Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, Feb. 13

Preview: Great card. All one had to do was look at the jockeys scheduled to run (Javier Castellano, John Velazquez, Julien Leparoux, Jose Lezcano) to know it’s a big stakes day at Tampa. Four stakes on card so should be some prices, hopefully.


Race 2: #6 Quick Coconut (6-1) 

This is a first-time starter from the Gerald Bennett barn, which is 29% with debuting maiden claimers. Jockey Ronnie Allen Jr. rides and he is 12-for-24 with Bennett over the last 60 days.


Race 4: #7 Ms. Scarlet Fever (6-1) 

This 3-year-old filly has never been worse than fifth in five races and that was a stakes race where she was over her head as a maiden. This is a tough race, but trainer Joe Arboritanza is 4-for-7 with horses cutting back in distance.


Race 6: #5 Mata Mua (turf only) (15-1) 

It isn’t often that you get a morning-line like this on trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Javier Castellano. McGaughey is 2-for-2 this winter shipping in to Tampa and Castellano got to know this filly last time at Gulfstream Park when she showed speed and tired going longer.


Race 10: #3 A Lot (turf only) (10-1) 

 Trainer Bill Mott ships this son of Tapit in for this race. Mott takes the blinkers off and he’s 23% with that move. This 4-year-old finished third by a neck in the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park. The big difference today is he’s moving from an outside post to inside, where his speed can be rationed better by Jose Lezcano.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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.



7-Ray’s The Bar


11-Hollywood Don


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.




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.



3-Alice Springs


14-Last Waltz


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.



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

Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park, Horse racing

Belmont, Churchill, Gulfstream opinions for Thursday, June 4


Race 1: #10 Famous Sting (9-2)

Trainer Marcial Navarro is 29% first off the claim and has been out at this meet, winning his last three race without a loss. This 4-year-old filly just broke her maiden and should fit at this level.



Race 1: #7 Groupthink (8-1)

Trainer Chad Brown is a spectacular 46% going from a route race to a sprint like this 4-year-old gelding. The horse has been first or second eight times in 13 races.


Race 8: #11 Robe (8-1)

Trainer Bill Mott has better numbers with second-time starters and comes out of a Gulfstream Park race that has produced three next out winners.


CHURCHILL DOWNS                  

Race 7: #5 Vancouver (7-2)

Our Eyes:  This 3-year-old colt drops into a claimer for the first time for trainer Wayne Catalano and comes out of a Oaklawn Park MSW race that has produced three next out winners. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan is 26% with Catalano.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Wednesday, Dec. 10

Thought we’d try and have some fun at another track this winter so we’re giving Tampa Bay Downs a whirl to see how it goes.

Of course, Gulfstream has the best racing in Florida in the winter, but you will see top trainer like Bill Mott ship in to Tampa with lesser stock or an easier spot for a horse.

Of people on the West Coast, trainer Tom Proctor and Eoin Harty both have strings at Tampa and you will see some of these horses in Southern California down the line.

The meet is  just underway but as we’ve noted in our picks Gulfstream West and Keeneland have proven to provide the most winners so far. Laurel Race Course and Thistledown have produced three winners while Gulfstream Park, Delaware Park and Hawthorne have produced to winners each. In the past, horses shipping in from Indiana Downs have done well in Tampa, but that hasn’t been try so far this meet. Keep an eye on it.


Race 6: #7 Magic Luck (6-1)

Trainer Jason DaCosta is 32% shipping horses and turf to dirt. This 3-year-old gelding has won over the track before and ships in from Gulfstream West (aka Calder), which has produced the most winners at the meet so far (nine).


Race 9: #1 Fine Candy (6-1)

Trainer Tom Proctor drops this 3-year-old filly into a maiden claimer for the first time and he is 20% with that move. She is bred to go long and coming out of a race a Keeneland, The track has produced six winners so far at Tampa Bay Downs. She also has a decent work last week.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Monday, Feb. 17

FIRST RACE: 1. Kafister, 2. Keyboard Courage, 3. Candy Waltz. LONG SHOT: Congregationalist.


SECOND RACE: 1. Dublin Up, 2. Garen, 3. Big Tire. LONG SHOT: Big Medicine Man.


THIRD RACE: 1. Bench Press, 2. Tasha’s Courage, 3. High On Final. LONG SHOT: Ice Cream Truck.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Memphis, 2. Jet Warrior, 3. Toledo Eddie. LONG SHOT: Dreamnofatticus.

MEMPHIS, a 6-year-old gelding, isn’t a win machine, but he likes to collect checks. He’s coming out of races that say he can be right there at the finish. He has speed and Martin Garcia takes over in the saddle for trainer Beau Greely.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Beverly the Boss, 2. Abide in Me, 3. La Sorella. LONG SHOT: See Ya Signe.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Hearitforthegirls, 2. Ipolita, 3. Moscato Girl. LONG SHOT: Gisxele At Fonz’s.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Tapicat, 2. Egg Drop, 3. Pontchatrain. LONG SHOT: Miss Serendipity.

It isn’t often Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will ship West, but that’s what he does here with TAPICAT, a daughter of Tapit, and on top of that jockey John Velazquez is named to ride. This will be her first try against older fillies and mares but her workouts say she is ready.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Miss Loujean, 2. Meinertzhageni, 3. Rovenna. LONG SHOT: Wonderful Lie.

MISS LOUJEAN, a daughter of Unusual Heat, has a ton of speed and almost broke her maiden over this surface. She is coming out of an open allowance race where the 1-2 finishers were 1-2 again in a minor stakes on Saturday and this 3-year-old filly is dropping into state-bred competition. She will be gunned from the rail and see how far her speed can take her.


NINTH RACE: 1. Shame On Alex, 2. He’s Not too Shaby, 3. Candy’s Surprise. LONG SHOT: Dixieland Blues.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 1 (Snaps $10, first race)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 3 (Red Outlaw $7.20, third; Awesome Indy $7, fourth; Kobe’s Back $5.40, fifth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (Gal Has to Like It $4.40, second)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Heavens Stairway $8, sixth)