Horse racing, Santa Anita

Jeff Nahill’s Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, May 16

Note: Boy, Bob Baffert had his runners ready to go on Friday, huh? Ouch.

FIRST RACE: 1. Sensuous, 2. Royal Aspirations, 3. Ultimate Mystery. LONG SHOT: Brickbat.

SECOND RACE: 1. Tinsel Town Queen, 2. Songofthedesert, 3. Time for Ebby. LONG SHOT: Donut Girl.

THIRD RACE: 1. Affianced (best bet), 2. Navetta, 3. Fierce for Sul. LONG SHOT: Scarlet Lips.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Law Abidin Citizen, 2. Justinian, 3. Multiplier. LONG SHOT: Route Six Six.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Kris’ Wild Kat, 2. Speakerofthehouse, 3. Worthy Turk. LONG SHOT: Taco Waco.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Bettor Trip Nick, 2. Big Sweep, 3. Club Aspen. LONG SHOT: Summer Fire.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Desert Oasis, 2. Dogtag, 3. Strike at Dawn. LONG SHOT: Out of Balance.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Been Studying Her, 2. Bella Vita, 3. Warren’s Showtime. LONG SHOT: Smiling Shirlee.

NINTH RACE: 1. Heywoods Beach, 2. Lemonade Stand, 3. Istanbul. LONG SHOT: Fire Polish.

10TH RACE: 1. Sorriso, 2. Handsome Cat, 3. War Maker. LONG SHOT: With Due Cause.

Good luck. Stay safe.

Friday’s Santa Anita results

Top choice winners: 1 (She’s So Special $8.40, first race)

Second choice winners: 1 (Civil Suit $6.80, seventh)

Third choice winners: x2(Ellie Arroway $10.40, fifth; Duploni $10.80, eighth)

Long shot winners: 1 (Ka’nah $14.40, ninth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Saturday, Nov. 16 (Updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Dubnation, 2. Two Fifty Coup, 3. Into a Hot Spot. LONG SHOT: Bully for Eric.
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SECOND RACE: 1. King Abner, 2. Curlin Rules, 3. Federal Case. LONG SHOT: Rocky Tough.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Young Hendrick, 2. Zippert Mischief, 3. Hit the Seam. LONG SHOT: Older Brother SCRATCHED, new pick: League of Shadows.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Spectator’s Dream, 2. Brazilian Summer, 3. Barrel Aged. LONG SHOT: Nil Phet.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Moonlight Drive, 2. Forever Juanito SCRATCHED new pick: French Getaway, 3. Tequila Joe. LONG SHOT: Magic Musketier.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. PAIGE ANNE (best bet), 2. Parkour, 3. Night On the Town. LONG SHOT: Map Maker.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Sedamar, 2. Out of Balance, 3. Kitty Boom Boom. LONG SHOT: Pretty Point.

Make sure to use HARMLESS in your exotics.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Rager, 2. High Velocity, 3. Strongconstitution. LONG SHOT: Zimba Warrior.
This will end up ebing a 4-horse graded stakes as trainer Bob Baffert has said he will scratch 7-5 morning-line favorite Thousand Words.
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NINTH RACE: 1. Fravel, 2. Bud Knight, 3. Abusive Gary. LONG SHOT: Brix.

Make sure to use ENDLESS TALE in your exotics.

Good luck.

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 2 (Aqua Seaform Shame $13.40, third race; Tigre Di Slugo $11.20, eighth)

Second choice winners: 3 (Confirmation $10.40, second; Eternal Endeavour $7.40, fourth; Doc Yco Cheeks $4, seventh)

Third choice winners: 2 (Of Good Report $9, first; Stackin Silver $17.20, sixth)

Long shot winners: 0

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Oct. 26 (Races 1-5)

Note: Had family emergency so didn’t get to handicap all of the races.

FIRST RACE: 1. Meistermind, 2. Platinum Equity, 3. Implicitly. LONG SHOT: For Him.

SECOND RACE: 1. Moana Luna, 2. Zorich, 3. Malibu Magic. LONG SHOT: Starship Chewy.

THIRD RACE: 1. M Is for Magic, 2. A G Indy, 3. Undisturbed. LONG SHOT: Christmas Diamond.

