Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, June 4

Preview: Really good card (any card with Beholder on it is good), especially the Late Pick Four and if a couple of Bob Baffert favorites get beat that wager will pay off huge. Speaking of Baffert, he has been quiet at the meet with just a 2-for-13 record on the dirt. He’s probably getting ready for a summer assault on Del Mar has he starts a lot of comebacking horses this weekend. Phil D’Amato (9-24) and Jerry Hollendorfer (6-31) lead the way on the dirt.

Race 1 – SA
#7 Fiftypercentcotton (5-1): Trainer Dan Blacker is winless (0-for-17) on the year but one area where he excels is adding blinkers (25%, 4 for his last 12) and that’s what he does with this filly.

Race 2 – SA
#7 Bombard (4-1): Love this colt last time out bu didn’t get the job done for the team of jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Richard Mandella. Don’t think the 3-year-old liked the good turf and it will be firm today. Go to the windows.

Race 5 – SA
#6 No Contingency (8-1): This gelding has been popular at the claim box this year. In fact, trainer Mike Pender lost the 6-year-old and claimed him back out of his last race, which is always a popular angle. Pender is 25% first off the claim this gelding also has one of the best back speed Brisnet numbers. The gelding finished second at this level two back and Pender puts jockey Edwin Maldonado back on.

Race 6 – SA
#2 Twentytwentyvision (7-2)
Pure and simple we’re hoping for a pace meltdown between Heart to Heart and Midnight Storm here in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile. If that happens, we hope this gelding picks up the pieces for that team of Prat and Mandella again.

Race 9 – SA
#5 Right Wing (10-1)
#7 Alley Boss (12-1)
We’re going to dutch in this race and hope to beat all three Bob Baffert’s maidens in here. RIGHT WING is from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn and he’s 27% with first-time starters and we think jockey Martin Garcia would like nothing better than to stick to his old boss Baffert. ALLEY BOSS is from the Molly Pearson barn and has some nice works at San Luis Rey Downs. This 3-year-old is a son of Twirling Cany, who gets 20% first out winners.

Race 11 – SA
#2 Film Freak (12-1): Not sure this colt like the good turf or the distance in his last race. Trainer Tim Yakteen cuts him back to a distance where he finished second at in a similar race two back. Red-hot jockey Flavien Prat takes tthe mount and he has been winning everything on the grass.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, June 3

Preview: It’s another mediocre midweeek card but there is the the return of Lord Nelson for trainer Bob Baffert in the seventh race. When last seen, Lord Nelson finished third to Runhappy in the Grade I Malibu on Dec. 26. Just a note: This will be the final week of racing on the downhill portion of the turf course as the remodeling of the course begins so look for lots of 6 1/2 furlong races.

Race 5 – SA
#9 Mysterious Miracle (4-1): This filly ran second in her only try down the hill. Trainer Phil D’Amato tried to get her on it again but it was rained off and she broke her maiden on a wet fast track. The red-hot D’Amato returns her to the turf where he is 21% going dirt to turf. He is 21% with jockey Joe Talamo.

Race 6: #7 Like That (9-2): Really like the Australian sire Lonhro, who gets 11% first out winners. We would love it even more if this race was on the grass, but trainer Peter Miller still gets good numbers first out (15%) and puts good speed rider Edwin Maldonado aboard. This filly has been training at San Luis Rey Downs away from the private clockers so Miller might be trying for a score here.

Race 8 – SA
#8 Radiant Journey (5-2): Another Phil D’Amato mare that finished second in her only trip down the hill. This one has been away since November at Del Mar. She is taking a big class drop from open company to Cal-bred company. D’Amato is 27% with horses off a 180-day layoff or more. She has speed and that has done well on the turf this year.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Monday,May 30

Preview: Not the greatest card, but it’s a holiday so let’s have a good time. A few numbers to ponder: the leading rider of the main track is Edwin Maldonado with 15 wins from 51 mounts followed by Tyler Baze (10-47) and Rafael Bejarano (9-43). On the other end, Stewart Elliott 1-for-29, Agapito Delgadillo (0-21) and Abel Lezcano (0-18).

