Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Tuesday, Aug. 20

In the saddle

Victor Espinoza led all jockeys last week with six wins. He was followed by Joe Talamo and Rafael Bejarano, who had five wins each.
Flavien Prat still leads the standings with 27 winners and an argument could be made for the fact that he had the best week despite a 2 for 22 effort. Prat won the $1 million Pacific Classic aboard Higher Power for John Sadler.
Drayden Van Dyke (3 for 22) is still second in the standings but only one win ahead of Bejarano, 20-19.
Abel Cedillo was 4 for 13 during Week 5 on the dirt and is now the leading rider on the main track with 14 victories. Ruben Fuentes is second with 13 and Prat is third with 12.
Prat had a brutal week on the grass with an 0 for 12 effort, but he shouldn’t feel bad as New York jockey John Velazquez came in over the weekend to pilfer three victories on the turf. Plus, Saratoga-based jockey Florent Geroux added another turf victory in addition to a win he scored on main track. So that was five total wins for the out-of-towners.
Fuentes scored his first win on the green but he is still only 1 for 42 on the surface. Martin Garcia is 1 for 27, Norberto Arroyo Jr. is 1 or 29, Jorge Velez 1 for 23 and Aaron Gryder 1 for 22 on the grass while Tiago Periera is 0 for 32. Ouch.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, Aug. 14

Prat on fire

Jockey Flavien Prat pretty much wrapped up the riding title with an eight-win week from 26 mounts during Week 4. His five-win day on Saturday was a thing of beauty and all jockeys should watch replays of his winners to see how he put his his horses in position to reach the winner’s circle.
Prat now leads Drayden Van Dyke, 25-17, after Van Dyke suffered an 0 for 17 week. It wasn’t that Van Dyke was riding poorly because he had four seconds and four thirds. It was just a case of not getting the breaks.
Rafael Bejarano also had a tough five days with just one winner from 16 mounts.
Ruben Fuentes had a solid 25-3-4-3 week as did Abel Cedillo (15-3-0-3), who missed Sunday’s card to ride at Emerald Downs.
Fuentes remains the top rider on the main track with 12 victories followed by Prat and Cedillo, who each have 10 wins each.
The turf course is being dominated by four jockeys: Prat (15 wins), Van Dyke (10), Bejarano (eight) and Joe Talamo (six). They have a total of 39 victories. The rest of the riding colony has 22 wins on the grass.

WEDNESDAY’S PICKS

FIRST RACE: 1. Shootin Money, 2. Heraclitus, 3. Deckology. LONG SHOT: Four O’Five.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Vidalia, 2. Adulting, 3. Chirp. LONG SHOT: Shesaidshesperfect.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Bellerin, 2. Sheer Flattery, 3. Dukes Up. LONG SHOT: Start a Runnin.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Flying to the Line, 2. Equal Measure, 3. Red Bunting. LONG SHOT: Breezy Bee.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Anniversary Sale, 2. Atomic Candy, 3. Afternoon Heat. LONG SHOT: Calder Vale.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. TRAVIEZA (best bet), 2. Gypsy Blu, 3. Just Grazed Me. LONG SHOT: Storming Lady.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Papa Turf, 2. An Ocala Ten, 3. Westmont. LONG SHOT: Nova.

Good luck.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 2 (Drink $11.20, second race; Inspiressa $4, fourth)

Second choice winners: 1 (Indy Jones $6.60, fifth)

Third choice winners: 1 (Overdue $5, third)

Long shot winners: 1 (Carnivorous $13.40, sixth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, Aug. 8

After going 2 for 8 on last week, Flavien Prat has made the race for the jockey title interesting again entering Wednesday action.
Prat was tied at the top with Drayden Van Dyke as both riders have 17 winners entering Week 4.
In all fairness to Prat, he missed three racing days last week, two by suspension and one while riding Bellafina in the Test at Saratoga. He was in the money with all eight of his mounts.
Van Dyke made up ground by going 5 for 21 on the week and that wasn’t even the most wins for the five days of racing.
Rafael Bejarano and Abel Cedillo both had six victories and also had a hand in Doug O’Neill’s big week.
Journeyman Ruben Fuentes rebounded from a winless Week 2 to score four wins from 19 mounts.
Aaron Gryder (1 for 33) and apprentice J.C. Diaz Jr (1-33) are struggling as is Alonzo Quinonez (0 for 14).
Fuentes took over on the top while riding on the main track as he has nine victories, but he is 0 for 26 on the grass and should be avoided.
Prat and Van Dyke lead the colony with 10 grass victories each.
Victor Espinoza (1-22), Norberto Arroyo (1-29), Martin Garcia (1-16), Tiago Pereira (0-19), apprentice Jorge Velez (0-18) and Gryder (0-16) have been less than stellar on the turf course.

