Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, July 30

Well, it’s looking like no news is good news on the Del Mar turf front.

CHRB officials were out Tuesday to check the turf and no announcement that they weren’t running on it Wednesday came.

On the main track, there is no telling how it will play after wax was added to the Polytrack after Tuesday morning training hours. Last week three track records were set so Wednesday it could be a completely different surface. be careful.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Big John B, 2. Empty Headed, 3. Tigah. LONG SHOT: Thirtyfirststreet.

The Jimmy Durante Turf Course gets tested right out of the gate in the first race. The rails will be set at 18 feet and here’s hoping it’s a slower and softer surface for man and beast.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Southern Sunshine, 2. Reverchon, 3. Ladysgotgame. LONG SHOT: Plus Value.

You don’t see apprentice jockey Drayden Van Dyke jump off horses for trainer Tom Proctor, but he does in this race. Van Dyke jumps on SOUTHERN SUNSHINE (8-1), a 3-year-old filly, for trainer Peter Miller, who sends this daughter around two turns for the first time.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Number Five, 2. Maxx the Giat, 3. Romar Success. LONG SHOT: Sun Spots.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Tosheen, 2. Crux, 3. Red N Black Attack. LONG SHOT: Skydreamin.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Sheza Dish, 2. Nero’s Pleasure, 3. Up the Alley. LONG SHOT: Veronica Bay.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Nakamoto, 2. Dallas Skyline, 3. Bollente. LONG SHOT: Papacoolpapacool.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Wake Up Nick (best bet), 2. Peradventure, 3. Atta Boy Woody. LONG SHOT: Colorado Strong.

WAKE UP NICK is 2-for-2 in his young career and drops into the Cal-bred Graduation stakes after winning the open Santa Anita Juvenile on June 22. WAKE UP NICK is by Cindago out of a Lion Hearted mare, which screams sprinting. The 2-year-old colt might not be able to go much further than this pedigree wise so trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez are trying to make hay while the sun shines.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. A C’s Crackerjack, 2. Ron’s Boy, 3. Coyotero. LONG SHOT: Eleven Zip.

A C’S CRACKERJACK (4-1), a 3-year-old colt, drops from straight maiden ranks all the way down to the $20,000 maiden claiming level after he dwelt at the start. Trainer Tom Proctor had put a couple of works into him at the seaside oval and apprentice Drayden Van Dyke jumps on.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Hofmans scratches horses due to condition of Del Mar turf

Trainer David Hofmans scratched two horses off Wednesday’s program due to the condition of the turf at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Following four thoroughbred euthanizations on Del Mar’s new grass course over the first first eight days of racing, Del Mar’s Joe Harper cancelled turf racing on Sunday to give employees an extra day to work on the surface.

Turf superintendent Leif Dickinson and his crew have been watering and aerating the surface that was planted this spring. The track also planned to move the rails out to an 18-foot setting for Wednesday’s program so that horses would run over relatively fresher ground.

Track officials were on the surface on Tuesday morning before giving the final go ahead to resume racing on it, but Hofmans was taking no chances.

Hofmans scratched 4-year-old gelding They Call Me Mr. P, owned by Karen and Mickey Taylor of Seattle Slew fame, from the third race and 2-year-old Popsracer from the sixth race.

When asked why he scratched, Hofmans was to the point.

“I want to see wait and see what they do (to the turf),” Hofmans said. “I know they are trying to soften it, but I want to wait and see. I would have preferred if they had waited a few more days (to resume grass racing). I think that would have been better.”

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Week that was: Ragin’ Cajun back in form at Del Mar

In reality it wasn’t a very good week the last five racing days at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Too many horses died, including the freakish death of the very good 3-year-old Dance With Fate, and too many jockeys ended up on the dirt or turf. The vibe, I hear from colleagues, wasn’t good on Sunday. Luckily, none of the jockeys who were involved in the incidents appear to have suffered serious injuries.

Del Mar made the right decision in cancelling turf racing on Sunday after a rash of deaths the first two weeks of the meet on the new surface. I’m sure when racing resumes on Wednesday, Joe Harper will make the right decision again, if problems persist.

I’ll tell anyone who will listen that the first two weeks of any race meeting, and it seems particularly Del Mar, is when horses are at most risk because they are changing surfaces. It seems that trainers who get to Del Mar early, don’t have as much of a problem, but the fact is horses have to get used to new surfaces.

As for the action on the track, jockey Kent Desormeaux has rocketed to the top of the riding standings after two weeks with nine victories from 41 mounts. The Hall of Fame jockey from Louisiana is riding as well as I have seen him recently. He was real good back in the day and then hit a rough patch due to personal issues and the like. Let’s hope that is all past him and he’s back in his glory days again.

Jockeys Tyler Baze and Elvis Trujillo, second and third in the current standings, continued strong campaigns so far. For the week Baze was 5-of-40 and Trujillo 4-of-29. Joe Talamo was 3-of-33 but it doesn’t seem like he’s riding well, to me. Talamo seems to be making big moves on the Polytrack turn for home and then flattening out. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but he seemed to ride the same way last year.

Martin Garcia was just 1-for-14, but he did miss Sunday to ride Bayern to victory in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Apprentice Drayden Van Dyke was 0-for-19, but we’ll cut him huge slack after getting dumped twice in races. He took Sunday off to recuperate.

A couple of other jockey notes, Tiago Pereira, who has earned the nickname “Mr. Long Shot” at the meet with victories on two 50-1 shots, begins a three-days suspension on Wednesday. Victor Espinoza isn’t named on horses on Friday. Brian Beach, Espinoza’s agent, said the horse his jockey was suppose to ride in the stakes didn’t enter and they didn’t have any other calls that day.

On the training end, Peter Miller, a Carlsbad resident, just keeps on trucking and is now a top the standings. Miller has seven wins for the meet and was 4-for-17 last week.

Doug O’Neill is second in the standings with five wins but he was just 1-for-21 on the week.

On the other end, John Sadler had a very frustrating week as his barn went 0-for-20. Look for a rebound soon.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Sunday, July 27

Del Mar announced late Saturday that it will take the two races set for the turf on Sunday will be taken off following a rash of fatal injuries on the new surface. I will update the picks in the fifth and ninth races after the scratches are announced Sunday morning.  (Editor’s note: due to family health issues, unable to update today)

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president Joe Harper is absolutely making the right move. They need to figure out this new turf course that was installed this year.

I had a track official tell me this week he could hear the horses’ hooves on the turf course, a sound you shouldn’t hear on a grass course.

I’ve felt all along the course was too hard with all of the fast times this meet, but I also trust turf superintendent Leif Dickinson, who has always been up front with me over the years.

Personally, I think they need to water it more, but who knows if that is the answer. Time will tell but Del Mar will come with an answer, even if that means cutting back on grass races or cancelling them all together for the meet.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Tribalist, 2. Bookworm, 3. Rainbow North. LONG SHOT: Droppin Buttons.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Take It Easyplease, 2. Desert Steel, 3. Forever Dorthy. LONG SHOT: Soul Flyer.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Friendly Banter, 2. Malibu Way, 3. Forever Freedom. LONG SHOT: Street Serenade.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Chati’s On Top, 2. Tiz a Kiss, 3. Passionville. LONG SHOT: Quinnette.

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OFF THE TURF!!!

FIFTH RACE: 1. Mega Heat, 2. Ethnic Dance, 3. Rock Me Baby. LONG SHOT: Affrettando.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Nothing But Air, 2. Hollywood Producer, 3. Betty Bing Bing. LONG SHOT: Tim’s Go Girl.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Miss Mandate, 2. Make the Sun Shine, 3. Starlet O’Hara. LONG SHOT: Wahine Warrior.

Trainer Mark Casse trains both MISS MANDATE and MAKE THE SUN SHINE. MISS MANDATE will be the longer price and she was training great at Churchill Downs before her debut, when she went off at 2-1 and finished fifth. Now with a little seasoning maybe she is the play.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Kobe’s Back (best bet), 2. Goldencents, 3. Declassify. LONG SHOT: Pablo Del Monte.

The Grade I Bing Crosby is filled with a ton of speedsters and this John Sadler-trainee, KOBE’S BACK, appears to be the only one who can come from behind. The 3-year-old gets a break in the weights and has a strong work over the track. Jockey Joe Talamo rides for the first time. GOLDENCENTS is the horse to beat in my book for trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Rafael Bejarano. He lost this race a year ago by a head. I will definitely put in an exact box on the top two.

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OFF THE TURF!!!

NINTH RACE: 1. Personal Diary, 2. Disregarded, 3. Alexis Tangier. LONG SHOT: Kool Kat.

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10TH RACE: 1. Miss Kit Kat, 2. Mom’s Winner, 3. Q’ Viva. LONG SHOT: Inflamed.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 2 (Go West Marie $5.40, fourth race; Winning Rhythm $11.40, fifth)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 1 (Fed Biz $8, eighth)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 2 (Big Cazanova $7.40, seventh; Grachus the Hunter $11.60, ninth)

Saturday’s long shot winners: 0

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, July 26 (updated again)

I sure hope someone, anyone, used some of my third-choice horses on Friday and made some money because I just can’t find a winner on top at Del Mar these days.

The fields are big and you never know how the Polytrack is going to play. Plus, the new turf course seems to be on the hard side. Maybe Del Mar should think about soaking the course like Santa Anita did during its long meet.

All I can do is keep plugging away and hope others have winners because I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it this hard to handicap at the seaside oval.

FIRST RACE: 1. Candy Anniversary, 2. Charisma Code, 3. Sidepocket Champ. LONG SHOT: Magna Warrior.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Louden’s Gray, 2. Final Step, 3. Bettys Bambino. LONG SHOT: Cherubim.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Olympic Lady (best bet), 2. Appealing Lady, 3. Ashley’s Sassy. LONG SHOT: Tatum’s Gold.

OLYMPIC LADY (5-2) is a first-time starter by Fusaichi Pegasus from the Victor Garcia barn with Agapito Delgadillo in the irons. The 2-year-old filly has been training well for her debut and Garcia loves to win races at the seaside oval.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Sunday Rules, 2. Rovenna (SCRATCHED), 3. Grazenette. LONG SHOT: Bonus Spin. NEW PICKS: 1. Sunday Rules (SCRATCHED), 2. Grazenette, 3. Go West Marie. LONG SHOT: Bonus Spin. LATEST NEW PICKS: 1.Go West Marie, 2. Grazenette, 3. Bonus Spin. LONG SHOT: Sprouts. 

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Winning Rhythm, 2. Zanbo, 3. Baruta. LONG SHOT: Another Sky.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Battle of Evermore, 2. Harmonic, 3. Homer Matt. LONG SHOT: Lovenseek.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Thundergram, 2. Seeking the West, 3. Big Cazanova. LONG SHOT: Toledo Eddie.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Frac Daddy, 2. Fed Biz, 3. Imperative. LONG SHOT: Soi Phet.

Trainer Ken McPeek brought FRAC DADDY, a son of Scat Daddy, to run specifically on the Polytrack as the 4-year-old has three wins from four starts on synthetic tracks. McPeek is putting local jockey Joe Talamo aboard.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Classified Wagon, 2. Yes Yes Yes, 3. Grachus the Hunter. LONG SHOT: Bucfiftytwo.

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10TH RACE: 1. Copper Bay, Heyyoucan, 3. Malibu Colony. LONG SHOT: The Tom Squad.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 0

Friday’s second choice winners 1 (Clever Royal $10.20, third race

Friday’s third choice winners: 4 (Wild Heart Run $10, first; Newfound Gold $19.60, second; Mark of a Gem $31.20, sixth; Sam’s Sister $16, eighth)

Friday’s long shot winners: 0

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, July 25

FIRST RACE: 1. Delaney’s Joy, 2. Lady Dash, 3. Wild Heart Run. LONG SHOT: Cora Elizabeth.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Southern Sunrise, 2. Innocent Man, 3. Newfound Gold. LONG SHOT: Fly Blue.

SOUTHERN SUNRISE (6-1) broke his maiden over the Polytrack a year ago at Del Mar. Was claimed recently for $16,000 with this race, no doubt, in mind. Should be forwardly placed by jockey Tyler Baze. Trainer Mark Glatt is 29% first off the claim.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Local One Thirty, 2. Clever Royal, 3. Contributor. LONG SHOT: Storm the Channel.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Aaron’s Thunder, 2. Mikes Lion, 3. Mr. Count On Me. LONG SHOT: Joshie Hit a Homer.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Lady Asono, 2. Master the Blues, 3. Heat Du Jour. LONG SHOT: Fantastic Mizz.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Bosserette, 2. Tarn, 3. Mark of a Gem. LONG SHOT: Antiquity.

Offspring of Street Boss do well on the turf and BOSSERETTE’s only win came on the green stuff. Has been away since February but has been working steadily for her return for trainer Howard Zucker, who is 23% with runners on the grass. Jockey Tyler Baze keeps the mount.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Sky Kingdom, 2. American Blend, 3. Old Time Hockey. LONG SHOT: Lideris.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Go Get Em Babe, 2. Kirov, 3. Sam’s Sister. LONG SHOT: Hidden Reality.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 0

Thursday’s second choice winners: 2 (Peacenluvpeacenluv $8.80, second race; Bench Light $18, eighth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 1 (Burns Turn $12, third)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 2 (Bunuska $12.20, fourth; Fable $11.60, fifth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, July 24

Wednesday not so good. As I told someone earlier in the day, tough races to handicap and has carryover all over it.

That’s about the only thing I was right about. There will be a Pick 6 carryover of more than $67,000 heading into Thursday’s program, which again looks very tough.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Sacred Temple, 2. Peacenluvpeacenluv, 3. Bandido Too. LONG SHOT: Arigato.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Scene Queen, 2. Hugh Knew, 3. George’s Peach. LONG SHOT: Doctor Glynis.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Tebowing (best bet), 2. Le Fascinator, 3. Burns Turn. LONG SHOT: Rhodium.

TEBOWING (5-1) won a race over the Del Mar Polytrack a year ago and no one else in the field can say that. Trainer Julio Canani is 21% with claimers and hot apprentice Drayden Van Dyke keeps the mount.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Sweet Sense, 2. Citizenship, 3. Kristinite. LONG SHOT: Bunuska.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Crafty Regan, 2. Coconut Cream Pie, 3. Hanserella. LONG SHOT: Fable.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Perfect Set, 2. Brazilian Court, 3. Meringue Pie. LONG SHOT: Baranof.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1.Tiz Point, 2. Regally Soul, 3. Mike Man’s Gold. LONG SHOT: Anillo,

TIZ POINT (7-2), a 5-year-old gelding, was claimed for $25,000 at Golden Gate Fields and brought south by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who is 35% first off the claim. The son of Tiznow has a big work over the track and has a third in two previous tries at Del Mar. Jockey Elvis Trujillo jumps on.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Money Clip, 2. Bench Light, 3. Christopher Street. LONG SHOT: Song to You.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Hula Girl, 2. Racing fir Chasen, 3. Zippinaroundtown. LONG SHOT: Powerful Girl.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Wednesday’s top choice winners: 1 (Winninginfashion $8.40, third race)

Wednesday’s second choice winners: 2 (Dublin Dancer $7, sixth; My Slew $11.80, seventh)

Wednesday’s third choice winners: 0

Wednesday’s long shot winners: 0

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