Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Oct. 27

Preview: Watch out for the Doug O’Neill barn. Not the best year but won three races on Thursday and might be rounding into form at the right time of the year.

FIRST RACE: #1 Pitching (4-1)
This Glen Hill Farm homebred ran into some trouble last race and it might have cost him a better placing. Trainer Tom Proctor is 22% second time off a 45 to 180-day layoff and barn rider Drayden Van Dyke is aboard.

SIXTH RACE: #7 Tea for Tam (15-1)
This a tough race with a couple of second-time starters for Jerry Hollendorfer (20%) and a pair of first-time starters for Bob Baffert (25%), but I’m going to take a shot with this Malibu Moon firster. The sire gets 14% winners first time out and John Shirreffs hasn’t forgotten how to train since Zenyatta retired.

SEVENTH RACE: #6 Dadtaughtmewell (6-1)
We had this one last time he race, but he finished fourth, beaten by 1 1/2 lengths. Flavien Prat rides back for Dean Pederson and that combination was 4-for-4 before that race. There is a good work showing since that race and he might be sitting on a good one.

EIGHTH RACE: #4 Langham (10-1)
This 4-year-old comes out of one of the most powerful key races during the Del Mar meet. Four horses have come back to win out of that maiden race and another finished second from nine next out starters. Trainer John Sadler had this one gelded since that race when he pressed the early pace and then faltered. This one is bred to love the grass and cuts back in distance. Sadler is 19% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff. Good work showing so maybe ready to run best since being gelded.

Good luck

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, Oct. 26

FIRST RACE: #8 Out Ofthe Ordinary (6-1)
The rails are out to 20 feet on the turf course which might help speed and that’s what this mare has. Trainer Brian Koriner is 40% with beaten favorites and he’s a decent combination with jockey Jamie Theriot (14%).

THIRD RACE: #4 Minister’s Glory (15-1)
It’s first time turf for this 2-year-old son of Ministers Wild Cat, who gets 14% winners first time on the grass. The damsire, Valid Wager, gets 13% winners first time on the turf. Trainer Mike Machowsky is 20% first time turf and he has a good turf rider in Joe Talamo on board. Machowsky also puts blinkers on (20%). This gelding moves from a Maiden $50,000 claimer to MSW but I’m not concerned by the class rise.

FIFTH RACE: #6 Moon Juice (15-1)
Going with a pure pedigree play here with this son Kantharos, who gets 20% winners first time out. This gelding is out of a Meadowlake mare and Meadowlake gets 18% first time winners. Martin Pedroza is a good gate jockey.

SIXTH RACE: #3 Tribal Fighter (4-1)
Like the downhill course (4-1-2-0) and comes out of a key race. Has some early speed and jockey Corey Nakatani sticks for trainer Richard Baltas and they are are 25% combo.

EIGHTH RACE: #4 Roaring Fork (5-1)
Closed in his debut on the dirt and now comes down the hill. Out of an Arch (10%) mare. Stewart Elliott and trainer Mike Puype are a decent combination (117%).

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinion for Sunday, Oct. 22

EIGHTH RACE: #3 Spiritual Warrior (6-1)
Just throw out that last race at Del Mar as this 3-year-old wanted no part of sprinting. He wants to go long as he did in breaking his maiden and as he does here for trainer Phil D’Amato, who is 20% with horses on the turf. This horse has been gelded since that last race and keep an eye on the first race today. If Chief Hossa wins, give extra credit to this starter because that would be three next out winners out of that Del Mar sprint. Good turf jockey Drayden Van Dyke keeps the mount.

Sorry this all I’ve got. Too much work this weekend.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Ramon Guce

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Oct. 21

SECOND RACE: #6 Blame the Rider (6)
Trainer Doug O’Neill is due to break loose soon with a 1-for-39 start to the meet. He likes to win for owner J. Paul Reddam, who paid $320,000. This is a son of Jimmy Creed, which has been winning at 27% with first-time out starters. Barn rider Mario Gutierrez is aboard and there are some decent works showing.

SIXTH RACE: #7 Mischievous Song (5-1)
Trainer David Hofmans has improved percentage with first-time starters over the last year to 19%. The sire Into Mischief gets 14% winner first time out and this won has a couple of good works showing. Play an exacta box with the favored #8 Fracas (8-5).

NINTH RACE: #12 Paved (8-1)
Jockey Flavien Prat certainly could have ridden other in this maiden turf event, but he choose to get aboard this first-timer from the Michael McCarthy barn. This 2-year-old cost $320,000 at auction this year so she must have some talent. The sire Quality Road gets 9 percent winner first time on the grass. This filly is out of a Cozzene mare so there is plenty of grass breeding on the bottom side. Let’s hope, Prat had made the right choice.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, Oct. 19

FIRST RACE: #2 Sassy Ashley (5-1)
Owner Jeff Bloom struck last week at odds of 20-1. Don’t think he’ll get that here, but this filly obviously likes this track the best with a 4-1-1-1 record. Go Back three races and she almost won at this level on this track going this distance. Bingo.

FOURTH RACE: #9 Streak of Luck (3-1)
This filly might be facing some tough first-timers in here but she has the experience and is dropping from a state-bred MSW to a maiden claimer. She is also coming out of a key race that has produced three next out winners.

SEVENTH RACE: #7 Aflewency (8-1)
Big jockey switch on the turf here are Hall of Famer Gary Stevens takes over for apprentice Evin Roman. This filly broke her maiden down the hill with Stevens in the irons and he is 3-for-10 with trainer Neil French. Look for an improved effort in this spot.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, Oct. 15

Preview: Battleground State finally gave us a winner on Saturday. I was a little worried Flavien Prat was too wide, but he knew he had the horse and held on through the lane.
Two more weeks left in Arcadia and then it’s time for Del Mar and the Breeders’ Cup.

FIRST RACE: #4 Camino Del Paraiso (4-1)
Trainer OJ Jauregui ships this gelding down from Northern California and he doesn’t do that much so there is a purpose here. Despite the class hike going to the better circuit, jockey Kent Desormeaux jumps on. Desormeaux is a masterful turf rider and when he gets on a horse for the first time that horse usually shows improvement, which will be needed here. Jauregui is 3-for-7 with horses in the allowance ranks.

SIXTH RACE: #4 Hay Dude (8-1)
This gelding has won at Santa Anita on the grass four times and he has won two of five times down the hill. The only time he ran down the hill this year he won. He’s taking a slight class raise but I think he still has a big shot.

EIGHTH RACE: #7 South Texas Lingo (5-1)
Trainer Dallas Keen has stayed in SoCal after Del Mar and drops this gelding to the bottom. Keen is 41% when dropping a horse more than two class levels. Jockey Tyler Baze takes over.

NINTH RACE: #7 Sasini (4-1)
This filly is making her first start in the States and trainer Simon Callaghan is 27% with that kind. Callaghan puts blinkers on and adds Lasix. Prat jumps aboard and he is 30% with Callaghan. This filly is bred to go this far or longer.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Oct. 14

FOURTH RACE: #1 Radio Silence (7-2)
Love War Front offspring going a mile on the turf. This colt is first-time in the U.S. Trainer Richard Baltas is 23% with a horse the first time in his care. Good works coming into the race and jockey Flavien Prat jumps aboard.

SEVENTH RACE: #5 Slasher (7-2)
This gelding takes a drop in class off a layoff since Aug. 2. He has a 6-1-1-3 record at Santa Anita. Apprentice Evin Roman rides for trainer Mark Glatt and they are 29% together.

NINTH RACE: #8 Battleground State (7-2)
My observation at Del Mar was that apprentice jockey Evin Roman needs to work on his turf riding. He came in second on this filly, but opts to ride the “other” Neil Drysdale, in Rolling Shadow (8-1) here. So either Roman’s agent made a choice or Drysdale made a choice. What Drysdale put on Battleground State is jockey Flavien Prat, who is the best grass rider on the circuit. I would also play an all-Drysdale exacta.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter