Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, May 14

Race 3: #6 Faith Pacer (3-1)

Trainer Jeff Bonde is 24% with first-time starters in MSW races and the sire Lucky Pulpit is 12% first time out while the dam’s sire (Meadowlake) is 18% with first-timers. This 2-year-old filly showed her readiness with a good work on April 29.

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Race 6: #7 Henry’s Holiday (5-1)

When last seen, this 3-year-old was finishing fifth to American Pharoah in the Del Mar Futurity. That’s all you need to know about his class. He tries turf for the first time (sire is 13%) and he won his career debut last year so he can come out running after the layoff. Trainer Doug O’Neill is 30% from 20 starters with first-time geldings.

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Race 8: #7 Archie Bunker (8-1)

Trainer Paddy Gallagher is 31% with first-time horses in a maiden claimer. This son of Arch (13% turf sire) gets a jockey change to the red-hot Flavian Prat.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Wednesday, Sept. 3 (closing day)

FIRST RACE: 1. Lethal Story, 2. Susan B Good, 3. Three Blondes. LONG SHOT: Flowinwiththebreez.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Sheeking the Sherif, 2. No Silent, 3. Heir of Storm. LONG SHOT: Bull Dozer.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Fighter Squadron, 2. Tiznow Or Then, 3. Welcome Home Ryan. LONG SHOT: Friendly Banter.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Reneesgotzip, 2. Llandudno, 3. Clearly Confused. LONG SHOT: Kinz Funky Monkey.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Zip Cat, 2. World Famous Sam T, 3. Sunrise Legacy. LONG SHOT: Qatar’s Pearl.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Daddy D T (best bet), 2. Papacoolpapacool, 3. Dallas Skyline. LONG SHOT: Highway Boss.

Trainer John Sadler gets jockey Corey Nakatani to ride DADDY D T (8-1), a son of Scat Daddy, in his first try on the grass. Offspring of Scat Daddy do well on the grass and going two turns. On top of that Sadler and Nakatani are a 46% combination the last two years at Del Mar.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Cougar Country, 2. All Indians, 3. Fame and Power. LONG SHOT: Smuggler Union.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Holiday Camp, 2. Skyway, 3. Henry’s Holiday. LONG SHOT: Iron Fist.

Trainer Bob Baffert owns the Del Mar Futurity and we’re going with HOLIDAY CAMP (9-2), a son of Street Boss, who cost $700,000 at auction. This colt comes out of a loss to the undefeated Wake Up Nick. He has been working steadily during the meet and has a bullet in his last effort. He also comes out of a key race.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Aguacita, 2. Stormy Adieu, 3. Flat Footed Mama. LONG SHOT: Definitely Not.

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10TH RACE: 1. Love In The Desert, 2. Pillow, 3. Vanlose Stairway. LONG SHOT: Taste Like Candy.

 @Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Monday’s top choice winners: 4 (Faith Hope Love $3.80, first race; Wanstead Gardens $9.80, third; Wake Up Nick $2.80, fourth; She’s Complete $5.20, sixth

Monday’s second choice winners: 3 (Tiz Midnight $6, fifth; Sweet Sunshine $7.60, eighth; Mischief Clem $5.20, 10th)

Monday’s third choice winners: 0

Monday’s long shot winners: 0

 

 

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Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Big changes coming to Del Mar

With the evolution of the Southern California racing calendar due to the loss of Hollywood Park, there will be big changes at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, it was announced today.

Change No. 1, will be a Thursday opening day this season (July 17) due to a late closing of the fair and the change in surface from Los Alamitos’ dirt to Del Mar’s Polytrack. The extra day will give horses another day of training over the synthetic surface. In the past, many fatalities have occurred when the circuit moved from Hollywood Park to Del Mar so track officials are trying to avoid that.

This will be the first time since 1999 the track has opened its summer season on a Thursday. The previous times were 1969 and 1956.

This year’s meet will end on Sept. 3, a Wednesday, but it will likely be the last Wednesday closing in the history of the track.

Del Mar announced its 2015 summer dates will be Wednesday, July 15, to Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day). The track gains an extra week of racing (41 days instead of 37 due to the calendar).

According to sources, the Labor Day closing will likely remain the norm, instead of having a dark day (Tuesday) and then closing with the traditional closing day on Wednesday, including the Grade I Del Mar Futurity for 2-year-olds.

