Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, June 8

FIRST: 1. Tammy’s Window, 2. Super Patriot, 3. Candy Swirls. LONG SHOT: Fool’s Paradise.

SECOND: 1. Miss That Kat, 2. Jack’s Diva, 33. I Belong to Becky. LONG SHOT: Handsome John.

THIRD: 1. Dukes Up, 2. Oh Man, 3. Top of the Game. LONG SHOT: Mongolian Humor.

FOURTH: 1. Desmond Doss, 2. My Journey, 3. Flicflac. LONG SHOT: Bud Knight.

FIFTH: 1. Time for Kisses, 2. Convince, 3. A Dime for Me. LONG SHOT: Miss Bennet.

SIXTH: 1. Don’t Sell, 2. Great Return, 3. G Q Covergirl. LONG SHOT: Tizanillusion.

SEVENTH: 1. For Him, 2. Rick’s Dream, 3. Market Sentiment. LONG SHOT: Nova.

EIGHTH: 1. Factorial, 2. Overdue, 3. Ultimate Bango. LONG SHOT: Hootie.

NINTH: 1. San Giorgio, 2. Wicken Fen, 3. Lil Sydney. LONG SHOT: Red Valor.

10TH: 1. Formal Dude, 2. Drink, 3. Scrambled. LONG SHOT: Union Station.

Good luck

Belmont Park, Horse racing

Belmont Park stakes opinions for Saturday, June 8

THIRD RACE (Easy Goer): 1. Outshine, 2. Alwaysmining, 3. Majid, 4. Dream Maker. LONG SHOT: Still Dreaming.

FOURTH RACE (Grade I Just A Game): 1. Beau Recall, 2. Rushing Fall, 3. Got Stormy, 4. Environs. LONG SHOT: Daddy Is a Legend.

FIFTH RACE (Grade I Ogden Phipps): 1. Escape Clause, 2. Midnight Bisou, 3. Come Dancing, 4. Mopotism. LONG SHOT: Pacific Wind.

SIXTH RACE (Grade I Jaipur): 1. World of Trouble, 2. Undrafted, 3. Dirty, 4. Belvoir Bay. LONG SHOT: Diamond Oops.

SEVENTH RACE (Grade I Acorn): 1. Cookie Dough, 2. Serengeti Empress, 3. Queen of Beas, 4. Guarana. LONG SHOT: Ce Ce.

EIGHTH RACE (Grade I Woody Stephens): 1. Honest Mischief, 2. Much Better, 3. Wendell Fong, 4. Complexity. LONG SHOT: Lexitonian.

NINTH RACE (Grade I Met Mile): 1. Prince Lucky, 2. McKenzzie, 3. Mitole, 4. Firenze Fire. LONG SHOT: Coal Front.

10TH RACE (Grade I Manhattan): 1. Channel Maker, 2. Raging Bull, 3. Bricks and Mortar, 4. Robert Bruce. LONG SHOT: Channel Cat.

11TH RACE (Grade I Belmont) : 1. Spinoff, 2. War of Will, 3. Tacitus, 4. Bourbon War. LONG SHOT: Sir Winston.
This isn’t the Belmont expected, especially with no Kentucky Derby winner or any Bob Baffert-trained horses entered. It is, what it is. Spinoff has been given time off since the Derby when he was wide throughout. If Javier Castellano can use this 3-year-old’s speed and keep close to the pace, I think he has a shot at a price. War of Will showed in the Preakness that the Derby trouble was real. Tacitus seems to be everyone’s favorite.

13TH RACE (Grade II Brooklyn): 1. Campaign, 2. Marconi, 3. Rocketry, 4. You’re to Blame. LONG SHOT: Sonneteer.

Good luck.

Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Horse racing

Churchill Downs opinions for Saturday, June 8 (Updated)

PREVIEW: Several jockeys are at Belmont Park today so jockey Florent Geroux has picked up a lot of mounts, especially for trainer Steve Asmussen, so Geroux could have a very big day. Don’t sleep on him.

