Horse racing, Santa Anita, Tampa Bay Downs

Santa Anita and Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, Feb. 9

PREVIEW: Had some family issues on Friday so didn’t get to handicap the full Santa Anita card. Beside, it was suppose to rain overnight leaving the condition of the main track and turf course in question. I will be surprised if anything other than the stakes races are run on the grass. I have handicapped only the stakes races in Arcadia today.
I have also included the four stakes races being run at Tampa Bay Downs today.


RACE 5 (Grade Ii Las Virgenes): 1. Bellafina, 2. Enaya Alrabb, 3. Mother Mother. LONG SHOT: Tomlin.

RACE 7 (Grade III Thunder Road): 1. Blackjackcat, 2. Le Ken, 3. River Boyne. LONG SHOT: True Valour.

RACE 9 (Grade II San Marcos): 1. Chicago Style, 2. Beach View, 3. Epical. LONG SHOT: Sejo.
First off, let me say I handicapped this race thinking trainer Bob Baffert will scratch Roman Rosso and Dabster if this race stays on the grass. Both horses have never run on the green stuff and I don’t Baffert intends to do it here. I also don’t think Prince of Arabia will run if it’s not on the main track. Love Chicago Style here. He can handle a softer turf course and others in here have proven they can’t.


EIGHTH RACE (Grade III Tampa Bay) 1. Qurbaan, 2. Heart to Heart, 3. Inspector Lynley. LONG SHOT: Irish Strait.

NINTH RACE (Suncoast): 1. Her Royal Highness, 2. Sweet Diane, 3. Lady Kate. LONG SHOT: Point of Honor.

10TH RACE (Grade III Endeavour): 1. Get Explicit, 2. Bombshell, 3. Hawksmoor. LONG SHOT: Viva Vegas.
Note: Trainer Chad Brown intends to scratch Rymska and run her at Gulfstream Park.

11TH RACE (Grade III Sam F. Davis): 1. Well Defind, 2. Knicks Go, 3. Cave Run. LONG SHOT: Still Dreaming.

Good luck.


Top choice winners: 4 (Runningwscissors $5, first race; Award It $4.20, third; Red King $7.40, sixth; Mobou $4.40, eighth)

Second choice winners: 0

Third choice winners: 2 (Mongolian Window $6.80, second; Ax Man $6.20, seventh)

Long shot winners: 0

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, Aug. 24

Preview: Not the best of cards, but at least they have a maiden grass sprint. Heading into the final two weeks of the meet, the jockeys’ race appears to be a three-horse race: Flavien Prat 28-146, Rafael Bejarano 25-122 and Santiago Gonzalez 23-160..

Race 1: 1. #2 Fruity (7-2), 2. Desert Madam, 3. Take It Easyplease. LONG SHOT: Ipray.
Jockey Flavien Prat jumps on this filly, which tries two turns on the dirt for the first time. Trainer Matthew Chew claimed her out of her last and drops her into this spot off a win over the track.

Race 2: 1. Magic Tatse, 2. Silver Chrome, 3. Citori. LONG SHOT: Footloos Indy Lane.

Race 3: 1. Eddie’s Turn, 2. Eight Spokes, 3. Never Say Try. LONG SHOT: Pulla Train.

Race 4: 1. #6 Moonlight Blue (4-1), 2. Three Eclipse, 3. Sorry Erik. LONG SHOT: Ucanthankmelater.
Most of the 2-year-olds in this race are going around two turns for the first time. This gelding has been running in Florida and looks for the Ship ‘N Win bonus. Trainer Vladimir Cerin is 21% first time with a horse and 20% with horses off a 31 to 60-day layoff. This one also drops into a maiden claimer for the first time.

Race 5: 1. Soi Phet, 2. The Gomper, 3. Kristo. LONG SHOT: Grazen Sky.

Race 6: 1. #5 Schwary’s Girl (6-1) BEST BET, 2. Lori’s Attitude, 3. Could Be Magic. LONG SHOT: White Rock Lake.
Love the Australian sire Lonhro, especially on the turf where he gets 14% winners first time out. This filly has a good last work and trainer Mike Puype is 20% with jockey Stewart Elliott.

Race 7: 1. Blue Tone, 2. Conquest Cobra, 3. Avanti Bello. LONG SHOT: War Envoy.

Race 8: 1. Sidepocket Run, 2. Revenue Virginius, 3. Hennythelovepenny. LONG SHOT: Desert Thief.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs for Saturday, Jan. 30

Preview: Sure hoping the turf course is dried out from Wednesday and Thursday rains or this could be a bad card. Check the weather report and morning scratches.


