuru, 2. Prime Issue, 3. We Have Lift Off. LONG SHOT: Diamondsdiplomat.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Redressthebalance, 2. Zipping My Way, 3. Fantastic Mizz. LONG SHOT: Le Fascinator.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Queen of the Hill, 2. I’m Tops, 3. Vindicated Ruler. LONG SHOT: Second Time.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Customer Base, 2. Topic, 3. Stormy Lucy. LONG SHOT: Floral Romance.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Cat Burglar, 2. Govenor Charlie, 3. Omega Star. LONG SHOT: All Saint.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Hawkedon, 2. Kochees, 3. Prospector’s Trick. LONG SHOT: Monument.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Justification, 2. Bench Press, 3. Head South. LONG SHOT: Remind Mee. 

Jockey Edwin Maldonado had his choice of five horses in this race and winds up on JUSTIFICATION, a 5-year-old which has been away from the races for 13 months. This gelding has run his best races from off the pace, a style which isn’t the best at Santa Anita, but Maldonado likes to ride from the gate so let’s hope he’s involved early.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Lakerville (best bet), 2. Artest, 3. Zimmer. LONG SHOT: Pataky Kid.

LAKERVILLE loves the downhill course at Santa Anita with two wins and a second from three trips on it. He was overmatched last time in the Grade I Kilroe and going a mile. Jockey Corey Nakatani won on him in January and knows how to get to the winner’s circle for trainer Barry Abrams.

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NINTH RACE: 1. A Little Luckier, 2. Kid Rollins, 3. Sheza Eyeopener. LONG SHOT: Itsabeautifulday.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 2 (Divine Way $3.60, first race; Intoxicating Move $4, seventh)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 1 (Big Macher $6.20, eighth)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 0

Saturday’s long shot winners: 2 (Tancred $16.80, fourth; Tribal Spy $25.60, fifth)

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Saturday, April 12

FIRST RACE: 1. Time for Angie, 2. Divine Way, 3. Passion Bucket. LONG SHOT: Red Barris.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Italian Baba, 2. Dream Baby, 3. It’s Aine. LONG SHOT: Pennies From Denny.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Star Act, 2. Cryptic, 3. Sedona Gal. LONG SHOT: Lethal Story.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Slewissurfing (best bet), 2. Profire, 3. Ice Cream Truck. LONG SHOT: Tancred.

SLEWISSURFING tired in his debut last month, but trainer Ron Ellis is 29% with second-time starters from 17 races. He also adds blinkers and is 40% (2-for-5) with that move. Jockey Joe Talamo stays on and the 4-year-old should have more stamina here.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Llandudno, 2. Biorhythm, 3. Sky High Gal. LONG SHOT: Tribal Spy.

Trainer John Sadler has three horses in this Grade III race down the hill. BIORHYTHM figures to be favored, but LLANDUDNO should get more pace pressure this time. This daughter of Belong to Me made up some ground last time against Biorhythm and should get more help in this spot plus she a big work last week.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Chelios, 2. Beach Hut, 3. Indexical. LONG SHOT: Top Fortitude.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Intoxicating Move, 2. Writer Fever, 3. Moscato Girl. LONG SHOT: Lets Get Frisky.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Cyclometer, 2. Big Macher, 3. Wild Dude. LONG SHOT: Midnight Transfer.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Unbridled Loyalty, 2. Broadcaster, 3. Troy Story. LONG SHOT: Cowtownmary.

UNBRIDLED LOYALTY, a son of Unbridled’s Song, drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and tries grass for the initial time. He pressed the pace last time and has been training great since that race. Trainer Jeff Bonde is 38% from 21 starters with first-time turfers. Worth a shot in a wide open race.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 0

Friday’s second choice winners: 1 (Lucky Cotton $7.40, fourth race)

Friday’s third choice winners: 2 (Grand Humor $7.60, first; Gary Madam $12.80, second)

Friday’s long shot winners: 2 (Fast Moka Too $6.40, third; Marthajean $5.20, fifth)

 

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Friday, April 11

FIRST RACE: 1. Bad Behavior, 2. Como Mi Padre, 3. Grand Humor. LONG SHOT: Superboot.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Reasing Moment, 2. Joint Attempt, 3. Gary Madam. LONG SHOT: Unkept Rendez Vous.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Sneezy Beezy (best bet), 2. Nueva Fortuna, 3. Truly Beautiful. LONG SHOT: Fast Moka Too.

SNEEZY BEEZY,  a daughter of Notional, is making her Southern California debut after running on the Northern California circuit. Her only career victory came at today’s distance of 5½ furlongs and she drops into a claimer for the first time. Speed jockey Edwin Maldonado jumps aboard.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Warren’s Cliff S., 2. Lucky Cotton, 3. Dreamalot. LONG SHOT: Exclude.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Chautauqua Creek, 2. Tropical Moon, 3. Hot Outta the Oven. LONG SHOT: Marthajean.

This 5-year-old mare CHAUTAUQUA CREEK has been away from the races for a little more than a year after finishing third in a grass sprint at Gulfstream Park. She gets dirt here and has never lost at this level, like all of the others. Trainer Jorge Periban is 29% going from turf to dirt.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Chilada, 2. Browsing, 3. Sweet Boss. LONG SHOT: In Dad’s Honor.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Midnight Dream, 2. Taste Like Candy, 3. Satirical. LONG SHOT: L T Reckless.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Jenny U Want It, 2. Say’s Who, 3. Warren’s Jen Fizz. LONG SHOT: Ski’s Copper Penny.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 1 (Mark of a Gem $6.20, seventh race)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 4 (Newfound Gold $4.40, first; Wild Optimism $21.20, fourth; Wild n Dreamy $4, fifth; Slight Edge $4, sixth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Courageous Call $4, second; Footbridge $7, third)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Thursday, April 10

FIRST RACE: 1. Road Ready, 2. Newfound Gold, 3. Trucial State. LONG SHOT: El Pitucon.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Mum, 2. Dancinginthestreet, 3. Courageous Call. LONG SHOT: Tiz Champ.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Honduran, 2. Seeking the West, 3. Footbridge. LONG SHOT: Perfect Set.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Ryleigh Ruler, 2. Wild Optimism, 3. Betty Bing Bing. LONG SHOT: New Nature.

RYLEIGH RULER, a daughter of Roman Ruler, might have won her career debut at Del Mar last summer except for a poor start. She returns here and obviously trainer Robertino Diodoro knows how to get one ready to run, especially after a long layoff (30%).

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Ambitoness, 2. Smart N Dreamy, 3. Spiced Latte. LONG SHOT: Miss American Pie.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Neurosurgeon, 2. Slight Edge, 3. Storm Bird. LONG SHOT: Grey is Best.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Mark of a Gem, 2. Tiz a Kiss, 3. Tribal Chatter. LONG SHOT: Noise of the Crowd.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Even Echo (best bet), 2. Warrensgoldenyears, 3. Wicked Heat. LONG SHOT: Fuzzy Logic.

Yes, this 3-year-old colt, EVEN ECHO, was favored last time in the drop to the maiden claiming ranks, but we’re willing to give another shot. Look who he has lost races to in the last few races: Hoppertunity, Shared Belief, Enterprising. Maybe this is the day he outclasses the field.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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