Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, May 20

Preview: More horses in the late Pick Four than early. The turf rails at 30 feet, which might favor speed. A few jockeys have gotten off to a slow start at the meet: Agapito Delgadillo is 0-for-15 followed by Stewart Elliott is 1-for-24 and Drayden Van Dyke is 1-for-16.

Race 1 – SA
#7 Western Warrior (4-1): The first year sire Iqbaal is 1-for-4 with debuting maidens and looking to make a name for himself. Trainer Blade Heap is 15% first-timers and 3 for his last 10 in the MSW ranks. He is the co-breeders on this colt and gets good gate jockey Martin Pedroza.

Race 3 – SA
#2 Trifecta (9-2) (turf only): This gelding has been running in longer races and cuts back to a mile so he should be plenty fit and maybe that’s why trainer Ron Ellis claimed him. The 4-year-old is 7-2-2-0 at this distance and Ellis is 23% first off the claim.

Race 5 – SA
#2 Yes Yes Yes (5-1)(turf only): Trainer Peter Eurton gets the gelding back down the hill where he is 3-1-0-2 and the 5-year-old has had a couple of good works coming into this race. Eurton is 26% with horses off a 61-180-day layoff and jockey Rafael Bejarano jumps on (28% with Eurton.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, August 7

FIRST RACE: 1. #6 TRUE RANGER (4-1) best bet, 2. Last One Standing, 3. Panther Creek. LONG SHOT: Keepin It Lucky.

This colt makes his SoCal debut after two races at Monmouth Park. Trainer Dan Hendricks is 46% with maiden claimers at Del Mar and the son of U S Ranger has speed, which is key at this level.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Light Striker, 2. Big Rosie Brown, 3. Del Mar Dixie. LONG SHOT: Natalie Paige.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Simplicityizgenius, 2. Vartan, 3. Rare Punch. LONG SHOT: Juansagain.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Urloveneverfails, 2. Sadie Clare, 3. Edwina E. LONG SHOT: Soul Fryer.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Volkonsky, 2. Hobbits Hero, 3. Blackford. LONG SHOT: Friendswith K Mill.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Daddy’s Duo, 2. Silver Mojave, 3. Sweet Mz. Poppet. LONG SHOT: Siena Grace.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Shrinking Violet, 2. Birdlover, 3. Home Journey. LONG SHOT: Amaranth.

Wesley Ward is the listed trainer, but she has been working under the eye of trainer Blake Heap. She finished sixth against the boys at Woodbine, but has beaten this kind on the West Coast before and has a win at Del Mar. She can sit off the pace an bounce with jockey Kent Desormeaux.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Bananappeal, 2. Mydancingshadow, 3. Show and Tell. LONG SHOT: Scat City.
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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Saturday, March 14

FIRST RACE: 1. Perfect Set, 2. Jackson Sundown, 3. Fonz. LONG SHOT: Fast Mast.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Satin Cinnamon, 2. Bert’s Baby, 3. Easter Lillian. LONG SHOT: Sparkling Peg.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Sudden Rumor, 2. Sir barclay, 3. Como Mi Padre. LONG SHOT: Jedi Mind Trick.

Trainer Brian Koriner has had a tough meet (0-for-14), but he claimed this gelding SUDDEN RUMOR (4-1) two back, moved it up in class and now drops still above claimed level. Koriner is 2-of-8 going turf to dirt and this 4-year-old finished second at this level three back.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Vocalist, 2. Grey Girl Gone, 3. Spy Girl. LONG SHOT: Council Rules.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Velvet Mesquite, 2. Demonica, 3. Go West Marie. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Gussie.

This mare VELVET MESQUITE (9-5) is one of our favorites as she has five wins down the hill on the turf course. She broke slowly last time and lost all chance, but jockey Mike Smith sticks around for trainer Blake Heap.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Kings Adventure, 2. Coolington, 3. Takem by Surprise. LONG SHOT: Sidepocket Champ.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Skylander, 2. Fighter Squadron, 3. Corinthian’s Song. LONG SHOT: Mobilized.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Cassatt (best bet), 2. Dame Dorothy, 3. Warrne’s Veneda. LONG SHOT: Tiz Midnight.

The older filly and mare division on the dirt isn’t much on the West Coast so trainer Larry Jones ships this 4-year-old CASSATT (3-1) for this Grade I event. There is no secret here: jockey Kerwin Clark will go to the front and take this daughter of Tapit as far as she can go.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Qui Bear, 2. Zip N Bayou, 3. Show Stealer. LONG SHOT: Madam Aamoura.

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Friday’s top choice winners: 1 (Underhill Drive $3.80, third race)

Friday’s second choice winners: 1 (Short Heat Wave $5.40, sixth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 0

Friday’s long shot winners: 2 (J and S Express $18, fourth; K Thirty Eight $12.20, eighth)

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Feb. 13

FIRST RACE: 1. Tiz Jolie, 2. Empowering Force. 3. Litigation Road. LONG SHOT: Afleet in Time.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Grammy Times Six, 2. Belle of the Fleet, 3. Warren’s Dixi Bell. LONG SHOT: Quay Factor.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Twinkle Toes, 2. Powerful Girl, 3. Zippinaroundtown. LONG SHOT: So Golden.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Rprettyboyfloyd, 2. Sammy Mandeville, 3. Thesheetsguy. LONG SHOT: Motown Men.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Temple Keys (best bet), 2. Jens de Ville, 3. McHeat. LONG SHOT: Upbeat Tempo.

We’ve always liked this colt, TEMPLE KEYS (4-1), all along and his sire, Temple City. The 3-year-old pressed the pace last time against open maiden and drops in with Cal-breds here. Also Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith takes the mount.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Global Stage, 2. Persuasive Paul, 3. Carlot Cowboy. LONG SHOT: Muchos Besos.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Skylander, 2. Guggenheim 3. Corinthian’s Song. LONG SHOT: Bernster.

This 5-year-old just missed in his debut down the hill and the winner came back to take another race. Mike Smith stays aboard for trainer Wesley Ward, who uses Blake Heap to stable all of his horses on the West Coast and Ward owns this gelding, too. SKYLANDER (3-1) was flattered on Thursday when Tosheen won the last race on Thursday making it a key race.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Ritzy Tags, 2. Oleanderpolarbear, 3. Back Street Cat. LONG SHOT: Big Wave Betty.

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Thursday’s top choice winners: 4 (Room for Me $5.20, first race; City State $7.60, third; Toomanytomatoes $9.40, fourth; Rocket Heat $5.20, sixth)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 3 (Holy Lute $3.80, second; Nicegirlsfnishlast $6.80, fifth; Wasted At Midnight $12.40, seventh)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 0

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita Park selections for Sunday, Jan. 4

FIRST RACE: 1. When We Met, 2. Quality Plan, 3. Hadfunlastnight. LONG SHOT: Oligarch.

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SECOND RACE: 1. War Destiny, 2. Logan’s Moon, 3. Uptown Rythem. LONG SHOT: Twentytwentyvision.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Miss Mandate, 2. Devil’s Beauty, 3. All Star Bub. LONG SHOT: Taparri.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Temple Keys, 2. Metaboss, 3. Air Nashoba. LONG SHOT: Stuffed Animal.

Temple City has proven to be a good sire with first-time grass horses and that’s what we have in this 3-year-old colt, TEMPLE KEYS (9-2), for trainer Tom Proctor and jockey Drayden Van Dyke.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Kill Shot, 2. Willie B Awesome, 3. He’s On His Toes. LONG SHOT: Misty’sviewthegold.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Doctor Glynis, 2. Faith Hope Love, 3. Mahalo Princess. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Gussie.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Rainbow North, 2. Cole Cole, 3. Ebony Gold. LONG SHOT: Unusual Lover.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Velvet Mesquite (best bet), 2. Shrinking Violet, 3. Wishing Gate. LONG SHOT: Sky Treasure.

