Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita early opinions for Saturday, Jan. 31

Might not get to do a full handicap this weekend as a family member is back in the hospital. Thanks for reading.

Race 3: #7 Commute (8-1)

Interesting that this 3-year-old colt was tearing up the track in the mornings at Oaklawn Park and all of a sudden trainer Mark Casse decides to ship him West and the son of Hold Me Back turns in another good work. Looking for regular barn rider Corey Nakatani to put this one on the lead from the outside.

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Race 8: #7 Callback (4-1)

This 3-year-old filly has shown improvement every time out and now she gets to do what she was bred for —- going around two turns (sired by Street Sense). She has a good work since her last start and trainer Bob Baffert is due to get hot any day.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, Jan. 31

Race 2: #5 Alabaster (5-1)

Our Eyes: Not sure if this race shouldn’t be in New York with trainers like McLaughlin, Pletcher and Zito in here, but we’re going to trainer Eoin Harty and this 3-year-old colt. The son of Medaglia d’Oro has a race over the track and switches to leading jockey Antonio Gallardo, who is 4-for-9 with Harty.

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Race 3: #3 Senor Grits (2-1)

Our Eyes: This son of Elusive Quality drops out of a stakes effort at Laurel and that race has produced FIVE next out winners. Trainer Ian Wilkes has been working this 3-year-old at Palm Meadows and jockey Julien Leparoux jumps on.

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Race 6: #11 Prize Native (15-1)

Our Eyes: The key will be if this 4-year-old gets in the race as he is on the also-eligible list. That being said trainer Anthony Granitz is 31% with stretchouts at Tampa. This gelding drops in class and jockey Ademar Santos must work out a trip from the outside.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay opinions for Friday, Jan. 30

Race 6: #7 Congrats Honey (3-1)

Trainer Dennis Ward is 25% first off the claim and that’s what we have here. Ward’s favorite jockey, Brian Pedroza, takes the mount and from the outside should be able to control the race.

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Race 9: #4 Lundi Gras (turf) (10-1)

This 4-year-old filly drops down from the allowance ranks into an open claimer for trainer Lynn Scace. The filly has a win over the turf at the meet and although this is tougher company than that she might handle it with veteran jockey Dean Butler.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Jan. 30

FIRST RACE: 1. Vocalist, 2. Sidepocket Run, 3. Cin City Lady, LONG SHOT: Lethal Story.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Next Right, 2. Mr. Itkins, 3. Willy Be Wild. LONG SHOT: Mr. Pete Got Even.

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THIRD RACE: 1. The Gomper (best bet), 2. St. Joe Bay, 3. Iancol. LONG SHOT: Prospect Park.

Trainer Ron Ellis rarely wins first time out, but he did with this son of Sky Mesa, THE GOMPER (4-5), and then came back with a good second to a good sprinter named Serbian Syclone. However, going two turns is really what this 3-year-old wants to do and a big win here could mean a trip on the Kentucky Derby trail.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Regally Soul, 2. Oligarch, 3. Sacred Ovation. LONG SHOT: Los Bambinos.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Something Awesome, 2. Nowalking, 3. The Custodian. LONG SHOT: J Serino.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. I Heart You, 2. Chia Love, 3. Swiss Jet. LONG SHOT: Lob City.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Shopping Savannah, 2. Susan B Good, 3. Carrick Bay. LONG SHOT: Sweet Boss.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Ruby N Diamonds, 2. Ski’s Copper Penny, 3. Quick Navigator. LONG SHOT: Profit Motive.