This maiden turf race is very wide open and contention runs deep. It wouldn’t surprise if a plus $20 horse won the race, but we’ll stick with M IS FOR MAGIC and jockey Flavien Prat. This filly was wide in her debut and she wants to run long. Prat is 20% with trainer Neil Drysdale. Nothing wrong with A G INDY’s turf debut and tough ride back. I left out 5-2 morning-line favorite CONVINCINGLY because I don’t like the post draw (No. 9) and the change to apprentice Velez.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Thunder Code, 2. Friar’s Road, 3. Dvine Armor. LONG SHOT: Ra’ad.

THUNDER CODE is the only horse to have run before in this maiden race and he come out of a race over the track where the third-place finisher came back to win so it could be a key race. Lots of high-priced babies in here and this could end up being a key race. I left out Bob Baffert’s 2-year-old million-dollar baby THOUSAND WORDS even though Prat is on. The dam is 0-for-2 with foals and I see sprinter on bottom side but just can’t take 2-1. I’m probably all wrong.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Canadian Game, 2. Blue Skye Jade, 3. Colosi. LONG SHOT: Big Sky Logan.

Good luck.

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Oct. 12

FIRST RACE: 1. Coilette, 2. Marrazano, 3. Square Peggy. LONG SHOT: Time for Kisses.

SECOND RACE: 1. Twirling Tiger, 2. Top of the Game, 3. Sunset Seven. LONG SHOT: Smokin B.

THIRD RACE: 1. Muskoka, 2. Fay Dan, 3. Go for a Ride. LONG SHOT: Camps Bay.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Miss Lady Ann, 2. Claudelle, 3. Jaccat. LONG SHOT: Diamond of Value.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Majestic Gigi, 2. Miss Kitness, 3. Roadrunner’s Honor. LONG SHOT: Crazy Speighty.

This is a tough maiden race and a win by almost any 2-year-old would surprise me. This might end up being a key race so keep track.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Overjoyed, 2. Gingham, 3. Matera, 4. Rare Find. LONG SHOT: Dolci.

Like the fifth race, this is a tough MSW race for 2-year-olds and they are fillies here going two turns. To me jockey Mike Smith and his agent hold the key to this race. Smith rode all three of the fillies in our top three, but he opts for OVERJOYED, trained by Neil Drysdale over GINGHAM (Bob Baffert) and MATERA (Dan Ward/Jerry Hollendorfer). OVERJOYED debuted on the turf the last day at Del Mar and took money at the windows. She broke poorly but came running in the stretch and has the best late pace rating from Brisnet. Baffert puts apprentice J.C. Diaz Jr. abaord GINGHAM from the rail so that means to me Baffert wants the filly sent out of there. MATERA cost $1.4 million at auction and will be trying two turns for the first time. She’s bed by Tapit so distance should be no problem. DOLCI gets hot-riding Abel Cedillo for the Mike McCarthy barn, which has to break out of its slump sooner or later. Finally, RARE FIND comes from the team of jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Richard Mandella. The filly may be ready to go in her debut.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Just Grazed Me, 2. S Y Sky, 3. Don’t Sell. LONG SHOT: Gypsy Blu.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Shear Class, 2. Unicorn, 3. Cover Version. LONG SHOT: Surreptitious.

NINTH RACE: 1. Moody Jim (best bet), 2. Wound Tight, 3. M Town Gem. LONG SHOT: North County Guy.

God luck.

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos opinions for Friday, Sept. 6

Note: Don’t expect big prices at this meet because of field size. Always look for the horse-for-course and the No. 1 post is death in sprint races at this track due to the configuration. I will be throwing the No. 1 post in almost all sprints. That doesn’t mean the horse can’t finish in the money but I’m going to try and avoid unless there is a change in the track profile.

FIRST RACE: 1. Awesome Alessandra, 2. Phoenix Tears, 3. Billy’sotasingle. LONG SHOT: Screen Gossip.
This is just a brutal 2-year-old filly maiden claiming race.

SECOND RACE: 1. Topaz Time, 2. Ipray, 3. Cee Sam’s Girl. LONG SHOT: Party Hostess.

THIRD RACE: 1. Nver Think Twice, 2. Heraclitus, 3. Mountain Vie. LONG SHOT: Vastly Deep.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Short of Ez, 2. Young Hendrick, 3. Clem Labine. LONG SHOT: Policy.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Mo Hawk, Moon Mischief, 3. Enemy Runner. LONG SHOT: Prince Magician.
This race is so perplexing because trainers like Bob Baffert and John Sadler both have two 2-year-old first-time starters in here. Why would you run here for $20,000 in purse money than run the final week at Del Mar. I don’t get it. MO HAWK is a $925,000 baby debuting here. MOON MISCHIEF is a homebred from owner Herry Moss. ENEMY RUNNER is from Hronis Racing. My only thought is the trainers didn’t think these juveniles were good enough to beat a maiden field at Del Mar. We’ll see.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Boy Howdy, 2. Love Your Life, 3. Tiz Love. LONG SHOT: Ps Bettin On You.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Spokane Eagle, 2. McKale, 3. Seven Scnts. LONG SHOT: Koa.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. An Ocala Ten (best bet), 2. Royal Seeker, 3. Sokudo. LONG SHOT: Kenny Benny.