NOTE: They are sloppy and off the turf in races 5 and 8. So take these picks with a grain of salt. Look for wet track pedigree.

FIRST: 1. Zyramid, 2. Nucky, 3. Halfmoon Reef. LONG SHOT: Cheeseburger.

SECOND: 1. Lunar Approach, 2.Ransomed, 3. Day by Day. LONG SHOT: Game Time Decision.

THIRD: 1. Magical, 2. Pretty Greeley, 3. Maybe Wicked. LONG SHOT: Special Relativity.

FOURTH: 1. Don’teatmycookies, 2. (Entry) Dilly Dally Darby and Estrela Cadente, 3. Indicating. LONG SHOT: Pinotage.

FIFTH: 1. Confessing (best bet), 2. Our Bay B Ruth, 3. Silver Kitten. LONG SHOT: Lady Rosalie. OFF THE TURF IGNORE PICKS

SIXTH: 1. Better Charge It, 2. Light of the World, 3. On d;Oro. LONG SHOT: Kansas City Zip.

SEVENTH: 1. Make Noise, 2. Paddock Pick, 3. Mine My Time. LONG SHOT: Brush Country.

EIGHTH: 1. Cosmic Code, 2. Be Nimble, 3. Bella Laura. LONG SHOT: Talbeya. OFF THE TURF IGNORE PICKS

NINTH: 1. Combatant, 2. Matrooh, 3. Solomini. LONG SHOT: Kershaw.

10TH: 1. Mom’s On Strike, 2. Limari, 3. Stave. LONG SHOT: Smart Emma.

11TH: 1. Ready and Rich, 2. New Frontier, 3. Admiral Brown. LONG SHOT: Not Very Gentle.

Good luck.

Belmont Park, Horse racing, Triple Crown

Belmont Park opinions for Saturday, June 9 (Belmont Stakes Day)

Stakes races only

SECOND RACE (Easy Goer): 1. Breaking the Rules, 2. Mask, 3. Prince Lucky, 4. Dark Vader. LONG SHOT: Soutache.

THIRD RACE (Grade I Ogden Phipps): 1. Abel Tasman, 2. Unbridled Mo, 3. Pacific Wind, 4. Ivy Bell. LONG SHOT: Berned.

FOURTH RACE (Grade I Acorn): 1. Talk Veuve to Me, 2. Monomoy Girl, 3. Gio Game, 4. Caledonia Road. LONG SHOT: Starcloud.

FIFTH RACE (Grade II Brooklyn Invitational): 1. Hoppertunity, 2. War Story, 3. Hard Study, 4. Outplay. LONG SHOT: Take Your Guns.

SIXTH RACE (Grade Ii Jaipur Invitational): 1. Pocket Change, 2. Stormy Liberal, 3. Pure Sensation, 4. Blind Ambition. LONG SHOT: Holding Gold.

SEVENTH RACE (Grade II Woody Stephens): 1. Engage, 2. The Tabulaor, 3. World of Trouble, 4. Kanthaka. LONG SHOT: Strike Power.

EIGHTH RACE (Grade I Just A Game): 1. Cambodia, 2. Lull, 3. On Leave, 4. Off Limits. LONG SHOT: Dream Dancing.

NINTH RACE (Grade I Met Mile): 1. Bolt d’Oro, 2. Bee Jersey, 3. McCracken, 4. Mind Your Biscuits. LONG SHOT: Awesome Slew.

10TH RACE (Grade I Manhattan): 1. Channel Maker, 2. Beach Patrl, 3. Robert Bruce, 4. Fashion Business. LONG SHOT: Alexis Komnenos.

11TH RACE (Grade I Belmont Stakes): 1. Justify, 2. Tenfold, 3. Vino Rosso, 4. Hofburg. LONG SHOT: Gronkowski.

I haven’t picked Justify to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but that’s because I hate picking favorites. There’s no doubt he’s the best of this crop and I expect him to win the race today by going to the front and never looking back. Tenfold was closing like a freight train in the Preakness while Vino Rosso and Hofburg have the pedigrees plus connections to win or at least do well in this 1 1/2-mile test. The real interesting horse is Gronkowski. He was suppose to run in the Derby but got sick. Now, he’s in the Chad Brown barn. He could be any kind.

