Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Friday, July 20

Preview: In the past, the Friday night cards have shown a slight bias on the main track toward speed as it cools down. We’ll see how it goes.

FIRST RACE: 1. Avanti Bello, 2. Monsajem Pervade, 3. Point Piper. LONG SHOT: Excitations.

SECOND RACE: 1. Ballerina Headline, 2. Sought More Pep, 3. Lucky Student. LONG SHOT: Fruity.

THIRD RACE: 1. Helen’s Tiger, 2. Operandi, 3. Silky Slew. LONG SHOT: Bold At Night.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Wild Wild Kingdom, 2. Colormemoney, 3. Twisted Road. LONG SHOT: Iron Curtain.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Tinabud, 2. Pulpit Rider, 3. Luminoso. LONG SHOT: Nonna Gianna.

SIXTH RACE: 1. OLIVER (best bet), 2. Takeo Squared, 3. Twisted Plot. LONG SHOT: Teacher’s Treasure.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Fahan Mura, 2. Paradise Woods, 3. Pantsonfire. LONG SHOT: Fizzy Friday.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Assltante, 2. Baby Frankie, 3. Two Fifty Coup. LONG SHOT: Stone Groove.

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 3 (Watch Me Burn $6.60, first race; Robin’s Love $4, fourth; Marjorie E $15.20, eighth)

Second choice winners: 1 (Moonshine Memories $3, seventh)

Third choice winners: 1 (Latitude $19.80, second)

Long shot winners: 0

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, July 19

Preview: Trainers Doug O’Neill and Jerry Hollendorfer, who were mediocre in 2017, dominated on opening day, winning the first seven races between them. Give their horses an extra look, especially O’Neill, who gets hot and then cools off.

Trainers to watch
PHIL D’AMATO: Tied for the Del Mar training title last summer with 18 wins and his stable has only gotten stronger since then. He is a monster on the turf with 12 wins and 11 seconds from 66 starters. This summer look for improved numbers on the dirt and with younger horses.

RICHARD BALTAS: He tied D’Amato for the crown a year ago. Surprisingly, he beat D’Amato on the grass, leading all trainer with 13 winners on the green. One area of weakness is first-time starters so stay away from them.

PETER MILLER: Last summer wasn’t the best for the Carlsbad resident who annually starts a ton of horses at the seaside oval. He had more than twice has many seconds and thirds (24 and 16) as wins (15). No doubt he wants to turn those numbers around. Don’t be afraid of horses showing San Luis Rey Downs works because he has a portion of his stable there. Miller was second in dirt wins and victories by 2-year-olds. He does a lot of damage with claimers and maiden claimers, but you often don’t get a square price.

MARK GLATT: He had a really good summer under the radar last year, finishing tied for third in the standings with Miller (15 wins) from far less starters (68). He also is sneaky on the grass with eight wins from 37 starts. Betting on all of Glatt’s starters would have produced a flat-bet profit, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

DOUG O’NEILL: It will be a race to see who starts more horses this meet: Miller or O’Neill. The O’Neill barn gets a lot of horses from J. Paul Reddam and a lot sired by Square Eddie so watch for that combination. O’Neill was tied for third in dirt wins (nine) and grass can be a weakness. However, look at turf sprints because in 2016 O’Neill did well in that category.

OTHERS: Bob Baffert has his second Triple Crown winner in four years but like American Pharoah, Justify won’t run at Del Mar. Baffert led all trainers with 12 dirt wins, with half of them coming from 2-year-olds. He is also usually strong in the sprint and handicap divisions. The best betting option is “the other Baffert.” When he has two horses in the same race, bet the one with the higher odds plus bet an exacta box of his two horses. … Jerry Hollendorfer had just five winners a year ago but he got hot during Santa Anita and might be back to his old self. Watch out for his 2-year-olds, especially the fillies, one of which (Brill) is running on opening day. … Michael McCarthy, the former Todd Pletcher assistant, is starting to get better stock after finishing last summer for third in dirt wins (nine). According to Mazur’s book, McCarthy produced a huge $73 flat-bet profit. … Simon Callaghan is another younger trainer to watch after he had seven 2-year-old winners in 2017. … Steve Miyadi is also good with 2-year-olds (four wins) and first-time starters (three of 11). … Jim Cassidy, the life-long New York Yankees fan, is 7-for-13 in turf sprints the last three years with a profit of $137, according Mazur’s book. … Tom Proctor, who trains mainly for Glen Hill Farm, is a whiz on the turf and he went 6-for-15 at 2017 meet for a flat-bet profit, but don’t expect any large prices because his horses get bet.

FIRST RACE: 1. Watch Me Burn, 2. Jellybeankristine, 3. No Thanks Erik. LONG SHOT: Lakerzwin.

SECOND RACE: 1. Gutsy Effort, 2. Welldidyougetit, 3. Latitude. LONG SHOT: June Two Four.

THIRD RACE: 1. PASTIME (best bet), 2. G Q Covergirl, 3. Painting Corners. LONG SHOT: Invested Prospect.
Let me just say this up front there is no way we are getting the 12-1 morning line on No. 8 Pastime in today’s third race. Trainer Victoria Oliver brings a small string to Del Mar almost every year from Kentucky and always seem to win at a good price, but the word is already out on social media. That being said Oliver is 4-for-11 at Del Mar with horses off a 31- to 60-day layoff like this filly and the average winning price is $20, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Robin’s Love, 2. Cylinders, 3. Lil Bit Dangerous. LONG SHOT: Go Smiley Go.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Memorable Election, 2. Rockaway, 3. Ivy Mike. LONG SHOT: Master Ruler.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Magic Musketier, 2. Andesh, 3. Inscom. LONG SHOT: Soltero.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Secret Spice, 2. Moonshine Memories, 3. Show It N Moe It. LONG SHOT: Treasuring.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Majorie E, 2. Venue, 3. Oh Pretty Woman. LONG SHOT: Unusual Gold.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 2 (Shivermetimbers $4.60, sixth race; Brill $3.40, seventh)

Second choice winners: 1 (Super Duper Cooper $6.40, ninth)

Third choice winners: 3 (Eighty Three $10.60, third; Dichotomy $5.40, fourth; Ann Arbor Eddie $20, fifth)

Long shot winners: 1 (Jimmy Chila $7, second)

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, July 18 (Opening day)

Preview: Going to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club can be a lot of fun, but let’s be honest, everyone wants to win money. Jockeys and trainers all have their strengths and weaknesses. If you know those, it can point you to the winner’s circle and away from throwing your tickets away.

Jockeys
FLAVIEN PRAT:
Without a doubt, the best rider not named Mike Smith on the circuit, and he rides a lot more than Smith. Prat began his career in France and thus he was put on a lot of grass horses early in career, but he has become a very good all-around jockey. He won the Del Mar title last summer by winning 23 races on the dirt (25 percent) and 12 races (from 80 starters) on the grass. He was also second in races won with 2-year-olds (six) and that number could improve as he has made some inroads into the Bob Baffert barn. Prat loves to get to the rail on the turf, save ground and swing out at the head of the home stretch. He sometimes gets caught in traffic with this move, but he knows what he’s doing most of the time.

RAFAEL BEJARANO: The once king of Del Mar has slowed in the last year. He did finish tied for second in the standings, tied with Evin Roman, and tied for third on the dirt. He also tied Prat and Kent Desormeaux with 12 victories on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. If you are looking for a horse to finish down the lane, don’t bet against Bejarano because he will carry it there with his strength. The one weakness in Bejarano’s game is his work out of the gate. He registered just three wins on 2-year-olds during the 2017 meet because trainers want a jockey pushing a horse out of the gate. A lot of 2-year-old races are won by speed horses, which isn’t Bejarano’s strong suit.

KENT DESORMEAUX: There’s the good Kent and the bad Kent. If Desormeaux is in a good mood, he can be the best rider in the room, but if he’s not feeling it that day, don’t bet on him. Desormeaux, who rides a lot for his brother and trainer Keith, was fourth in the standings a year ago. He had 14 wins on the dirt and 12 wins on the grass. He is an exceptional grass rider.

JOE TALAMO: There was a time that “Talamo on the turf” made you big bucks every meet, but he has lost some of that magic in the last few years. He was fifth in the riding standings last summer (23 wins), but tied for third on the dirt with 17 winners. On the grass, he slipped to just six winners. He had a like number of victories with 2-year-olds, to tie for second in the colony. He was also second with first-time starters with three wins.

APPRENTICES: Roman, who won the Eclipse Award as the top apprentice in the country, lost his bug and is a journeyman now. Who will replace those 29 wins because you know how trainers like those 7- and 5-pound weight allowances? Fans should especially watch Heriberto Figueroa and Asa Espinoza, who just tied for the Los Alamitos riding title. Two others to watch are Edgar Payeras and Franklin Ceballos.

OTHERS: Mike “Money” Smith will ride in a lot of stakes races and 2-year-old events. If he rides in another race, take note. … Tyler Baze wins the hard-luck award from 2017 with 18 seconds and 17 thirds with just nine wins. He’s a good all-around rider. … Drayden Van Dyke scored 11 wins on the turf a year ago, one behind the leaders, and he has a great clock in his head. Watch out for him with Baffert, too. He has also made in-roads in that stable and Baffert won’t be afraid to put him up on a good 2-year-old. … Journeyman Edwin Maldonado is a rider to watch, especially on the grass as he registered seven wins on the green in 2017. He’s underrated. … Corey Nakatani maybe getting older but last summer he proved he’s still good with 2-year-olds (Bolt d’Oro) and he’s also a master on the grass.

