Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, June 3

Preview: It’s another mediocre midweeek card but there is the the return of Lord Nelson for trainer Bob Baffert in the seventh race. When last seen, Lord Nelson finished third to Runhappy in the Grade I Malibu on Dec. 26. Just a note: This will be the final week of racing on the downhill portion of the turf course as the remodeling of the course begins so look for lots of 6 1/2 furlong races.

Race 5 – SA
#9 Mysterious Miracle (4-1): This filly ran second in her only try down the hill. Trainer Phil D’Amato tried to get her on it again but it was rained off and she broke her maiden on a wet fast track. The red-hot D’Amato returns her to the turf where he is 21% going dirt to turf. He is 21% with jockey Joe Talamo.

Race 6: #7 Like That (9-2): Really like the Australian sire Lonhro, who gets 11% first out winners. We would love it even more if this race was on the grass, but trainer Peter Miller still gets good numbers first out (15%) and puts good speed rider Edwin Maldonado aboard. This filly has been training at San Luis Rey Downs away from the private clockers so Miller might be trying for a score here.

Race 8 – SA
#8 Radiant Journey (5-2): Another Phil D’Amato mare that finished second in her only trip down the hill. This one has been away since November at Del Mar. She is taking a big class drop from open company to Cal-bred company. D’Amato is 27% with horses off a 180-day layoff or more. She has speed and that has done well on the turf this year.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 13

Preview: Good card with a nice stakes. Wish there were a few more entries in a few races. Tough to handicap some races where trainers have two entries because you don’t know which one is live.

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Race 4: #5 Conquest Flatterme (3-1) 

This filly finished second in her West Coast debut for trainer Vladimir Cerin, who is 24% with horses returning off a 31- to 60-day layoff. Cerin puts apprentice David Lopez aboard and they are 57% together.

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Race 8: #3 Birdatthewire (5-2)

Looks to me like Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith had his choice of three horses in this race and chose this 4-year-old filly. She has a 5-2-2-0 record at this distance and should be ready to go here.

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Race 9: #2 Macalla (20-1) 

I like the Australian sire Lonhro, who wins with 13% of his turf horses. This filly may like the firm turf here instead of the good turf last time. Big jock switch in my mind from Alonso Quinonez to Victor Espinoza.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Friday, Feb. 27

Race 6: #8 American Merlot (8-1)

We’re going against the numbers a little bit here as trainer Chad Stewart is 0-for-15 first time turf, but this daughter of the Australian sire All American is 20% first time out and the dam’s sire (Unbridled Song) is 13% first time out. On top of that leading jockey Antonio Gallardo jumps on and he is 3-for-6 with Stewart at the meet.

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Race 10: #6 Irish Jade (turf only) (6-1)

This gelding ran a decent race at this level in his first race in seven months last time out. He figures to be fitter here and trainer John Terranova is 6-for-15 at the meet.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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