Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, July 19

Preview: Trainers Doug O’Neill and Jerry Hollendorfer, who were mediocre in 2017, dominated on opening day, winning the first seven races between them. Give their horses an extra look, especially O’Neill, who gets hot and then cools off.

Trainers to watch
PHIL D’AMATO: Tied for the Del Mar training title last summer with 18 wins and his stable has only gotten stronger since then. He is a monster on the turf with 12 wins and 11 seconds from 66 starters. This summer look for improved numbers on the dirt and with younger horses.

RICHARD BALTAS: He tied D’Amato for the crown a year ago. Surprisingly, he beat D’Amato on the grass, leading all trainer with 13 winners on the green. One area of weakness is first-time starters so stay away from them.

PETER MILLER: Last summer wasn’t the best for the Carlsbad resident who annually starts a ton of horses at the seaside oval. He had more than twice has many seconds and thirds (24 and 16) as wins (15). No doubt he wants to turn those numbers around. Don’t be afraid of horses showing San Luis Rey Downs works because he has a portion of his stable there. Miller was second in dirt wins and victories by 2-year-olds. He does a lot of damage with claimers and maiden claimers, but you often don’t get a square price.

MARK GLATT: He had a really good summer under the radar last year, finishing tied for third in the standings with Miller (15 wins) from far less starters (68). He also is sneaky on the grass with eight wins from 37 starts. Betting on all of Glatt’s starters would have produced a flat-bet profit, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

DOUG O’NEILL: It will be a race to see who starts more horses this meet: Miller or O’Neill. The O’Neill barn gets a lot of horses from J. Paul Reddam and a lot sired by Square Eddie so watch for that combination. O’Neill was tied for third in dirt wins (nine) and grass can be a weakness. However, look at turf sprints because in 2016 O’Neill did well in that category.

OTHERS: Bob Baffert has his second Triple Crown winner in four years but like American Pharoah, Justify won’t run at Del Mar. Baffert led all trainers with 12 dirt wins, with half of them coming from 2-year-olds. He is also usually strong in the sprint and handicap divisions. The best betting option is “the other Baffert.” When he has two horses in the same race, bet the one with the higher odds plus bet an exacta box of his two horses. … Jerry Hollendorfer had just five winners a year ago but he got hot during Santa Anita and might be back to his old self. Watch out for his 2-year-olds, especially the fillies, one of which (Brill) is running on opening day. … Michael McCarthy, the former Todd Pletcher assistant, is starting to get better stock after finishing last summer for third in dirt wins (nine). According to Mazur’s book, McCarthy produced a huge $73 flat-bet profit. … Simon Callaghan is another younger trainer to watch after he had seven 2-year-old winners in 2017. … Steve Miyadi is also good with 2-year-olds (four wins) and first-time starters (three of 11). … Jim Cassidy, the life-long New York Yankees fan, is 7-for-13 in turf sprints the last three years with a profit of $137, according Mazur’s book. … Tom Proctor, who trains mainly for Glen Hill Farm, is a whiz on the turf and he went 6-for-15 at 2017 meet for a flat-bet profit, but don’t expect any large prices because his horses get bet.

FIRST RACE: 1. Watch Me Burn, 2. Jellybeankristine, 3. No Thanks Erik. LONG SHOT: Lakerzwin.

SECOND RACE: 1. Gutsy Effort, 2. Welldidyougetit, 3. Latitude. LONG SHOT: June Two Four.