Race 6: 14 Punchyourlitesout (12-1)

Must draw in to the main body of the race, but if he does, watch out. This colt finished seventh in his first race in more than two years. Trainer Larry Rivelli drops him more than two levels, a move he is 33% with. Also, jockey Daniel Centeno keeps the mount.


Race 9: #4 Ringold (6-1)              

This gelding has been running in South Florida and ends up here in the Larry Rivelli barn, which is 24% with horses first time. Look for improvement here.


Race 10: #1 Lighthouse Sound (turf only) (9-2)

This gelding is 2-for-2 at the meet and trainer Darien Rodriguez decided to claim him to go for the hat trick. Rodriguez is 38% first off the claim and leading jockey Antonio Gallardo keeps the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Jan. 23

Preview: Decent Saturday card and a Pick Six carryover of more than $300,000. They say there could be $1.2 million in new money, but with all the snow in the East, I’m thinking it will be more as bettors will only be able to play tracks in Florida, New Orleans and California. The Bob Baffert barn has gotten hot and is 6-ofr-31 on the dirt to lead all trainers on the main track. He is followed by Richrda Baltas (5-25), Bill Spawr (5-11) and Vladimir Cerin (4-9). Guys looking for their first dirt win are Gary Sherlock (0-12), Mike Pender (0-10) and Mike Machowsky (0-10).


Race 2: #3 Where’s Bubba  (7-2)

As we stated Bill Spawr is one of the top dirt trainers this meet. Just draw a line through this gelding’s last race and the previous race puts right there with these. Spawr is 37% going from route to sprint.


Race 5: #3 A Colt Following (7-2) 

We’re sticking with Bill Spawr in this one, too. This colt won at this level last time and Spawr is daring someone to claim him. Again the route to sprint angle (37%) comes into play.


Race 9: #7 Sudden Sam (6-1) 

Breeder/owner Nick Alexander likes to win races, especially with homebreds. There are a lot of fast works o this 3-year-old but I guarantee trained Phil D’Amato (16% with firsters) has him fit. Tribal Rule is a 15% sire with firsters and this one gets Lasix, too.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Gulfstream Park West, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Oct. 16 (Plus Gulfstream Park West)

Race 3: #1 Tribal Zen (12-1)

Trainer John Sadler makes it a habit to claim maidens dropping from MSW ranks and he did again with this son of Tribal Rule. Sadler likes to change things up and he puts this 2-year-old on the grass where his sire is 17% first time turf. Sadler is 24% first off the claim.


Race 5: #7 El Gran Turismo (5-1)

This colt is out of the mare Cambioscorsa, who was a monster going down the hill as was her full brother California Flag. The colt is trained by Mike Puype and ridden by Joe Talamo in his first start. Breeding wins out here over all other factors.


Gulfstream Park West

 Race 3: #3 Dreams Cut Short (8-1)

This gelding was claimed out of a winning effort at Saratoga and then shipped to Florida, where he finished third in a minor stakes. Now he drops into a high-priced claimer for trainer Marcus Vitali, who is 25% with horse making their second start for him. Barn rider Matthew Rispoli (26%) jumps on.


Race 6: #8 Friendswith K Mill (5-2)

This gelding has been facing tougher in Southern California and it looks like he was a private purchase by trainer Kristin Mulhull, who has split her stable between SoCal and Florida. This 4-year-old has no early speed so he will be closing down the lane with jockey Jesus Rios.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Sept. 5

FIRST RACE: 1. #4 Ring Collector (8-1), 2. Osceola Pond, 3. Scatastrophe. LONG SHOT: Tequila Joe.

Just did not like the slop in his career debut. Beside, trainer Peter Eurton hardly ever wins first time out. This son of Scat Daddy should relish the turf and the two turns. On top of that, leading jockey Rafael Bejarano jumps aboard and he’s 22% with Eurton.


SECOND RACE: 1. Two Step Flor, 2. Flexible Ethics, 3. Papaslilprincess. LONG SHOT: I Have a Price.
THIRD RACE: 1, Majestic Heat, 2. Handfull, 3. Indecise. LONG SHOT: Doodetta.
FOURTH RACE: 1. It Girl, 2. Katy Drama, 3. Bayonet. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Purrfect.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Justin Squared, 2. Arabian Leopard, 3. Tristan’s Trilogy. LONG SHOT: Frank Conversation.

