Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, July 31

NOTES: Adam Kitchingman is one of three trainers who are perfect (1 for 1) at the Del Mar meet so far. David Randall and Tim Yakteen are the others.
Week 2 proved to be big for Peter Miller, who took over the training lead even though he shipped a lot of horses East during the spring ills of Santa Anita. Miller had five wins out of 11 starters last week and now has eight winners for the 10-day-old meet.
Miller leads John Sadler and Richard Baltas by three wins.
Sadler was 3 for 7 for the week and all five of his victories have been in stakes events. Sadler’s barn has earned $684,291, which is tops by more than $275,000.
Baltas had a tough second week, going 2 for 16, and Doug O’Neill had a tougher week, winning just once in 19 starters. O’Neill did have two runner-up placings and six third-place finishers.
The Bob Baffert barn finally started to heat up with three wins, one second and two thirds from six starters.
Bob Hess Jr. also had three wins for the week, also from seven starters.
Jeff Mullins is quietly having a good meet. He had two wins and two seconds from five starters. He now has four wins overall and has been in the money 77 percent of the time.
At the other end of the spectrum, Michael McCarthy (0 for 15), Valdimir Cerin (0-12) and Jonathan Wong (0-11) are all looking for their first wins of the meet.
Phil D’Amato is 1 for 25 but at least that one win was in a stakes race. Keith Desormeaux (1-16) and Peter Eurton (1-12) are also struggling.

FIRST RACE: 1. Vangogo, 2. Bellazano, 3. Grey Lady. LONG SHOT: So Much Happy.
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SECOND RACE: 1. STREET CLASS (best bet), 2. C Falls, 3. Commanding Chief. LONG SHOT: Mica Bay.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Baby Gronk, 2. The White Shadow, 3. Call You Tomorrow. LONG SHOT: Big Barrel.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Smiling to Excess, 2. Twentyseventrouts, 3. Traffic Stopper. LONG SHOT: Bayonce.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Wind Tartare, 2. My Aunt Tillie, 3. Lady Phyllis. LONG SHOT: Convince.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Cholula Lips, 2. Bulletproof One, 3. None of Your Biz. LONG SHOT: Bella Renella.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Honos Man, 2. Chosen Vessel, 3. River God. LONG SHOT: Tequila Blanco.

Good luck.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 4 (Immediate Impact $2.80, first race; Wound Tight $5.80, second; Spokane Eagle $4.40, fourth; Desert Oasis $8.80, eighth)

Second choice winners: 0

Third choice winners: 1 (Reedley $4.60, fifth)

Long shot winners: 1 (Ollie’s Candy $10, seventh)

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos opinions for Thursday, Dec. 3

 

Race 4: #7 Preacher Roe (7-2) 

This gelding has won 2 of the 3 times he has run on this track so not concerned with the rise in class. Jockey Martin Pedroza knows him well and is 30% at Los Al with trainer Adam Kitchingman.

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Race 6: #1 Dixie Caravan (3-1)

Fresno shippers did well at Del Mar and now this 2-year-old drops into a maiden claimer for the first time. Trainer Craig Dollase is 3-for-8 going from MWS to MC. –

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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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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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, May 24

Race 7: #4 Nakamoto (4-1)

Always thought this 3-year-old had some talented, but he just hasn’t gotten over the hump. Trainer Adam Kitchingman decided to have the son of Temple City gelded and drops him into a maiden claimer for the first time.

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Race 9: #2 Perfectly Majestic (3-1)

Our Eyes:   This 3-year-old just missed against winners going down the hill and now returns to the maiden ranks. He stretches out for the first time and gets a big jockey switch to Mike Smith. The sire Majesticperfection is 23% with turfers.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, May 8

Race 1: #5 Gosofar (3-1)

Cost $100K at auction earlier this year and last work was a good one. Trainer Adam Kitchingman is 20% with first-time starters and the sire Aragorn is 12% first time out.