Good luck.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, Aug. 21 (UPDATED)

Barns heating up

Trainers Richard Baltas and Phil D’Amato finally jump-started their meets during Pacific Classic week.
Baltas was 6 for 20, including four wins on the Pacific Classic card (two with John Velazquez), now trails Doug O’Neill, 20-17.
O’Neill seems to on an every other week binge as he went 1 for 11 the last five racing days which might mean he’s due for another warm streak this coming week.
D’Amato went 4 for 11 and is now tied for fourth in the standings (10 wins) with John Sadler, who went 3 for 6 and leads the meet in money won with more than $1.5 million.
Peter Miller is third in the standings with 13 wins after a 2 for 12 week.
Mark Glatt (8-2-2-3) and Bob Hess Jr. (5-2-2-1) also had big weeks.
Sadler and Miller are tied for the lead with eight wins each on the main track while Bob Baffert and O’Neill have seven each.
O’Neill still leads in grass victories with 10 despite an 0 for 7 week. Baltas has nine wins on turf and D’Amato has eight while leading in money won with nearly $820,000.

WEDNESDAY’S SELECTIONS

FIRST RACE: 1. Lakaya, 2. Nina En Fuego, 3. Warren’s Showtime. LONG SHOT: Sassyserb.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Beyond Pleasure, 2. Atina (SCRATCHED) new horse: Whirling, 3. Cimarron. LONG SHOT: Fracas.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Secret Square, 2. Mind Out, 3. Nu Pi Lambda. LONG SHOT: Beautiful Thunder.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Go For a Ride, 2. Caribbean, 3. Noble Pursuit. LONG SHOT: Mongolian Hero.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. VERY VERY STELLA (best bet), 2. Unusually Green, 3. Murad Khan. LONG SHOT: Terrys Tom Cat.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Isotherm, 2. Dr. Dorr, 3. Line Judge. LONG SHOT: Two Thirty Five.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. No Bang No Boom (SCRATCHED), 2. Oil Can Knight (SCRATCHED), 3. Prodigal Son. LONG SHOT: Hartel. New picks: 1. Prodigal Son, 2. Hartel, 3. Boa Nova. LONG SHOT: Order and Law.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Nucky, 2. Bamboozler, 3. Railsplitter. LONG SHOT: Prince Ricky.

Good luck.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 1 (Vintage Hollywood $4.80, third race)

Second choice winners: 3 (Stellar Sound $5, first; Todos Santos $5.80, second; Flagstaff $3.60, fourth)

Third choice winners: 1 (Midcourt $31, eighth)

Long shot winners: 3 (Twirling Tiger $9, fifth; It’s Fitting $37.60, sixth; She’s Our Charm $18, ninth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Tuesday, Aug. 13

Hot and cold
Mark Glatt led all Del Mar trainers last week with an 11-4-0-3 record and is now tied for fourth place in the standings with seven wins for the meet.
Doug O’Neill followed up his monster nine-victory week with a solid 16-3-4-2 mark and leads Peter Miller (11-1-3-4 for the week) by five wins for the meet, 16-11.
John Sadler followed up an 0 for 12 effort in Week 3 with a 10-2-2-0 mark in Week 4 and should be a trainer to watch this week. Sadler likes to win stakes races and there are plenty of those week, headed by the Pacific Classic on Saturday.
The Peter Eurton barn is starting to thaw from its icy start as he was 3-2-1-0 during the week.
Some barns are still struggling. Keith Desormeaux (1 for 22), Michael McCarthy (1-18), Steve Knapp (1-17), Tim McCanna (1-13), John Sherriffs (0-14), George Papaprodromous (0-17), Jim Cassidy (0-14) and Jack Carava (0-14) must be looked at as throw outs in handicapping until they show signs of life.
Miller and O’Neill lead the pack with six winners each on the main track followed by Sadler and Bob Baffert with five wins each. Neil Drysdale, who is known mainly for prowess on the turf, is 2 for 2 on the dirt.
It is pretty amazing O’Neill leads all trainers with 10 victories on the grass. from 42 starts. It wasn’t too many years ago that O’Neill went through a streak of 1 for 76 on the turf, but times have changed.
On the other end, Vladimir Cerin is 1 for 14 on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course while McCarthy if 0 for 17 with just two third place finishes and Patrick Gallagher is 0 for 12.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, July 31

