The last five racing days trainer Doug O’Neill won seven races from 20 starters to make the trainer’s race a four-man battle between John Sadler (14 winners, 2-for-16 for the week), Bob Baffert (12, 0-for-13), Jerry Hollendorfer (11, 4-for-12) and O’Neill (10).
Rafael Bejarano continues to pull away in the jockey’s race. He had eight wins on the week and has 29 for the meet. Former Kentucky Derby winning jockey Mario Gutierrez had an outstanding week with six wins from 17 mounts. Of course, Gutierrez rides a lot for O’Neill.
Jockey Julien Leparoux was 4-for-18 last week while Martin Garcia was 3-for-19 and Edwin Maldonado was 3-for-25. On the flip side, Joe Talamo continues to struggle as he went 1-for-30 for the week. Tough to bet on him these days, especially when he gets out-finished by the likes of apprentice Irving Orozco.
Don’t forget jockey Garrett Gomez is back in the mix and Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens returns from riding in Europe last week.
FIRST RACE: 1. Bubba Fizz, 2. Jets to Brazil, 3. Manewal. LONG SHOT: Zippingaroundtown.
Maldonado and trainer Adam Kitchingman have hit with an amazing 41 percent of their mounts over the last two years from 44 mounts. BUBBA FIZZ returns to sprinting after a failed effort at Santa Rosa going long on the grass. He also takes a drop in class.
SECOND RACE: 1. TANGERINE TICKLE (best bet), 2. Atta Girl Anna, 3. Promiscuoussuances. LONG SHOT: Ziva the Diva.
TANGERINE TICKLE just lost to Glorious Luck, who won impressively on Saturday at Del Mar. This Tribal Rule filly will stalk the pace and let’s hope Talamo gets out of his funk.
THIRD RACE: 1. Scary Fast, 2. Secret Memo, 3. Calameera. LONG SHOT: Spritzy.
The big Pick 6 carryover off more than $255,000 will start here. I wanted desperately to like SPRITZY in this spot for Bejarano and trainer Vann Belvoir, and she could very well win, but her works just haven’t been sensational for her debut. Then, again, maybe Belvoir is trying to hide something. Instead, we went with SCARY FAST, who just finished third at this level and has a good work since that race over the Del Mar Polytrack. Beside, we all know now that trainer Carla Gaines isn’t really suspended and she’s watching all her horses run in the afternoons.
FOURTH RACE: 1. Pawn Shop, 2. Bonita Star, 3. Bas. LONG SHOT: Lindz Winz.
Bejarano jumps on PAWN SHOP for little-known Northern California trainer Genaro Vallejo. They have hit 1-of-2 connections like this in the last year with a huge ROI of $15.30. Bejarano’s agent only puts him on horses that have a shot to win. LINDZ WINZ comes from the Dallas Keen barn, which just got off the 0-for-48 schneid on the Polytrack on Sunday.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Keldy, 2. Patriot C H, 3. Coconut Cream Pie. LONG SHOT: Cravin the Heat.
KELDY is one of six horses in this race going from turf to Polytrack. This 3-year-old daughter of Benchmark finished third at Hollywood Park and secures the services of Stevens for this race.
SIXTH RACE: 1. Cosmic Heat, 2. Unbridled Giant, 3. Frenemy. LONG SHOT: Somewhere With You.
COSMIC HEAT is first off the claim for Ron Ellis, who is 40 percent with this move. We tried this angle last week and got burned by a bad ride on the part of Agipito Delgadillo. Unfortunately, he’s riding here again so let’s hope he doesn’t get trapped on the rail again and no way to get through.
SEVENTH RACE (The Green Flash Handicap): 1. Boat Trip, 2. Wiredfortwotwenty, 3. Distinctiv Passion. LONG SHOT: Circa’sgoldengear.
There’s lots of speed in this race so we’ll go with the closer BOAT TRIP, who is 1-for-1 at the distance and 4-of-6 on the grass.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Frannie’sspirittoo, 2. Dolphin Shorts, 3. Janes Ship. LONG SHOT: Reclusive.
FRANNIE’SSPIRITTOO has third-place finish over the track and may have the right style today. DOLPHIN SHORTS had a tone of trouble in her debut for trainer Mike Mitchell, who is 20 percent second time out. RECLUSIVE has been training well at Hollywood Park, but trainer Eric Kruljac is just 3-for-56 with first-time starters. He admitted in an interview that he tends to give a horse a race before fully cranking them up.
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