Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinion for Tuesday, July 23

Give that man a raise

After the first week of the meet, racing secretary David Jerkens deserves a raise from his Del Mar Thoroughbred Club bosses.
Thanks to Jerkens’ composition of the daily cards, Del Mar has a Pick Six jackpot carryover of $128,992 heading into Wednesday’s card. The jackpot only pays out when one ticket hits the Pick Six.
Jerkens has definitely been putting the toughest handicapping puzzles in the Pick Six sequence. It’s no secret Del Mar’s highest takeouts come in the Pick Six and late Pick Five.
During the 30 Pick Six races last week over the five days, the average winner paid $13.31. The average payoff in the other 13 races has been $6.02. And don’t worry about showing up late to the racing card, the first race payoffs have been a paltry $5.80 because they usually have the fewest entries each time.
Overall after 43 races, the average payoff per winner is $11.10 and Saturday was the best day to bet with the average winner paying $13.86, which is even more impressive since Catalina Cruiser ($2.20) and American Anthem ($3.20) were on the card.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Sunday, July 21

Note: Been tough sledding so far at the meet although I had three winners on top on Saturday. I do hope someone played my long shots on Saturday as I had four winners from that slot. I wasn’t smart enough to play them or use them in a couple of handicapping contests.

FIRST RACE: 1. Captain N. Barron, 2. Coil to Strike, 3. Surfside Sunset. LONG SHOT: Seahawk Wave.
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SECOND RACE: 1. BLACKOUT (best bet), 2. What’sontheagenda. 3. Tina’s Exchange. LONG SHOT: Mr Vargas
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THIRD RACE: 1. Springster, 2. Adulting, 3. Thunder Woman. LONG SHOT: Thanks
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Catapult, 2. Bowies Hero, 3. Sharp Samurai. LONG SHOT: Ohio.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Golly G by Jiminee, 2. Scathing, 3. Halo Darlin. LONG SHOT: Showit.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Higher Power, 2. Bombard, 3. Law Abidin Citizen. LONG SHOUT: Souter.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Bronn, 2. Collusion Illusion, 3. Defense Wins. LONG SHOT: Disco Ball.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Peter’s Kitten, 2. Pride’s Gold, 3. Breezy Bee. LONG SHOT: Bornonvalentineday.

Good luck.

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 1 (Lady Ninja $6, fourth race)

Second choice winners: 1 (El Tigre Terrrible $4, first)

Third choice winners: 0

Long shot winners: 1 (Fifteen to Vegas $13.80, eighth)

SATURDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 3 (Catalina Cruiser $2.20, fourth race; Mucho Unusual $7, eighth; Pure Xena $6.40, ninth)

Second choice winners: 2 (Contagion $7, third; Painting Corners $12.40, sixth)

Third choice winners: 1 (American Anthem $3.20, second)

Long shot winners: 4 (Mongolian Empire $8, first; First Star $56.80, fifth; Big Returns $6, seventh; Ronald R $29.40, 10th)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Saturday, July 20

FIRST RACE: 1. Dearborn, 2. Super Klaus, 3. Tequila Sunrise. LONG SHOT: Mongolian Empire
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SECOND RACE: 1. Flagstaff, 2. American Pastime, 3. American Anthem. LONG SHOT: Adens Dream.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Collins Ave, 2. The Creep, 3. Contagion. LONG SHOT: First in Show.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Catalina Cruiser, 2. Higher Power, 3. Dr. Dorr. LONG SHOT: Core Beliefs.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Miss Ava’s Union, 2. Blue Moonrise, 3. Shocking Fast. LONG SHOT: First Star.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Kentan Road, 2. Painting Corners, 3. S Y Sky. LONG SHOT: Lady Suebee.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Fantasy Game, 2. Side Street Dave, 3. One Fast Bro. Big Returns.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Mucho Unusual, 2. Over Emphasize, 3. Maxim Rate. LONG SHOT: Kalliniki.
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NINTH RACE: 1. Pure Xena, 2. Save the Story, 3. She’s So Special. LONG SHOT: Tacocat.
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10TH RACE: 1. FORAY (Best bet), 2. Overdue, 3. Factorial. LONG SHOT: Ronald R.

Good luck.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Friday, Aug. 19

FIRST RACE: 1. Heraclitus, 2. El Tigre Terrible, 3. Howbeit. LONG SHOT: Little Cents.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Topgallant, 2. Mason Dixon, 3. Dieci. LONG SHOT: Fortune of War.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Marilyn’s Smile, 2. Maycee Jo, 3. Sunrise Royale. LONG SHOT: Miss Voluptuous.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Lady Ninja, 2. Fighting Mad, 3. Spend Spend Spend. LONG SHOT: Time for Ebby.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Out of Balance (also eligible), 2. Pakhet, 3. Hollywood Girl, 4. Rayana. LONG SHOT: Hurley.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. One Nation, 2. Midnight Mystery, 3. Fay Dan. LONG SHOT: Soldier Boy.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Don’t Blame Judy, 2. Ippodamia’s Girl, 3. Streak of Luck. LONG SHOT: Paved.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. TESTIMONY (best bet), 2. Checks in he Mail, 3. Funusual. LONG SHOT: Fifteen to Vegas.

Good luck.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 1 (Smiling Shirlee $7.80, seventh race)

Second choice winners: 3 (Julius 3.60, first; United $5.60, second; Give Me the Lute $7.20, 10th)

Third  choice winners: 2 (Jasikan ($5.80, eighth; King Jack $4.80, ninth)

Long shot winners: 0

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 2 (Thanks Mr. Eidson 43.80, first race; M Town Gem $17.60, second)

Second choice winners: 0

Third choice winners: 0

Long shot winners: 0

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, July 18

Note: New schedule kicks in with just seven races on a Thursday. I don’t like it, but heck I wish there was nine every day. That’s just a fantasy these days.

FIRST RACE: 1. Juggernaut, 2. Thanks Mr. Edison, 3. Georgian Road. LONG SHOT: Prince Ricky.
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SECOND RACE: 1. M Town Gem, 2. Mystery Messenger, 3. Seeking Refuge. LONG SHOT: Boyson.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Mo Dinero, 2. Hard to Come Home, 3. Baby Frankie. LONG SHOT: Punaluu.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Samurai Charm, 2. Canadian Ginger, 3. Senora Power. LONG SHOT: Red Nova.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. KAZAN (best bet), 2. Full of Luck, 3. Prince of Arabia. LONG SHOT: Tough It Out.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Sneaking Out, 2. Opus Won, 3. Takethediamondlane. LONG SHOT: Tiz a Master.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Irish Heatwave, 2. Red Island, 3. Shining Through. LONG SHOT: Rogallo.

Good luck.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, July 17 (Opening day)

Note: As some of you know, my computer was stolen last month and still don’t have a new one. I’m using an old computer which doesn’t have my program on it that I use for my picks so this will be interesting. Good luck to all this season at the seaside oval.

FIRST RACE: 1. I Can Do This, 2. Julius, 3. Mr. Magico. LONG SHOT: Surprise Fashion.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Ward ‘n Jerry, 2. United, 3. Starting Bloc. LONG SHOT: Via Egnatia.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Monsajem Accrete, 2. Ted W, 3. Avanti Bello. LONG SHOT: Gran Fiesta.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Incensed, 2. Giddymeister, 3. Roaring Rule. LONG SHOT: Quality Line.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Flower Point, 2. Tiger Silk, 3. Miss Hot Legs. LONG SHOT: Wandering Patrol.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Lucky Daughter, 2. I Want One, 3. Arouse N Go. LONG SHOT: Golden Goddess.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. SMILING SHIRLEE (Best bet), 2. Sassyserb, 3. Very Boisterous. LONG SHOT: Liberalism.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. King of Speed, 2. Nolde, 3. Jasikan. LONG SHOT: Legends of War.
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NINTH RACE: 1. Bellerin, 2. Coil Me Home, 3. King Jack. LONG SHOT: Buckys Pick.
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10TH RACE: 1. Flicflac, 2. Give Me the Lute, 3. Play Money. LONG SHOT: Sidepocket Action.

Good luck.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for 2019 Summer season

Every year horsemen point for the Del Mar meeting and hold back horses just to try and make a score at the seaside oval.
This 80th season should be no different, but there could be a lot different.
With the Santa Anita debacle, the state has lost plenty of its horse inventory.
You are going to see fewer races at Del Mar and smaller fields, which in turn means lower payoffs and likely more favorites winning races. Del Mar is likely to back load its cards in order to have more horses in the Pick Six races, which are the last six events of each day. It also means shorter fields for the first Pick Five, which Del Mar runs on the first five events of the day, but probably larger payoffs in the late Pick Five, which Del Mar added last year.
Long shots will come, just maybe not as frequently as in the past.
Here are some jockeys and trainers to watch during the summer meet with stats provided by Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2019 (www.proghandicap.com):

Jockeys
The colony hasn’t changed too much except for the loss of Tyler Baze, who left Southern California during the spring for points east, most notably Kentucky. Baze will ride today on opening day but that might be his only appearance unless he has a stakes engagement or two.
Flavien Prat continues to lead the Southern California colony, especially in turf races. The France native just has a knack for the green stuff, but make no mistake he can ride on the dirt, too. When Prat teams up with trainers Richard Baltas, Simon Callaghan, Phil D’Amato and Peter Miller watch out. Prat and Miller won 47 percent of their races at the 2018 meet (7 for 15).
Drayden Van Dyke has grown up on the circuit since his apprentice days and is tough to deal with day in and day out. Van Dyke rides for all the top outfits, including Bob Baffert, John Sadler and Michael McCarthy.
Veteran Rafael Bejarano seems to have regained his magic from years past and he can be deadly when trying to get a horse home in the stretch. Joe Talamo is a steady rider who has made inroads into the Baffert barn.
Victor Espinoza is back after getting hurt at last year’s meet and Aaron Gryder has returned to the circuit full-time. Hall of Famer Mike Smith will ride a lot of the stakes races so if shows up on other horses take note.
Watch out for Amir Cedillo, who has moved his tack from Northern California and will get plenty of mounts from trainers on that circuit. Cedillo’s mounts have won $2.3 million this year and $19.4 million in his career.
On the apprentice front, Jose Velez just won the nine-day Los Alamitos meet and J.C. Diaz has booted home some good-priced horses while carrying the weight allowance so many trainers like.

Trainers
When talking Del Mar and training, the first name out of most people’s mouth is Baffert. The silver-fox loves to show off his bright, shiny new 2-year-olds at the seaside oval. The problem is Baffert’s horses almost always go favored and for good reason because they are always well-meant first time out. However, if you bet on every Baffert horse over the last three years you would be down $94 and the average price of his winners is just $6. Ouch. A good angle is to bet the “other” Baffert when he enters two horses in the same race.
Other top trainers but losing propositions the last three years are D’Amato (minus $178), Doug O’Neill (minus minus $311) and Keith Desormeaux (minus $122). It should be noted that banned trainer Jerry Hollendorfer showed a loss of $253 the last three years despite 27 winners and his horses will run with his assistant Dan Ward this season.
North County resident Miller has been the Del Mar king the last three summers with 66 winners and a profit of $73, but it should be noted that he has moved approximately 33 percent of his stock out of state due to new regulations so it will be interesting to see what happens. Miller only has horses entered in two races over the first two days of the meet. Miller does well in all categories.
Shockingly, the Sadler barn has shown a $206 profit the last three years and average price of $17 with his winners. Sadler always has top stock, especially for Hronis Racing, and when his turf sprinters win they average $38.
Jeff Bonde (plus $136) and Jim Cassidy (plus $106) have shown a profit over the last three years. You have to watch out for Bonde with California-bred horses and Cassidy also seems to have a way with turf sprinters.
An under-the-radar trainer to watch out for is Andrew Lerner, who was 3 for 9 last summer. Lerner is very good with horses making their first start of the meet and first start off of a 30-day layoff. He has increased his stock this year and can also play the claiming game.

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Horse racing

Santa Anita opinions

Note to readers: I was all set to provide selections for Santa Anita on Friday but when I got home from work Thursday night I discovered my computer and other devices at my residence had been stolen. As you can guess this has thrown me for a loop and am unsure when I will post picks again. As we all know computers don’t grow on trees. Hopefully by the opening of Del Mar I will be back in business, but I had all my programs and stuff on that computer so it will be a little while. Thanks for reading. JN

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, June 8

FIRST: 1. Tammy’s Window, 2. Super Patriot, 3. Candy Swirls. LONG SHOT: Fool’s Paradise.

SECOND: 1. Miss That Kat, 2. Jack’s Diva, 33. I Belong to Becky. LONG SHOT: Handsome John.

THIRD: 1. Dukes Up, 2. Oh Man, 3. Top of the Game. LONG SHOT: Mongolian Humor.

FOURTH: 1. Desmond Doss, 2. My Journey, 3. Flicflac. LONG SHOT: Bud Knight.

FIFTH: 1. Time for Kisses, 2. Convince, 3. A Dime for Me. LONG SHOT: Miss Bennet.

SIXTH: 1. Don’t Sell, 2. Great Return, 3. G Q Covergirl. LONG SHOT: Tizanillusion.

SEVENTH: 1. For Him, 2. Rick’s Dream, 3. Market Sentiment. LONG SHOT: Nova.

EIGHTH: 1. Factorial, 2. Overdue, 3. Ultimate Bango. LONG SHOT: Hootie.

NINTH: 1. San Giorgio, 2. Wicken Fen, 3. Lil Sydney. LONG SHOT: Red Valor.

10TH: 1. Formal Dude, 2. Drink, 3. Scrambled. LONG SHOT: Union Station.

Good luck

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Belmont Park, Horse racing

Belmont Park stakes opinions for Saturday, June 8

THIRD RACE (Easy Goer): 1. Outshine, 2. Alwaysmining, 3. Majid, 4. Dream Maker. LONG SHOT: Still Dreaming.

FOURTH RACE (Grade I Just A Game): 1. Beau Recall, 2. Rushing Fall, 3. Got Stormy, 4. Environs. LONG SHOT: Daddy Is a Legend.

FIFTH RACE (Grade I Ogden Phipps): 1. Escape Clause, 2. Midnight Bisou, 3. Come Dancing, 4. Mopotism. LONG SHOT: Pacific Wind.

SIXTH RACE (Grade I Jaipur): 1. World of Trouble, 2. Undrafted, 3. Dirty, 4. Belvoir Bay. LONG SHOT: Diamond Oops.

SEVENTH RACE (Grade I Acorn): 1. Cookie Dough, 2. Serengeti Empress, 3. Queen of Beas, 4. Guarana. LONG SHOT: Ce Ce.

EIGHTH RACE (Grade I Woody Stephens): 1. Honest Mischief, 2. Much Better, 3. Wendell Fong, 4. Complexity. LONG SHOT: Lexitonian.

NINTH RACE (Grade I Met Mile): 1. Prince Lucky, 2. McKenzzie, 3. Mitole, 4. Firenze Fire. LONG SHOT: Coal Front.

10TH RACE (Grade I Manhattan): 1. Channel Maker, 2. Raging Bull, 3. Bricks and Mortar, 4. Robert Bruce. LONG SHOT: Channel Cat.

11TH RACE (Grade I Belmont) : 1. Spinoff, 2. War of Will, 3. Tacitus, 4. Bourbon War. LONG SHOT: Sir Winston.
This isn’t the Belmont expected, especially with no Kentucky Derby winner or any Bob Baffert-trained horses entered. It is, what it is. Spinoff has been given time off since the Derby when he was wide throughout. If Javier Castellano can use this 3-year-old’s speed and keep close to the pace, I think he has a shot at a price. War of Will showed in the Preakness that the Derby trouble was real. Tacitus seems to be everyone’s favorite.

13TH RACE (Grade II Brooklyn): 1. Campaign, 2. Marconi, 3. Rocketry, 4. You’re to Blame. LONG SHOT: Sonneteer.

Good luck.

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