Here’s hoping executive vice president/racing Tom Robbins makes the Futurity the last race on the card. Robbins has talked in the past about running stakes at the end of the program but has been overruled by the operations department. Maybe a new tradition can be started.

Some details on Del Mar’s new fall meet were released.

While first post in the summer will remain 2 p.m., except on Fridays (4 p.m.), in the fall the first race will be at noon, except on Thanksgiving (11 a.m.).

Del Mar’s first fall meet will be Nov. 7 to Nov. 30. The meet will be 15 days long with a Friday opening and traditional Sunday closing. Del Mar will race Thursday-Sunday the other weeks of its meet.

“Our fall race meeting starting this year will be totally separate from our summer session,” said Del Mar president and CEO Joe Harper in a press release. “They will be two different animals. We know our summer meet is a winner; we’ve proven it over and over again. And we expect our autumn run can be special, too, in its own way. With the backing of our horsemen and all our many racing fans in the San Diego area, we think we can put on a first-rate show here in the fall and help to keep racing in Southern California strong and successful.”

In 2015, Del Mar gains an extra week in the fall, opening on Oct. 28 in hopes of gaining the Breeders’ Cup although the chances of that happening are highly unlikely at this point. Churchill Downs seems to be the frontrunner in 2015 after Santa Anita has hosted the event several years in a row. Del Mar’s best chance might be in 2016.

Breeders’ Cup officials have been told Del Mar would have to run any 1¼ mile races on its new turf course would need to be contested at 1 3/8 mile due to the configuration. According to sources, BC officials don’t have a problem with that.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing

Santa Anita picks for Friday, Sept. 27

FIRST RACE: 1. Arethusa, 2. Be Proud, 3. Georgia. LONG SHOT: Loan Savant.

The Bob Baffert-trained trio of BE PROUD, GEORGIA and LADY BUGATTI will be tough to beat in the opener of the Santa Anita fall season, but ARETHUSA, a 2-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy, is an interesting long shot. Jockey Garrett Gomez jumps off a Peter Miller horse (AMY JANE) to ride this one for trainer Eoin Harty. She hopped in the air at the start and just ran around the track. She is bred to run this far and should show big improvement.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Eleven Zip, 2. Oh Daddy Oh, 3. Infosec. LONG SHOT: Code of Pleasure.

ELEVEN ZIP gave an even effort in career debut at Del Mar. He drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and might be ready to go. Note: Eleven Zip lost to Tamarando in that first race and all Tamarando did was go on to win the Grade I Del Mar Futurity on closing day.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Chicsdigtheshark (best bet), 2. Truelee Scrappin, 3. Dress Code. LONG SHOT:  Coo Cachoo.

CHICSDIGTHESHARK, a 4-year-old gelding, ran just once at Del Mar and that might have been to just stretch his legs for this spot because he has won 3-of-4 at Santa Anita. On top of that trainer Bill Spawr is an amazing 60 percent (9-of-15) the last two years with an ROI of $6.32 with horses going from a route to a sprint.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Ella’s Kitten, 2. Valtatri, 3. Cuneo. LONG SHOT: Navarre.

ELLA’S KITTEN ships West from Saratoga for trainer Eric Guillot. She comes out of a key race at The Spa in which three horses have come back to win. The outside post is a tough draw and not the biggest fan of jockey Martin Pedroza on turf, but this son of Kitten’s Joy may outclass these. VALTARI, who is owned by Santa Anita president Keith Brackpool, showed early speed in his debut but just might prefer turf and not Polytrack.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. One World, 2. Hurry Home Clover, 3. Shackbamalama. LONG SHOT: Jets to Brazil.

ONE WORLD has been training well for his return to the track since last running on May 26. He comes of out a key race (three winners) and trainer John Shirreffs knows how to get them ready. HURRY HOME CLOVER is another one of those Spawr 60 percent stats going from a route to a sprint.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. D’ Obession, 2. My Samurai Warrior, 3. Appealing Tale. LONG SHOT: Blu Jon.

Tough race. D’ OBESSION draws a good outside post and has never been worse than third down the hillside turf course.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Omega Star, 2. Imperial Fortune, 3. Tiz the Truth. LONG SHOT: Usbek Thunder.

OMEGA STAR is another who loves the Arcadia track. He has two wins and a second in four tries on the Santa Anita dirt. IMPERIAL FORTUNE and TIZ THE TRUTH come from the Baffert barn and will likely be among the favorites.

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EIGHTH RACE (Grade II The Eddie D.): 1. Majestic City, 2. Boat Trip, 3. Unbridled’s Note. LONG SHOT: Rosengold.

Here’s another tough race. A bomber wouldn’t surprise in this spot and we’re going with one in MAJESTIC CITY. Yes, we’re friends with owner Jeff Bloom, but look at who MAJESTIC CITY has been facing in his most recent races: Fed Biz, Goldencents, Points Off the Bench, Jimmy Creed, Paynter, Commatothetop. Then go back to last year: Liasion, Dullahan and Drill. This 4-year-old colt has been facing some tough fields and he gets another here, but maybe with some luck and the addition of jockey Gary Stevens it will make a difference.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Carrytheteam, 2. Wildcat Candy, 3. Running Water. LONG SHOT: Wave Catching.

CARRYTHETEAM drops into a maiden claimer for the first time for trainer John Sadler. WAVE CATCHING drops out of a Del Mar key race which has seen three winners for far so you’ve been warned.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Wednesday, Sept. 4

FIRST RACE (The C.E.R.F): 1. Madame Cactus, 2. Wednesday, 3. Big Honey Bee. LONG SHOT: Gypsy Robin.

MADAME CACTUS has been on the sidelines since last Novemeber, but trainer Peter Eurton figures to have her fit and ready to run. WEDNESDAY and BIG HONEY BEE come out of a key race that has produced two winners so far.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Pebble Beach Baby, 2. Bas, 3. Lady Rosamond. LONG SHOT: Explosive Argument.

Trainer Mike Puype has had a fairly quiet Del Mar meet after a big Hollywood Park, but his horses might be ready to cycle around. PEBBLE BEACH BABY, a daughter of Rock Hard Ten, is dropping in class off a middle-of-the-road effort. The key here is Puype is cutting her back from a route to a sprint and he does very well with that angle. It also doesn’t hurt jockey Garrett Gomez jumps aboard.  EXPLOSIVE ARGUMENT has been scratched.

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THIRD RACE (Oak Tree Juvenile Turf): 1. Diamond Bachelor, 2. Station House, 3. Ontology. LONG SHOT: Home School.

DIAMOND BACHELOR and STATION HOUSE were two of the most impressive winners at the meet, both scoring at first asking on the grass and around two turns as 2-year-olds. ONTOLOGY is bred to love the grass and could be the upsetter but it will tough to beat the top two.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. KARMA KING (best bet), 2. Candy Anniversary, 3. Big Medicine Man. LONG SHOT: Maxx the Kid.

Trainer Craig Dollase is deadly with first-time starters (36 percent the last two years) and even more so with 2-year-olds at Del Mar. KARMA KING, a son of Pure Prize, has a bullet work show on Aug. 23 (best of 42) and should be ready to do some serious running. Once again, Gomez jumps on and he has been one of the meet’s hottest jockeys the last two weeks.

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FIFTH RACE (Pirate’s Bounty ): 1. Private Zone, 2. Roman Threat, 3. So Brilliant. LONG SHOT: Koast.

This is a tough race and I even left out graded stakes winner RAIL TRIP, who I’m just not sure he’s ready to go all out in this spot to win. PRIVATE ZONE is making his first start since running in Dubai and trainer Doug O’Neill figures to have him ready to go.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Magic Channel, 2. Quiet Force, 3. Warrant. LONG SHOT: Somethings Unusual.

MAGIC CHANNEL is going for the hat trick as he has two wins over the grass already. The son of English Channel was claimed last time out by Jerry Hollendorfer, who is 27 percent first off the claim.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Crystalline Indy, 2. Hanserella, 3. That’s a Bingo. LONG SHOT: Heavens Stairway.

CRYSTALLINE INDY hasn’t raced since July 13 at Hollywood Park, but she has been training well over the Del Mar Polytrack. Trainer Phil D’Amato, Mike Mitchell’s assistant, is 43 percent second time out. here’s hoping he gets his first win of the meet on closing day.

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EIGHTH RACE (Del Mar Futurity) 1. Indexical, 2. Dance With Fate, 3. Can the Man. LONG SHOT: Skydreamin.