Off a pair of third-place finishes at the level, this 4-year-old filly, RUBY N DIAMONDS (6-1), gets a huge jockey change from C. Aragon to Edwin Maldonado, who is known as one of the better speed riders on the circuit. From the outside post, Maldonado should be able to get the jump on the competition and put them away early.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 3 (Bad Ju Ju $4.60, first race; Rattataptap $5.60, third; Spring Action $4.40, fourth)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 2 (Whiskey Wild $4, second; Wicked Heat $14, seventh)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 1 (Silent Ruler $6, eighth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 1 (Humoristica $19.40, fifth)

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Thursday, Jan. 29

FIRST RACE: 1. Bad Ju Ju, 2. Easter Fever, 3. Exfanofsixties. LONG SHOT: Racing for Chasen.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Congrats Seattle, 2. Whiskey Wild, 3. Fabber. LONG SHOT: Whenudon’t Know.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Rattataptap, 2. All Star Bub, 3. Tall and Sweet. LONG SHOT: Twister Ginger.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Spring Action, 2. Crane Lodge, 3. Couldashouldadid. LONG SHOT: Beach Fever.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Queen’s Balladier, 2. Scatfish, 3. Taylor Lane. LONG SHOT: Humoristica.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. When We Met, 2. Relentless Heat, 3. Dress Code. LONG SHOT: Juniper Pass.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Warren’s Nicholas, 2. Wicked Heat, 3. Silver Torch. LONG SHOT: Shackleford Banks.

WARREN’S NICHOLAS (9-2), a 6-year-old gelding, is making his second start off a nearly 2-year layoff. He got his legs back under him in a sprint and now trainer Jorge Gutierrez sends him long on the grass, where he broke his maiden. Jockey Joe Talamo had his choice of a few others in here and stays with this one.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Starzilla (best bet), 2. Dench, 3. Silent Ruler. LONG SHOT: Deep Digger.

Jockey Joe Talamo goes for the late daily double by sticking with STARZILLA (7-2), a son of Rock Hard Ten. The 5-year-old has been facing some toughies in the MSW ranks and drops into a maiden claimer for the first time for trainer Art Sherman. Plus STARZILLA is coming out of a key race.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Wednesday, Jan. 28

Race 4: #6 Don’t Quit Dreaming (6-1)

This 4-year-old gelding shipped down to Gulfstream and found the competition too tough. He returns to Tampa for the potent team of trainer Jamie Ness and jockey Antonio Gallardo. He has speed and might go wire-to-wire.

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Race 6: #5 Thealkascraftygirl (5-1)

A first-time starter from the John Rigattieri barn, which is 18% with first-timers and 20% with firsters in a maiden claimer. The sire Majesticperfection is 18% with first-timers.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Sunday, Jan. 25

FIRST RACE: 1. Sudden Rumor, 2. Papa’s Paisley, 3. Friendswith K Mill. LONG SHOT: Rocked Twice.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Alamo (best bet), 2. To the Bar, 3. Opsec. LONG SHOT: Derby Glass.

ALAMO, a 4-year-old colt trained by Richard Mandella, makes his turf debut and love horses sired by War Front, especially at a mile and on the grass. Jockey Gary Stevens keeps the mount. Stevens and Mandella are a 32% proposition at Santa Anita the last two years.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Deep Play, 2. Street Serenade, 3. Broadway Nika. LONG SHOT: Timeless Indy.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Why Two, 2. The Man, 3. New Summit. LONG SHOT: Honor Society.

WHY TWO, a 3-year-old colt, got off to a slow start in his debut and still finished fourth. There have been two good works since and jockey Victor Espinoza stays aboard for trainer Mike Machowsky. There is no doubt that THE MAN is the horse to beat, but how many odds-on favorites has trainer Bob Baffert lost so far this meet? I’m just taking a shot, but The Man is the most likely winner.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Sayes So, 2. Air of Royalty, 3. Hide My Heart. LONG SHOT: Mum’s Truckee.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. American Sun, 2. Rattataptap, 3. Jaded Glory. LONG SHOT: Prize Exhibit.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Ballard Ruler, 2. Znelle, 3. Kozani. LONG SHOT: Aperfectdaytofly.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Fly Lexis Fly, 2. Lil Bit O’Fun, 3. Sweet Swap. LONG SHOT: Hay Dude.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Zen Zai Sun 2. Slewpy Again, 3. Nevada Time. LONG SHOT: Surfer Moon.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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