Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, June 30

Preview: This meet can’t end soon enough for horsemen and bettors as the average field is brutal. Since the remainder of the meet will be run on the dirt main track the jockeys to pay attention to are Rafael Bejarano (27 for 97 on the dirt), Tyler Baze 21-104) and Edwin Maldonado (18-94).

Race 3 – SA
#2 Peacenik (3-1): Trainer Bill Spawr is 36% with horses first off the claim. This gelding has past success over this strip with a 16-5-3-4 mark. Jockey Joe Talamo is 20% with Spawr.

Race 7 – SA
#3 Anytime Anyplace (6-1): Trainer Paddy Gallagher is 25% second off the layoff and leading jockey Rafael Bejarano sees fit to ride back. Bejarano is 36% with Gallagher.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, June 5

Preview: We say goodbye to the hillside turf course as renovations start this week for the fall meet, which includes the Breeders’ Cup. There are four races on it today. There are five races on the dirt and some trainers to think twice about are Bill Spawr (1-for-15), Kristin Mulhall (1-13), Jeff Bonde (0-12) and Eric Kruljac (0-11).

Race 4: #5 Fruity (6-1): This filly came running in her second try down the hill and now trainer Simon Callaghan puts the blinkers on, a move he is 29% with. The 4-year-old should come running in the stretch for new jockey Flavien Prat, who is 29% with Callaghan.

Race 6: #2 Airlite (9-2): Here we are again down the hill with that man Flavien Prat. He rides most of trainer Richard Mandella’s horses and Mandella is 4-for-10 with horses second time on the grass. The 3-year-old finished third in his debut and should only improve.

Race 9: #8 Infinite Magic (6-1): This gelding is in the care of trainer Ted West for the first time and he is 31% with horses in that situation. Yes, Flavien Prat is aboard. The gelding has a second and third over the course and is cutting back from a route race.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, May 21

Good card on Preakness Saturday. Sounds like it will be a lot drier in SoCal than Baltimore for the Preakness.

Race 2 – SA
#4 Vartan: About time for trainer Bill Spawr to get hot. This gelding making a jump in class but it shouldn’t matter. Barn rider Agapito Delgadillo is staying aboard and he’s 28% with Spawr. This 4-year-old has the best Brisnet Late Pace Rating.

Race 3 – SA
#5 Navy Hymn: Trainer Robertino Diodoro runs this 3-year-old up in class but with good reason as this speedster is a perfect 3-for-3 over the track. Diodoro also brings in jockey R.A. Vazquez in from Prairie Meadows to ride in a stakes and give him this mount, too. They are 44% together.

Race 8 – SA
#4 Coppa: This 3-year-old won at first asking at Del Mar so there is no reason to think trainer Phil D’Amato can’t do the same thing in her second race. D’Amato is 26% with horses off a 90-plus-day layoff.

Race 10 – SA
#9 Avenge: This filly has a 3-for-4 record over the downhill course and trainer Richard Mandella should have her ready to run her best off the layoff.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, May 6

Preview: Not sure how weather will affect this card so check changes. A lot of bit-time jockeys out of town but there is a solid group left.

Race 4 – SA
#2 Sassy Ashley (8-1) (turf only): This filly hasn’t been seen since last fall at Del Mar and could be a grow up play here. She has decent works and trainer Richard Baltas has good numbers in all categories.

Race 5 – SA
#1 Got Even (7-2): Has been away since January but trainer Bill Spawr is 39% off the claim and 24% off layoffs of 61-180 days. Spawr is also 32% with jockey Agapito Delgadillo.

Race 6 – SA
#6 Cape Wolfe (3-1) (turf only): This gelding could be coming into his own in his fourth start in North America. He finished second going down the hill and now stretches out for trainer Phil D’Amato, who is 23% going from sprint to route. D’Amato is 41% with jockey Edwin Maldonado at Santa Anita.

Race 8 – SA
#9 Justonetimebaby (2-1): This gelding showed speed down the hill and now runs on the dirt dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time. Trainer Richard Baltas is 62% going from MSW to MC and he gets leading jockey Rafael Bejarano (35%) to ride.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos RC opinions for Thursday, April 21

Preview: Another small card as far as entries as Los Al has no turf course, but prices have been surprisingly good. On the jockey front, Mario Gutierrez (6-11) and Kent Desormeaux (5-11) have come out swinging plus Agapito Delagadillo, Tiago Pereira and Tyler Baze all have three wins.

 

Race 4 – LRC

#3 Jena Baby (3-1): Trainer Peter Miller drops this filly to her lowest level ever. Miller is 23% taking a horse sprint-route-sprint and 23% with maiden claimers. Apprentice Bryan Pena is 21% with Miller.

 

Race 6 – LRC

#2 Crayon (6-1): Trainer John Shirreffs doesn’t start many at this track so this filly must be doing well. She broke slow in her debut but showed late interest on the grass. With the long stretch here it might suit her well. Shirreffs is 31% with horses making their second career start.

 

Race 7 – LRC

#5 One More Roll (15-1): This gelding is 4-1-1-0 on this track and has plenty of early speed. Trainer Bill Spawr is 22% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff and the 4-year-old comes out of a key race that has produced two winners so far.

 

Race 8 – LRC

#4 Johny’s Choice (5-2): The 7-year-old is 5-2-1-0 over the track. Trainer Mark Glatt has a pair of wins at the meet the first week of the meet and this gelding comes out of a race that has produced three next out winners.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Fair Grounds, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, March 26 (Plus Fair Grounds)

Preview: Sort of a tough card with maiden races and the like and fields aren’t all that full. Just have to make the best of it. Plus I added the two big races from the Fair Grounds.

