Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 6

Preview: Big Saturday card with four stakes on the program. Of course, Songbird will be everyone’s single and it’s hard to see her losing for the first time in her career.

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Race 3: #4 Echo Chamber (6-1)

The turf course has been playing to speed for most of the meet. Trainer Peter Miller trains for speed so we think this first-timer with Flavien Prat will go straight to the front and not stop down the hill. The sire Majesticperfection is 19% with first-time turfers.

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Race 6: #8 Tuco (6-1) 

This gelding showed speed in his U.S. debut, but tired to finish fourth. This time the gelding will run a furlong shorter. Trainer Doug O’Neill is 20% third off a layoff and 20% with jockey Falvien Prat.

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Race 7: #2 Donworth (6-1) ***

This isn’t the toughest Grade II event we’ve ever seen so let’s go with a fresh face. This 4-year-old was bought at auction by Reddman Racing and turned over to trainer Doug O’Neill, who is 18% with horses first time in his barn (the colt was formerly with Graham Motion). Jockey Mario Gutierrez, who is 23% with O’Neill, jumps on and likely will try to go wire-to-wire.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, Feb. 6

Preview: Lots of horses on this card so the prices should be pretty good. Hope for good weather. They were off the turf on Friday, Hopefully, it will dry out for today’s action.

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Race 3: #2 Course I’ll Wynn (turf only) (10-1) 

This horse is likely to scratch as she is re-entered on Sunday so check the scratches. Trainer Kathleen O’Connell has had a big meet and she tries to get this mare to go two turns in her second race off a long layoff. O’Connell is 19% second off the layoff and second start with a new trainer. Looks like worth the play.

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Race 5: #5 Shake (turf only) (4-1)

Trainer Christophe Clement sends his second string to Tampa and usually has some success. He’s 1-for-3 at the meet and gets great turf rider Daniel Centeno to ride. They have a winner together at the meet.

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Race 11: #4 Imageiseverything (15-1)

Trainer Aldana Gonzalez and jockey Scott Spieth have been quite the combo at this meet, winning at a 38% clip. Gonzalez is 26% second off the layoff so the price is right.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Jan. 5

Preview: This card is OK. People are looking forward to Saturday, which has several big stakes on the program.

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Race 3: #7 Silver Spectacle (12-1) 

This filly is coming off a long layoff and trainer Phil D’Amato is 29% with horses off a layoff of more than 180 days, but look a the two races she has run in. In both races, the top three finishers have all come back to win their next race so here’s hoping D’Amato has her ready.

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Race 5: #4 Highway Boss (3-1)

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer must have seen something he liked, claiming this gelding last time for $62,500. Hollendorfer is 28% first off the claim and puts jockey Mario Gutierrez aboard.

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Race 7: #5 Optimism And Hope (turf only) (4-1)

Ran into all kinds of trouble, waiting in the stretch last time at 13-1. Trainer Phil D’Amato has been hot lately. D’Amato is 27% going from sprint to route.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Friday, Feb. 5

Preview: They were back on the turf on Wednesday, There were 10 difference winning trainers while Antonio Gallardo and Ronnie Allen Jr. continued on a riding hot streak with two wins each.

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Race 6: #3 Queen Fiddle (turf only) (6-1) 

This filly’s best race was on the turf and she returns to the green here for trainer Anthony Pecoraro, who is 30% with first-time Lasix. She’s a prep so expect a big effort with Ramon Feliciano aboard.   

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Race 8:  #9 Travel Required (15-1)      

This gelding is still looking for his first win on the turf, but he takes a drop in class into a straight claimer and gets jockey Manoel Cruz for trainer Michele Boyce.

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Race 9:  #3 Good Times Rambles (5-1)

This gelding has loved Tampa this winter, winning twice on the class rise. He moves up again as trainer Benny Feliciano claimed out of his last win and Feliciano is 4-for-8 first off the claim.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, Feb. 4

Preview: Hopefully the turf course has dried out enough from Sunday’s rain to run on it this week. Thankfully, the weather forecast, which Santa Anita ignored on Sunday, called for sunny weather all week. The rail on the turf course are set at 30 feet which means closer will have a tough time passing in the lane. Look for speed to dominate like it has for much of the meet.

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Race 4: #2 Book Thirty Four (5-2)

Trainer Doug O’Neill is never afraid to take a huge crop in class and that’s what he does here.O’Neill is 36% when dropping a horse two or more classes. This gelding has speed, which has been good on the main track, too, and jockey Flavien Prat is keeping the mount.

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Race 5: #3 I’m Zonin (4-1)

Trainer Richard Baltas has slowed down since his fast start, but he is due to get hot again. He drop this gelding and Blastas is 22% second off the claim. Perhaps biggest change is move to money rider Rafael Bejarano, who is 29% with Baltas.

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Race 8: #8 Uptown Rythem (5-2)

Speed has been good for much of the meet and look for it to stay that way, especially after the rains. Carla Gaines is 40% when dropping a horse two of more class levels as this 5-year-old drops to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks for the first time and Rafael Bejarano takes over.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Wednesday, Feb. 3

Preview: Let’s hope the bad weather is done in Tampa as there was only one day with turf racing last week. Ronnie Allen Jr. led all jockeys last week with six winners and followed closely by Antonio Gallardo, who had five.

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Race 5: 7 Apache Queen (turf only) (6-1)

This filly drops out of a Gulfstream Park MSW that has produced four next out winners. She will be trying turf and two turns for the first time, but she is dropping in class and gets leading rider Antonio Gallardo.

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Race 6:  #3 Fionetta (3-1)     

This speedy mare has won her only career races over this track. She will stay at the same level but gets a cut back in distance and keeps leading jockey Antonio Gallardo for trainer Dale Bennett.

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Race 8: #6 Classic Blaze (5-1)          

Trainer Victor Carrasco Jr., who is 26% first off the claim, claimed this gelding last time and now takes him off the turf and runs him in an elongated sprint. This one should be plenty fit and jockey Jose Garcia is 11% with Carrasco.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, Jan. 31

Preview: The forecast is for 100% chance of rain and has been for days so I don’t understand why Santa Anita carded so many turf races. I didn’t even look at the grass races because I know they will be decimated by scratches so I just stuck to the dirt/slop races.

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Race 2: #6 Armoured Car (3-1) 

When trainer Richard Mandella drops into the maiden claiming ranks for the first time he is 35%. This son of Giant’s Causeway has a good mud Tomlinson and jockey Alex Solis keeps the mount.

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Race 7: #4 Eighty Three (3-1) 

As of Friday morning, trainer David Jacobson was winless this winter after shipping a string West from New York. Normally, Jacobson is 25% with shippers and this gelding is 2-for-2 on a wet track and that’s what we are hoping for here as Gary Stevens picks up the ride.

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Race 9: #7 George’s Main Man (15-1)

This gelding has won twice over this track but his last two are tough to explain. Trainer Mike Puype drops him and Puype is 71% when he drops more than two class levels. Journeyman Joe Talamo takes over for apprentice Ty Kennedy.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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