Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Sept. 30

RACE 1: #6 Treasure Hunter(15-1)
This is a son of Treasure Beach (Gaileo) and he has gotten 29% winners first time on the turf. Lots of good prices in this race but we settled on this one. Inscom (4-1) and Pubilius Syrus (5-2) will be tough and a real weirdo is Channel Crossing.

RACE 3: #4 El Asesino (20-1)
Trainer Mick Ruis had three winners on opening day Friday so his horses are ready to run. This is a son of Majestic Warrior, who gets 12% first-time winners. Ruis is 31% with first time starters. Worth a shot. Favored Instilled Regard (5-2) will be tough to beat. Also give first-timers Peace (6-1), Mourinho n(9-2) and Secular Nation (12-1) a look.

RACE 6: #9 Ritzy A. P. (9-2)
As much as I like apprentice Evin Roman, he hasn’t learned how to ride the turf course, especially route races. Therefore, I’m looking for big jock switches like Friday when Joe Talamo won with Roman off at 11-1. Here we get leading turf jockey Flavien Prat and we’ll take the price.

10TH RACE: #6 Mubtaahij (4-1)
First off, trainer Art Sherman announced he will scratch Dortmund from this race. As is the case in many stakes in Southern California, it’s trainer Bob Baffert’s world and we’re just living in it. The profitable way to live in it is to take “the other Baffert” whenever the trainer starts two horses in the same race. More often than not, the longer priced-horse is live. Such is the case here. The Baffert-trained Cupid is the 2-1 morning-line favorite and rightly so, but Mubtaahij is making his first start in the Baffert barn and he has been training up a storm. In his last race, he finished fourth to Arrogate, Gun Runner and Neolithic. You might have heard of those horses as that was the $10 million Dubai World Cup. Beside a straight bet on Mubtaahij, an exacta box with Cupid might be the way to go.

RACE 11: #11 Miss Southern Miss (5-1)
This filly has a win over this turf course but this is the first time going down the hill. This 3-i-old finished fourth in the Las Virgenes this spring. Those finishing ahead of her were Unique Bella, Mopotism and Champagne Room. Heard of them? They all came back to win their next races. Kent Desormeaux rides for brother Keith Desormeaux.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Saturday, Aug. 19 (Pacific Classic Day)

FIRST RACE: 1. Inhibition, 2. The Real McCann, 3. Bucky Goldstein. LONG SHOT: Hoppitty.

SECOND RACE: 1. Lord Simba, 2. American Pastime, 3. Taman Guard. LONG SHOT: Coastline.
Trainer Bob Baffert loves to win other races on big days at the track and this son of Discreet Cat has been away since May, when he finished third in the Kona Gold at Santa Anita. I look for a big effort here.

FIFTH RACE: 1. AUSSIE FOX (best bet), 2. Saltini, 3. Lucky Soul. LONG SHOT: Icy Street.
This looks like a wide open race to me, but I love Aussie Fox. The colt just missed last time when he started from the No. 11 post. Today, he gets to start from the inside so look for jockey Rafael Bejarano to gun from the gate. I don’t know if Saltini will be ready off the bench for Richard Mandella, but look who he lost to in his last race … Arrogate. Hmmmm.

EIGHTH RACE ($1 million Pacific Classic): 1. Collected, 2. Accelerate, 3. Arrogate. LONG SHOT: Hard Aces.
I believe Baffert when he says Arrogate is ready to go, but I didn’t like the workout this week with Arrogate looking all over the place when he hit the stretch. I’m sticking with the “other” Baffert play. Collected destroyed Accelerate the last time they met. Some times horses just have another horse’s number like Accelerate already beating Arrogate twice. I hope Arrogate is back to his old self. This sport needs superstars. I’m just not 100 percent convinced. Maybe I will be at 5:46 p.m. today.

For the rest of my selections, go to:
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/sd-sp-delmar-selections-handicap-nahill-20170818-story.html

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Sunday, Aug. 6

PREVIEW: The La Jolla Handicap for 3-year-old on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course is the feature today. Only Pioneer Lad and Caribou Club are returning from the opening day Oceanside Stakes so this should prove to be interesting.

FIRST RACE: 1. Old Man Lake, 2. Freddies Dream, 3. Que Chistoso. LONG SHOT: Plain Wrap.

SECOND RACE: 1. Zuzanna, 2. Simmy’s Temple, 3. Tink’s Twirl. LONG SHOW: Glorious Venezuela.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Continental Divide, 2. Smokem, 3. Schulace. LONG SHOT: Sir Valentine.

Trainer Jim Cassidy isn’t known for his work with 2-year-olds (0-for-24), but he might have a good Cal-bred in today’s fifth race, the Graduation Stakes. Continental Divide (8-1 on the morning-line) finished second in his debut opening week here and figures to only improve. You might have heard of his daddy, 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. 

For the rest of my selections go to:
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/sd-sp-delmar-handicap-sunday-aug-6-story.html

Good Luck

@Jeff_Nahill on the Twitter.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Saturday, July 29

Preview: Favorites continue to take it on the chin eight days into the meet, but you know at some time the ride will turn, especially at Del Mar. Last Saturday, there was a rally wide bias after the racing from Friday night so watch the first race carefully.