The big race of the final day is this 7-furlong affair for 2-year-olds. It’s tough to pick against trainer Bob Baffert and Can the Man because Baffert has won this race so many times, but we’re going with INDEXICAL. The son of Latent Heat improved a ton while breaking his maiden 18 days ago. He gets a nice outside post and will be able to spy the speed inside. DANCE WITH FATE also improved second time out and figures to only get better as the distances grow.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Appealing Tale, 2. Amazing Hearted, 3. Omega Star. LONG SHOT: Derringer.

APPEALING TALE has been away since January but you have that magic team of trainer Peter Miller and jockey Garrett Gomez, who have hit for more 36 percent winners the last two years at Del Mar.

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10th RACE: 1. Serene Melody, 2. Nicegirlsfnishlast, 3. Fanticola. LONG SHOT: Switched Up.

Trainer John Shirreffs mainly plies his trade in New York, but Zenyatta’s conditioner left a few horses out West. SERENE MELODY is one of those as she is owned by the Lewis Trust and out of the mare Serena’s Song. This daughter of Street Cry will be trying the grass for the first time and going two turns, too. Shirreffs can get them ready off the layoff.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Monday, September 2

FIRST RACE: 1. He’s a Dance Star, 2. Muchos Besos, 3. Hadfunlastnight. LONG SHOT: Carbonite.

HE’S A DANCE comes back after more than a year off, but trainer Paddy Gallagher is good in that category (38%) and he gets the services of leading rider Rafael Bejarano.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Money Machine, 2. Fight the Power, 3. Wildcat Candy. LONG SHOT: Indygo Andy.

This is a fairly tough maiden claimer. MONEY MACHINE has improved every time out, but trainer Peter Miller decides to drop him another level and go from a route to a sprint. Jockey Garrett Gomez will probably take this 3-year-old gelding back and make one run on the turn. FIGHT THE POWER is an invader from Oaklawn Park coming out of a key race. INDYGO ANDY is a first-timer from the John Sadler barn, which is 35% with debut maiden claimers. Also watch out for BIG MACHER and SPIRITED TOUCH, who have been working well.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Tiz a Kiss, 2. Warren’s Rosebud, 3. Promiscuoussuances. LONG SHOT: Only Josie Knows.

The leading trainer (Sadler) and leading jockey (Bejarano team up here on TIZ A KISS, who tries the turf for the first time.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Salsita, 2. Amy Jane, 3. Mostro Bella. LONG SHOT: Moving Seas.

Miller holds the cards here with first-timer SALSITA and second-time runner AMY JANE. SALSITA was bred in Florida and Florida speed tends to do well at Del Mar. AMY JANE showed speed first time out, but Gomez tends to take horses back and Miller certainly doesn’t want his two horses battling each other for the lead.

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FIFTH RACE (I’m Smokin Stakes): 1. AOTEAROA (best bet), 2. Better Bet, 3. Solid Wager. LONG SHOT: Easy Topper.

AOTEAROA, a 2-year-old gelding, was one of the most visually impressive juvenile winners of the meet. He was a complete nut job in the post parade and at the gate, but when the latch was thrown he was all business. Trainer Leonard Powell certainly could have taken a shot in the closing day Del Mar Futurity, but decided on this easier spot because the youngster is a gelding and he hopes to have him around for a long time. SOLID WAGER and EASY TOPPER have been scratched. Take a look at JEDI MIND TRICK instead.

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SIXTH RACE (Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies): 1. E Equalsmcsquared, 2. Venetian, 3. Clenor. LONG SHOT: Nesso.

The Pick 6 starts here and there is a carryover of nearly $300,000 going into today’s program. This 2-year-old filly, E EQUALSMCSQUARED, has plenty of experience as she is going to the gate in her fifth race, but she has yet to do what she was bred for, which is to go two turns. A daughter of Einstein out of a Conquistador Cielo mare screams route race and she gets it here on the grass. Garrett Gomez takes the mount for trainer Eric Kruljac, who is also adding blinkers to his runner. STUNNING DRAMA and TIZ THE KEY have been scratched.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Botch, 2. Ankeny Hill, 3. Too Fast to Pass. LONG SHOT: Real Heat.

The top two horses are invaders from Emerald Downs in Washington. BOTCH is from the Vann Belvoir barn and he has teamed up with jockey Chantal Sutherland for two wins this meet. ANKENY HILL has shown speed and gets the services of Bejarano.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Faith Hope Love, 2. Belle of the Fleet, 3. Costamar. LONG SHOT: Pretty Storm.

Trainer Craig Dollase wins with 36% of his first-time starters and in FAITH HOPE LOVE he has a filly bred for speed. She has been working well and should be live.  FAITH HOPE LOVE has been scratched. Take a look at GEORGIA and HONEY RIDE.

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NINTH RACE (Yellow Ribbon Handicap): 1. My Gi Gi, 2. In the Stars, 3. Halo Dolly. LONG SHOT: Closing Range.

The former Palomar Handicap looks tough from top to bottom. MY GI GI finished third in the John C. Mabee to the freakish Tiz Flirtatious and should be well spotted for a big effort under new rider Gomez. HALO DOLLY is 4-for-5 on the Del Mar grass and will be tough after winning the Solana Beach last month. IN THE STARS has been scratched.

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10th RACE: 1. Sudden Rumor, 2. Southern Digs, 3. Go First. LONG SHOT: Even to the Moon.

SUDDEN RUMOR was a hot commodity first time out, going off as the 2-1 favorite, but the gelding got bumped at the start and had to rally for third place. Trainer is 3-for-7 with second time starters.

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11th RACE: 1. Carrytheteam, 2. Layton Register, 3. Corinthian’s Song. LONG SHOT: Power Ped.

Sadler and Bejarano team up for the entry of CARRYTHETEAM, who is making his turf debut. The son of Candy Ride should have no problem with the new surface.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Sunday, Aug. 4

FIRST RACE: 1. Blues and Silvers, 2. Blazen All Star, 3. Selleria. LONG SHOT: Long Legged Lovely.

Trainer Mike Puype would appear to have this race covered with BLUES AND SILVERS and BLAZEN ALL STAR. BLUES AND SILVERS is a Ship and Win candidate after being claimed away at Churchill Downs in June. She gets the services of jockey Gary Stevens, who has ridden well on the turf course this meet.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Awesome Baby, 2. Venetian, 3. Tacit Approval. LONG SHOT: Amaranth.

The inside five posts have been the place to be in sprints on the Polytrack this meet. AWESOME BABY starts from the No. 5 hole for trainer Bob Baffert. She has a big work over the track and gets Martin Garcia to ride. VENETIAN gets the No. 1 post, which has done super at the meet. The 2-year-old filly is by More Than Ready, a huge first out sire winner.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Cervaro, 2. Wicked Finance, 3. Smokin’ Bernie. LONG SHOT: Crucero.

CERVARO has been away since January for trainer John Sadler. The son of Lemon Drop Kid is bred to go two turns and Sadler plus jockey Julien Leparoux are a 44 percent combination at Del Mar.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Burns Turn, 2. Toomanytomatoes, 3. The Only Key. LONG SHOT: Camryn Kate.

There’s that man Sadler again. He won three races on Saturday’s card and he tries to get this daughter of Henny Hughes to go two turns on the grass for the first time. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano retains the mount.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Charisma Code, 2. Pray Hard, 3. Tribal Mystic. LONG SHOT: Takem by Surprise.

Jockey Joe Talamo has been in a slump and hopefully he breaks out of here with CHARISMA CODE. This gelding showed speed last time, which is a good thing to have on this Polytrack.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Mia Lady, 2. Always a Chance, 3. J and S Express. LONG SHOT: Lindz Winz.

MIA LADY has improved every race she has run in her brief career. She showed a lot of talent on the front end while breaking her maidne on June 21 at Hollywood Park and now jumps into the allowance ranks.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. BIORHYTHM (best bet), 2. Miss Pippa, 3. Silver Hustler. LONG SHOT: High Jinks.

BIORHYTHM tried two turns on the turf course for the first time and Stevens rides for trainer Tom Proctor. She just might go to the front and never get caught with the rails out to 14 feet on the grass course.

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EIGHTH RACE (The Best Pal): 1. Ontology, 2. Easy Solution, 3. Guns Loaded. LONG SHOT: Alpine Luck.

The 2-year-olds prep for the closing day Del Mar Futurity in this 6 1/2-furlong race. ONTOLOGY has shown a lot of talent while finishing second two times in a row to Alpine Luck. The extra half-furlong should be right up his alley, being a son of Tapit.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Royal Import, 2. Bay Rush, 3. Moment of Weakness. LONG SHOT: Cloud Hopper.

All you need to know about ROYAL IMPORT is that in eight run on this Polytrack he has two wins, three seconds and two thirds. Bejarano takes the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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