FIRST RACE: 1. Carville, 2. Out of Patience, 3. General Ike. LONG SHOT: Above Board.
Tough race take as many as you can in the Pick 5.

SECOND RACE: 1. Upo, 2. Kylemore, 3. Ayacara. LONG SHOT: Jimmy Chila.
If this Pick 5 doesn’t pay boxcars, I’ll be stunned. This card is tough.

THIRD RACE: 1. Ketos, 2. Junior Gilliam, 3. Eighty Three. LONG SHOT: Gentrified.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Blueberry Princess, 2. Flying to the Line, 3. Dicotomy. LONG SHOT: Opus Won.
Blueberry Princess comes out of a race that has already produced two next out winners from four starters.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Bird Is the Word, 2. Ritzy A. P., 3. Ann Arbor Eddie. LONG SHOT: Castle.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Shivermetimbers, 2. Divisor, 3. Regulate. LONG SHOT: Show Me Da Lute.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Brill (BEST BET), 2. Angel Alessandra, 3. Bizwhacks. LONG SHOT: Barbadolla.
We all know how good trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is with young fillies and this $1 million purchase BRILL looks like the real deal. She has three big works coming into the race and Hollendorfer is 17 percent with first-timers. We will never get the 5-2 morning-line, but that’s life. Looks like a single to me.

EIGHTH RACE (Oceanside Stakes): 1. Texas Wedge, 2. Desert Stone, 3. Artie B Good. LONG SHOT: More Honor.
Believe it or not, trainer Peter Miller didn’t win a stakes race at the Del Mar summer meet so you can bet (and he will) that he wants to end that right here and now.

NINTH RACE: 1. Blame Joe, 2. Super Duper Cooper, 3. Aurora d’Oro. LONG SHOT: Impression.

10TH RACE: 1. Sellwood, 2. Henry County, 3. Zipman. LONG SHOT: Starting Bloc.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Nov. 18

FIRST RACE: 1. Little Juanito, 2. Cats Blame, 3. Uncle Billy. LONG SHOT: New Dancer.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Pundy, 2. Burn Me Twice, 3. Red Carpet Cat. LONG SHOT: Big League.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Lucky Stash, 2. Artistic Ministry, 3. Helen’s Tiger. LONG SHOT: Kiss of Dahpespe.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Infuriated Gary, 2. Dos Palos, 3. Hardboot. LONG SHOT: Minister’s Glory.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Ms Bad Behavior, 2. Midnight Bisou, 3. Dream Tree. LONG SHOT: Secret Spice.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Bowie, 2. Painting Corners, 3. Zero Zee. LONG SHOT: Little Voice.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Go On Mary, 2. Christy Jackson, 3. Little Nati. LONG SHOT: Reckless Charm.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. South Americain, 2. Hootie, 3. Radio Silence. LONG SHOT: Buckys Pick.
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NINTH RACE: 1. BRADDOCK (best bet), 2. Make It a Triple, 3. Gentrified. LONG SHOT: My Man Chuckles.

Good luck.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, Nov. 17

Preview: I really don’t like this card that much which probably means there will be a ton of bombs. Better cards over the weekend.

FIRST RACE: 1. Little Scotty, 2. Kristi’s Copilot, 3. Cafe Flavor. LONG SHOT: Lucky J Lane.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Glamsquad, 2. Forbidden Command, 3. Optimistic Outcome. LONG SHOT: Veronica Bay.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Mercer Island, 2. It’s The Ice, 3. Bill Big. LONG SHOT: Bow and Arrow.
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FOURTH: 1. Gem of a Marina, 2. Get Yourself Home, 3. Hailey Rachele. LONG SHOT: Topaz Time.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Candy Swirls, 2. Tink’s Twirl, 3. Midnight Swinger. LONG SHOT: Lady Ninja.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Davka, 2. On the Right, 3. Powerful Thirst. LONG SHOT: Touchdown U S C
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. BEAU SQUARE (best bet), 2. Desert Madam, 3. Batiquitos. LONG SHOT: Candy Ruler.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Captain Walker, 2. Beloved Holiday, 3. Taste’s Legend. LONG SHOT: Eighty and Sunny.

Good luck.

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Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Friday, Nov. 3 (Breeders’ Cup, Day 1)

Preview: The Breeders’ Cup is finally here with four races Friday and nine more on Saturday. The main track has played to speed sp far so keep that in mind. Of course, that can change overnight, but cooler weather usually means a tighter, faster track. The turf course will have the rails set to zero finally so closers should have a fair shot.

FIRST RACE: 1. Good Bye Greg, 2. Mr. Hinx, 3. Kobe’s Back. LONG SHOT: Leading Score.

SECOND RACE: 1. Soglio, 2. Cheekaboomboom, 3. Record Highs. LONG SHOT: Ritzy A.P.

THIRD RACE: 1. Mesa Sky, 2. Donworth, 3. Dabster. LONG SHOT: Prime Issue.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Family Girl, 2. Ismelucky, 2. Spiced Perfection. LONG SHOT: Smiling Tigress.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Hard Aces, 2. Destin, 3. Archanova. LONG SHOT: Estrechade.

SIXTH RACE (BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES): 1. Happily, 2. Rushing Fall, 3. Fatale Bere, 4. Significant Form. LONG SHOT: Capla Temptress.
I leaned heavily to the Europeans in this race and don’t be afraid to play a few long shots. Horses on the outside are going to have a real hard time in this race so beware. HAPPILY draws the No. 2 post and is super Euro trainer Aidan O’Brien’s barn.RUSHING FALL looks like the best American, but will go from post No. 11.

SEVENTH RACE (BC DIRT MILE): 1. Sharp Azteca, 2. Cupid, 3. Mor Spirit, 4. Iron Fist. LONG SHOT” Battle of Midway.
This is one of best bets on the card in SHARP AZTECA, which comes from the Jorge Navarro barn. Paco Lopez rides and he’s 41% with Navarro. CUPID and MOR SPIRIT come from the Bob Baffert barn. Cupid finished fourth in the Awesome Again at Santa Anita and this will be his third off the layoff. I have no idea what to do with Mor Spirit. Baffert said this summer he was training so poorly at Del Mar that he stopped on him and waited for the Santa Anita track to open up so he hasn’t been in a race since his sensational Met Mile win at Belmont Park.

EIGHTH RACE (BC JUVENILE TURF): 1. Masar, 2. Mendelssohn, 3. Beckford, 4. Snapper Sinclair. LONG SHOT: Sand of Mail.
Selfishly I’d like to see the Jeff Bloom-owned SNAPPER SINCLAIR, but I just don’t know if he’s good enough to beat the Euros. MASAR is from the Charles Appleby barn and he wouldn’t ship from Europe unless he thought he had a good shot at winning. MENDELSSOHN is from the O’Brien camp so enough said there. BECKFORD is from Europe, too, and might appreciate the firmer turf.

NINTH RACE: (BC DISTAFF): 1. ELATE (best bet), 2. Stellar Wind, 3. Forever Unbridled, 4. Paradise Woods. LONG SHOT: Champagne Room.
This is the 3-year-old fillies vs. the older fillies/mares. Elate, a 3-year-old, came into her own last time in winning the Beldame at Belmont Park against older. Trainer Bill Mott has stated that she appears to love the Del Mar surface in the morning. That’s good enough for me. Stellar Wind’s trainer, John Sadler, is 0-for-39 in the Breeders Cup. I hope he breaks through, but just not sure off a long layoff. I’d rather go with the now horse.

10TH RACE: 1. Belvoir Bay, 2. Firsthand Report, 3. So Sweetitiz. LONG SHOT: Instant Reflex.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Monday, Sept. 4 (closing day)

FIRST RACE: 1. Jump the Tracks, 2. General Interest, 3. Campaigner. LONG SHOT: Unbridled Ethos.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Ucanthankmelater, 2. Freddies Dream, 3. Awesome Return. LONG SHOT: Accelerant.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Papa Papa Papa, 2. Unreal Deal, 3. Rocket Heat. LONG SHOT: Batti Man.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Hopefully, 2. Meiji, 3. Pretty Owl. LONG SHOT: So I Sang.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Fantastic Chloe, 2. Retro, 3. Super Good. LONG SHOT: Encinitas.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Vai, 2. Noted and Quoted, 3. Miss Sunset. LONG SHOT: Bitzka.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. JEREMY’S LEGACY (best bet), 2. How Unusual, 3. Starlite Style. LONG SHOT: Kathy’s Song.

Jockey Gary Stevens rode four different horses that are entered in this race and he chooses Jeremy’s Legacy. That says a lot to me so I will stick with the Hall of Famer.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Fleetwood, 2. Tatters to Riches, 3. Run Away. LONG SHOT: Master Ruler.
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NINTH RACE: 1. Dawn Traveller, 2. Camino Song, 3. Klosters. LONG SHOT: Multiplayer.
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10TH RACE: 1. Big League, 2. Prime Issue, 3. Touching Rainbows.

Just a note: I will be taking Los Alamitos off. So have fun.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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