NOTES: Adam Kitchingman is one of three trainers who are perfect (1 for 1) at the Del Mar meet so far. David Randall and Tim Yakteen are the others.
Week 2 proved to be big for Peter Miller, who took over the training lead even though he shipped a lot of horses East during the spring ills of Santa Anita. Miller had five wins out of 11 starters last week and now has eight winners for the 10-day-old meet.
Miller leads John Sadler and Richard Baltas by three wins.
Sadler was 3 for 7 for the week and all five of his victories have been in stakes events. Sadler’s barn has earned $684,291, which is tops by more than $275,000.
Baltas had a tough second week, going 2 for 16, and Doug O’Neill had a tougher week, winning just once in 19 starters. O’Neill did have two runner-up placings and six third-place finishers.
The Bob Baffert barn finally started to heat up with three wins, one second and two thirds from six starters.
Bob Hess Jr. also had three wins for the week, also from seven starters.
Jeff Mullins is quietly having a good meet. He had two wins and two seconds from five starters. He now has four wins overall and has been in the money 77 percent of the time.
At the other end of the spectrum, Michael McCarthy (0 for 15), Valdimir Cerin (0-12) and Jonathan Wong (0-11) are all looking for their first wins of the meet.
Phil D’Amato is 1 for 25 but at least that one win was in a stakes race. Keith Desormeaux (1-16) and Peter Eurton (1-12) are also struggling.

FIRST RACE: 1. Vangogo, 2. Bellazano, 3. Grey Lady. LONG SHOT: So Much Happy.
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SECOND RACE: 1. STREET CLASS (best bet), 2. C Falls, 3. Commanding Chief. LONG SHOT: Mica Bay.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Baby Gronk, 2. The White Shadow, 3. Call You Tomorrow. LONG SHOT: Big Barrel.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Smiling to Excess, 2. Twentyseventrouts, 3. Traffic Stopper. LONG SHOT: Bayonce.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Wind Tartare, 2. My Aunt Tillie, 3. Lady Phyllis. LONG SHOT: Convince.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Cholula Lips, 2. Bulletproof One, 3. None of Your Biz. LONG SHOT: Bella Renella.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Honos Man, 2. Chosen Vessel, 3. River God. LONG SHOT: Tequila Blanco.

Good luck.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 4 (Immediate Impact $2.80, first race; Wound Tight $5.80, second; Spokane Eagle $4.40, fourth; Desert Oasis $8.80, eighth)

Second choice winners: 0

Third choice winners: 1 (Reedley $4.60, fifth)

Long shot winners: 1 (Ollie’s Candy $10, seventh)

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Churchill Downs, Horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Tampa Bay Downs

Churchill Downs opinions for Saturday, May 4 (plus some Tampa Bay Downs)

Preview: Expect a wet track at some point today and a softer turf course. Rain is suppose to hit hardest around 1 p.m.

12TH RACE (Grade I Kentucky Derby: 1. Improbable, 2. Game Winner, 3. Roadster, 4. Vekoma. LONG SHOT: By My Standards.
If it’s Derby Day we must be in trainer Bob Baffert’s world and we’re just living in it. Baffert can pull off a race feat here by hitting the trifecta with all three of his entries. Improbable is my choice off his runner-up efforts to Omaha Beach, who had to scratch out of the race with a balky throat. All three of Baffert’s horses, including Game Winner and Roadster, are coming up to the race in fine form and a win by any of them wouldn’t surprise me.

Other Churchill Downs stakes

SIXTH RACE (Grade I Humana Distaff): 1. Talk Veuve to Me, 2. Marley’s Freedom, 3. Spiced Perfection, 4. Emboldened. LONG SHOT: Mia Mischief.

SEVENTH RACE )Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile): 1. Beau Recall, 2. Daddy Is a Legend, 3. Precieuse, 4. Valedictorian. LONG SHOT: Environs.

EIGHTH RACE (Grade I Churchill Downs): 1. Do Share, 2. Mitole, 3. Uncontested, 4. Whitmore. LONG SHOT: Warrior’s Club.

NINTH RACE (Grade II American Turf): 1. Marquee Prince, 2. Seismic Wave, 3. Digital Age, 4. Social Paranoia. LONG SHOT: Henley’s Joy.

10TH RACE (Grade III Pat Day Mile): 1. Instagrand, 2. Durkin’s Call, 3. Mr Money Bags, 4. Last Judgment. LONG SHOT: Dunph.

11TH RACE (Grade I Turf Classic): 1. Brick and Mortar (best bet), 2. Multiplier, 3. Ticonderoga, 4. Next Shares. LONG SHOT: Synchrony.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS
FOURTH RACE: 1. Sir Higgins, 2. Market Swings, 3. No choice. LONG SHOT: Trap Music.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Pure Luck, 2. Silver Shield, 3. Solid. LONG SHOT: Edelman’s Catch.
10TH RACE: 1. Sugar Cane Girl, 2. Crown of Joy, 3. Speeding Starlet. LONG SHOT: Patient Digna.
Good luck.
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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Wednesday, Dec. 26 (Opening day)

Preview: Remember jockey Joel Rosario is coming West to ride until the spring so look for him to get plenty of live mounts. Also, a lot of out-of-town jockeys are in Arcadia today for the stakes-filled card. These guys can ride and you will get some great prices on great jockeys. If you like one of them, bet them. I’m not sure how the turf course will play after rain on Tuesday night so make sure you check changes.

FIRST RACE: 1. Twentytwentyvision, 2. Orchestral, 3. Taelyns Prince. LONG SHOT: Comes the Dream.

SECOND RACE: 1. Naughty Sophie, 2. Chatty, 3. Come On Kat. LONG SHOT: Easter Dream.

THIRD RACE: 1. I Am the Danger, 2. According to Buddy, 3. Shane Zain. LONG SHOT: Lil Milo.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Ms Bad Behavior, 2. Amandine, 3. Love and Peace. LONG SHOT: X S Gold.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Jumpin Thru Hoops, 2. Scalper, 3. All Good. LONG SHOT: Mo Mississippi.

SIXTH RACE (Grade I La Brea): 1. Emboldened, 2. Dream Tree, 3. Happy Like a Fool. LONG SHOT: Hot Autumn.
DREAM TREE is the rightful 8-5 morning-line favorite and is the most likely winner of this race for trainer Bob Baffert, but I have to go with the “other Baffert.” EMBOLDENED has never been worse than third over this track and has been training well for her comeback. I’m a big believer that horses either like or hate 7-furlong races and both of these Bafferts have won in their only tries at this elongated sprint distance.

SEVENTH RACE (Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile) 1. Choo Choo, 2. River Boyne, 3. Sejo. LONG SHOT: Desert Stone.
Again RIVER BOYNE is the deserving 8-5 morning-line favorite and will be tough to beat as jockey Flavien Prat stays on the 3-year-old rather than ride my choice, CHOO CHOO. This son of English Channel just missed at Del Mar and Joel Rosario takes over. SEJO is an import from France and gets Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle for trainer John Sadler, who got shut out at Del Mar.

EIGHTH RACE (Grade II San Antonio): 1. Gift Box, 2. Battle of Midway, 3. Dabster. LONG SHOT: Tatter to Riches.
The older horses finally take to the track and the thought is that BATTLE OF MIDWAY will be singled in a lot of wagers. Not here. GIFT BOX has been purchased privately by Hronis Racing LLC for Sadler. The 5-year-old comes out of the Chad Brown barn and has a couple of great works over the track. He has never been worse than second in three tries at the distance and that man Rosario rides back. One to watch is TATTER TO RICHES for trainer Jeff Mullins. The 3-year-old will be facing older and Mullins puts blinkers on. Plus Gift Box is coming out of a key race that has produced two winners already.

NINTH RACE (Grade I Malibu): 1. Ax Man (best bet), 2. Seven Trumpets, 3. McKinzie. LONG SHOT: Copper Bullet.
The big race of the day and it drew a field of 16 (only 14 can run). Baffert has five 3-year-olds in this race and at least one (or more) will scratch. AX MAN has been seen since July, but has been gelded since that race. He has been training lights out and Baffert’s layoff stats are huge. SEVEN TRUMPETS ships in from the East Coast for trainer Dale Romans. Throw out that eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. He’s back with has own age group and finished second at this distance in the Jerkens at Saratoga.

10TH RACE: 1. Souter, 2. Avalance, 3. Cupid’s Claws. LONG SHOT: Trojan Spirit.

Good luck.

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