Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, June 4

Preview: Really good card (any card with Beholder on it is good), especially the Late Pick Four and if a couple of Bob Baffert favorites get beat that wager will pay off huge. Speaking of Baffert, he has been quiet at the meet with just a 2-for-13 record on the dirt. He’s probably getting ready for a summer assault on Del Mar has he starts a lot of comebacking horses this weekend. Phil D’Amato (9-24) and Jerry Hollendorfer (6-31) lead the way on the dirt.

Race 1 – SA
#7 Fiftypercentcotton (5-1): Trainer Dan Blacker is winless (0-for-17) on the year but one area where he excels is adding blinkers (25%, 4 for his last 12) and that’s what he does with this filly.

Race 2 – SA
#7 Bombard (4-1): Love this colt last time out bu didn’t get the job done for the team of jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Richard Mandella. Don’t think the 3-year-old liked the good turf and it will be firm today. Go to the windows.

Race 5 – SA
#6 No Contingency (8-1): This gelding has been popular at the claim box this year. In fact, trainer Mike Pender lost the 6-year-old and claimed him back out of his last race, which is always a popular angle. Pender is 25% first off the claim this gelding also has one of the best back speed Brisnet numbers. The gelding finished second at this level two back and Pender puts jockey Edwin Maldonado back on.

Race 6 – SA
#2 Twentytwentyvision (7-2)
Pure and simple we’re hoping for a pace meltdown between Heart to Heart and Midnight Storm here in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile. If that happens, we hope this gelding picks up the pieces for that team of Prat and Mandella again.

Race 9 – SA
#5 Right Wing (10-1)
#7 Alley Boss (12-1)
We’re going to dutch in this race and hope to beat all three Bob Baffert’s maidens in here. RIGHT WING is from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn and he’s 27% with first-time starters and we think jockey Martin Garcia would like nothing better than to stick to his old boss Baffert. ALLEY BOSS is from the Molly Pearson barn and has some nice works at San Luis Rey Downs. This 3-year-old is a son of Twirling Cany, who gets 20% first out winners.

Race 11 – SA
#2 Film Freak (12-1): Not sure this colt like the good turf or the distance in his last race. Trainer Tim Yakteen cuts him back to a distance where he finished second at in a similar race two back. Red-hot jockey Flavien Prat takes tthe mount and he has been winning everything on the grass.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Advertisements
Standard
Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Keeneland, Keeneland Race Course

Breeders’ Cup selections for Saturday, Oct. 31

Race 3: JUVENILE FILLIES

10-Songbird

1-Land Over Sea

9-Rachel’s Valentina

2-Tap to It

I have thought all along SONGBIRD would be the most likely winner on this card, but then she drew outside post, No. 10. I still think she is the one to beat, but I think LAND OVER SEA needs a longer look after drawing No. 1 and finishing second to Songbird two times in a row.

==

Race 4: TURF SPRINT

1-Pure Sensation

9-No Silent

14-Mongolian Saturday

4-Bobby’s Kitten

I think this a wide open race. The only thing I think is I’m not betting favored LADY SHIPMAN. If she wins, I lose. I like the fact that PURE SENSATION draws the inside and he likes it hard or soft turf plus John Velazquez rides. I hope NO SILENT comes from off the pace for the Gary Mandella barn.

==

Race 5: FILLY AND MARE SPRINT

2-Dame Dorothy

11-Judy the Beauty

6-Super Majesty

3-Taris

This 4-year-old filly DAME DOROTHY is making her third start off the layoff for that powerful jack-trainer combination of Velazquez and Todd Pletcher. She will likely press the pace from the inside and she loves this 7-furlong distance with a 4-for-5 record.

==

Race 6: FILLY AND MARE TURF

10-Bawina

3-Legatissimo

9-Miss France

6-Queen’s Jewel

Once again I’m sticking with the Euros in this race. BAWINA gets the services of Oliver Pesleir back and they have won three races together. She is first time Lasix and had some trouble in her last race.

==

Race 7: SPRINT

8-Wild Dude

5-Runhappy

4-Limousine Liberal

2-Kobe’s Back

Of course there is a ton of speed in this race and I’m going with the horse I think is the best closer in WILD DUDE for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and jockey Rafael Bejarano.

