Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, July 29 (4 p.m. first post)

Preview: The turf rails come back in to 12 feet today which will allow closers to have a better shot in the stretch. Yesterday we talked about jockeys who have done well so far during the meet on the grass. Here are a couple of jockeys who have been struggling on the green (stats through Tuesday): Tyler Baze (1-for-18), Santiago Gonzalez (1-15) and Stewart Elliott (0-9).

Race 1: 1. #4 Mrs. Guty (7-2) BEST BET, 2. Spindle, 3. Generous Pour. LONG SHOT: La Galy
This filly finished third as the 6-5 favorite in her debut. She showed a lot of speed that day and tired so should be fitter for this race. Trainer Michael McCarthy is 23% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff. The filly also takes a drop in class.

Race 2: 1. Cioppino Pasadino, 2. My California, 3. I’ll Be Around. LONG SHOT: Love a Honeybadger.

Race 3: 1. Katy Drama, 2. Sizzling Bel, 3. B K Miss. LONG SHOT: Chicago Angel.

Race 4: 1. #5 Ciao Bella Rosa (12-1), 2. Simmy’s Temple, 3. You Missed It. LONG SHOT: Gio’s Lady.
This filly cost $125K at auction and is sire by Kitten’s Joy, who gets 17% first out winners on the grass. This 2-year-old is prep to love the green and go a distance of ground. Trainer Peter Miller likes to win at Del Mar and at a price is even better.

Race 5: 1. Jonny’s Choice, 2. Minister Vivendi, 3. Nahem. LONG SHOT: Misdeed.

Race 6: 1. #5 Doubelievenmagic (7-2), 2. Out Ofthe Ordinary. LONG SHOT: Queen Scheherazade.
This filly finished second on the grass for trainer Todd Pletcher at Gulfstream Park 2 months ago and now ends up here to try and cash in on the “Ship N Win” program. Trainer David Hofmans is 35% going from sprint to route, 18% with first-time routers and 27% with jockey Joe Talamo at Del Mar.

Race 7: 1. Elwood J, 2. Caiifornia Clone, 3. Amodei. LONG SHOT: Midnight Reveler.

Race 8: 1. With a Twist, 2. Swiss Skimmer, 3. Intoxicaing Move. LONG SHOT: Lady’s Lunar Luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Jan. 9

Race 1: #7 Pageant Material (5-2)

Trainer Richard Baltas has been hitting on all cyclinders so far at the meet. This filly ran a big race over this track in October but ran into the highly regarded Bellamentry. She holds an early pace edge and class edge over these plus jockey Santiago Gonzalez rides.

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Race 6: #1 Rare Candy (6-1)

This newly turned 3-year-old finished fourth over this track in his only dirt race. He finished fourth to undefeated Nyquist that day and now adds blinkers as trainer David Hofmans searches for the right formula. Jockey Joe Talamo stays aboard.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Saturday, Sept. 26

Sorry, sort of took Los Alamitos off from blogging. Made some picks on HorsePlayerNow and did OK, but nothing to write home about. Beside, at work, we are learning a new computer system and my schedule is a little wacky (working a lot of days) and we have another week of that.

But Santa Anita is back and here are a few thoughts on Saturday’s card.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Aeon, 2. Redneck Crazy, 3. Sorcerer’s Wildcat. LONG SHOT: Little Mustard.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Adeline Moon, 2. C.C. Zipp, 3. Sudden Fame. LONG SHOT: Mrs. Norris.

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THIRD RACE: 1. #6 Elementar (12-1), 2. Curlin’s Fox, 3. Desert Steel. LONG SHOT: Singing Kitty.

This filly is returning in a tough spot, but she has won down the hill before. Now, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens takes over for trainer Richard Mandella and they are a 33% proposition at Santa Anita. The 3-year-old is also coming out of a key race.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Venture Capitalist, 2. Kenjisstorm, 3. Lambo Luxx. LONG SHOT: Relative Time.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. #6 Rare Candy (12-1), 2. Nyquist, 3. Swipe. LONG SHOT: On Fire.

After three straight runs on the grass, including a win, trainer David Hofmans has decided it’s time to find out if this son of Twirling Candy can run on the dirt. There are two big works on the dirt and the distance should be no problem. It’s a matter if he has the class.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Mal Verde, 2. Smack Talk, 3. Labour. LONG SHOT: Kill Shot.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1.beholder, 2. Warren’s Veneda, 3. Wild in the Saddle. LONG SHOT: My Monet.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Songbird, 2. Jade Princess, 3. Pretty N Cool. LONG SHOT: Vieja Luna.

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NINTH RACE: 1. #8 Hard Not to Like (3-1) BEST BET, 2. Photo Call, 3. Lady Pimperna;. LONG SHOT: Sharla Rae.

Trainer Christophe Clement shipped west in May to take a Grade I with this mare and he’s trying it again, with the same jockey, Victor Espinoza. This 6-year-old has a wicked urn of foot in the stretch and while she hasn’t gone this far before that should be no problem.

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10TH RACE: 1. #2 Sammy Mandeville (10-1), 2. Hoppertunity, 3. Bayern. LONG SHOT: Point Piper.

This 4-year-old has had one problem this year: Catch a Flight. Well, that Richard Mandella horse isn’t running in this race so let’s give this 4-year-old a shot with leading rider Rafael Bejarano aboard. The son of Rock Hard Ten finished second in the Longacres Mile and that race has produced three next out winners.

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11TH RACE: 1. Coach Q, 2. Canada, 3. Osceola Pond. LONG SHOT: Strong Values.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos RC opinions for Friday, Sept. 19

Race 2: #10 Z Z Thunder (6-1)

This 3-year-old makes his second start off the layoff and first start in the maiden claiming ranks. If you look at whom he faced in his first two career races (Chitu, The Admiral and Bayern) then he would seem to hold a real class edge on the drop. He pressed the pace in his last before tiring and should be in better shape for trainer David Hofmans and Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis.

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Race 6: #10 Stood Up (7-2)

Trainer Art Sherman will be busy with some horse named California Chrome in Philadelphia, but the barn has this runner ready for her debut. The filly is owned by Ed Allred, who just happens to own Los Alamitos. You don’t think the “house” horse was pointed for this spot on purpose?.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Hofmans scratches horses due to condition of Del Mar turf

Trainer David Hofmans scratched two horses off Wednesday’s program due to the condition of the turf at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Following four thoroughbred euthanizations on Del Mar’s new grass course over the first first eight days of racing, Del Mar’s Joe Harper cancelled turf racing on Sunday to give employees an extra day to work on the surface.

Turf superintendent Leif Dickinson and his crew have been watering and aerating the surface that was planted this spring. The track also planned to move the rails out to an 18-foot setting for Wednesday’s program so that horses would run over relatively fresher ground.

Track officials were on the surface on Tuesday morning before giving the final go ahead to resume racing on it, but Hofmans was taking no chances.

Hofmans scratched 4-year-old gelding They Call Me Mr. P, owned by Karen and Mickey Taylor of Seattle Slew fame, from the third race and 2-year-old Popsracer from the sixth race.

When asked why he scratched, Hofmans was to the point.

“I want to see wait and see what they do (to the turf),” Hofmans said. “I know they are trying to soften it, but I want to wait and see. I would have preferred if they had waited a few more days (to resume grass racing). I think that would have been better.”

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Saturday, April 5

FIRST RACE: 1. Yard Line, 2. Vegas Strip, 3. Reno Rebel. LONG SHOT: Guggenheim.

I couldn’t talk anyone off any horse in this maiden race, which could turn into a key race down the line. If this Pick 5 doesn’t pay big bucks, I’ll be stunned.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Pulpit’s Express, 2. Volkonsky, 3. Storm Fighter. LONG SHOT: Poshsky.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Whine for Wine, 2. Life Is a Joy, 3. Gangnam Guy. LONG SHOT: Alert Bay.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Sammy Mandeville, 2. Act, 3. Green Tag. LONG SHOT: Designated.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Ria Antonia, 2. Fashion Plate, 3. Arethusa. LONG SHOT: Bajan.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Chati’s On Top, 2. Norastone, 3. Princess Genevieve. LONG SHOT: Cause Ur My Babe.