FIRST RACE: 1. Miss Megan, 2. Remember to Smile, 3. Takethediamondlane. LONG SHOT: Jan Jan Can.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Moonshone Annie, 2. Tig Tog, 3. Playa Chica. LONG SHOT: Divine Dharma.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Best Two Minutes, 2. Weast Hill, 3. Fast Cotton. LONG SHOT: Monydontspenitself.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. MASTER RYAN (best bet), 2. Fredikstad, 3. Cunning Munnings. LONG SHOT: Tribals Last Reign.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Aced, 2. Emtech, 3. Vintage Hollywood. LONG SHOT: Sea’s Journey.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Zestful, 2. Builder, 3. Play Hard to Get. LONG SHOT: Zeke.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Solar Nova, 2. Senora Power, 3. Lady Sunset. LONG SHOT: Kuda Huraa.

Good luck.

Good luck.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinion for Tuesday, July 30

In the saddle

In the Del Mar jockey’s race, Flavien Prat is still on top with 17 wins, including five from 17 mounts during Week 2. However, Prat is is the middle of serving a three-day suspension. He was limited to just one ride in a stakes race on Sunday and will be off all of his mounts Wednesday and Thursday.
Drayden Van Dyke closed the gap on Prat with a seven-win week from 21 mounts. He is three behind Prat with 12 wins and look for him to be live the next two days as Van Dyke will be riding for barns that might normally choose Prat, especially in turf races.
Rafael Bejarano had a strong second week with five wins in 21 tries and is now third in the standings with seven wins.
Kent Desormeaux, Joe Talamo and Martin Garcia all had three wins on the week to secure spots in the top 10.
On the other end, Rueben Fuentes went from having five victories in Week 1 to none in 22 mounts during Week 2. Also, Fuentes is 0 for 19 on the Del Mar grass course so far.
Abel Cedillo also had a tough second week with no wins in 19 mounts. He did have two seconds and five thirds. Cedillo is just 1 for 24 on the dirt.

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Oct. 13

THIRD RACE: #6 Earring (2-1)
I don’t normally like betting favorites, but the way I look at this filly is that she can be a single in the Pick 5 and a single to start off your Pick 6. Trainer Tom Proctor is one of the best with turf horses. This 4-year-old finished third to better at Saratoga. Proctor is 21% with shippers and good turf jockey Drayden Van Dyke rides like he normally does for Glen Hill Farm/Proctor.

FIFTH RACE: #8 Gogoula (20-1)
Going to take a shot with a big bomb here. Go back in the past performances and you will find this filly has run down the hills before in a minor stakes and she wasn’t disgraced. She takes a drop in class and had trouble at the start in her last. Worth a flyer.

SEVENTH RACE: #3 Popular Kid (5-1)
I’ll be honest here: I hope my friend Jeff Bloom wins with #2 Kona Dreams but he is a 3-year-old facing older and he’s been done in by speed duels in his last two races. And there is a ton of speed and pressers in this race. Therefore I was looking for a closer. I consider #9 Quality Line, but he just doesn’t seem to want two turns. Then I saw Popular Kid. Look two races back to what Kent Desormeaux did in just missing on the Del Mar turf. He took the horse back and that’s exactly what he needs to do today.

EIGHTH RACE: #1 Air On Fire (10-1)
The “other” Mandella. Trainer Richard Mandella has the morning-line favorite in Milhaud (5-2) and this first-time turfer. Air On Fire is a son of Unbridled’s Song, who gets 13% winner first time on the turf. He has a big work showing and jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over. A Mandella exacta box would seem to be in order.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, Oct. 5

SECOND RACE: #5 Psycho Dar
This gelding broke his maiden at first asking at Del Mar. Has speed and jockey Evin Roman stays aboard for trainer Steve Miyadi and they are 25 percent together. Also comes out of a key race that has produced two winners so far.

FIFTH RACE: #9 Hawk’s Journey (10-1)
Trainer Ed Moger Jr. is having a good year and brings this filly down from NoCal. This is her first time in a claimer and hot jockey Drayden Van Dyke jumps on. In addition to a win bet I would back wheel her in the exacta.

SEVENTH RACE: #9 Cheekaboomboom (7-2)
This gelding is 2-1-1-0 on the dowhill turf course and jockey Flavien Prat stays aboard. Prat is 25% with trainer Peter Eurton. Play an exacta box with the speedy Mr Vargas (#6, 3-1).

EIGHTH RACE: #10 Decarchy Dawn (3-1)
Trainer Bob Hess Jr. is pulling out all the stop to get this 3-year-old to break his maiden. He is adding blinkers and gelded the horse since his last race. The son of Decarchy comes out of a key Del Mar race that has produced two winners so far and keeps jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Friday, Nov. 25 (Sorry they are late)

Preview: Despite missing last Saturday, jockey Flavien Prat leads the riding race by one (8-7) over Santiago Gonzales. In the training standings, a hat trick on Sunday put Peter Miller on top with six victories. Then he won three more races on Thursday and he is starting to run away with the training title.