==

Race 8: MILE

11-Karakontie

4-Mondialiste

3-Make Believe

9-Esoterique

Again sticking with the foreign horses and KARAKONTIE is the defending champions of this race. Can you say back-to-back?

==

Race 9: JUVENILE

9-Exaggerator

12-Swipe

10-Ralis

13-Nyquist

The West Coast horses have done pretty good around the country in the 2-year-old ranks and it will be no different here. Jockey Kent Desormeaux had his choice of horses entered by his brother, trainer Keith Desormeaux, and he settled on this son of Curlin, EXAGGERATOR.

==

Race 10: TURF

9-Found

1-Golden Horn

10-The Pizza Man

4-Big John B

GOLDEN HORN will be a lot a single for a lot of people but just not convinced he has to win this race after already winning the Arc in France. I’m going with the 3-year-old filly FOUND, trained by Aiden O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore.

==

Race 10: CLASSIC

9-Honor Code

4-American Pharoah

10-Tonalist

3-Frosted

Like I said before it’s a shame BEHOLDER isn’t in this race. AMERICAN PHAROAH is now the clear speed although others will likely take a shot at him. I’m going with the deep closer HONOR CODE, trained by Shug McGaughey. Honor Code was impressive at Saratoga and I look for a similar effort.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Standard
Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Keeneland, Keeneland Race Course, Kentucky, Lexington

Breeders’ Cup selections for Friday, Oct. 30

In case you don’t know it, Beholder has been scratched from Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic due to bleeding in her lungs after a gallop on Thursday.

It’s a shame because I really wanted to see her face American Pharoah, but the show much go on so here are my thoughts for Friday.

===

Sixth Race: JUVENILE TURF

7-Ray’s The Bar

2-Azar

11-Hollywood Don

4-Shogun

If we get this morning-line, I’ll be stunned as trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano just don’t go off at 20-1. RAY’S THE BAR had traffic trouble in U.S. debut so here’s hoping for a clean trip.

==

Race 7: DIRT MILE

5-Lea

3-Liam’s Map

1-Red Vine

7-War Envoy

LIAM’S MAP will be everyone’s single here. Not me. This Bill Mot runner LEA is a perfect 3-for-3 at the distance and finished third in the Dubai World Cup. Mott put a good work into over the track recently signaling all systems are go.

==

Race 8: JUVENILE FILLIES TURF

3-Alice Springs

10-Illuminate

14-Last Waltz

8-Harmonize

Sticking with the Euros in this race. They just seem to do well here. The condition of the turf course will be a concern to some after rain most of the week but reports are that the inside is harder than the inside so you might see horses all over the place depending on what type of turf they prefer.

==

Race 9: DISTAFF

1-I’m a Chatterbox

14-Sheer Drama

7-Wedding Toast

6-My Sweet Addiction

Boy, if Beholder was healthy and running in this race she would be 1-9. She’s not so let’s go with an up and coming 3-year-old filly facing older for the first time in I’M A CHATTERBOX. Larry Jones is a great trainer and will have her ready.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Standard
Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Oct. 31 UPDATED (Breeders’ Cup Day 1)

FIRST RACE: Allowance/optional claiming

  1. #11 Intoxicating Move (8-1)
  2. #7 Night Song (3-1)
  3. #8 Hide My Heart (4-1)
  4. #5 Starry Skies (6-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #3 Blingismything

Intoxicating Move has been in the money 6-of-8 times on the downhill turf course with two wins. She just missed last time and gets a preferred outside post. Night Song makes her U.S. debut for trainer Simon Callaghan. She has been away from the races for a year, but Callaghan is 27% with long layoffs and Jamie Spencer, from across the pond, rides and she is coming out of a key race (three next out winners).

==

SECOND RACE: Grade II Las Vegas Marathon

  1. #7 Sky Kingdom (5-1)
  2. #9 Cary Street (10-1)
  3. #3 Irish Surf (4-1)
  4. #6 Mystery Train (4-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #8 Volkonsky

Sky Kingdom could just be the start of a big weekend for trainer Bob Baffert. This 5-year-old horse has been off form but he loves these marathon distances. He has three wins from six tries at Santa Anita and could be ready for a big effort. Mystery Train is the real mystery here after showing high speed in the Pacific Classic and Awesome Again. Maybe he wanted to go this far all along.