FIRST RACE: 1. Jungle Warfare, 2. Ayacara, 3. Tatters to Riches. LONG SHOT: Blended Citizen.
Tatters to Riches is a $1 million baby trained by Jeff Mullins. The son Union Rags had been training lights out, but anything can happened the first time. Mullins is also just one for his last 15 with first-time starters. Jungle Warfare costs $300,000 and finished third in his debut. He has been working well and improvement should come today with apprentice Evil Roman in the irons.

SECOND RACE: 1. Mama’s Sugar, 2. Tiz Delightful, 3. Fabulous Lady. LONG SHOT: Zanab.

THIRD RACE: 1. G.G. Ryder, 2. He Will, 3. Incredible Luck. LONG SHOT: My Italian Babbo.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer would see to hold all the cards in this Cal-bred stakes with the top two horses. Can you say exacta box?

For the reminder of my picks go to:
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/sd-sp-jeff-nahills-delmar-selections-saturday-july-29-story.html

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Saturday, July 22

Preview: The great Arrogate will run in today’s San Diego Handicap and that’s worth the price of admission right there. Jockey Rafael Bejarano seems to be on an every other day binge right now as he had four winners on opening day and two of the first five races on Friday’s card.

FIRST RACE: 1. #5 True Ranger, 2. #8 Looks Good N a Tux, 3. #1 Golden Atlantic. LONG SHOT: #4 Where’s Bubba.
True Ranger has never been off the board in three tries on the Del Mar main track with a 3-1-1-1 record. Jockey Jamie Theriot is 27% with trainer Ryan Hanson, who is 25% in dirt races.

SECOND RACE: 1. #4 Alley Boss, 2. #6 Cherubim, 3. #3 Pray Hard. LONG SHOT: #1 Kaabraaj.
Alley Boss comes out of a key race that has produced two winners from five starts. This colt has been throwing bullets in morning works at San Luis Rey Downs and seems to be ready for an upset.

NINTH RACE (San Diego Handicap): 1. #3 Arrogate, 2. #5 Cat Burglar, 3. #4 Donworth. LONG SHOT: El Huerfano.
Did you really expect me to pick against the big horse? I think trainer Bob Baffert will run 1-2 here. This is just a work out for Arrogate and he should be able to toy with this field.

For the rest of my selections go to:
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/sd-sp-nahills-del-mar-picks-for-july-22-story.html

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, June 3

Preview: Want to know what a joke racing in Southern California has become? Just take one look at today’s Grade I $400,000 Beholder Mile. A total of five fillies and mares were entered, but only three will run (Vale Dori, Stellar Wind and Finest City). Trainers Bob Baffert (Faithfully) and Art Sherman (Show Stealer) scratched on Friday. A Grade I and there is just three horses. What a sad state of affairs. I really don’t understand Baffert scratching Faithfully. Yes, Baffert has Vale Dori in the race, but he could have used the race as a workout for Faithfully. She would have earned $24,000 for finishing fourth and gotten black type in her pedigree. Horses received black type if they finish in the top four of a stakes. Instead, Baffert scratched. Guess he didn’t need the $2,400 for his time or his clients didn’t need $19,000.

Race 1 – SA
#1 Squared Squared (4-1) ****
Trainer John Sadler is starting to come around and I think this gelding might just take to the turf.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show. EX 5-6 with 1.

Race 3 – SA
#4 Mr. Twinery (9-5) *****
This looks like a single to me in the Pick 5. He is dropping from a MSW to a maiden claimer for the first time. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is 22% in the second career start of a horse and he’s 26% with apprentice Evin Roman.
Jeff’s Playbook: 5 units to win, 10 units to place and 15 units to show.

Race 7 – SA
#4 Farhaan (12-1) TURF ONLY ***
This 8-year-old scored a nice win in the Thunder Road and trainer Phil D’Amato sees fit to come back in this Grade I. Flavien Prat keeps the mount and there is a good work last time out showing.
Jeff’s Playbook: 3 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 4

Preview: Some rain on Friday, but only one race was taken off the turf which is a good sign for today’s card. At the start of the race week, Jerry Hollendorfer, Peter Miller and Richard Baltas led the way on the dirt with eight wins each. Doug O’Neill was right behind with seven winners. On the other end, Steven Knapp was 0-for-10 followed by Mike Harrington (1-18) and Sal Gonzalez (1-14), all of whom were having trouble winning races.

Race 4: #9 Amer Sista (6-1): Took money in her debut, but was off slow and then in right. Trainer Phil D’Amato puts blinkers on (22% move) and top turf rider Flavien Prat stays on and he’s 24% with D’Amato.

Race 6: #8 Fabozzi (6-1): This gelding is 3-2-0-1 at the distance. The 4-year-old is moving up in class but trainer Mark Glatt is 30% with horses that won their last race and that man Prat rides again on the turf. Prat is 27% with Glatt.

Race 8: #5 Mor Spirit (3-1): Pure and simple that try in the Malibu was a prep for this race by trainer Bob Baffert. This 4-year-old tries older horses for the first time, but Baffert is 27% going sprint to route and jockey Mike Smith stays aboard.

Race 9: #8 Perfectly Majestic (10-1): This gelding has beaten some of these before and has a record of 18-4-5-6 on the grass. Kent Desormeaux gets back on and he has had success with this 5-year-old in the past.

Good luck

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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