Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Friday, Nov. 10

FIRST RACE: 1. SWEETWATER GAL (best bet), 2. Tuscany Beauty, 3. Where’s the D. LONG SHOT: Public House.
SECOND RACE: 1. Ramona Lover, 2. Ransomed, 3. Radio Chatter. LONG SHOT: Yalla.
THIRD RACE: 1. Street Zombie, 2. Kershaw, 3. Jimmy Chila. LONG SHOT: Beer Tap.
FOURTH RACE: 1, Moonlight Mystique, 2. Mis Viola, 3. Hold That Smile. LONG SHOT: Cute Know Cute.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Well Caught, 2. Joyable, 3. Kennedie Sky. LONG SHOT: Speak Up Sailor.
SIXTH RACE: 1. Shook, 2. Spiritualist, 3. Tiz Wonderfully. LONG SHOT: Sudden Light.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Battleground State, 2. Winemenow, 3. Ms Wakaya. LONG SHOT: Speakers.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Wicked Sunset, 2. Venice, 3. Wild Edie. LONG SHOT: La Chepis.

Good luck.

Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Nov. 4 (Breeders’ Cup Day 2)

Preview: Four down and nine to go as the Breeders’ Cup action continues today at Del Mar. One thing we learned Friday is that the Euro jockeys better learn how to ride the Del Mar turf course or they could get embarrassed like Ryan Moore, who had no clue on Happily in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. Bad ride, man. But he learned and won the BC Juvenile Turf.

FIRST RACE: 1, Goldy Espony, 2. Hillhouse High, 3. On Leave, 4. Aljazzi. LONG SHOT: Sassy Little Lila.

SECOND RACE: 1. Bookies Luck, 2. Schulace, 3. Smokem, 4. Night At the Opera. LONG SHOT: Lucky Romano.
THIRD RACE: 1. McErin, 2. March X Press, 3. Sounde And Silence, 4. El Duce. LONG SHOT: Count Alexander.


1. Gio Game, 2. Heavenly Love, 3. Moonshine Memories, 4. Separationofpowers. Long shot: Wonder Gadot.

The 2-year-old fillies start the BC action and trainer Mark Casse has this race surrounded with three entries. I’ll go with the longer price here with GIO GAME. She just broke her maiden at Keeneland like a good thing and has been working well at Churchill Downs.


1. Pure Sensation, 2. Disco Partner, 3. Richard’s Boy, 4. Lady Aurelia. Long shot: Holding Gold.

A lot of people think a closer is the way to go on this turf course as the speed kills itself off, so I’m hoping PURE SENSATION runs the same kind of race he did last time at Parx where he came from off the pace. LADY AURELIA will be tough to beat, but I’m taking a shot.


1. Finley’sluckycharm, 2. Skye Diamonds, 3. Unique Bella, 4. Highway Star. Long shot: Ami’s Mesa.

Once again I hope press box friends Jon Lindo and Jeff Bloom get all the money here on SKYE DIAMONDS, but I like FINLEY’SLUCKYCHARM, who is coming in from Kentucky off a big win, and she is 8-for-10 on the dirt. UNIQUE BELLA will be a single on a lot of exotic tickets, but I think she is beatable.


1. Wuheida, 2. Lady Eli, 3. Queen’s Trust, 4. Cambodia. Long shot: Zipessa.

LADY ELI is a feel-good story and a worthy favorite, but I’m going with the Euro on top. WUHEIDA is from the Charles Appleby barn and he isn’t here for the weather. In her one race in Europe on a firm turf course, she won. Good sign. William Buick has ridden her before and let’s hope he knows how to ride this turf course.


1. DREFONG (best bet), 2. Imperial Hint, 3. Roy H, 4. American Pastime. Long shot: Calculator.

There’s nothing like California speed, and Drefong is the defending champ of this race. After that disaster in the Bing Crosby, he went back East to beat them all at Saratoga in the Forego. Don’t be afraid to play a Peter Miller exacta box (ROY H and CALCULATOR). Calculator will be closing and might be a good one to back wheel underneath.


1. Zelzal, 2. Ballagh Rocks, 3. Suedois, 4. Midnight Storm. Long shot: Lancaster Bomber

This race is on the turf and anyone from post 10 and out will have a tough task. ZELZAL has done well on firm courses in France and he’s adding Lasix for the first time. Looking for a big upset here.


1. The Tabulator, 2. Bolt d’Oro, 3. Solimini, 4. U S Navy Flag. Long shot: Firenze Fire.

Yes, I am going against the likely biggest favorite of the day in BOLT D’ORO, the really local horse owned and trained by Mick Ruis. He is the most probable winner of the day, but THE TABULATOR is also a perfect 3-for-3 in the Midwest for trainer Larry Rivelli. Again looking for a big upset. I suggest exactas with Bolt d’Oro on top of The Tabulaor, SOLIMINI and U S NAVY FLAG might pay well.


1. Highland Reel, 2. Talismanic, 3. Beach Patrol. 4. Decorated Knight. Long shot: Hunt.

This race is usually owned by the Europeans and I don’t see a reason to change that thinking. ULYSSES was scratched late Friday night. HIGHLAND REEL won this race a year ago at Santa Anita. TALISMANIC is trained by the great Andre Fabre. HUNT is an interesting long shot after winning two stakes races on the Del Mar green this summer.


1. Arrogate, 2. Mubtaahij, 3. Gunnevera, 4. Gun Runner. Long shot: West Coast.

The final race, and it’s only worth $6 million. I agonized over this selection after ARROGATE’s two losses at Del Mar this summer because I believe those who said he doesn’t have the same action over the surface as he does others. However, I think the Dubai trip took more out of him than Bob Baffert knew and now the trainer has him ready to go out a winner in his final race before going off to stud duty. MUBTAAHIJ finished fourth to Arrogate in Dubai and his recent win at Santa Anita was impressive. WEST COAST is Baffert’s 3-year-old upsetter and if COLLECTED wins from the No. 11 post, he deserves Horse of the Year.

Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Friday, Nov. 3 (Breeders’ Cup, Day 1)

Preview: The Breeders’ Cup is finally here with four races Friday and nine more on Saturday. The main track has played to speed sp far so keep that in mind. Of course, that can change overnight, but cooler weather usually means a tighter, faster track. The turf course will have the rails set to zero finally so closers should have a fair shot.

FIRST RACE: 1. Good Bye Greg, 2. Mr. Hinx, 3. Kobe’s Back. LONG SHOT: Leading Score.

SECOND RACE: 1. Soglio, 2. Cheekaboomboom, 3. Record Highs. LONG SHOT: Ritzy A.P.

THIRD RACE: 1. Mesa Sky, 2. Donworth, 3. Dabster. LONG SHOT: Prime Issue.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Family Girl, 2. Ismelucky, 2. Spiced Perfection. LONG SHOT: Smiling Tigress.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Hard Aces, 2. Destin, 3. Archanova. LONG SHOT: Estrechade.

SIXTH RACE (BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES): 1. Happily, 2. Rushing Fall, 3. Fatale Bere, 4. Significant Form. LONG SHOT: Capla Temptress.
I leaned heavily to the Europeans in this race and don’t be afraid to play a few long shots. Horses on the outside are going to have a real hard time in this race so beware. HAPPILY draws the No. 2 post and is super Euro trainer Aidan O’Brien’s barn.RUSHING FALL looks like the best American, but will go from post No. 11.

SEVENTH RACE (BC DIRT MILE): 1. Sharp Azteca, 2. Cupid, 3. Mor Spirit, 4. Iron Fist. LONG SHOT” Battle of Midway.
This is one of best bets on the card in SHARP AZTECA, which comes from the Jorge Navarro barn. Paco Lopez rides and he’s 41% with Navarro. CUPID and MOR SPIRIT come from the Bob Baffert barn. Cupid finished fourth in the Awesome Again at Santa Anita and this will be his third off the layoff. I have no idea what to do with Mor Spirit. Baffert said this summer he was training so poorly at Del Mar that he stopped on him and waited for the Santa Anita track to open up so he hasn’t been in a race since his sensational Met Mile win at Belmont Park.

EIGHTH RACE (BC JUVENILE TURF): 1. Masar, 2. Mendelssohn, 3. Beckford, 4. Snapper Sinclair. LONG SHOT: Sand of Mail.
Selfishly I’d like to see the Jeff Bloom-owned SNAPPER SINCLAIR, but I just don’t know if he’s good enough to beat the Euros. MASAR is from the Charles Appleby barn and he wouldn’t ship from Europe unless he thought he had a good shot at winning. MENDELSSOHN is from the O’Brien camp so enough said there. BECKFORD is from Europe, too, and might appreciate the firmer turf.

NINTH RACE: (BC DISTAFF): 1. ELATE (best bet), 2. Stellar Wind, 3. Forever Unbridled, 4. Paradise Woods. LONG SHOT: Champagne Room.
This is the 3-year-old fillies vs. the older fillies/mares. Elate, a 3-year-old, came into her own last time in winning the Beldame at Belmont Park against older. Trainer Bill Mott has stated that she appears to love the Del Mar surface in the morning. That’s good enough for me. Stellar Wind’s trainer, John Sadler, is 0-for-39 in the Breeders Cup. I hope he breaks through, but just not sure off a long layoff. I’d rather go with the now horse.

10TH RACE: 1. Belvoir Bay, 2. Firsthand Report, 3. So Sweetitiz. LONG SHOT: Instant Reflex.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, Nov. 2

FIRST RACE: 1. Mischievious Lass, 2. Luminoso, 3. In the Jeans. LONG SHOT: Into Glamour.
SECOND RACE: 1. #3 Swiss Minister (8-1), 2. Jes Jaa, 3. Lindante. LONG SHOT: Fuuedl by Bourbon.
Trainer Genaro Vallejo has started just 11 horses this year but he has won six times, and a lot of those wins have come in the claiming ranks. He moves this 4-year-old up off a win at Santa Anita. The gelding basically went wire-to-wire and Vallejo will ask him to go a half-furlong longer here. Jockey Bayran Pena keeps the mount and he is 3-for-7 with Vallejo.
THIRD RACE: 1. Our Slick Chick, 2. Ever So True, 3. Goodthingstaketime. LONG SHOT: Thisoleheartofmine.
FOURTH RACE: 1. Nova, 2. Time for Cioppino, 3. Royal Trump. LONG SHOT: Big Bad Gary.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Salsita, 2. Be Mine, 3. OK Doll. LONG SHOT: Lynne’s Legacy.
SIXTH RACE: 1. Sly Humor, 2. Troublesome, 3. Lady Ninja. LONG SHOT: Freedom Journey.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. MOONLIGHT DRIVE (best bet), 2. Forever Juanito, 3. Eckersley. LONG SHOT: A Red Tie Day.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Bardstown, 2. Clifton Beach, 3. Psychedelicat. LONG SHOT: Malibu d’Oro.

Good luck.

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, Nov. 1

Preview: It’s Breeders’ Cup week at Del Mar. That means you are going to see a lot of unfamiliar names riding horses, especially today and Thursday as jockeys try to get a jump on the competition by learning about the main track and turf course. These jockeys will be be going to school, but don’t be fooled, they want to win. Jockeys like Paco Lopez, Jose Ortiz, Julien Leparoux, Joel Rosario, John Velazquez and Frankie Dettori will all have mounts today should be given an extra look.

FIRST RACE: 1. Mr. Vargas, 2. Rocket Heat, 3. Green With Eddie. LONG SHOT: Incensed.

SIXTH RACE: 1. PURE PURSUIT (best bet), 2. Momma’s Baby Boy, 3. Steely Resolve. LONG SHOT: Dodgertown.
I should have picked Dodgertown since it will be Game 7 of the World Series tonight, but not stoked about Scott Hansen’s numbers with first-time starers. I do love Pure Pursuit. I know the price (5-2) isn’t great but all I see are positive numbers for trainer John Sadler, who puts blinkers on (31%). I think he ran this gelding on the grass at the end of the Del Mar meet just to get a race in him and today will be graduation day.

NINTH RACE: #1 Channel Crossing (8-1), 2. Arch Anthem, 3. Kazan. LONG SHOT: Martin Riggs.
The circuit moves to Del Mar and the turf course rails will be at 30 feet the first two days of the meet waiting for Friday and Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup races. When the rails are that far out speed seems to do well. Channel Crossing has that and comes out of a key Santa Anita maiden race where four of the first five to run back have won. Good stat. However, #4 Martin Riggs and #8 Arch Anthem also come out of that race. I recommend an exacta box of 1-4-8. I also recommend an exacta of #10 with 1-4-8. #10 Kazan gets the great Frankie Dettori to ride and I might have picked on top but that post is tough in this race. But just in case, I recommend the aforementioned exacta as a saver.

For the rest of my selections, go to:

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, Oct. 29

FIRST RACE: #5 Kristi’s Copilot (6-1)
This gelding moves up in class after scoring a win at longer on this turf course. Always like horses shortening up going down the hill. Trainer Mike Machowsky is 29% when a horse wins its last race and there is a good work showing since that win.

THIRD RACE: #8 Midnight Swinger (5-2)
Trainer Mark Glatt has been hot and this filly is the one to beat in this race. Glatt is 20% third off a layoff and the daughter of Midnight Lute is coming out of a key race that has produced two winners from three starters so far. Good turf jockey Drayden Van Dyke takes over. He figures to have her in the first flight of horses.

EIGHTH RACE: #1 Cal Cal Li Gowchis (7-2)
Trainer Genaro Vallejo has three wins at the meet from limited opportunities and just seems to know where to place his horses. This speedball broke his maiden over the track so a return here might be just what the doctor ordered.

NINTH RACE: #11 Lull (7-2)
East Coast-based trainer Christophe Clement is still trying to get this filly a graded stakes victory so he heads West again. Clement is 32% when he goes sprint-sprint-route. Flavien Prat takes the mount.

Good luck