SIXTH RACE: 1. #1 I’MALREADYTHERE (7-2) BEST BET, 2. Hollywood Don, 3. Tiz a Billy. LONG SHOT: Hot Ore.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has done very well over the years with private purchases from Florida and that’s what we have here. This gelding broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park. Hollendorfer is 31% with horses the first time in his care and he puts Flavien Prat aboard. They are 27% together at Del Mar.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Rockinatten, 2. New Summit, 3. Rockport Kat. LONG SHOT: Native Treasure.
EIGHTH RACE: 1, #5 Tiz a Kiss (3-1), 2. Frandontjudge, 3. Spirit of Ten. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Jen Fizz.

This mare finished second over the course and then was transferred to the red-hot Richard Baltas barn. Has a good work last week and jockey Kent Desormeaux takes. He is 21% with Baltas.


NINTH RACE: 1. #4 Land Over Sea (15-1), 2. Songbird, 3. Pretty N Cool. LONG SHOT: Come to Mischief.

We find it interesting that jockey Mario Gutierrez had his choice of this last out maiden winner and Gomo, the runner-up in the Sorrento Stakes, and he chooses this daughter of Bellamy Road. We know this 2-year-old can get the distance, having won at a mile and is now cutting back. She has a big work over the main track earlier this week which may set her up perfectly.

10TH RACE: 1. Aotearoa, 2. Surfcup, 3. Texas Ryano. LONG SHOT: Alex Rossi.
11TH RACE: 1. Formally Wild, 2. Wicker Man, 3. Ain’t Misbehavin. LONG SHOT: Cowtowmary.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Updated Santa Anita picks for Friday, Oct. 4

FIRST RACE: 1.Shand, 2. Elusive Luci, 3. Patriot C H. LONG SHOT: Tizhardtoget.

SHAND faced maiden special weights last time, finishing fourth. Jockey Rafael Bejarano jumps back on the 3-year-old filly, who has a second-place finish over the track.


SECOND RACE: 1. Purim’s Dancer, 2. In the Stars, 3. Minds Eyes. LONG SHOT: A Time to Love.

You could single IN THE STARS, but this looks more like an “ALL” race in horizontal wagers, but PURIM’S DANCER returns from a layoff and she has three wins down the hill.


THIRD RACE: 1. BURNING (best bet), 2. Hobbits Hero, 3. Market Notes. LONG SHOT: Behind the Bossman.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has done this many times over the last few years: go to Florida, purchase a horse that has run and turn into a good horse, if not a superstar. Well, BURNING, a 2-year-old son of Candy Ride, doesn’t look like a surperstar, but who knows down the line. Hollendorfer obviously didn’t pay too much for this colt because he’s running him in a maiden claimer $40,000) for the first time. The key here is Burning’s first race and not his last when he ran off in the post parade, finishing last of six. In his career debut, he was second to Casiguapo, who was second in Saratoga’s closing-day Hopeful and is running in this weekend’s Champagne at Belmont Park. Jockey Edwin Maldonado climbs aboard so look for a send from the gate.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Lia Juliana, 2. Unkept Rendez Vous, 3. Eltoninadress. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Morgan.

This is a wide-open race. LIA JULIANA comes off an OK effort at Fairplex Park and jockey Joe Talamo takes over for trainer Steve Knapp. The due have won 29 percent of their races the last two years.


FIFTH RACE: 1. No Tricks for Jack, 2. Quinnette, 3. Kilted Tilt. LONG SHOT: Sydney’s Darling.

Jockey Agapito Delgadillo and trainer Victor Garcia were hot at Del Mar. Maybe they can recapture that magic with NO TRICKS FOR JACK, who is moving up in class off a Del Mar win. KILTED TILT IS SCRATCHED.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Kana Flavor, 2. Lucky Student, 3. Chumash. LONG SHOT: Run Sophia Run.

KANA FLAVOR finished third in her last at Del Mar as the 3-1 favorite. She will be looking to make amends here with Bejarano taking over for Mike Smith.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Cinco de Mario, 2. Sinfully, 3. Very Unusual. LONG SHOT: Tommy O.

CINCO DE MARIO has never won on the dirt but has a good work over the Santa Anita surface coming into the this race for jockey Mario Gutierrez and trainer Doug O’Neill.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Amp and Adrenalin, 2. Bipartisan, 3. Tap It In. LONG SHOT: Public Defender.

AMP AND ADRENALIN comes out of a key race. The 4-year-old gelding takes a class drop off a second-place finish.

Thursday’s top choice winners: 1 (Llandudno $11, sixth race, BEST BET)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 4 (Frandonjudge $9.80, 2nd; Tuckers Point $7, 4th; Scary Fast $7.40, 5th; Rousing Sermon $8, 7th)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Big Macher $13.20, first; Candy Anniversary $8.20, 8th)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter