Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita (plus a few others) opinions for Saturday, June 27

Race 2: #7 Architop (5-2)

When trainer Richard Mandella drops a horse into the maiden claiming ranks for the first time, he means business to the tune of 39% like with this son of Arch. Jockey Flavien Prat showed speed with this one in the last two and if he does that here, he might go wire-to-wire.


Race 8: #7 Fanticola (7-2)

This 5-year-old mare just missed going longer in the Grade I Gamely Handicap and now she gets to go shorter which means she will be able to go harder earlier. Trainer Phil D’Amato is 21% in graded stakes.


Race 10: #6 Where Was Eddie (7-2)

This is a first-time starter by In Excess, who wins at an 18% rate first time out. This 3-year-old colt has been tearing up the track in the mornings.



Race 5: #5 Private Tale (8-1)

This 7-year-old won over the surface and now moves up in class and tries to go longer. Trainer Mike Maker is 38% with horses winning back-to-back in the claiming ranks plus top jockey Javier Castellano takes the mount.



Race 10: #10 Langdarma (15-1)

This 3-year-old has been ITM 6 of 9 career races and just missed last time. Maybe moving to the turf will do the trick for the son of Candy Ride, who is coming out of a key race that has produced two winners so far.



Race 9: #3 Racetrack Romance (4-1)

Trainer Marcial Navarro did us right the other day so we’re going back to the well. Navarro is winning 43% of his races this year and is 8-for-13 at Gulfstream. This gelding just won at the condition but is now shortening up and being put up for a claiming price. Jockey Eddie Castro is 3-for-5 in the last 60 days with Navarro.

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Updated Santa Anita picks for Thursday, March 6

Just a few observations from last week:

Trainer Roberto Diodoro had a big week, but remember with all of the rain there were a lot of cheaper races, something the Arizona trainer can win at.

Likewise, jockey Edwin Maldonado, who I had given up for dead, came to life with a lot of wins. Again remember the main track was sealed and played to speed alot. That is Maldonado’s strength: speed horses.

Jockey Irving Orozco has lost his apprentice weight allowance and has become a journeyman. That will probably mean more business for apprentice Drayden Van Dyke, who has proven quite capable of riding, especially down the hill on the turf.

FIRST RACE: 1. Fifteen Black, 2. Dubai Ruler, 3. Seeking Asylum. LONG SHOT: Baker Boys.

FIFTEEN BLACK, a 3-year-old colt, badly needed his last race, which came after an eight-month layoff. He showed speed from the gate but tired down the stretch. He drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and should be ready to go for trainer Jeff Bonde and jockey Agapito Delgadillo.


SECOND RACE: 1. Oneandonlyloveman, 2. Candiz, 3. Market Notes. LONG SHOT: Takem by Surprise.


THIRD RACE: 1. Just Dancing, 2. I’m No Patsy, 3. Incredible Journey. LONG SHOT: Hlao Roo.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Oh Daddy Oh, 2. Southern Surprise, 3. Chat n’ Cut. LONG SHOT: Northern Force.


FIFTH RACE: 1. J Kat, 2. Number Five, 3. Kozani. LONG SHOT: Broadcaster.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Our Dream Queen (best bet) SCRATCHED, 2. More Complexity, 3. Copperopolis. LONG HSOT: Emotional Drive.

OUR DREAM QUEEN, a 3-year-old filly, is by In Excess, one of the top first-out sires around. She has been working really nice for her career debut and she has the tandem of jockey Rafael Bejarano and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who is 30% with first-time starters.

That really hurts to lose my best bet of the day. Watch for this one to come back. She had been training gangbusters.

New picks: 1. More Complexity, 2. Copperopolis, 3. Q’Viva. LONG SHOT: Emotional Drive.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Monastic, 2. Spring Up, 2. Joelito. LONG SHOT: Artic North.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Violate, 2. Warrenspoweroflove, 3. Yesterday Sing. LONG SHOT: Ninnavee.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 2 (Tempe $7.20, first race; Honey Ride $5, fifth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 0

Sunday’s third choice winners: 3 (Larocco $16.80, third; Judge Carr $9, fourth; Tiz Dynamic $5, eighth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Dress Code $15.80, seventh)