THIRD RACE: 1. PASTIME (best bet), 2. G Q Covergirl, 3. Painting Corners. LONG SHOT: Invested Prospect.
Let me just say this up front there is no way we are getting the 12-1 morning line on No. 8 Pastime in today’s third race. Trainer Victoria Oliver brings a small string to Del Mar almost every year from Kentucky and always seem to win at a good price, but the word is already out on social media. That being said Oliver is 4-for-11 at Del Mar with horses off a 31- to 60-day layoff like this filly and the average winning price is $20, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Robin’s Love, 2. Cylinders, 3. Lil Bit Dangerous. LONG SHOT: Go Smiley Go.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Memorable Election, 2. Rockaway, 3. Ivy Mike. LONG SHOT: Master Ruler.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Magic Musketier, 2. Andesh, 3. Inscom. LONG SHOT: Soltero.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Secret Spice, 2. Moonshine Memories, 3. Show It N Moe It. LONG SHOT: Treasuring.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Majorie E, 2. Venue, 3. Oh Pretty Woman. LONG SHOT: Unusual Gold.


Top choice winners: 2 (Shivermetimbers $4.60, sixth race; Brill $3.40, seventh)

Second choice winners: 1 (Super Duper Cooper $6.40, ninth)

Third choice winners: 3 (Eighty Three $10.60, third; Dichotomy $5.40, fourth; Ann Arbor Eddie $20, fifth)

Long shot winners: 1 (Jimmy Chila $7, second)

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, July 27

PREVIEW: Looks like another tough card and a single ticket in the Pick 6 will return more than $400,000 so better look ta Races 3-8 very carefully.

FIRST RACE: 1. Cupid’s Beau, 2. Zarqa Star, 3. Strong Values. LONG SHOT: Seal Six.

SECOND RACE: Lea’s Reward, 2. Bellasario, 3. Tenthousandreasons. LONG SHOT: My Carmela.

THIRD RACE: 1. Exclusively Ours, 2. City Storm, 3. Interrogator. LONG SHOT: Oopper Wallah.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Lucky With You, 2. Rule Number Eight, 3. Raul Rosas. LONG SHOT: Vegas Vic.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Mac McLovin, 2. Oh Man, 3. Rocky Rogue. LONG SHOT: Lucky Romano.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Golden Light, 2. Spin Me a Kiss, 3. Afewency. LONG SHOT: Moonshine Annie.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. She’s a Warior, 2. Plastered, 3. Mended. LONG SHOT: Mangita.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. TWEETING (BEST BET), 2. Tiz Bailee, 3. Tiz My Love. LONG SHOT: Pantsonfire.
We hit with a Glen Hill Farm grass horse on Wednesday and we’re looking for another here. This 3-year-old filly is running at her sixth different track and she is dropping from the straight maiden ranks to a maiden claimer for the first time. Gary Stevens rides for trainer Tom Proctor, who is 36% with the MSW-MC move. The daughter of Uncle Mo has a good work locally and could be a decent price.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Sept. 26

Just a reminder that Santa Anita has put in a new main dirt track during its break from racing. It’s possible the speed biases might be a thing of the past, but who knows until they race. In listening to some early comments from exercise riders, word is the track is deeper and you don’t hear the horses, but like we said: we’ll see.


FIRST RACE: 1. Redshirt, 2. Madam Aamoura, 3. Here Comes Chloe. LONG SHOT: Pure.


SECOND RACE: 1. Golden Triumph, 2. Gal Has to Like It, 3. Sacred Ovation. LONG SHOT: Peacenik.


THIRD RACE: 1. Heat the Rocks, 2. Flat Footed Mama, 3. Tatum’s Gold. LONG SHOT: Niassa.


FOURTH RACE: 1. As Rulers, Go, 2. Intoxicating Move, 3. La Sorrella. LONG SHOT: More Complexity.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Expo and Fig, 2. Royal Tale, 3. Persisting. LONG SHOT: Golden Chalice.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Betty Bing Bing, 2. Natal, 3. Swiss Heart. LONG SHOT: Bird In Love.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Contributor, 2. Jomelo, 3. Shun. LONG SHOT: Ransom Canyon.

