Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Saturday, April 5

FIRST RACE: 1. Yard Line, 2. Vegas Strip, 3. Reno Rebel. LONG SHOT: Guggenheim.

I couldn’t talk anyone off any horse in this maiden race, which could turn into a key race down the line. If this Pick 5 doesn’t pay big bucks, I’ll be stunned.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Pulpit’s Express, 2. Volkonsky, 3. Storm Fighter. LONG SHOT: Poshsky.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Whine for Wine, 2. Life Is a Joy, 3. Gangnam Guy. LONG SHOT: Alert Bay.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Sammy Mandeville, 2. Act, 3. Green Tag. LONG SHOT: Designated.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Ria Antonia, 2. Fashion Plate, 3. Arethusa. LONG SHOT: Bajan.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Chati’s On Top, 2. Norastone, 3. Princess Genevieve. LONG SHOT: Cause Ur My Babe.

This daughter of Old Topper, CHATI’S ON TOP, runs in Southern California for the first time off a Golden Gate maiden win. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith takes over as Mike Puype takes over the training. The tow are a 40% proposition the last two years at Santa Anita.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Diversy Harbor, 2. Nashoba’s Gold, 3. Savings Account. LONG SHOT: Tiz Kissable.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Schoolofhardrocks, 2. Candy Boy, 3. California Chrome. LONG SHOT: Hoppertunity.

SCHOOLOFHARDROCKS, a son of Rock Hard Ten, was the “wise guy” horse before the Grade II San Felipe with a series of big works off a long layoff. He ran OK but was no match for California Chrome, who is also running here. Again this David Hofmans trainee has been training well coming into the race and must finish first or second to have any chance at running in the Kentucky Derby. Likewise, CANDY BOY has to finish first or second to get to the Derby while CALIFORNIA CHROME and HOPPERTUNITY already have enough point to get to Kentucky.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Advisory, 2. Tommy O, 3. Brave Act. LONG SHOT: Sir Macho.

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10TH RACE: 1. Toledo Eddie (best bet), 2. Too Fast to Pass, 3. Seeking the Sherif. LONG SHOT: Explain.

TOLEDO EDDIE, a 5-year-old gelding, is a perfect 3-for-3 on the Santa Anita Derby. The son of Ministers Wild Cat has seven lifetime wins while many in this race have just one or two. He’s moving into open company but has been working well for trainer Craig Dollase.

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11TH RACE: 1. Indygo F M A, 2. Kerrilynn, 3. Joeandbetty’sbaby. LONG SHOT: I’m Tops.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Water Issues $15.80, fourth race; Fit to Rule $4.60, fifth)

Friday’s second choice winners: 2 (Tiz the Key $5.60, first; Theatre Star #5.60, sixth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 2 (Chicsdigtheshark $12.20, third; My Sweet Addiction $7.40, seventh)

Friday’s long shot winners: 0

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Friday, March 28

FIRST RACE: q. Mank, 2. Bad Behavior, 3. Scarly Charly. LONG SHOT: A Red Tie Day.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Cousin Ricky, 2. Johnny Reb, 3. Reps and Warrants. LONG SHOT: Still Unbroken.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Husband’s Folly, 2. Polytechnicien, 3. Depreciable. LONG SHOT: Timeless Indy.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. This Cat’s Awesome, 2. Seeking Asylum, 3. Mason B. LONG SHOT: Uncle Luck.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Trelawny, 2. Botch, 3. Swift Eagle. LONG SHOT: Yankee Rebel.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Chattering Class (best bet), 2. Primal Revival, 3. Summer Sea. LONG SHOT: Malbros.

For the second time in two days trainer Peter Miller gets a horse from the New Mexico circuit to run at Santa Anita. This 3-year-old, CHATTERING CLASS, is dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time and showed speed last time out. Miller is 38% when going from MSW to a maiden claimer and 27% with jockey Victor Espinoza.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Karma King, 2. Forever Juanito, 3. Number Five. LONG SHOT: Al Baz.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Jovita’s Tuffy, 2. My Jealous, 3. Topper’s Ghost. LONG SHOT: Nome.

Trainer Blaine Wright is based in Northern California was a 23% trainer in 2013. He rarely comes to Southern California so when he does, you have to take notice. JOVITA’S TUFFY, a 4-year-old gelding, won in his only appearance on the Santa Anita for trainer Mike Mitchell. Wright claimed him for $12.500 and ran him twice at Golden Gate. He returns to what be his favorite surface and gets red-hot apprentice Drayden Van Dyke to ride.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 2 (Raven Wild $5, first race; Christopher Street $6.40, seventh)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 1 (Mascato Girl $4, eighth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 3 (Consecrate $7.40, second; Do Some Magic $4.60, third; No Ez Money $7.60, fourth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 1 (Purahexonher $9.60, fifth)

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Thursday, March 13

FIRST RACE: 1. Dixieland Blues, 2. Luckarack, 3. Tripski. LONG SHOT: Causeithertz.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Cherubim, 2. Pimpernel, 3. Beach Hut. LONG SHOT: Rum Point.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Beautiful Spirit, 2. Angel’s Moon, 3. Metaxa. LONG SHOT: Lady Vivien.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Biorhythm, 2. Winding Way, 3. Llandudno. LONG SHOT: Macaabra.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Chain Lightning (best bet), 2. More Stormyweather, 3. Moscato Girl. LONG SHOT: West Coast Storm.

Trainer Jeff Bonde ships CHAIN LIGHTNING, a 3-year-old filly, down from a MSW at Golden Gate to a $30,000 maiden claimer at Santa Anita. She showed speed early and faded. Bonde is 40% is MSW droppers and he puts speed jockey Edwin Maldonado aboard.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Earthflight, 2. Practising, 3. Kukaluka. LONG SHOT: One More.

Another 3-year-old filly, EARTHFLIGHT, ships down from Golden Gate. She made her U.S. debut finishing fourth in the California Oaks. Jockey Martin Garcia takes over and the daughter of Medicean could show huge improvement second-time Lasix.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. In Dad’s Honor, 2. Indygo F M A, 3. Amanda. LONG SHOT: Belonging.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. I’m Tops, 2. Julio’s Gold, 3. Le Fascinator. LONG SHOT: Creditcardroulette.

@Jeff_Nahill on twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Friday, Feb. 21 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Passion Bucket, 2. Warrens Puppy Love, 3. Marla Hooch. LONG SHOT: Let’s Dance.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Oso Smart (best bet), 2. Matt the Hammer, 3. Sir Macho. LONG SHOT: Lucky Jack.

At first glance it would appear jockey Fernando Perez got his choice of two horses trained by Adam Kitchingman here, but we don’t think that was the case. Jockey Edwin Maldonado rides far more often for Kitchingman and he takes the ride on OSO SMART, a son of Curlin. The 3-year-old has tactical speed and drops looking to cash while making his dirt debut. MATT THE HAMMER will be tough first off the claim for Kitchingman. Can you say exacta box?

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THIRD RACE: 1. Awesome Return, 2. Texas Ryano, 3. Lucky Views. LONG SHOT: Neverwherecauseway.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Goldilocks Planet, 2. Vicki Victoria, 3. Cayanna. LONG SHOT: Tangerine Tickle.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Surfer Moon (SCRATCHED), 2. Warriors Ridge, 3. Incline Village. LONG SHOT: Next Right. New picks: 1. Incline Village, 2. Warriors Ridge, 3. Next Right. LONG SHOT: Misdeed.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Senator Bob, 2. Newfound Gold, 3. Baron Von Red. LONG SHOT: Bruno’s Wager.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Meringue Pie, 2. Bobby Flay, 3. Turn on the Pumps (SCRATCHED). LONG SHOT: Dancer Humor. New picks: 1. Meringue Pie, 2. Bobby Flay, 3. Dancer Humor. LONG SHOT: Trouble X Two.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. More Stormyweather, 2. Among the Stars, 3. Parade Bound. LONG SHOT: Oh Boo Hoo.

This 3-year-old More Than Ready filly (MORE STORMYWEATHER) moves down to Southern California from Golden Gate Fields off a fourth-place finish in November. She has been given 2½ months off to grow and seems to have a touch of speed. She gets a nice outside draw for trainer Bill Spawr, who is batting 36% with maiden claimers.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 1 (Acute $4.60, first race)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 4 (Addendum $3.60, first; Brown Is Beige $15, third; Warren’s Rosebud $12, fourth; San Onofre $3, seventh)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 0

Thursday’s long shot winners: 1 (Feline Forum $12.80, sixth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Thank God for Golden Gate horses (and New Mexico, too)

In case you hadn’t noticed lately but there seems to me there has been an influx of Golden Gate Fields horses in the Santa Anita entries.

