Horse racing, Pimlico, Triple Crown

Pimlico Race Course opinions for Saturday, May 16

The Pimlico is here and I’m not going to try to re-invent the wheel. I still think the West Coast horses are the best so here are my picks:

#8 Firing Line (4-1)

#1 American Pharoah (4-5)

#2 Dortmund (7-2)

#5 Tale of Verve (30-1)

Comment: I’m sticking with Firing Line and hope jockey Gary Stevens can get him to switch leads down the lane this time.

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Here are some other races on the card:

Race 1: #7 Mafia Muscle Man (turf only) (6-1)

Trainer Larry Rivelli is based in Chicago, yet he picks this spot for this 2-year-old to make his debut. He also owns the colt and the sire Lewis Michael is 15% with first-time turfers. Rivelli is 27% with first-timers and gets Javier Casellano to ride. Play an exacta box with #8 FINNEGAN (6-5), who is supposed to be trainer Wesley Ward’s next big Ascot thing.

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Race 3: #10 Chiropractor (7-2)

Trainer Tom Proctor is going to have a barn on the East Coast based near Pimlico and starts this Kitten’s Joy first-timer on the turf, where the sire is 17% first-time turf. One of Proctor’s West Coast jockeys, Drayden Van Dyke, rides, but they have been cold lately.

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Race 6: #2 Hooligan (4-1)

Trainer Wesley Ward is almost an automatic play in a 5-furlong turf sprint and here he gets jockey John Velazquez aboard (22% together).

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Race 9: #1 Bocaouva (8-1), #8 Watsdachances (6-1), #9 Token of Love (5-1).

One of the toughest races on the card, BOCAOUVA had a ton of trouble in her last race and drawing the No. 1 hole here is no bargain. Will use all three in all vertical bets.

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Race 10: #7 Gimme Da Lute (3-1)

Trainer Bob Baffert is an amazing 39% with horses going sprint-route-sprint and that’s what this 3-year-old does after finishing third to Competitive Edge in the Pat Day Mile on Derby Day.

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Race 12: #10 Manchurian High (turf only) (15-1)

Jockey Gary Stevens doesn’t need to ride every race so he must have gotten a good story on this gelding to ride for little-known trainer Lilli Kurtinecz. The 7-year-old has won twice over this Pimlico turf course and will be charging down the lane. He also comes out of a key race with three next out winners. This is one of tougher races on the card so go for a price.

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita Park selections for Sunday, Jan. 4

FIRST RACE: 1. When We Met, 2. Quality Plan, 3. Hadfunlastnight. LONG SHOT: Oligarch.

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SECOND RACE: 1. War Destiny, 2. Logan’s Moon, 3. Uptown Rythem. LONG SHOT: Twentytwentyvision.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Miss Mandate, 2. Devil’s Beauty, 3. All Star Bub. LONG SHOT: Taparri.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Temple Keys, 2. Metaboss, 3. Air Nashoba. LONG SHOT: Stuffed Animal.

Temple City has proven to be a good sire with first-time grass horses and that’s what we have in this 3-year-old colt, TEMPLE KEYS (9-2), for trainer Tom Proctor and jockey Drayden Van Dyke.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Kill Shot, 2. Willie B Awesome, 3. He’s On His Toes. LONG SHOT: Misty’sviewthegold.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Doctor Glynis, 2. Faith Hope Love, 3. Mahalo Princess. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Gussie.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Rainbow North, 2. Cole Cole, 3. Ebony Gold. LONG SHOT: Unusual Lover.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Velvet Mesquite (best bet), 2. Shrinking Violet, 3. Wishing Gate. LONG SHOT: Sky Treasure.

VELVET MESQUITE (7-2), a 5-year-old mare, loves running down the hill at Santa Anita, where she is 5-for-6 on the course. The outside post is fine and jockey Mike Smith stays aboard for trainer Blake Heap.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Miz Graycee, 2. Honey Nugget, 3. Won’t Be Shaken. LONG SHOT: Lady Danger.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos Race Course opinions for Friday, Dec. 19

Race 4: #6 Patsy G and Me (2-1)

This 2-year-old made his debut in September at Golden Gate in a race that has produced two winners. Now he is in the Tim Yakteen barn, which is 38% with horses off a 61-180-day layoff. Apprentice Drayden Van Dyke is likely to gun from the gate.