==

THIRD RACE: Golden State Juvenile Fillies

  1. #4 My Fiona (2-1)
  2. #6 Joylicious (12-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #9 Tatum’s Gold
  3. #7 Ashley’s Sassy (3-1)
  4. #1 Stormy Adieu (9-2)

My Fiona has done little wrong in Cal-bred company, having never been off the board in four lifetime starts. Southern California leading jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over for the daughter of Ghostzapper. We might get a clue how the Santa Anita oval is playing in this 7-furlong event. Joylicious just broke her maiden in Northern California and could be the upsetter.

==

FOURTH RACE: Grade II Twilight Derby

  1. #8 Flamboyant (6-1)
  2. #11 Ring Weekend (3-1)
  3. #10 Long On Value (6-1)
  4. #5 Patriots Rule (12-1)

This race is wide open and any of the 12 horses could win it, especially since the favorite, Ring Weekend, is parked in an outside post. Flamboyant didn’t like Del Mar’s grass, but showed an affinity for the Santa Anita course in winning his U.S. debut in April. Word on the street is that he has been training well for this spot and jockey Joel Rosario keeps the mount.

==

FIFTH RACE: Damascus Stakes

  1. #3 Chitu (4-1)
  2. #2 Midnight Hawk (7-2)
  3. #12 Unbridled’s Note (8-1)
  4. #11 Bahamian Squall (4-1)

Trainer Bob Baffert could legitimately hit the trifecta here as in addition to the top two horses he has Declassify (6-1) in the race, too. Chitu and Midnight Hawk were on the Kentucky Derby trail this spring but only Chitu got there (finishing ninth to California Chrome). Both horses have been training well for their return with Midnight Hawk slightly better, however, Chitu beat him twice this spring so we’ll stick with that.

==

SIXTH RACE: Juvenile Turf

1. #2 Daddy D T (15-1)

2. #14 Danny Boy (20-1)

3. #5 Hootenanny (3-1)

4. #7 War Envoy (9-2)

Trainer John Sadler experimented last time by putting this 2-year-old Daddy D T on the dirt. Big mistake. This ridgling is a turf horse, scoring a stakes win over the green stuff at Del Mar. Jockey Corey Nakatani is reunited with the horse, who should get a nice inside run from the No. 2 hole.

==

SEVENTH RACE: DIRT MILE

1. #8 Fed Biz (7-2)

2. #1 Goldencents (6-5)

3. #6 Golden Ticket (15-1)

4. #2 Carve (15-1)

Fed Biz just lost to Shared Belief, who will be the odds-on favorite in Saturday’s BC Classic. The Bob Baffert-trainee can either press the pace or come from off of it. Goldencents is the defending champ and will be tough in this spot.

==

EIGHTH RACE: JUVENILE FILLIES TURF

1. #3 Sunset Glow (7-2)

2. #14 Qualify (5-1)

3. #4 Lady Eli (6-1)

4. #6 Sivoliere (12-1)

Sunset Glow has done well in Europe and then came over to win the Del Mar Debutante, but trainer Wesley Ward thinks she is best on turf and who are we to argue. Qualify, an import from Europe, has a tough post but is quality. Sivoliere is jockey Gary Stevens’ first start back from knee replacement surgery.

==

NINTH RACE: DISTAFF

1. #10 Untapable (5-2)

2. #2 Tiz Midnight (10-1)

3. #11 Close Hatches (3-1)

4. #8 Valiant Emilia (20-1)

Untapable will be everyone’s Pick Six single and with good reason. She has been training lights out and with Beholder out of the race Untapable will be less than 2-1. Love the way Tiz Midnight is coming up to the race for Bob Baffert and it’s tough to figure out Close Hatches’ last race.

==

10TH RACE: Allowance optional claiming

  1. #11 Whine for Wine (8-1)
  2. #2 Day of Fury (6-1)
  3. #7 Jimmy Bouncer (9-2)
  4. #5 Test Ride (12-1)

How wide open is this race? Jimmy Bouncer is the morning-line favorite at 9-2. Whine for Win is one of our tophorses, coming out of a race with four next out winners. Day of Fury just broke his maiden for trainer Bob Baffert and has been training well for his initial try against winners. Jockey Gary Stevens, he of the knee replacements, takes the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Standard