At first thought, I believed it was because Golden Gate rarely (if ever) runs turf races at this time of the year due to the weather. Supposed it rains a lot this time of the year, but the last time I checked we were in the middle of a drought.

So in looking at the entries for Thursday and Friday this week there seemed to be a lot of GG horses. There are five on Thursday and seven on Friday. Of those entries, only three are on the turf so 25% are here for grass racing. The other 75% is running on the dirt.

And in point of truth, if it wasn’t for the entry of two Golden Gate horses, Friday’s first race wouldn’t be run, and maybe that’s why it took so long to fill the Friday’s races on Monday. Two of the five horses in Friday’s first race have been running in Albany.

Maybe that’s why Santa Anita shouldn’t run more than four days a week. Period. This week there is an extra day due to the Presidents’ Day holiday. Or maybe they should have run just eight races on Monday and saved a fuller field for Thursday or Friday?

All I know is Santa Anita should send Golden Gate horsemen some flowers or something for helping to fill its races.

And if you think Santa Anita trainers haven’t noticed the lack of entries in races all one has to do is look at Peter Miller. Twice in the last few weeks Miller has imported horses from New Mexico to win races. He did this last summer at Del Mar because Del Mar Thoroughbred Club was offering a bonus to enter the starting gate and a purse bonus. Miller isn’t waiting around to do this again. He’s going for the money right now.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Monday’s top choice winners: 2 (Bench Press $4, third race; Hearitforthegirls $14.60, sixth)

Monday’s second choice winners: 2 (Keyboard Courage $7, first; Garen $8.20, second)

Monday’s third choice winners: 3 (Toledo Eddie $7, fourth; Pontchatrain $7, seventh; Rovenna $4.80, eighth)

Monday’s long shot winners: 1 (Dixieland Blues $12.20, ninth)

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Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Del Mar will race on Thanksgiving in 2014

The children are back in school and everyone has returned to their Monday-Friday routine after last week’s Thanksgiving holiday.

One thing to count on next year is that the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will be racing on Thanksgiving Day, said Craig Dado, senior vice president/marketing, on Tuesday.

“Yes, we will race, probably with an 11 a.m. first post,” said Dado.

Del Mar will be hosting its first inaugural fall meet from Nov. 6 to Nov. 30. Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 27.

“Some tracks have done very well on Thanksgiving,” said Dado. “Hollywood Park used to do very well during the Marge Everett era.

“In Year 1, we’re not expecting great things, but we’re going to try some fun things.”

Dado said nothing is set in stone, but Del Mar is kicking around things such as a children’s 1K run in the morning.

“People don’t usually sit down to eat until 2 or 3 p.m.,” he said. “We’ll have 11 a.m. first post so what’s wrong with going to the races on Thanksgiving?”

Dado said Del Mar is still working on the “branding” of its fall meet.

“We really want to differentiate it from the successful summer meet,” he said. “We want to make sure it has its own character, feel and personality.”

Dado said Del Mar will keep some of the names of several of the Hollywood Park fall stakes races, but would change most of them.

“Once you see the new branding, the new names of the stakes races will fall into place,” he said.

Dado was unsure whether Del Mar would keep Hollywood Park’s Turf Festival intact, but that turf racing would be an important part of the fall program.

“Luckily, we have this new fancy turf course that will have all of these different settings to use,” Dado said.

Del Mar is in the process of replacing its old turf course (see here for live cameras http://www.dmtc.com/live/turfcourse.php )  and it will be ready for the 2014 summer meet.

The circuit will go to Los Alamitos for three weeks following Del Mar’s fall meet before Santa Anita opens on Dec. 26. It means turf horses will have nearly four weeks off, if they don’t run up north at Golden Gate Fields.

“People will certainly want to get a grass race in before the end of Del Mar,” said Dado.

As for the rest of the new meet, Dado said it should be “interesting.”

“It won’t be the size and the scope of the summer meet, but it should be strong,” he concluded.

Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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