VELVET MESQUITE (7-2), a 5-year-old mare, loves running down the hill at Santa Anita, where she is 5-for-6 on the course. The outside post is fine and jockey Mike Smith stays aboard for trainer Blake Heap.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Miz Graycee, 2. Honey Nugget, 3. Won’t Be Shaken. LONG SHOT: Lady Danger.

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Saturday, Oct. 11 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Carlot Cowboy, 2. Hurricane Lake, 3. Uncle Dick. LONG SHOT: Perfect Set.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Iancol (best bet) SCRATCHED), 2. Liberty First, 3. Desert Dynamo. LONG SHOT: Zendai. NEW PICKS: 1. Liberty First, 2. Desert Dynamo, 3. Zendai. LONG SHOT: Stand and Salute.

OUCH THIS HURTS BECAUSE THIS HORSE HAD BIG WORKS BUT WAS SCRATCHED THIS MORNING. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer wins 31% of the time with his first-time starters, who are prepared for the races at Fairplex Park before moving to the main stable. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith takes the mount on IANCOL (4-1) and he is 37% when riding for Hollendorfer at Santa Anita.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Top Drawer, 2. Stormin Wild, 3. Cloudy River. LONG SHOT: I’m Popeye.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Polytechnicien, 2. Compari, 3. Sizzlin’ Joe. LONG SHOT: American Act.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. He’s a Bling, 2. Alfa Bird, 3. Majestic Charlie. LONG SHOT: Simon Kenton.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Deraptor, 2. Luckbox Sam, 3. Volkonsky. LONG SHOT: Lucky J Lane.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Wild Caroline, 2. Spectacular Proof, 3. Denotation. LONG SHOT: Hidden Reality.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Conscience, 2. Toowindytoohaulrox, 3. Rusty Road. LONG SHOT: Image of Joplin.

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NINTH RACE: 1.  Velvet Mesquite, 2. Tribal Spy, 3. Heat Trap. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Veneda.

VELVET MESQUITE (9-2), a 4-year-old filly, is a beast down the hill with four wins in five tries. She tries stakes competition for the first time here, but most of her wins were in open company and she drops in with Cal-breds here. Mike Smith takes the mount for trainer Balke Heap.

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10TH RACE: 1. Forest Trees, 2. Lamist, 3. Holy Ascension. LONG SHOT: Council Bet.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 0

Thursday’s second choice winners: 2 (Afleet in Time $20.60, second race; Barrel Know $7.80, third

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Take Back Spring $13.80, first; Winning Rhythm $7.40)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

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Friday’s top choice winners: 1 (Silk in Silver $3.40, first race)

Friday’s second choice winners: 2 (Small Moves $10.80, sixth; Kulik Lodge $5, seventh)

Friday’s third choice winners: 0

Friday’s long shot winners: 0

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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 www.horseracesnow.com.
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Updated Santa Anita picks for Saturday, March 15

FIRST RACE: 1. Como Mi Padre (best bet), 2. Distillery, 3. Surfer Moon. LONG SHOT: Bertrane.

Trainer Blake Heap has hit on 3-of-5 when he puts a horse on the turf for the first time. COMO MI PADRE, a son of Borrego, got off to a slow start while finishing second to cheaper. Jockey Victor Espinoza know the colt well and is 2-for-7 with Heap.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Maximinus, 2. Morning Line Wiz, 3. Happy Idea. LONG SHOT: Johns Journey.

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THIRD RACE: 1. W. Giles, 2. Heaveneleven, 3. Bart the Barrister. LONG SHOT: Black Tie.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Tribal Spy, 2. Ciao Bella Luna, 3. Could Be Trouble. LONG SHOT: Oscillator.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Wonderful Union, 2. Brave Act, 3. Boss of Me. LONG SHOT: Hello Frankie.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Dynesque, 2. Bird In Love, 3. Star Act. LONG SHOT: Tizmiss.

