Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, Aug. 18

Preview: Big week at Del Mar with the Pacific Classic on Saturday. Bob Baffert, to no one’s surprise is leading all trainers in main track wins with 10 from 33 mounts. John Sadler is having a great meet with 7 wins from 16 starters on the dirt and Mark Glatt is 6-of-21.

Race 1: #2 Nuke Laloosh (3-1), 2. Ideal, 3. Papa Gulf. LONG SHOT: Foolish to Deceive.
Trainer Peter Miller brings this 3-year-old back after more than a year’s layoff, but look who he lost to in his last race, no other than Preakness winner Exaggerator. That race was a key race and with the drop to maiden claimers for the first time (Miller’s 28% there) this first-time gelding could be real tough.

Race 2: Dame Street, 2. Optimism And Hope, 3. Compel. LONG SHOT: Tequila Mary.

Race 3: 1. Golden Atlantic, 2. Cee the Preacher, 3. Look Me in the Eye. LONG SHOT: Redneck Crazy.

Race 4: 1. Marvelous Max, 2. Bernardjfortunato, 3. Zealous Tale. LONG SHOT: Ring Collector.

Race 5: #1 Marriedtoaminister (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Papa Mambo, 3. Watch This Cat. LONG SHOT: Conquest So True.
This filly was claimed by trainer Richard Baltas out of a maiden claiming victory and we think he had grass in mind for her. Baltas is 21% first off the claim and 25% both first turf and dirt to turf. The filly has the best Brisnet Late Pace Rating by 9 points which should work out well on the grass.

Race 6: 1. Warren’s Purrfect, 2. Appealing Lady, 3. Goliath’s Girl. LONG SHOT: Lob City.

Race 7: 1. Danas Best, 2. Pretentious, 3. Infinite Loop. LONG SHOT: Banze No Oeste.

Race 8: 1. #8 You’re the Reason (5-1), 2.It’s Not So Easy, 3. Starr of Quality. LONG SHOT: Victory Seeker.
Trainer William Morey drops this filly into a maiden claimer for the first time and he is 53% with such moves. Huge jockey switch from Kerwin John to Gary Stevens.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Pimlico

Pimlico Race Course opinions for Saturday, May 21

There are no secrets to my picks for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, #westisbest.
Even thought it’s suppose to rain most of the day at Pimlico Race Course, I don’t see any reason why Nyquist won’t win the race and go to New York looking to give the sport a second straight Triple Crown.
Nyquist has just proven to be able to do what he wants on the track and the thing I keep coming back to is the fact that he doesn’t want to be passed once he gets in front.
Exaggerator has yet to get by him and I don’t see it on Saturday, but he looks like the second-best 3-year-old in the country.
Adding to the intrigued in this one will be the addition of Uncle Lino, who finished to Exaggerator in the mud at the Santa Anita Derby. I don’t think he is as good as Nyquist, but he will have to go from the No. 2 post and he has natural speed.
I look for a West Coast trifecta in this race. Rain or shine.

EIGHTH RACE
1. Lady Shipman, 2. Joya Real, 3. Exaggerated. Long shot: Miss Matzoball.

NINTH RACE
1. Counterforce, 2. Justin Squared, 3. Quijote. Long shot: Discreet Angel.

10TH RACE
1. Mizz Money, 2. Heath, 3. Tiger Ride. Long shot: Flying Tipat.

11TH RACE
1. Dazzling Gem, 2. American Freedom, 3. Gettysburg. Long shot: Moon King.

12TH RACE
1. Takeover Target, 2. Grand Arch, 3. Take the Stand. Long shot: Prince Gagarin.

13TH RACE: Preakness Stakes
1. Nyquist, 2. Exaggerator, 3., Uncle Lino. Long shot: Fellowship.

Good luck.

Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Churchill Downs, Horse racing

Churchill Downs opinions for Saturday, May 7

Kentucky Derby selections
#13. Nyquist
#11. Exaggerator
#9. Destin
#6. My Man Sam
It took me a while to warm up to the undefeated Nyquist, also trained by O’Neill and ridden by Mario Gutierrez. I tried to beat him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile because of his poor post draw, but I did have him in my West Coast trifecta that finished 1-2-4. It was that race that turned me around. Once he got the lead, he won’t let you go past him. It’s been the same in his 2016 races. Go back and look at the replays. Exaggerator had dead aim on him in February and Nyquist wouldn’t let him by. Believe me, the Desormeaux brothers (trainer Keith and jockey Kent) were more than happy to see Nyquist go to the Florida Derby, where he beat the best in the East to collect a $1 million bonus. Meanwhile, Exaggerator stayed in Arcadia and turned in an impressive turn of foot in the sloppy Santa Anita Derby win. Destin is coming out of win in the Tampa Bay Derby, which has produced three next out winners, while My Man Sam has some closing ability. My real LONG SHOT is the maiden Trojan Nation. I don’t know if he can win, but I think he can shake up the exotics.

Race 3: #10 Jimbo Fallon (4-1): This colt is coming off a 13-month layoff, but word is that he has been the workout mate for Mor Spirit, who runs later on the card in the Derby, and by the looks of the works JF has been holding his own. Another positive is he’s a 4-year-old running against a lot of 3-year-olds.

Race 8: #9 Birdatthewire (5-1: Dale Romans is back training this filly and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith is back in the saddle. Smith has won her before at 7 furlongs, just like today. Her wins all show one thing: a long sustained run from the back and we expect the same here.

Race 10: #2 Ralis (10-1): The colt hasn’t had the same success he had as a 2-year-old, but he has been working out with likely Derby favorite Nyquist in Kentucky. Trainer Doug O’Neill tries to get him to focus by adding blinkers and jockey Mario Gutierrez is reunited with him.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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