This daughter of Old Topper, CHATI’S ON TOP, runs in Southern California for the first time off a Golden Gate maiden win. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith takes over as Mike Puype takes over the training. The tow are a 40% proposition the last two years at Santa Anita.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Diversy Harbor, 2. Nashoba’s Gold, 3. Savings Account. LONG SHOT: Tiz Kissable.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Schoolofhardrocks, 2. Candy Boy, 3. California Chrome. LONG SHOT: Hoppertunity.

SCHOOLOFHARDROCKS, a son of Rock Hard Ten, was the “wise guy” horse before the Grade II San Felipe with a series of big works off a long layoff. He ran OK but was no match for California Chrome, who is also running here. Again this David Hofmans trainee has been training well coming into the race and must finish first or second to have any chance at running in the Kentucky Derby. Likewise, CANDY BOY has to finish first or second to get to the Derby while CALIFORNIA CHROME and HOPPERTUNITY already have enough point to get to Kentucky.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Advisory, 2. Tommy O, 3. Brave Act. LONG SHOT: Sir Macho.

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10TH RACE: 1. Toledo Eddie (best bet), 2. Too Fast to Pass, 3. Seeking the Sherif. LONG SHOT: Explain.

TOLEDO EDDIE, a 5-year-old gelding, is a perfect 3-for-3 on the Santa Anita Derby. The son of Ministers Wild Cat has seven lifetime wins while many in this race have just one or two. He’s moving into open company but has been working well for trainer Craig Dollase.

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11TH RACE: 1. Indygo F M A, 2. Kerrilynn, 3. Joeandbetty’sbaby. LONG SHOT: I’m Tops.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Water Issues $15.80, fourth race; Fit to Rule $4.60, fifth)

Friday’s second choice winners: 2 (Tiz the Key $5.60, first; Theatre Star #5.60, sixth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 2 (Chicsdigtheshark $12.20, third; My Sweet Addiction $7.40, seventh)

Friday’s long shot winners: 0

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Saturday, March 22

FIRST RACE: 1. Peacenik, 2. Muchos Besos, 3. Senator Bob. LONG SHOT: Gnarly Dude.

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SECOND RACE: 1. La Sorella, 2. Miss Super Quick, 3. Sweet as a Rose. LONG SHOT: Shapely.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Wistfullee Mine, 2. We Have Lift Off, 3. Street Maven. LONG SHOT: Roman Tizzy.

WISTFULLEE MINE, a 4-year-old gelding, was bred to run all day, yet in his eighth career start this is the longest he has run. He ran against winners last time for some reason and now returns to the maiden claiming ranks. Veteran jockey Iggy Puglisi has seven wins at the meet from limited starters and knows what to do.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Temeraine, 2. Vagabond Shoes, 3. Lucayan. LONG SHOT: Niagara Falls.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Louden’s Gray (best bet), 2. Midnight Storm, 3. Twenty Percent. LONG SHOT: Gameboy Luke.

OK, we’re bucking a couple of bad trends here, but we feel something is up with LOUDEN’S GRAY. Trainer Kristin Mulhall is 0-for-36 at the meet and just 1-for-17 with first-time starters the last two years, yet she is able to attract jockey Martin Garcia, even though trainer Bob Baffert has a horse in the race. This son of Street Sense has two big works showing and might be ready to roll.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Mega Heat, 2. Stoney Fleece, 3. Hog’s Hollow. LONG SHOT: El Commodore.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Twin Six, 2. Londinium, 3. Anabaa Premium. LONG SHOT: Joe Carl.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Home Run Kitten, 2. Diamond Bachelor, 3. Enterprising. LONG SHOT: Quotient.

This son of Kitten’s Joy, HOME RUN KITTEN, is bred to run all day on the grass, but this is the first time he’s being allowed to do that. Trainer David Hofmans tried him on the dirt, finishing fifth in the Robert B. Lewis to Candy Boy, hardly a disgrace. Jockey Joe Talamo keeps the mount and we always like “Talamo on the turf.”

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NINTH RACE: 1. Teasing Moment, 2. Corinthian Melody, 3. Brnadon’s Princess. LONG SHOT: It’s Aine.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 4 (Clearly Confused $5.80, second race; Bettys Bambino $4, fifth; Road Ready $6, sixth; Charbroiled $3.60, eighth)

Friday’s second choice winners: 3 (Magic Spot $5.80, first; Provenance $8.40, third; Mambo Man $7.20, seventh)

Friday’s third choice and long shot winners: 0

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