SORRY PICKS ARE LATE.

Race 1: #6 Holidayincambodia (8-1), 2. Altaira, 3. Rosarita. LONG SHOT: Audra.
This filly won at this level at LRC, then was bumped up and now comes back down. Trainer Dan Hendricks is 33% when dropping a horse two or more classes. Jockey Brice Blanc continues to ride.

Race 2: 1. Salient, 2. Jet Set Man, 3. My Uncle Al. LONG SHOT: Hot Rodin.

Race 3: 1. Mr Ability, 2. Hot Smoke, 3. Elwood J. LONG SHOT: Ms. Wakaya.

Race 4: 1. Miss Big Stuff, 2. Lajatico, 3. Sturdy One. LONG SHOT: Little Voice.

Race 5: #2 Ourroseofthenile (8-1), 2. Wicked Factor, 3. Pontificator. LONG SHOT: Tell My Fortune.
Gave an even effort in her debut in late August and hasn’t been seen since. That race has produced at least two winners. This daughter of Pioneerof the Nile got out of the gate slow and it looks like trainer Joe Herrick has worked on that. Jockey Iggy Puglisi stays aboard.

Race 6: 1. Ashleyluvssugar, 2. Flamboyant, 3. Quick Casablanca. LONG SHOT: Royal Albert Hall.

Race 7: 1. Prime Attraction, 2. Univited, 3. My Italian Babbo. LONG SHOT: Hollywood Strike.

Race 8: #11 Alsatian (8-1), 2. Extreme Heat, 3. Amodei. LONG SHOT: Bottle Service.
We liked this colt last week when he was entered but trainer Neil Drysdale scratched and we’re not happy about the outside draw but the rails are at zero so that will help anyone going wide. This colt is bred to love the turf and Drysdale has them cranked up first time out but he’s 19% second time. Good turf rider Drayden Van Dyke takes the mount.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Delta Downs, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Saturday, November 19 (plus Delta Downs)

Preview: Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. missed Thursday’s card due to personal reasons but was due back Friday and will ride this weekend. Flavien Prat, Kent Desormeaux and Martin Pedroza are all riding elsewhere today. The rails on the turf course will be at 24 feet which could mean speed will dominate on the green.

Race 1: 2. #6 Black Tie ‘n Tails (6-1), 2. Junior Gilliam, 3. El Super. LONG SHOT: Dano’s Dream.
Trainer Peter Miller claimed this gelding and he must have had a planned for this as this 4-year-old goes first time on the turf. Miller is 32% first off the claim and he gets apprentice Austin Solis to ride which tells me they are going to try and go to the front.

Race 2: 1. Finallygotabentley, 2. Quorum of Joy, 3. Senator Bob. LONG SHOT: Captain Akers.

Race 3: 1. #6 Big Hit (6-1) BEST BET, 2. Fielder, 3. Law Abidin Citizen. LONG SHOT: Little Juanito.
Trainer Phil D’Amato is 47% when have a horse go sprint-route-sprint like this 2-year-old. The colt should be plenty fit for this elongated sprint. Santiago Gonzalez picks up the mount for the injured Rafael Bejarano.

Race 4: 1. #1 Sergio (5-1), 2. Avalanche, 3. Irap. LONG SHOT: Odyssey Explorer.
Big jockey switch to Gary Stevens, who rode two turf winners opening weekend. This colt’s best race came on the grass so why he was switch to the dirt for his last is a mystery.

Race 5: 1. Mastery, 2. California Diamond, 3. Bernin Sensation. LONG SHOT: Opper Wallah.

Race 6: 1. #1 Gangster (12-1), 2. Liam the Charmer, 3. Fritz Johansen. LONG SHOT: Sawyer’s Hill.
In his second race back off a long layoff, trainer Doug O’Neill puts this 4-year-old on the turf for the first time and his sire Street Boss gets 18% winners first time on the green. Good grass rider Drayden Van Dyke takes the mount. O’Neill is also 23% second off the layoff.

Race 7: 1. Match Play, 2. Honor and Courage, 3. Bobby Abu Dhabi. LONG SHOT: Adorned.

Race 8: 1. Wanstead Gardens, 2. Play Hard to Get, 3. Perfectly Majestic. LONG SHOT: Little Curlin.

Race 9: 1. Aloha Spirit, 2. Warren’s Honey Bee, 3. Motutapu. LONF SHOT: Turf Club Queen.

Plus here are some picks on the big 2-year-old races at Delta Downs.

DELTA DOWNS
Race 6 (Delta Downs Princess): 1. Flatter Up, 2. Golden Mischief, 3. Shane’s Girlfriend, 4. Jilly.
Race 7 (Delta Downs Jackpot): 1. Thirstforlife, 2. Gunnevera, 3. Baladeen, 4. Hot Sean.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Sunday, Aug. 14

Preview: The turf rails will be set at 12 feet, giving closers a decent shot. On the main track jockeys to think twice about are Drayden Van Dyke 0-for-16, Abel Lezcano 0-13 and Mike Smith 1-15.

Race 1: 1. Space Cadet, 2. Spindle, 3. Atlantic Slew. LONG SHOT: Topaz Time.

Race 2: 1. Midnight Rambler, 2. Trust Ur Intuition, 3. Eddie Haskell. LONG SHOT: Senator Robert.

Race 3: 1. I B Mike, 2. Coyote Fly, 3. Overcomer. LONG SHOT: Dadtaughtmewell.

Race 4: 1. #9 Feldini (6-1), 2. Dark Energy, 3. Angel Eria. LONG SHOT: Aztec Warrior.
Trainer Scott Hansen is 43% the first time he puts a horse on the grass for the first time. Jockey Drayden Van Dyke jumps back. The sire Twirling Candy gets 10% winners first time on the green.

Race 5: 1. #2 Cordiality (5-1), 2. Allsquare, 3. Filly On Fire. LONG SHOT: The Spiral Jetter.
Trainer Mark Glatt is having a huge meet and he looks to continue it with this first off the claim filly. Glatt is 31% first off the claim and jockey Flavien Prat, 27% with Glatt, takes over.

Race 6: 1. Hobbits Hero, 2. Tuco, 3. Zinvor. LONG SHOT: Reflected Star.

Race 7: 1. Fact of Life, 2. American Gal, 3. Cho Has Zip. LONG SHOT: Hopefully.

Race 8: 1. #5 Barbara Beatrice (6-1), 2. Singing Kitty, 3. How Unusual. LONG SHOT: Tiz a Kiss.
This filly has been facing open company and now drops into a Cal-bred stakes. She has won over this course before and trainer Phil D’Amato is good in all categories, especially 25% third off the layoff. She might get overlooked in the wagering.

Race 9: 1. Awesome Image, 2. Legitimate, 3. Star Express. LONG SHOT: Olimpio’s Scat Cat.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Aug. 13

Preview: Several riders, including leading jockey Flavien Prat. It could be a big day for jockey Rafael Bejarano, who has missed several weekend days to ride for trainer Bob Baffert.

Well, couldn’t catch a break Friday as in almost all the dirt races we had the lead at the head of the stretch, but the horses went backwards from there. You have to remember the track gets worked on Fridays after mornings workouts. According to several people, the track was playing slow and deep on the card.

Hope for better results today.

Race 1: 1. Mr T Bird, 2. Tattenham, 3. On Draft. LONG SHOT: Yes Yes Yes.

Race 2: 1. Very Hot, 2. Decoded, 3. Dixie Chick Rocks. LONG SHOT: Lofty Cause.

Race 3: 1. Buymeabond, 2. Horizontalyspeakin, 3. Te Rapa. LONG SHOT: Unusual Taste.

Race 4: 1. Amodei, 2. Six Point Rack, 3. Upstaging the Cast. LONG SHOT: Burnt Cognac.

Race 5: 1. Seve’s Road, 2. Crown the Kitten, 3. China Girl Lover. LONG SHOT: Infobedad.

Race 6: 1. Weirdhaircut Seth, 2. King’s To You, 3. Dream It Do It. LONG SHOT: It’s Just Bob.

Race 7: 1. #3 Budokan (8-1), 2. Big Gray Rocket, 3. Gemstorm. LONG SHOT: Cut.

This first-time starter from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn has a couple of good works over the track and it isn’t often you get a price like this on The Dorf. The sire Hard Spun is 10% first time out and Hollendorfer is 28% first time out.

Race 8: 1. Klimt, 2. Big League, 3. Thirstforlife. LONG SHOT: Rinse and Repeat.

Race 9: 1. #11 Ashley’s Sassy (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Brainspin, 3. Fantasy of Luck. LONG SHOT: Be a Lady.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano had a choice of four horses in this race and chooses this Peter Eurton-trained filly. She has a couple of good works coming into the race and Eurton is 24% with horses off a 61 to 180-day layoff and he’s 26% with Bejarano.

Race 10: 1. #7 Brooks House (6-1), 2. Onzaway, 3. Georgia Blue. LONG SHOT: Exuberante.

This filly had all kinds of trouble in her last at Churchill Downs and now trainer Victoria Oliver, who is 2-1-1-0 at the meet, ships her west. Jockey Drayden Van Dyke, who won for Oliver earlier in the meet, gets on.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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