Trainer Julio Canani was as hot as anyone at the end of the Del Mar meet. He claimed CONTRIBUTOR (8-1), a 3-year-old gelding, away from Glen Hill Farm and throw out that last race and this son of Repriced should be right there with jockey Joe Talamo aboard.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Alberts Hope, 2. Indianapolis, 3. Street Icon. LONG SHOT: Diamond Bachelor.


NINTH RACE: 1. Ambitious Brew, 2. Unbridled’s Note, 3. Pure Tactics. LONG SHOT: Snowday.

AMBITIOUS BREW (4-1), a 4-year-old gelding, makes his return after a 7-month layoff for trainer Marty Jones. The son of Tizbud is a perfect 3-for-3 on the downhill turf course. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith returns to ride AMBITIOUS BREW, who is coming out of a key race.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Sunday, Aug. 31

In case you didn’t see these stats Saturday on my Twitter feed, here are some unbelievable numbers from the grass races at Del Mar this summer.

These came from the genius of HRTVs Kurt Hoover and Bob Ike, who did the leg week earlier in the week.

Through Friday, here are the following grass records of five jockeys on the Del Mar turf course:

Joe Talamo 1-for-45

Tyler Baze 1-for-39

Tiago Pereira 1-for-26

Victor Espinoza 1-for-25

Fernando Perez 1-for-23

That’s a total of 5-for-158 or 3.2% for meet. I would avoid these jocks on the grass. If they beat you, they beat you.


FIRST RACE: 1. Ultimate Holiday, 2. Maybellene, 3. Danette. LONG SHOT: She’s Reddy.


SECOND RACE: 1. Spirit of Ten, 2. Yodel Up a Storm, 3. Salsita. LONG SHOT: Hugger of Trees.


THIRD RACE: 1. Educating, 2. Tiz Ladys Legs, 3. Dixie Tweet. LONG SHOT: Midnight Candy.

Owner Glen Hill Farm has been waiting to get its 2-year-olds on the Del Mar grass and that’s what trainer Tom Proctor does here with this daughter of Elusive Quality, EDUCATING (4-1). Proctor is 23% first-time turf and 4-for-12 with horses debuting at a mile or longer.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Designated, 2. Canopus, 3. Burning. LONG SHOT: Stauffenberg.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Fashion Plate, 2. Jojo Warrior, 3. Delta Flower. LONG SHOT: Thegirlinthatsong.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Song to You, 2. Boozer, 3. Heat Flash. LONG SHOT: Quality Plan.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Broken Sword, 2. Every Way, 3. Magic Union. LONG SHOT: Scooter Bird.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Grandstand, 2. Diamond of Blue, 3. Carlot Cowboy. LONG SHOT: Dr Action.


NINTH RACE: 1. Talco, 2. Flamboyant, 3. Enterprising. LONG SHOT: Aventador.

TALCO (8-1), a daughter of Pivotal, makes her first start in the United States in what looks like a private purchase. Trainer John Sadler puts jockey Corey Nakatani on board and he has been riding the turf course as well as anyone at this meet.


10TH RACE: 1. Malibu Way, 2. Gold Medallion, 3. Hawk’s Eyes. LONG SHOT: Big Wags.


11TH RACE: 1. Bijoux (best bet), 2. Nighttiming, 3. Keezheekoni. LONG SHOT: Halljoy.

BIJOUX (7-2), a daughter of Broken Vow, has a lot going for her in just her third career start. First, there is a big jock switch to Joel Rosario, who is in to ride the stakes; second, she comes out of a key race where the top two horses have come back to win and finally she has a big work for trainer John Sadler coming into the race.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 1 (Call to Congrats $8.60, sixth race)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 5 (Cruisingtheharbor $12, first; Blue Tone $3.20, third; Foorstepsinbronze $4.60, fourth; Press Baron $11, seventh; Conquest Hiosilver $11.80, 10th)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 2 (Sam’s Sister $5.80, fifth; Sunset Glow $3.80, ninth)

Saturday’s long shot winners: 1 (Warren’s Cliff S. $19.20, 11th)