Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Friday, July 21 (First post 4 p.m.)

Preview: I’m off to a slow start but I hope some of you bet my long shot Snow Cloud in Thursday’s seventh race. Trainer Jim Cassidy is now 6-for-10 the last two years in Del Mar turf sprints. As for the rest of the day, trainer Peter Miller got off the the duck with the winner in the last race which gave one lucky bettor from New Jersey the whole Pick Six pool. Trainer Vladimir Cerin won his third of the two-day meet.

FIRST RACE: 1. #8 Nazareth, 2. #6 Herunbirdledpower, 3. #1 Sidepocket Run. LONG SHOT: #5 Goliath’s Girl.
Trainer Gary Sherlock is 19 percent with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff. This mare has a 7-1-0-3 record over the Del Mar main track and apprentice Evin Roman jumps aboard.

For the rest of my picks go to:

Good luck.

@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

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Oct. 24 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Faith Hope Love, 2. Warren’s Cracker, 3. More Stormyweather. LONG SHOT: Theartrical Cast.


SECOND RACE: 1. Grandstand, 2. Greeley Awesome, 3. Mambo Man. LONG SHOT: African Oil.


THIRD RACE: 1. Bayonet, 2. Redshirt, 3. Conquest Superstep. LONG SHOT: Olivia’s Greatdane (SCRATCHED). New long shot: Miss Mandate.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Fonz, 2. Go Black Tie, 3. Secret Wishes. LONG SHOT: Stolen Property.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Tester, 2. Smokey’s Legacy, 3. Nevada Time. LONG SHOT: Couldashouldadid.

TESTER (8-1), a gelding, hasn’t been seen on the track for 15 months. He drops into a maiden claimer for the first time, a move trainer Phil D’Amato is 50% (4-for-8). D’Amato is also 33% with long layoffs.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Tap Dancing, 2. Act, 3. Lindante. LONG SHOT: Monsieur Power.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Valley Cat, 2. Wanstead Gardens, 3. Timeless Indy. LONG SHOT: Songforjohnmichael.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Jet Trick (best bet), 2. Bodie Bojangles (SCRATCHED), 3. Arigato. LONG SHOT: Great Lou. New picks: 1. Jet Trick (best bet), 2. Arigato, 3. Lucky Shoes to Win. LONG SHOT: Great Lou.

Trainer Gary Sherlock drops JET TRICK (9-2), a 2-year-old gelding, a level where he finished second at during Del Mar. He also cuts back in distance and has a big work over the track since his last race.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 2 (Maybellene $6.20, second race; All Star Bub $4.80, third)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 5 (Desert Thief $9.60, second; Soul Driver $17.80, fifth; Belonging $10.80, sixth; Scooter Bird $3.60, seventh; Golden Triumph $4.40, eighth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 1 (Comin’offthebench $9.40, fourth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

Del Mar, Horse racing

The week that was at Del Mar

Well, opening week has come and gone at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

The Polytrack was inside speed-favoring the first two days and then seemed to play fair over the weekend.

The new Jimmy Durante Turf Course also seemed to play fair despite the fact it looked more like it belongs on a golf course than a race track. Oh, yeah, it was developed by Greg Norman.

And finally if you’re a fan of trainer Gary Sherlock or a member of his barn, you got rich. It’s safe to say Sherlock’s wins with Passing Game on opening day at $62.80 and She’s Flush on Sunday at $108.60 will result in a positive ROI for a couple of years. There was no way I could come up with She’s Flush, even if it was a bad race. Passing Game, on the other hand, had a past win on the Polytrack. Horses that won on it before should be given extra consideration when handicapping.

Surprisingly, jockey Martin Garcia was the star the first week with six wins from 23 starts and only two of them were for his main guy, trainer Bob Baffert. Even more shocking was the fact that Garcia won twice on the turf, a surface he hasn’t excelled at a lot in the past.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith was a standout, as usual. When big money is on the line, you want Smith in your corner. Smith was 5-of-19 for the week and his horses earned $455,720.

Elvis Trujillo, the import from Florida who joined the Southern California circuit in May, had a very quiet 4-of-27 week.

Rafael Bejarano returned from injury and scored three victories, all of them on the turf. He seems to be getting more comfortable and stronger every day.

Corey Nakatani (15-1-4-5) and Stewart Elliott (7-1-4-0) bear watching because those seconds and thirds will turn into wins. Elliott, who is riding a lot for Canadian-based trainer Mark Casse, should be watched on the Polytrack, especially. He will notice a bias in a minute and take advantage of it.

On the not so good side, Victor Espinoza, California Chrome’s jockey, went 0-for-23 and Edwin Maldonado was 0-for-18 the first four days.

On the training side, Doug O’Neill leads after one week after going 4-for-21.He led with Polytrack victories with three.

Following O’Neill in the standings, John Sadler, Peter Miller and Jerry Hollendorfer all recorded three victories. Miller led the way with two wins on the turf.

It looks like Casse has brought a strong group from Canada and will be a force to watch at the meet.

I’m still trying to get a handle on Midwest trainer Michael Stidham. It’s looking to me like his turf horses are taking better to the Del Mar grass than his Polytrack horses are in going from Arlington Park to the seaside oval, but it could all change.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 1 (Luminance $3, eighth race)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 3 (Thermal Nermal $9.80, third; Tom’s Tribute $6.60, fifth; Poshsky $11.40, seventh)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 4 (Tigah $6.60, second; Tara’s Tango $4.60, fourth; Shysheisnot $5, sixth; Secret Command $19.60, 10th)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 0