Race 1 – SA
#7 Mai Tai (5-2) LIKELY TO SCRATCH
This filly ran into a buzzsaw named Enola Gray first time out and lost by more than 16 lengths, despite finishing second. Enola came back to win a Cal-bred stakes Saturday so that’s good for this 3-year-old.

Race 5 – SA
#3 Little Bit Lovely (6-1): This 4-year-old could prove to be a great claim by trainer Jack Carava. She won her only race down the hill and comes back on the same layout with the same jockey, Flavien Prat, who is leading the meet in winners on the grass. The fill also has the top Brisnet Prime and Class Ratings.

Race 8 – SA
#8 Illuminant (5-1): This filly finished third to the monster female Tepin in the Grade I Jenny Wiley. She is the only speed I see in this race and think Falvien Prat will go to the front with her again. She must make up a length on Wekeela, who is shipping in for trainer Chad Brown but I think she can do with a patient ride.

Race 10 – SA
#9 El Super (6-1): The Richard Mandella-trainee gave just an even effort in his first race in more than a year last time. Good turf jockey Flavien Prat takes over and he is 17% with Mandella.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, May 27

Preview: The fields aren’t full and the card isn’t great. Hopefully we have better racing on the weekend.

Race 6 – SA
#2 Hennythelovepenny (5-2): This filly showed plenty of speed at Los Alamitos and now trainer Peter Miller cuts her back around one turn. Miller is 22% when going from a sprint to a route. Jockey Edwin Maldonado sticks around.

Race 8 – SA
#2 Spark Plug Katie (3-1): This filly drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and trainer Jeff Mullins is 35% with that move. Apprentice jockey Brayan Pena stays aboard.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, May 19

Preview: Just a so-so weekday. During the first two weeks of the meet, jockey Edwin Maldonado has been hot, winning 10 of 38 races. Rafael Bejarano is right behind him with 9-of-36.

Race 1 – SA
#3 My California (10-1): This appears to be the sire Calimonco’s first starter and owners/breeders like to get off to a fast start with new sires. Trainer Robertino Diodoro is 25% with first-time starters and 23% with 2-year-olds.

Race 5 – SA
#8 City of Vengeance (4-1): Trainer Ron Ellis claimed this gelding and wanted to get him on the downhill course but was thwarted due do the weather. Ellis is 40% second off the claim and has a second down the hill. Jockey Tyler Baze, 27% with Ellis at Santa Anita, takes the mount.

Race 8 – SA
#1 Papa Joey (4-1): This gelding showed big improvement when placed on the turf for the first time by trainer Phil D’Amato, who is 38% with jockey Drayden Van Dyke.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, May 14

Race 1: #3 Scuderia (3-1) (turf only): This gelding was in Chad Brown’s hands at Gulfstream Park and had a tough debut. Now shows up for Michael McCarthy with a pair of good works coming in. McCarthy is 26% with horses off a 46-90-day layoff and this son of Gio Ponti should love the turf. McCarthy is 56% with jockey Rafael Bejarano.
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Race 5: #1 My Special Image (15-1): This gelding drops into a maiden claimer for the first time, move trainer Paddy Gallagher is 31% with. Jockey Drayden Van Dyke jumps back off as he rode him in his career debut.

Race 7: #4 Airfoil (3-1): Trainer Peter Miller claimed this gelding last time a drops him, a move he is 53% with. Jockey Tyler Baze jumps aboard and he’s 20% with Miller. This 6-year-old has a 20-4-5-6 record on the Santa Anita dirt.

Race 9: #10 Glacken Too (9-2): Trainer Phil D’Amato has been hitting at a 22% in 2016 and has three wins here opening week. This horse is looking for his first win over the surface, but D’Amato is 28% with beaten favorites and he goes to jockey Edwin Maldonado and they are a 41% combination at Santa Anita.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, May 13

Preview: So not a good start to the week on Thursday. Hopefully we do better Friday. Not a bad weekday card. During the first week of racing, trainer John Sadler, Phil D’Amato and Mark Glatt all recorded three wins each. The Sadler barn has struggled over the last year or so and might be coming out of a prolonged slump.

Race 1 – SA
#1 Proud ‘n’ Ready (3-1): This filly gets a huge jockey change to Rafael Bejarano and he is 27% with trainer Peter Eurton, who is 43% when dropping a horse from MSW ranks into a maiden claimer for the first time.

Race 4 – SA
#6 Born to Serve (5-2): Trainer Jonathan Wong is 50% when moving a horse from a route to a sprint. This gelding has a good work over the track and has won here before. Also key jock switch from Brice Blanc to Edwin Maldonado.

Race 8 – SA
#2 Doodetta (3-1) (turf only): This mare has a 6-2-1-2 record down the hill. Trainer Peter Miller claimed her last time and gave her a break. Miller is 53% when dropping a horse off the claim and he’s 35% first off the claim. Jockey Rafael Bejarano sticks around and he’s 3-for-10 with Miller at Santa Anita.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, May 6

Preview: Not sure how weather will affect this card so check changes. A lot of bit-time jockeys out of town but there is a solid group left.

Race 4 – SA
#2 Sassy Ashley (8-1) (turf only): This filly hasn’t been seen since last fall at Del Mar and could be a grow up play here. She has decent works and trainer Richard Baltas has good numbers in all categories.

Race 5 – SA
#1 Got Even (7-2): Has been away since January but trainer Bill Spawr is 39% off the claim and 24% off layoffs of 61-180 days. Spawr is also 32% with jockey Agapito Delgadillo.

Race 6 – SA
#6 Cape Wolfe (3-1) (turf only): This gelding could be coming into his own in his fourth start in North America. He finished second going down the hill and now stretches out for trainer Phil D’Amato, who is 23% going from sprint to route. D’Amato is 41% with jockey Edwin Maldonado at Santa Anita.

Race 8 – SA
#9 Justonetimebaby (2-1): This gelding showed speed down the hill and now runs on the dirt dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time. Trainer Richard Baltas is 62% going from MSW to MC and he gets leading jockey Rafael Bejarano (35%) to ride.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos RC opinions for Thursday, April 28

Preview: We enter the final week of the Los Alamitos meet as the circuit will return to Santa Anita next week and we’ll get some grass racing. Jockey Kent Desormeaux continues to ride with confidence as he leads the standings with 10 wins from 21 mounts. Mario Gutierrez, Tyler Baze and Tiago Pereira all have six wins each.

 

Race 5 – LRC

#5 Proud Fighter (10-1): This gelding has been away from the races more than 18 months, but trainer Justin Clark is 5-for-9 when bringing a horse back off a layoff of more than 90 days. Jockey David Lopez jumps on.

 

Race 8 – LRC

#3 The Gold Monkey (5-1): Trainer Bruce Headley doesn’t start many these days but he can still get winners. This gelding comes out of a key race that has produced two winners already. Jockey Edwin Maldonado, who is 41% with Headley, takes the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, April 1

 

Race 2 – SA

#1 Compel (3-1): This filly drops into a claimer for the first time and trainer Richard Baltas is 24% going from route to turf. Also, Baltas puts Rafael Bejarano aboard and they are 29% together.

                   

Race 4 – SA

#4 Sooner Time (4-1): Trainer Vladimir Cerin must think this filly is doing well by moving up in class. Cerin is 5-for-10 first off the claim and 20% with jockey Flavien Prat.

 

Race 5 – SA

#6 Atta Boy Pete (3-1): Throw out that last race on the dirt and look at that last race going down the hill. This gelding has been in the money 4-of-7 at this distance. Trainer Phil D’Amato has been hot and so has jockey Edwin Maldonado and they are 36% together at Santa Anita.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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