Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Jan. 29

Preview: Another ho-hum card. Jockeys to stay away from in dirt races are Tiago Pereira (1-28), Gonzalo Nicholas (1-20), Chester Bonnet (0-20) and Ty Kennedy (0-17)..

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Race 4: #4 Exfanofsixties (8-1) 

This filly was showing improvement before she went to the sidelines for trainer A C Avila, who is 30% with horses off a 46-90-day layoff. Avila has put three straight 7-furlong workouts in this 4-year-old so she should be plenty fit. Jockey Fernando Perez takes the mount and he is 23% with Avila

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Race 7: #8 Behest (5-1)

Trainer Phil D’Amato moves this filly to the turf for the first time and D’Amato is 15% when he does that. He is also 22% third off the layoff and he puts jockey Drayden Van Dyke aboard.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, Jan. 24

Preview: Looking to the back of the card. Sixth race should be interesting as 3-year-olds go long and Bob Baffert has three horses in there (can you say exacta and trifecta boxes?).

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Race 7: #10 Bench Warrant  (12-1)

Just finished fifth in Grade III Daytona down the hill and has won over the course before. Drayden Van Dyke takes the mount and he rides the grass well. Trainer John Sadler has to get hot sooner or later, doesn’t he?

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Race 8: #2 Octofy (8-1) 

This filly just won over this track going two turns. She must improve her Beyer as she moves up in class, but trainer Vladimir Cerin has been hot on the main track so far this meet. Leading jockey Santiago Gonzalez takes over the mount to help the cause.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Jan. 22

Preview: Just an OK card with two races on the turf. Speaking of the turf, jockey Rafael Bejarano is 6-for-25 on the green followed by Flavien Part, who is 5-for-29. Those struggling on the green are leading rider Santiago Gonzalez 2-19, Mike Smith 0-17 and Tyler Baze 0-22.

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Race 3: #1 You Know I Know (6-1) 

Trainer David Jacobson is still looking for his first win this winter after sending some horses West from New York. This gelding was claimed off Keith Desormeaux and Jacobson is 26% first off the claim and 22% going a sprint to a route .

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Race 4: #1 Warrensdollarsigns (4-1)

Any horse claimed off Steve Knapp is a play for me. New trainer Steve Miyadi is 27% first off the claim and he is 20% with horses going from sprint to route. Edwin Maldonado gets the mount back and he knows the mare well.

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Race 5: #10 Last Resort (8-1) 

Jockey Drayden Van Dyke is underrated on the turf. This post is bad but here’s hoping Van Dyke can figure out a winning trip. Trainer Tom Proctor is 24% off a 61-180 day layoff and 24% going from dirt to turf.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, Aug. 5

FIRST RACE: 1. #7 Okaad (15-1), 2. Pat the Bear, 3. Bobby Z Man. LONG SHOT: Embellishing Bob.

This gelding broke his maiden going this distance in wire-to-wire fashion and we look for jockey Iggy Puglisi to try similar tactics. Trainer Paul Aguirre is 41% with horses off a 90-day plus layoff.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Atascaderan, 2. Memphis, 3. North Pacific. LONG SHOT: Hojas.
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THIRD RACE: 1. #1 BOOK THIRTY FOUR (3-1) best bet, 2. Lassie’s Reward, 3. Market Notes. LONG SHOT: Indian Assault.

Trainer Doug O’Neill was on fire last week and he hopes to continue the roll in the new week. This 3-year-old drops into a claimer against winners for the first time and Rafael Bejarano, one of the leading jockeys, jumps on and he is 20% with O’Neill.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Autumn Flower, 2. Katy Drama, 3. Ya Ya Girl. LONG SHOT: Betterlethergo.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. I’ll Show Me, 2. Lily Pod, 3. Audra. LONG SHOT: Microburst.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Viviendo El Sueno, 2. Mrazek, 3. Getoffmyback. LONG SHOT: Swiss Minister.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. #1 Shapely (15-1), 2. Yana, 3. Tara’s Tango. LONG SHOT: Savannah Sky.

This is a pretty good price on a good trainer (Ron Ellis). He is 32% turf to dirt and 33% third off the layoff. On top of that he is 35% with jockey Drayden Van Dyke.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Divine Tale, 2. Avo, 3. Sparkling Peg. LONG SHOT: Take It Easyplease.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 2 (Frandontjudge $10.80, second race; Gimme Da Lute $2.80, fifth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 0

Sunday’s third choice winners: 3 (London Legacy $5.60, third; Gunslinger $6.40, fourth; Flat Gone $5, ninth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Blameitonthelaw $8, seventh)

 

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, July 23

FIRST RACE: 1. Wish I Understood, 2. Don’t Tell Jackie, 3. Vronsky’s Devka. LONG SHOT: Sooner Time.

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SECOND RACE: 1. #2 SMOOTH TALKER (6-1) best bet, 2. Good Stats, 3. Where Is My Mind. LONG SHOT: Norastone.

Trainer Doug O’Neill has gotten off to a slow start at the meet, but he’s bound to heat up at some point and did so on Wednesday when he won two races on the turf, of all surfaces. O’Neil is 36% with horses moving down two or more classes like this 5-year-old mare. Drayden Van Dyke is re-united with the mare.

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THIRD RACE: 1. #9 Holiday Camp (12-1), 2. Roy H, 3. Incline Village. LONG SHOT: Rule He Will.