                                

Race 3 – SA

#2 Yana (6-1): The turf stretchout didn’t work for this mare last time so trainer Bill Spawr cuts her back on the dirt and he is 38% going from route to sprint plus he has his main man, Agapito Delagadillo aboard and they are 27%.

                   

Race 9 – SA

#5 Red Buttton (12-1): It could be a big day for the Bill Spawr barn as he brings this gelding back off a poor turf effort. Jockey Joe Talamo jumps on and he’s 24% with Spawr over the last year.

 

THE FAIR GROUNDS

 

Race 9 – FG

#8 Land Over Sea (3-1): After five straight losses to superstar Songbird, trainer Doug O’Neil has seen enough and decides to flee Southern California. This daughter of Bellamy Road has finished second to Songbird twice this year. O’Neill gets John Velazquez to ride. We’ll never get this morning-line.

                              

Race 10 – FG

#9 Dazzling Gem (12-1): Trainer Brad Cox has said he isn’t running in the Louisiana Derby for the heck of it and we believe him. This 3-year-old is a perfect 2-for-2 and while jockey Shaun Bridgmohan must work out a trip from this bad post, we think he can and the price is right.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, March 5

Preview: Good card and turf racing today because it’s supposed to rain on Sunday. Look for turf trainers to fill races as Santa Anita announced it will renovate the grass course beginning in late June so there will be no turf racing the final 3 weeks of the spring meet in addition to a 3-week break in April when Los Alamitos will run.

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Race 4 – SA        

#6 Albeit (12-1) (turf only) 

Arguably this filly’s best race came around two turns on the Santa Anita turf and returns to that set-up here. Trainer Doug O’Neill is 19% going sprint-sprint-route. Jockey Mario Gutierrez jumps back on and is 23% with O’Neill.

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Race 8 — SA

#10 Texas Two Step (15-1)

This gelding has a ton of speed for trainer Peter Miller and has been training well at San Luis Rey Downs with a pair of bullet works. Jockey Victor Espinoza takes over and he is 21% with Miller. I look for Espinoza to go straight to the front and try to steal it.

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Race 9 – SA

#2 Vartan (4-1) 

Trainer Bill Spawr is 38% first off the claim like this gelding. Jockey Agapito Delgadillo is 26% with Spawr and will likely put this 4-year-old on the front end.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Jan. 23

Preview: Decent Saturday card and a Pick Six carryover of more than $300,000. They say there could be $1.2 million in new money, but with all the snow in the East, I’m thinking it will be more as bettors will only be able to play tracks in Florida, New Orleans and California. The Bob Baffert barn has gotten hot and is 6-ofr-31 on the dirt to lead all trainers on the main track. He is followed by Richrda Baltas (5-25), Bill Spawr (5-11) and Vladimir Cerin (4-9). Guys looking for their first dirt win are Gary Sherlock (0-12), Mike Pender (0-10) and Mike Machowsky (0-10).

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Race 2: #3 Where’s Bubba  (7-2)

As we stated Bill Spawr is one of the top dirt trainers this meet. Just draw a line through this gelding’s last race and the previous race puts right there with these. Spawr is 37% going from route to sprint.

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Race 5: #3 A Colt Following (7-2) 

We’re sticking with Bill Spawr in this one, too. This colt won at this level last time and Spawr is daring someone to claim him. Again the route to sprint angle (37%) comes into play.

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Race 9: #7 Sudden Sam (6-1) 

Breeder/owner Nick Alexander likes to win races, especially with homebreds. There are a lot of fast works o this 3-year-old but I guarantee trained Phil D’Amato (16% with firsters) has him fit. Tribal Rule is a 15% sire with firsters and this one gets Lasix, too.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Jan. 16

Preview: Kind of a weird card in that there’s a few maiden races and lots of first-time starters so without workout reports those are close to tosses. A good stakes race on tap, but kind of a letdown card for me.

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Race 6: #6 Vanlose Stairway (5-1) 

Trainer Bill Spawr is off to a good start at the meet with 5 wins in 11 starts. This mare has a couple wins over the course. She is taking a class drop and Spawr is 21% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff.

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Race 8: #11 Demonica (turf only) (8-1)

Trainer Peter Eurton’s horses have been running at the start of the meet with 13 in the money out of 18 starts. This mare has speed and is a threat to go wire-to-wire as Gary Stevens jumps on. Stevens is 2-for-5 with Eurton at Santa Anita.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, Dec. 27

Preview: Not a great card, but not a bad card either. Some nice 2-year-olds will go two turns and there is a graded stakes, too.

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Race 1: #1 The Custodian (5-2)

Seems to be coming into the race in good form. Has a good work over the track, comes out of a key race, has won over this track before and has the top Brisnet Class and Late Pace ratings. What more could you want?

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Race 2: #3 Belvoir Bay (turf only) (4-1) 

European import finished well back in the Flower Bowl at Belmont Park. Now she is shipped to the Peter Miller barn and gets Lasix. Miller is 21% with horses first time in his barn and good turf rider Flavien Prat is aboard.

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Race 5: #3 Red Button (12-1) 

Trainer Bill Spawr is 36% going from a route to a sprint and this gelding should be plenty fit in the stretch. Don’t take a short price in this race.

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Race 6: #7 Ferocious (5-1)

This 4-year-old has a 5-2-1-1 record over the Santa Anita surface. Trainer Vann Belvoir claimed him at Del Mar and he is 4-for-8 when he drops off a claim. The gelding also has the top Brisnet Prime and Class ratings.

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Race 9: #7 True Brillance (3-1)

This 2-year-old debuted in May with a second-place finish over a wet fast track. I don’t think it was the wet and think this son of Unusual Heat has talent. He has been training well for his return, Tyler Baze rides back and has the top Brisnet Prime and Class and Speed numbers.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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