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Race 5: #1 Elimination Round (5-1)

This 4-year-old filly showed improvement in her second start, and first down the hill. Trainer Eric Kruljac is an amazing 53% (8-for-15) second time on the grass.

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Race 8: #9 Ipray (3-1)

This 3-year-old filly finished third in her career debut despite a poor start. With a better start for red-hot trainer Phil D’Amato it might put her in the winner’s circle on the class drop. D’Amato and jockey Tiago Pereira are 35% the last two years at Santa Anita.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita, Triple Crown

Santa Anita opinions (plus some Derby preps) for Saturday, April 4 (updated)

Race 2: #4 Calm the Sea (6-1)

The fact is this race runs through trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Never Ends, who has finished second in all three lifetime starts. Yet, Hollendorfer enters this 3-year-old filly and gets one of his main men from Northern California, J.J. Hernandez to ride. Interesting.

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Race 7: #3 Curlin’s Fox (4-1)

Trainer Carla Gaines tries the “Bolo route” here with this 3-year-old filly. After two wins on the turf, Gaines tries to find out if this daughter can run on the dirt like her daddy. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will be looking for a hot pace up front for this closer.

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EIGHTH RACESANTA ANITA DERBY: 1. Dortmund, 2. One Lucky Dane, 3. Prospect Park, 4. Bolo. LONG SHOT: Cross the Line.

What can you say about Dortmund? He’s 5-for-5 and wins impressively every time. I would single. Like Dortmund, One Lucky Dane is from the Bob Baffert barn and he was impressive in his 2015 debut. People forget he finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Interesting that Baffert didn’t ship this one somewhere else, but if he finishes second, he’ll go to the Derby. Prospect Park ran a good second to Dortmund last time and could love the extra ground. I’m not sold on Bolo. I didn’t like the he tired in the stretch last time. We find out here if he’s a dirt or turf horse.

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10TH RACE: 1. Bad Ju Ju

I debated this race for 10 minutes the other night and decided not to add this filly to my selections for HorsePlayer Now. I wish I had after seeing the works on this daughter of Desert Code. Jokcey Kayla Stra will take this one straight to the front and see how far she can go. That’s go enough for me on a day the track could be “souped up.”

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WOOD MEMORIAL at New York’s Aqueduct Race Track: 1. Frosted, 2. Lieutenant Colonel, 3. Daredevil, 4. El Kabeir. LONG SHOT: Tiz Shea.

Let me say I haven’t been impressed with much this winter in New York and the one horse I was (Far From Over) is hurt now. El Kabeir just doesn’t do it for me and he may prove me wrong. Frosted comes from the speed-biased Gulfstream and receives a jockey change to Joel Rosario. The real interesting horse to me is Lieutenant Colonel, who is trained by Chad Brown. By Colonel John, he should love longer distances, although he didn’t like the mud in the Grade III Gotham. Hope for a dry track.

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BLUE GRASS at Lexington’s Keeneland Race Course: 1. Ocho Ocho Ocho, 2. Carpe Diem, 3. Frammento, 4. Unrivaled. LONG SHOT: Gorgeous Bird.

As much as I laud trainer Jim Cassidy for coming to this race, I think he made a mistake by running against Dortmund in the San Felipe in this 3-year-old’s first race back from a layoff. There had to be easier spots, but it’s time to move on and look to the future. It’s now or never for this late-blooming 2-year-old. Carpe Diem was the first horse to come out of the key Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to win around two turns in the Tampa Bay Derby. That said, who did he beat in that race. He’s quality and will be tested here. Unrivaled is the “X” factor having been purchased by Team Valor after a huge win at Parx. Should be interesting.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Jan. 2

FIRST RACE: 1. I’m No Patsy, 2. Marla Hooch, 3. Acute. LONG SHOT: Cayanna.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Prospector Alley, 2. Beach Fever, 3. Thesheetsguy. LONG SHOT: Silent Ruler.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Believe Too, 2. Sky Heart, 3. Townminister. LONG SHOT: Sterling Wager.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Salsita, 2. Nothing to Hide, 3. Pariotic Brother. LONG SHOT: Best in Class.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Danette, 2. Popover, 3. Cool Moves. LONG SHOT: Larking.

This maiden DANETTE (3-1) has run in three straight Grade I races so now she is back with her friends and would appear to hold a clear class advantage for trainer Keith Desormeaux and his brother, jockey Kent Desormeaux.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Mega Heat (best bet), 2. Horizontalyspeakin, 3. Boozer. LONG SHOT: Hay Dude.

MEGA HEAT (4-1), an 8-year-old, has won four times in nine tries on this turf course and he is 6-of-8 at this distance. Jockey Corey Nakatani knows him well and trainer Peter Eurton is 26% with allowance horses.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Cautious Giant, 2. Day of Fury, 3. Got Even. LONG SHOT: Sammy Mandeville.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Cravin’ the Heat, 2. Loan Savant, 3. Tanquerray. LONG SHOT: Tebowing.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, Aug. 13

FIRST RACE: 1. Local One Thirty, 2. Ontology, 3. Papa’s Paisley. LONG SHOT: Blacklord.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Susan B Good, 2. Three Blondes, 3. Cee’s Tizzy Belle. LONG SHOT: Lirica Heat.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Little Jerry, 2. Jomelo, 3. Hurricane Lake. LONG SHOT: Grandstand.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Goyan (best bet), 2. Perfect Set, 3. Brazilian Court. LONG SHOT: Juan’s Corazonsito. 

Trainer Ron Ellis is quieting having a very good meet. He claimed this gelding GOYAN (4-1) at Los Alamitos put some works into him and tries Polytrack for the first time. Ellis is 24% first off the claim and 33% with jockey Tyler Baze.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Redshirt, 2. Hone IN, 3. Majestic Presence. LONG SHOT: Awesome Diamond.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Frensham, 2. Cat Meeting, 3. Benba. LONG SHOT: Cinmars Dance.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Remind Mee, 2. Merit Man, 3. Wine Police. LONG SHOT: Caracortado.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Mr. Casanova, 2. Artic Code, 3. Aperfectdaytofly. LONG SHOT: Watch It Buster.

Trainer Adam Kitchingman does very well with first-time starters (20%) and debuting maiden claimers (27%). MR. CASANOVA (5-1), a 3-year-old gelding, had a good work over the track recently and speed jockey Martin Pedroza jumps on.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 1 (Princess Bertrando $8.60, first race)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 0

Sunday’s third choice winners: 2 (When We Met $7.20, third; Moulin de Mougin $18.40, eighth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Hidden Zensation $13.80, ninth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club picks for Thursday, July 17

Opening day is here for the Del Mar Thoroughbred. Tread lightly unless you have a sure thing.

Word is the Polytrack has been slow in the mornings and track superintendent Richard Tedesco will add wax to it next Monday, a dark day for racing. The question is why wouldn’t the wax be added this week before the start of racing instead of changing the surface after four days of action?

My guess is the track will play to rally-wide horses this week and then next week is anyone’s guess.

It will be a total guessing game beginning opening day on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course, which was replaced after last season. The course has been widened and the chute has been made more gradual. The grass is a strain developed by golfer Greg Norman so there is no telling if it will play to speed or closers or how post positions will affect outcomes.

Good luck.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Old Man Lake, 2. Hawk’s Eyes, 3. Tuckers Point. LONG SHOT: Cook Inlet.

Time for start of new meet so bombs away. OLD MAN LAKE, a 4-year-old, is dropping in class and has a previous win over the Del Mar Polytrack. Trainer Adam Kitchingman is 24% on synthetic and 25% going from turf to synthetic. On top of that he is 23% with jockey Edwin Maldonado.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Stored Attaq, 2. Full of Spice, 3. Bird In Love. LONG SHOT: Spirit of Ten.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Hail Mary, 2. Biorhyhtm, 3. My Happy Face. LONG SHOT: Zilber.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Three Point Luke, 2. Hold Everything, 3. Aftermarketslam. LONG SHOT: Money Fan.

THREE POINT LUKE, a 3-year-old, was bought for $125,000 as a juvenile and obviously has panned out as he runs for $20,000 in a maiden claimer here, but after two sprints he finally gets to do what he was bred for: go around two turns. By Empire Maker out of a Gone West mare, distance shouldn’t be a problem and trainer Doug O’Neill is 22% second off the lay off.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Super Ability, 2. Airfoil, 3. Jules Journey. LONG SHOT: Layton Register.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Zinvor, 2. Pulmarack, 3. London Legacy. LONG SHOT: Quiet Thunder.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Jackson Sundown, 2. Cinmars Dance, 3. Romar Success. LONG SHOT: Sonicvelocity.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Aotearoa, 2. G. G. Ryder, 3. Sammy Mandeville. LONG SHOT: Majestic Kitten.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Diamond of Blue, 2. Magic Beam, 3. Close to the Edge. LONG SHOT: Sheer Talent.

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10TH RACE: 1. Affrettando (best bet), 2. This One’s for Mel, 3. Causeithertz. LONG SHOT: Woodmans Luck.

AFFRETTANDO, a 5-year-old gelding, got us home a winner last summer and we’re going back to the well with good reason. Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who is returning from injury on opening day, and trainer Mike Pender were a perfect 4-for-4 at the 2013. Here’s hoping there is more of the same this summer.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, June 6 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Parada, 2. Kid Rollins, 3. Incredible Journey. LONG SHOT: Shandy.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Sacred Temple, 2. G Q Grace, 3. Condition. LONG SHOT: Nottemptedbyevil.

Trainer Adam Kitchingman sends out SACRED TEMPLE, a first-time starter by Temple City. Kitchingman is 20% with first-time starters and 30% with debuting maiden claimers. He puts speed jockey Edwin Maldonado aboard and they are a 24% combination. G Q GRACE had some decent works coming into his career debut and didn’t show a thing. Now takes a class drop and could be ready to go at a price.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Mindfully, 2. Papa’s Dancing, 3. Warren’s Jen Fizz. LONG SHOT: Cee’s Tizzy Belle (SCRATCHED). New long shot: Peggy Sue’s Loose.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Rock Me Baby, 2. Super Ninety Nine, 3. Seeking the Sherif. LONG SHOT: Forward March.

This is strictly a pace play. There is a ton of speed in here and ROCK ME BABY looks like the lone closer.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Susan B Good, 2. Warren’s Cracker, 3. Jennyway U Want It. LONG SHOT: Three Blondes.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Watch It Buster (best bet), 2. Voluntary, 3. Dark Timbers. LONG SHOT: Vite Tribal Reign. NEW PICKS: 1. Voluntary, 2. Dark Timbers, 3. Destino. LONG SHOT: Vite Tribal Reign.

This isn’t the toughest bunch in the world (maiden claimers $20,000) so why not go with a first-timer by Decarchy named WATCH IT BUSTER. Trainer Mike Puype is 20% with debuting maiden claimers. This 3-year-old gelding has been working well at Los Alamitos and jockey Joe Talamo gets on. Big warning here: this colt is entered back on Sunday in a Cal-bred maiden special weight. He’s listed at 6-5 on Friday’s morning-line. I’m thinking with the quick works, Puype doesn’t want to lose him yet and will scratch him to run on Sunday. NOTE: As suspected, WATCH IT BUSTER scratched this morning.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Vibrato Jazz, 2. Warren’s Cliff S., 3. Tiznow Or Then. LONG SHOT: Fighting On.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Antianco, 2. Onebadshenanigan, 3. Off the Deep End. LONG SHOT: Philanderer.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 2 (Always an Angel $6.40, first race; Heart of Paradise $7.20, third race)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 3 (Kathleen Rose $9.80, fourth; Lust for Life $11.40, fifth; Hobbits Hero $4.20, eighth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 0

Thursday’s long shot winners: 2 (Le Fascinator $13.60, second; Toppers Sunshine $28.20, sixth)

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