Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club picks for Thursday, July 17

Opening day is here for the Del Mar Thoroughbred. Tread lightly unless you have a sure thing.

Word is the Polytrack has been slow in the mornings and track superintendent Richard Tedesco will add wax to it next Monday, a dark day for racing. The question is why wouldn’t the wax be added this week before the start of racing instead of changing the surface after four days of action?

My guess is the track will play to rally-wide horses this week and then next week is anyone’s guess.

It will be a total guessing game beginning opening day on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course, which was replaced after last season. The course has been widened and the chute has been made more gradual. The grass is a strain developed by golfer Greg Norman so there is no telling if it will play to speed or closers or how post positions will affect outcomes.

Good luck.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Old Man Lake, 2. Hawk’s Eyes, 3. Tuckers Point. LONG SHOT: Cook Inlet.

Time for start of new meet so bombs away. OLD MAN LAKE, a 4-year-old, is dropping in class and has a previous win over the Del Mar Polytrack. Trainer Adam Kitchingman is 24% on synthetic and 25% going from turf to synthetic. On top of that he is 23% with jockey Edwin Maldonado.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Stored Attaq, 2. Full of Spice, 3. Bird In Love. LONG SHOT: Spirit of Ten.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Hail Mary, 2. Biorhyhtm, 3. My Happy Face. LONG SHOT: Zilber.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Three Point Luke, 2. Hold Everything, 3. Aftermarketslam. LONG SHOT: Money Fan.

THREE POINT LUKE, a 3-year-old, was bought for $125,000 as a juvenile and obviously has panned out as he runs for $20,000 in a maiden claimer here, but after two sprints he finally gets to do what he was bred for: go around two turns. By Empire Maker out of a Gone West mare, distance shouldn’t be a problem and trainer Doug O’Neill is 22% second off the lay off.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Super Ability, 2. Airfoil, 3. Jules Journey. LONG SHOT: Layton Register.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Zinvor, 2. Pulmarack, 3. London Legacy. LONG SHOT: Quiet Thunder.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Jackson Sundown, 2. Cinmars Dance, 3. Romar Success. LONG SHOT: Sonicvelocity.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Aotearoa, 2. G. G. Ryder, 3. Sammy Mandeville. LONG SHOT: Majestic Kitten.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Diamond of Blue, 2. Magic Beam, 3. Close to the Edge. LONG SHOT: Sheer Talent.

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10TH RACE: 1. Affrettando (best bet), 2. This One’s for Mel, 3. Causeithertz. LONG SHOT: Woodmans Luck.

AFFRETTANDO, a 5-year-old gelding, got us home a winner last summer and we’re going back to the well with good reason. Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who is returning from injury on opening day, and trainer Mike Pender were a perfect 4-for-4 at the 2013. Here’s hoping there is more of the same this summer.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Thursday, May 1

FIRST RACE: 1. Wake Up Nick, 2. London Legacy, 3. Papa Kade. LONG SHOT: Player’s Charm.

This is the second 2-year-old race of the meet and trainer Doug O’Neill has three youngsters in here. We gravitate to WAKE UP NICK because jockey Mario Gutierrez decides to ride (he has first call on Paul Reddam horses) and the O’Neills (Doug and his brother, Dennis) appear to own a piece of the Cindago offspring, which were bred to sprint. LONDON LEGACY has been training well for trainer Walther Solis, but it’s tough taking a 2-year-old out of the No. 1 post.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Stenoa, 2. Roman Tizzy, 3. Wicked Heat. LONG SHOT: Heaveneleven.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Boyett, 2. African Oil, 3. Christopher Street. LONG SHOT: China Girl Lover.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Shackbamalama, 2. Northern Force, 3. Old Pueblo. LONG SHOT: Tiz Futurity.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Shapely (best bet), 2. Thisonesforricky, 3. Front Range. LONG SHOT: Sheza Dish.

SHAPELY, a 3-year-old filly, made her debut finishing second down the hill on the turf, but she is bred for the dirt (Empire Maker our of a Charismatic mare). Trainer Ron Ellis is 28% with maidens making their second start and the filly had a bullet work since her first start.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. One Time Only, 2. Rhagori, 3. Scarlet Strike. LONG SHOT: Silver Hustler.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Cause Ur My Babe, 2. Prayer Be Mine, 3. Frisco Fog. LONG SHOT: In Dad’s Honor.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Highly Rated, 2. Deity, 3. Flashy Dame. LONG SHOT: Include the Cat.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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