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Race 6: #6 Maid Easy (5-1)

We liked this first-timer by Top Hit earlier in the meet, but she was scratched out of the No. 1 hole. She gets an outside draw here for the potent jockey/trainer combination of Kayle Stra and Kory Owens (38%). Owens is also 23% with 2-year-olds.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos Race Course opinions for Thursday, Dec. 18

Not a great card for Thursday as horsemen are waiting for Santa Anita Park to open the day after Christmas, Dec. 26.

One note: the inside four posts have won 19 of 22 route races (87%) at the meet so far.

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Race 1: Brackendale (4-1)

Interesting jockey move here. Feranando Perez usually rides for trainer Robertino Diodoro, who has Papa’s Paisley in here, but Perez chooses to stick with this son of Forest Grove here for trainer Robert Gilker.

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Race 6: #4 Tough Sunday (3-1)

This 2-year-old had all kinds of trouble at the start of his debut on Oct. 29 at Santa Anita, but still managed to finish third. That race has produced three next out winners and apprentice jockey Drayden Van Dyke keeps the mount for trainer Steve Miyadi.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos Race Course opinions for Sunday, Dec. 14

Race 6: #2 Afleet in Time (5-1)

This 2-year-old colt broke his maiden at Santa Anita on the dirt and going two turns. That’s what we have here. Inside post have done well going two urns this meet and apprentice Drayden Van Dyke knows this track well.

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Race 9: #5 Cat One (5-1)

Trainer Lin Melton is 2-for-4 with first-time starters and this son of Tenga Cat has a string of good works over this track. Jockey Tyler Baze is 1-of-2 riding for Melton.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos Race Course opinions for Friday, Dec. 5

Race 2: #2 Caliente Cat (6-1)

This gelding has been running with thoroughbreds at night and now tries the day time for bigger cash. Trainer Justin Clark is an amazing 42% (25-for-60). The 5-year-old likes to come from off the pace and the long stretch run should suit his style.

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Race 3: #1 Sweet Renata (5-2)

Trainer Craig Dollase has had a slow year, but he knows how to get a first-timer ready (33%) and jockey Gary Stevens rides. Stevens doesn’t need the exercise so this 2-year-old filly figures to be live. The only drawback in the No. 1 post.

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Race 6: #7 Zendai (5-2)

This 2-year-old by Zensational finished second to Ocho Ocho Ocho in his last race 55 days ago. All Ocho has done since is win two stakes, including the Delta Jackpot. This Eoin Harty trainee will be forwardly placed and should make short work of this field.

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Race 7: #4 Tacit Approval (7-2)

The 3-year-old filly has a win and a third over this track in two tries this year. Trainer Craig Dollase gets apprentice Drayten Van Dyke to ride instead of double apprentice Sullivan, which is a huge upgrade. She will likely try to go wire-to-wire.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos Race Course opinions for Thursday, Dec. 4

Note: Probably won’t have time to do full handicaps during Los Alamitos but will try to do them as much as possible. Good luck.

Race 3: #9 Jury Dodger (8-1)

This 2-year-old from the Kory Owens barn could easily start in Arizona and win for fun, but Owens must like what he sees in this first-timer, especially those last three works over this track. Owens is 3-for-8 with 2-year-olds and he gets apprentice Drayden Van Dyke to ride.

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Race 6: #7 Glory (7-2)

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has been getting a lot of his 2-year-olds ready at Pomona this year and this first-timer by Tapit looks to be live first time out with Drayden Van Dyke aboard. Hollendorfer is 31% with first-timers and 24% with Van Dyke.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 3 (Craving Carats $7.20, first race; Prime Issue $3.60, third; Heir of Storm $20.80, seventh)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 2 (Act $4, second; Press Baron $14.20, fourth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 2 (Yes Yes Yes $7.40, fifth; La Tia $6.60, eighth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Conquest Typhoon $4, sixth)

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