Trainer John Shirreffs doesn’t usually put in a bunch of flashy drills for first-time starts and such is the case is here. This daughter of Dynaformer has been working nice and steady for her debut. She has the breeding to win first time out going long on the turf and we might get a hint of a price, too.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Let Faith Arise, 2. Iotapa, 3. Fiftyshadesofhay. LONG SHOT: Miss Serendipity (SCRATCHED) new long shot: Stanwyck.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Procurement, 2. Rookie Sensation, 3. Si Sage. LONG SHOT: Di Giorgio.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Whine for Wine, 2. K Thirty Eight, 3. Natural Stride (SCRACTHED), new 3. Next Book. LONG SHOT: Masochistic.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Sunday, July 28

 FIRST RACE: 1. Spy Girl, 2. Secret Compass, 3. Be Proud. LONG SHOT: Abide in Me.

Find the speed horse and you have the likely winner. SPY GIRL showed speed in her debut and draws the outside post. Edwin Maldonado must get her over to the golden rail.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Jets to Brazil, 2. Too Fast to Pass, 3. Laugh At Life. LONG SHOT: Humorous.

JETS TO BRAZIL gives the Polytrack a try after two turf races. Trainer Blake Heap might have him cranked up after a bullet work last week.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Coconut Cream Pie, 2. Tiz Zoe Cee, 3. Keldy. LONG SHOT: Rosies Rascal.

COCONUT CREAM PIE has two straight runner-up finishes and should be poised to score here under Joe Talamo.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Derringer, 2. Real Heat, 3. He’s Not Too Shabby. LONG SHOT: Anytime Magic.

DERRINGER drops into a claimer off an effort where he was bumped at the start. With a clean start Bejarano in the irons, this 3-year-old could be gone.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Only the Gold, 2. Trucial State, 3. Arraignment. LONG SHOT: Perfect Verve.

ONLY THE GOLD was misplaced last time in the Grade III Sunset Handicap. Victor Espinoza rides today and this gelding is the only one with a win at the distance. He won for $16,000 at Hollywood Park and now drops to the $10,000 level.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Gnarly Dude, 2. Ranulf, 3. Very Elusive. LONG SHOT: Germany Bay.

GNARLY DUDE moves up off the claim for trainer John Sadler. The 5-year-old gelding has won at Del Mar before and has two wins at the distance.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. BLINGISMYTHING (best bet), 2. Bonnie Lesley, 3. Smooth Talker. LONG SHOT: Pontchatrain.

BLINGISMYTHING was bumped while four wide last time and lost all chance a win. Bejarano takes over and this daughter of Arch should love the Del Mar grass.

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EIGHTH RACE (Bing Crosby Stakes): 1. Jimmy Creed, 2. Majestic City, 3. Comma to the Top. LONG SHOT: Points Offthebench.

Earlier in the year, JIMMY CREED was the top sprinter on the West Coast, but things went awry at Hollywood Park with an eighth-place finish in the Triple Bend. He has never been worse than second over the Polytrack and Bejarano jumps on for Richard Mandella.

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NINTH RACE: 1. One Magical Girl, 2. Full’s Figurehead, 3. Suances Flower. LONG SHOT: Unkept Rendez Vous.

ONE MAGICAL GIRL has speed and drops in class. What more could you want these days on the Polytrack?

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10th RACE: 1. Layton Register, 2. Apostle Paul, 3. Artic North. LONG SHOT: Horizontalyspeakin.

LAYTON REGISTER looks for the “Ship and WIN” money here off a trio of Churchill Downs races for trainer Phil Oliver, who already has a win at the meet. Not happy with jockey Corey Nakatani riding because he has had a bad week, but he can make up for it here.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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