Trainer Bob Baffert is searching for a winning spot for the this $700,000 purchase last year. The turf might be the answer as the sire Street Boss is 20% with first-time turfers and Baffert is 24% with jockey Martiin Garcia.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Gravity Force, 2. Blue Ratio, 3. Out of Mischief. LONG SHOT: I’m Zonin.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. #2 Lily Kai (12-1), 2. Almost Reality, 3. Ticaboo. LONG SHOT: Just Got Lucky.

This daughter of Unusual Heat is bred to love the grass and to go long. She showed improvement in her second start and now trainer Mike Machowsky sends her around two turns for the first time after two sprints, a move he is 23% with. Good turf jockey Brice Blanc is aboard.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Midnight Transfer, 2. Buckleberry Grey, 3. Barrel Knot. LONG SHOT: Ain’t No Other.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Lady’s Plan, 2. Freethinker, 3. Kadesha. LONG SHOT: Halljoy.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Emerald Green, 2. West Coast Storm, 3. I Heart You. LONG SHOT: Quick Navigator.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Wednesday’s top choice winners: 2 (Gypsy’s Rule $17.20, fourth race; Savings Account $4.20, sixth)

Wednesday’s second choice winners: 1 (Luvuryan $7.40, eighth)

Wednesday’s third choice winner: 0

Wednesday’s long shot winners: 1 (Karma King $17.80, second)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, July 22

To say it was a tough week on the handicapping front during the first week of Del Mar is an understatement. Five top choice winners isn’t acceptable, but with the weather and surface changes what are you going to do? I had second choice winners score but they weren’t on top.

As for track itself, newcomer Flavien Prat leads the jockey race with six winners, five of them on the dirt. Prat is in his first full season in Southern California after riding mainly on the grass in his native France. Prat is tied for the lead on the dirt with Joe Talamo (5-for-16). Santiago Gonzalez follows with four wins, all in the mud on Sunday. There is an old handicapping angle that says bet South American-sired horses in the mud. I guess that now carries over to the jockeys, too.

On the flip side on the dirt, Edwin Maldonado is 0-for-10, James Graham is 0-9 and Fernando Perez is 1-13. Graham, a newcomer from the Midwest is off to a rough 0-for-12 start overall.

On the grass, Mike Smith, Rafael Bejarano and Drayden Van Dyke all have two wins. Tyler Baze is 0-for-7 on the grass and Triple Crown riding jockey Victor Espinoza is 0-for-6. In fact, Espinoza is 0-for-13 overall. Can you say TC hangover?

On the training front, Jeff Mullins (4-for-7) and Peter Miller (4-for-24) lead the race. Jerry Hollendorfer is 3-for-8 on the dirt while Doug O’Neill is 0-for-9 on the dirt and 0-for-13 overall.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Silvertron, 2. Comanche Ruler, 3. Domingo Cat. LONG SHOT: Crazy Al.

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SECOND RACE: 1. #5 Venetian Mask (4-1), 2. Sir Macho, 3. Whiskey Wild. LONG SHOT: Karma King.

Trainer Jerry Holldendorfer drops this 4-year-old into a claimer for the first time and gelded the son of Pulpit. Hollendorfer is 25% turf to dirt and he puts jockey Martin Garcia aboard.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Forest Chatter, 2. Marchman, 3. Head South. LONG SHOT: Giant Ego.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Gypsy’s Rule, 2. Grape Fizz, 3. Lady Wedge. LONG SHOT: She’s too Wild.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Merle, 2. Gigantis, 3. Diablo Caballero. LONG SHOT: Heat.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Savings Account, 2. All Star Bub, 3. Front Range. LONG SHOT: Sky Mega.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Kulik Lodge, 2. Footstepsinbronze, 3. Winning Prize. LONG SHOT: Zuri Chop.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. #1 DIXIE TWEET (5-2) BEST BET, 2. Mucho Blessings, 3. Luvuryan. LONG SHOT: Katsfashion.

Trainer Mark Glatt drops this filly to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks. Glatt is 36% dropping a horse two or more class levels. This daughter of Dixie Chatter showed high speed on the turf and jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over and he is 27% with Glatt.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 1 (War Destiny $5, fourth race)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 2 (Codacious $16.20, second; Pretty N Cool $4, sixth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 2 (Toomanytomatoes $11.40, third; Husband’s Folly $7.80, fifth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Sweet Profit $4.60, first)

 

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Belmont Park, Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos (and Belmont) opinions for Thursday, July 2

Race 1: #1 Zees Chris (10-1)

Our Eyes:  Jockey Drayden Van Dyke was the king of Los Alamitos last year, granted he had a 5-pound weight allowance, but he hasn’t forgotten how to ride. Van Dyke jumps on this long shot for trainer Mike Harrington and we’ll take a flyer. I’m kind of stunned Van Dyke only has three mounts on the card. Why would trainers put no name jockeys on their mounts instead of a jockey who dominated this track last year? Just plain stupid. 

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Race 3: #1 Warm Endowment (7-2)

Van Dyke jumps on this first-timer starter for trainer Dean Pederson, who is 23% with firsters. This daughter of Unusual Heat (9% with first timers) has been training well at Los Alamitos and should be ready to go.

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Race 7: #4 Magic Mark (15-1)

This gelding had a third over the track last year and now trainer Ron Ellis has him third off the layoff (31%). Van Dyke jumps on and he is 32% with Ellis.

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BELMONT PARK

Race 6: #3 Messi (4-1)

Trainer Graham Motion is 32% with horses making their U.S. debuts. This one was suppose to run last week, but it was rained off the turf. Motion adds Lasix and has gelded the horse since its last race.

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Race 8: #5 Can’thelpbelieving (8-1)

Trainer Graham Motion gave this colt a confidence builder with a win at Parx. Top jockey Javier Castellano takes the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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