Good luck.

Belmont Park, Horse racing

Belmont Park opinions for Saturday, June 10

Preview: In looking at the entries, if jockey Mike Smith has a big day, then so will trainer Bob Baffert as he ships at least three horses East for the Belmont Stakes card. More picks on other races to come:

11TH RACE (Grade I Belmont): 1. #10 Multiplier (15-1), 2. #3 Gormley (8-1), 3. #7 Irish War Cry (7-2). LONG SHOT: #1 Twisted Tom (20-1).
With the non-entry of Classic Empire, this is a wide open race. Don’t take a short price. Multiplier puts blinkers on after some trouble in the Preakness. Jockey Joel Rosario saw enough to ride this 3-year-old back. Gormley has been waiting since running in the Derby and might be up for a good one.

SECOND RACE (Easy Goer): 1. #8 You’re to Blame (4-1), 2. #7 West Coast (5-2), 3. # 5 Local Hero (5-1. LONG SHOT: #6 Tale of Silence (15-1).

THIRD RACE (Grade II Brooklyn Invitational): 1. #5 Tu Brutas (2-1), 2. #4 Send It In (7-5), 3. #3 Sunny Ridge (10-1). LONG SHOT: #7 War Story (6-1).

FOURTH RACE (Grade I Acorn): 1. Union Strike (8-1 BEST BET), 2. #3 Abel Tasman, 3. #8 Salty (4-1). LONG SHOT: #2 Florida Fabulous (15-1).

FIFTH RACE (Grade I Ogden Phipps): 1. #5 Songbird (1-2), 2. #1 Highway Star (10-1), 3. #7 Carina Mia (6-1). LONG SHOT: #2 Paid Up Subscriber (8-1).

SIXTH RACE (Grade III Jaipur): 1. #10 Stormy Liberal, 2. #2 Disco Partner, 3. #3 Pure Sensation. LONG SHOT: #8 Canadian Flyer (20-1).

SEVENTH RACE (Grade II Woody Stephens): 1. #11 Petrov (8-1), 2. #3 Recruiting Ready (6-1), 3. #8 American Athem. LONG SHOT: #4 Gold for the King (15-1).

EIGHTH RACE (Grade I Just A Game): 1. #7 Antonoe (8-1), 2. #5 Celestine (3-1), 3. #2 Roca Rojo (9-5). LONG SHOT: #3 Prize Exhibit (20-1).

NINTH RACE (Grade I Met Mile): 1. #2 Rally Cry (5-1), 2. #9 Mor Spirit (5-2), 3. #S Sharp Azteca (7-2). LONG SHOT: #8 Tom’s Ready.

10th RACE (Grade I Manhattan): 1. #6 Potemkin (8-1), 2. #2 Wake Forest (8-1), 3. #4 Time Test (5-1). LONG SHOT: #9 Sadler’s Joy (6-1).

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Belmont Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, June 11

Preview: Another 11-race card on a Saturday but at least the first post is earlier. However, track management will take an hour off around the Belmont and still keep bettors at the track until after 7 p.m. probably. Lots of top jockeys on the East Coast so looks for the likes of Rafael Bejarano, Tyler Baze and Joe Talamo to have big days.

Race 4 – SA
#5 Black Sheared Anvil: This gelding drops from the straigght maiden ranks to maiden claiming for the first time. Trainer Richard Mandella is 23% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff and he has to get Santiago Gonzalez to ride since Flavien Prat is back in New York.

Race 6 – SA
#8 Skookum Spirit: Another gelding dropping into a maiden claimer for the first. This 3-year-old has shown speed in all of his races and if he does that here, he could be long gone. Trainer Steve Miyadi and jockey Edwin Maldonado are a 21% combination.

Race 9 – SA
#6 Unbridled Rocket: This 3-year-old was claimed out his last race, a loss to the speedy Navy Hymn, by trainer Jack Carava, but the gelding is taking a key drop from an open claimer to a non-winners of two races. Santiago Gonzalez jumps on and has had moderate success with Carva. – Jeff Nahill
Jeff’s Playbook: 3 units to win, 4 units to place and 5 units to show.

Race 11 – SA
#4 Sassy Ashley: This is the money run for this filly. She showed speed off the layoff and tired to finish fourth. Trainer Richard Baltas brings her back at the same distance and jockey Rafael Bejarano (29%) with Baltas stays aboard.

Belmont Stakes picks
4 – Suddenbreakingnews
11 – Exaggerator
1 – Governor Malibu
13 – Creator

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Belmont Park, Horse racing

Belmont Park opinions for Saturday, June 11

They will go to the post Saturday for the final jewel of the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, but there will be nothing on the line except bragging rights.

Exaggerator made sure of that when he beat Nyquist in the Preakness Stakes three weeks ago and it might not have mattered any way as Nyquist got sick after the race and had to be put on anti-biotics and would have missed this 1 1/2-mile race any way.

As for Saturday’s race, I think Exaggerator is the horse to beat, but I like Suddenbreakingnews, which is getting a huge jockey switch to Hall of Famer Mike Smith by trainer Donnie Von Hemel. The son of Mineshaft had some traffic issues early in the Kentucky Derby, but then closed strongly in the stretch to finish fifth. I think Smith will have him a little closer in New York.

I like Exaggerator to finish no worse than second followed by Governor Malibu and Creator.

Below are some selections for Saturday at Belmont Park:

Race 1 (Easy Goer): 1. Race Me Home, 2. Cupid, 3. Rally Cry. LONG SHOT: Economic Model.

Race 3 (Acorn): 1. Cathryn Sophia, 2. Carina Mia, 3. Go Maggie Go. LONG SHOT: Forever Darling.

Race 4 (Brooklyn): 1. Elnaawi, 2. Seecuritiz, 3. Neck ‘n Neck. LONG SHOT: Shamen Ghost.

Race 5 (Ogden Phipps): 1. Curalina, 2. Cavorting, 3. Forever Unbridled. LONG SHOT: Carrumba.

Race 6 (Jaipur): 1. A Lot, 2. Rocket Heat, 3. Green Mask. LONG SHOT: Guns Loaded.

Race 7 (Woody Stephens): 1. Fish Trappe Road, 2. Sharp Azteca, 3. Dig Deep. LONG SHOT: Mrazek.

Race 8 (Just A Game): 1. Rainha Da Bateria, 2. Mrs McDougal, 3. Strike Charmer. LONG SHOT: Faufiler.

Race 9 (Met Mile): 1. Donworth, 2. Noble Bird, 3. Ami’s Flatter. LONG SHOT: Calculator.

Race 10 (Manhattan): 1. Flintshire, 2. Wake Forest, 3. Take the Stand. LONG SHOT: Oathkeeper.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Trainer Ken McPeek sending Frac Daddy to Del Mar

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s premiere race, the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 24, is turning into quite a race, already.
On Sunday, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said the undefeated 3-year-old Shared Belief, owned in part by media mogul Jim Rome, would be pointed for the Del Mar race at 1 1/4 on the Polytrack.
On Tuesday, trainer Ken McPeek confirmed his 4-year-old Frac Daddy would board a plane bound for Del Mar next Wednesday with the intention of running in the July 26 San Diego Handicap as a prep for the Pacific Classic.
“We’re pointing for the San Diego with the Pacific Classic as the goal,” said McPeek by telephone. “He’s doing extremely well.”
Frac Daddy is a synthetic surface special with three wins in four tries and earnings of $264,756 on Polytrack. The son of Scat Daddy saw his undefeated record on the surface come to an end July 1 when he finished second in the Grade III Dominion Day stakes at Woodbine Race Course in Toronto.
Despite being the overwhelming favorite, Frac Daddy finished second in the 1 1/4 race to Sky Captain, trained by Mark Casse, who is sending a string of 30 to 40 horses to Del Mar this summer for the first time. There is no official word from the Casse barn as to whether Sky Captain might make the trip, too. The 4-year-old son of Sky Mesa is now a perfect 3-for-3 on Polytrack.

For McPeek’s part, he is taking the blame for the loss at Woodbine.

“I think I ran a short horse,” he said. “I’ll take the bullet for that.
“He was out of his element in the race. He likes to sit outside and he was inside (under jockey Luis Contreras). He scooted along, but he never relaxed. I think I didn’t do enough with him (before the race).”
Frac Daddy, who has earned $674,036 in his career with five wins from 17 races, was coming off a 5-length win in the Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine on June 1.
McPeek said it looks like Frac Daddy will fly to Del Mar on July 16 and be stabled with trainer Blake Heap.
McPeek said he doesn’t have a rider yet for the San Diego, which will be run at 1 1/16-mile on the Polytrack.
As for facing last year’s 2-year-old champion Shared Belief at Del Mar, McPeek isn’t worried. Shared Belief is a perfect 4-for-4 on synthetic tracks and won last Saturday’s $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby in his first race on dirt.
“Facing older horses is a different bear all together,” he said. “He’s a very nice horse. (The Pacific Classic) should be a great race.”
If McPeek’s name sounds familiar, it should. He has earned $61 million in his training career. He won the 2002 Belmont Stakes with Sarava and finished second in the 1995 Kentucky Derby with Tejano Run. He also finished second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita with Golden Ticket.
McPeek is also the owner of the Horse Races Now app, which he started 14 months ago and has more than 200,000 followers. The app allows people to see entries, results, live video, race replays, news and most importantly wager on races.
“It hasn’t been easy starting it,” said McPeek, “but it’s something the industry needed.”
More information on the app is available at
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown

Coburn: Still a Dumb Ass (Partner)

Despite his “apology” Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning, America,” California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn is still a Dumb Ass, just like his stable name (Dumb Ass Partners) says.

I love how a lot of people are lauding Coburn for finally stepping up to rectify the situation he created after Saturday’s Belmont Stakes loss when he basically called the owners of Tonalist and Commissioner “cheaters” for not running in the other two legs of the Triple Crown.

The man didn’t rectify anything.

Did you see the interview with Robin Roberts? The man was choking on every word he said. He had a hard time getting them out because he didn’t believe them. He was bullied into Monday’s apology. Check it out here:

The time to apologize for Saturday’s rant on national television was Sunday morning. Instead, Coburn went back on national TV and compounded the situation by stating the situation was akin to him playing basketball against a child in a wheelchair. How does one defend that? That was so wrong, it’s unbelievable.

The Triple Crown is meant to be hard. That’s why we haven’t had a winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 36 years. A super horse hasn’t been born to do it. So be it.

In last week’s build up to the Belmont, I was still amazed Real Quiet lost his Belmont to Victory Gallop. I covered Real Quiet’s Preakness that year and for him to lose by a nose in New York still is unfathomable.

But back to the point at hand, even if Coburn and others associated with California Chrome were complaining about the Triple Crown system and dates of the races beforehand, you knew what you were getting into when you started the journey. Three wins in five weeks. I didn’t hear anyone complaining about all the new shooters in the Preakness.

Now after losing, Coburn is bitching and moaning.

I don’t feel sorry for Coburn one bit.

I feel sorry for the man’s wife, who tried to reel him in on Saturday, but was rebuffed. The woman must be a saint.

I feel sorry for others like trainer Art Sherman and his son, Steve, a trainer in his won right who stayed with Chrome on the East Coast for five weeks. I feel for the exercise rider and other barn personnel.

There is a long way to go this year, but if California Chrome ends up not winning the Eclipse Award for top 3-year-old, it might end being Coburn’s fault, and that’s just not right. I don’t have a vote, but I guarantee that if it comes down to coin flip, there will be voters who don’t vote for the horse due to Coburn’s ignorance.

One reporter tweeted on Saturday that after meeting Coburn earlier on the Triple Crown trail, he knew it was just a matter of time before the man blew up.

There’s no doubt, Steve Coburn has lived up to his barn’s name: Dumb Ass (Partners), and no apology is going to change that.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 3 (Magna Warrior $5.60, first race; Babe’s Journey $10.40, fifth; Soi Phet $7.40, sixth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 5 (Elegant $6.40, second; Natalie Paige $6.40, fourth; Red N Black Attack $6, seventh; Unusual Heatwave $16.80, eighth; Nothing to Hide $4.40, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Myrna Lou $8.80, first)

Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Saturday, July 27

FIRST RACE: 1. Inner Groove, 2. Night Dance, 3. Lilly’s Perfect. LONG SHOT: Skinny Genes.

INNER GROOVE is 2-for-2 over the Polytrack and draws the cozy No. 1 post going long. Expect jockey Joe Talamo to go to the front and let them try and catch him.


SECOND RACE: 1. American Pride, 2. Little Shack, 3. Bond Holder. LONG SHOT: Papa’s Paisley.

AMERICAN PRIDE has some experience while many in this race are running for the first time. This appears to be a wide open event.


THIRD RACE: 1. U R My Candy Girl, 2. Scary Fast, 3. Secret Memo. LONG SHOT: Katey Pie.

Bejarano and trainer Bill Morey are a tough team to beat which makes U R MY CANDY GIRL interesting first time off the claim.


FOURTH RACE (Fleet Treat Stakes): 1. DOINGHARDTIMEAGAIN, 2. Sweet Marini, 3. Tribal Peace. LONG SHOT: Zuzu’s Petals.

DOINGHARDTIMEAGAIN just won the Grade II Hollywood Oaks and she drops into a Cal-bred stakes to get a little chump change for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Bejarano.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Splendiferous Moon, 2. Bas, 3. Now Hope. LONG SHOT: Patienceisavirtue.

Trainer John Sadler drops this daughter of Malibu Moon after a brief freshening. Jockey Edwin Maldonado takes over and should put her in the winning spot.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Magic Daddy, 2. Quality Plan, 3. Sweet Sunshine. LONG SHOT: Chief Lion.

Another maiden race, but this one is 3-year-olds and up. Trainer Bob Baffert seems to be putting Martin Garcia on his well meant horses and Bejarano on the second string. That’s what we have here in MAGIC DADDY, a first-time starter, and QUALITY PLAN. Can you say exacta box?


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Bio Pro, 2. Tom’s Tribute, 3. Swift Eagle. LONG SHOT: Somethings Unusual.

There’s a reason this race is in the Pick 6, because it’s tough. Trainer Howard Zucker always points to Del Mar and is sneaky on the grass. His BIO PRO is coming off a win and moving up in company.


EIGHTH RACE (San Diego Handicap): 1. Liaison, 2. Paynter, 3. Clubhouse Ride. LONG SHOT: Chief Havoc.

Am totally shocked to see Paynter run on the Polytrack. Baffert hates it. His owner, Zayat Stables LLC, hates it. Only reason must be to keep the last year’s Belmont Stakes runner-up close to home. Still, going to take the “other” Baffert, Liaison. He has a third over the Del Mar Poly and he is 3-for-6 at the distance. Totally left KETTLE CORN out of the top four because think he’s coming back too soon after a second-place finish to Game on Dude in the Hollywood Gold Cup.


NINTH RACE: 1. Corsa Di Cavalli, 2. Judge Carr, 3. Salah Champ. LONG SHOT: Life a Riley.

CORSA DI CAVALLI is coming off a two-year layoff, but if anyone can get the 4-year-old colt ready it’s Sadler. The son of After Market broke his maiden at first asking at the seaside oval.


10TH RACE: 1. Iconic Spirit, 2. Tappingintherain, 3. Winning Rhythm. LONG SHOT: Charm Catcher.

Could be a big day for the Sadler barn. ICONIC SPIRIT finished second at this level four straight times and today is graduation day. TAPPINGINTHERAIN is by Tapit and should appreciate the extra distance. She might go to the front on the stretch out.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter