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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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Jan. 21

Preview: The rain is supposed to relent for a day, but I’m sure there will still be moisture in it today so tread lightly. The rain is due back on Sunday and they could only get enough horses for eight races. What happened to our drought? The first half of the card today isn’t very attractive.

Race 6 – SA
#7 Wonderful Lie (4-1) ****
Our Eyes: Won over a good track at Del Mar, so any wetness today should just be fine. Has some late kick and a 7-1-4-1 record over the track.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 7 – SA
#4 Battle of Midway (3-1) ****
Our Eyes: There are a pair if Bob Baffert horses in this maiden race, but I’m going with trainer Jerry Hollendorfer with this first-time starter by Smart Strike, a sire that hits at 14% first time out.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 8 – SA
#11 Twirling Tiger (12-1) ***
Our Eyes: This gelding is coming out of a key race that has produced two winners already. He should like a wet track and has good speed.
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 Monday, Dec. 26 (opening day)

Race 1: #9 Informant (8-1): This filly has never crossed the finish line first as she broke her maiden on a DQ, but she fits here. She is cutting back to one turn and trainer Eddie Truman is 32% third off the layoff.

Race 2: #2 Sawbuck (3-1) BEST BET: This maiden has been favored in his last two and might be here, too. Flavien Prat takes over and this 2-year-old has the second-best early pace rating and the best late rating by Brisnet.

Race 5: #9 Ruby Trust (6-1): There are plenty of top maidens from Bob Baffert and Jerry Hollendorfer in this race, but I’m going with a filly who finished third in a maiden race at Del Mar and that race has produced three next out winners.

Race 8: #8 Mor Spirit (6-1): This might be a prep for this 3-year-old by trainer Bob Baffert, but the fact of the matter he comes out of the Kentucky Derby and six horses have exited that race to win their next race. This ridgling has a 5-2-3-0 record on this track and 7 furlongs hits him right between the eyes.

Good Luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Sept. 3

Race 1: 1. Czarina, 2. Adorable, 3. Settle Down Eileen. LONG SHOT: Online Request.

Race 2: 1. #9 Big Energy (10-1), 2. Special Story, 3. Basinca. LONG SHOT: Seattle Boom.

This gelding broke his maiden on the front end and then fell apart against winners. Despite that trainer Terry Knight ships him down from Northern California. Knight is 25% with shippers and beaten favorites. Kent Desormeaux jumps on.

Race 3: 1. #3 Gunslinger (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Tribal Jewel, 3. Indygo Holiday. LONG SHOT: J Serino.

This gelding has won twice over this track by more than 30 lengths. Last time he started from the outside post and still got second.. He moves to the inside and trainer Bill Spawr still moves him up in class.

Race 4: 1. Matter of Luck, 2. Moonie, 3. Later My Love. LONG SHOT: Tuscany Beauty.

Raced 5: 1. Little Nati, 2. Jilly, 3. Viva Vegas. LONG SHOT: Glory and Power.

Race 6: 1. #7 Farley (10-1), 2. Farley, 2. Big Score, 3. Bowies Hero. LONG SHOT: Irish Goodbye.

This is the toughest race on the card, 2-year-olds going a mile on the turf. This colt showed huge improvement went put on the turf, just missing the win. Has tactical speed, which jockey Mario Gutierrez will have to use.

Race 7: 1. Mama’s Sugar, 2. Seaside Glory, 3. Yana. long shot: rOSA bRAVA.

Race 8: 1. Iwobi, 2. Kimbear, 3. Serve Me a Double. LONG SHOT: Spectacular One.

Race 9: 1. #7 Union Strike (15-1), 2. American Cleopatra, 3. Morganite. LONG SHOT: Miss Southern Miss.

This is the big one of the day: the Grade I Del Mar Debutante. Of course, Bob Baffert has a pair in here and it’s a tough field. This filly was 7-2 in her debut, favored over impressive winner American Cleopatra, but got off to a poor start, but she came running down the lane. She has talent. The question is does she need more seasoning but the price is right.

Race 10: 1. Tribal Fighter, 2. Rye, 3. It’s The Ice. LONG SHOT: Barhanpour.

Race 11: 1. Picture Tube, 2. Gavin Streetsense, 3. Bernardjfortunato. LONG SHOT: Little Mustard.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, Sept. 2 (3:30 p.m. first post)

Preview: Interesting that the featured Cal-bred stakes is moved out of the Pick 6 and run as race 2. I don’t see a big favorite so don’t know why. The trainers race could come down to the final day on Monday. Phil D’Amato started the week with 19 winners followed by Richard Baltas at 16 and Bob Baffert and Peter Miller with 15 each. You can bet all those barns will be firing over the final four days of the meet.

Race 1: 1. #8 Crown of Light (8-1), 2. Princess Tiznow, 3. She’s Got Style. LONG SHOT: Cyclone Betty.
Trainer Peter Eurton is 28% the second time puts a horse on the grass. The sire Popular gets 18% winners on grass and jockey Rafael Bejarano, who is 25% with Eurton, jumps on.

Race 2: 1. #1 Rinse and Repeat (6-1), 2. Elwood J, 3. California Diamond. LONG SHOT: Upstaging the Cast.
Trainer Doug O’Neill threw this 2-year-old to the big boys in the Best Pal stakes and finished fourth. He is now back with his friends in the Cal-bred ranks and look for him to be up on engine after a poor start in the last race.

Race 3: 1. Start a Runnin, 2. Trust Your Gut, 3. American League. LONG SHOT: Blanket of Ice.

Race 4: 1. Trump Diesel, 2. Blue Navy Blue, 3. Resistanceisfutile. LONG SHOT: Gotta Get Lucky.

Race 5: 1. Shysheisnot, 2. Lady’s Lunar Luck, 3. Midnight Candy. LONG SHOT: My Sweet Afleet.

Race 6: 1. Red Apple, 2. Start to Finish, 3. You’re the Reason. LONG SHOT: Lilac Street.

Race 7: 1. #9 Paquita Coqueta (5-1) BEST BET, 2.Long Hot Summer, 3. Pretty N Cool. LONG SHOT: Crowley’s Law.
Trainer Richard Mandella does well with imports as his 24% win rate with horses first time in North America would suggest. This mare from Chile won 8 of 10 at this sprint distance on the turf down there and she has been throwing bullets in the morning. Flavien Prat, who is 20% with Mandella, rides.

Race 8: 1. Vending Machine, 2. L.A. Tower, 3. Mt. Leinster. LONG SHOT: Two Thirty Five.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar late selections for Thursday, Aug. 25

Preview: Plenty of variety on this card so should be interesting. The trainer’s race is coming down to the usual suspects. Heading into the week Phil D’Amato led with 16 winners followed by Richard Baltas and Bob Baffert at 12 wins each and Peter Miller with 10. Disappointing meet for the Doug O’Neill barn so maybe that barn will get hot in the last two weeks.

Sorry late again.

Race 1: 1. Tryst, 2. Pearl de Vere, 3. Cuyathy. LONG SHOT: Spicy Blonde.

Race 2: 1. #4 Handsome Hank (5-2), 2. Unbridled Rocket, 3. Suavemente. LONG SHOT: Proud Zoning.
Trainer Art Sherman does claim many but he must have seen some here. Maybe it’s the 5-2-1-2 record at this distance or 2-1-0-1 record on the dirt. This colt is bred to run all day and has the best Brisnet Late Pace Rating.

Race 3: 1. Lil Miss Sapphire, 2. Woot Woot, 3. Goseecal. LONG SHOT: My Mel Mar.

Race 4: 1. #3 Patron (6-1) BEST BET, 2. Silent Movies, 3. What’s Up Gus. LONG SHOT: Magik Pepper.
This is strictly a breeding play as trainer Bob Baffert is 4% with first-time turfers. This colt was training good enough going into debut but that was on the dirt. This 3-year-old is bred to run on the turf (13% first time grass) and bred to run all day (7.5 average furlongs for sire and 9.4 for the broodmare sire). This colt is also coming out of a key race. Baffert is 32% with jockey Stewart Elliott. I’m all in.

Race 5: 1. Enduring Erin, 2. Mrs. Norris, 3. Dis Smart Cat. LONG SHOT: Stylish in Black.

Race 6: 1. #8 Vibe (6-1), 2. Plum Dandy, 3. Term of Act. LONG SHOT: Thirty Pepperonis.
Think this colt’s debut was just a training race as the Desormeaux brothers team up here on this son of Astrology. Trainer Keith Desormeaux is 17% with horses the first time they go a route of ground.

Race 7: 1. #5 Instant Drama (15-1), 2. Easy Grader, 3. Madame Mousse. LONG SHOT: Cover Song.
This filly tries turf for the first time as she returns from a short freshening. The sire Big Drama gets 10% winners first time turf. Trainer Gary Mandella is 2-for-8 in turf sprints and this 3-year-old has a couple of big works coming into the race.

Race 8: 1. Clude, 2. Big Discovery, 3. Motoring Around. LONG SHOT: Tough Emblem.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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