Horse racing, Santa Anita

The week that was at Santa Anita

The more things change, the things stay the same.

Rafael Bejarano, the leading jockey at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Park, was the top rider last week with five wins from 22 mounts.

Apprentice Drayden Van Dyke is the one to watch. Like I surmised recently when Irving Orozco lost his bug, Van Dyke is getting more mounts and the kid can ride. He seems to do very well down Santa Anita’s turf course, which isn’t easy for the best journeyman.

Victor Espinoza and Corey Nakatani both won three races each last week to stay in the top five of the season’s overall count.

On the training side, it was pretty well spread out.

Jerry Hollendorfer led the way with three wins in seven tries.

Leading trainer Bob Baffert, John Sadler, Tom Proctor, Ron Ellis and Marty Jones all had two wins on the week.

Conversely, Doug O’Neill (1-for-14) and Peter Miller (0-for-5) might be barns to ignore until they show signs of heating up again. And they will. They have so many horses that they will turn it around, just watch for the signs.

Something to watch for early in the week, jockey Gary Stevens, who was 0-for-7 last week, is riding twice for Sadler. Now considering, Stevens and Sadler have teammed up just four times over the last two years, I’d say it’s an interesting development. It might be worth a couple of betting dollars.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 2 (Seattle Charlie $3.60, second race; The Admiral $6.40, eighth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 1 (Magic Number $6.60, fourth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (Noise of the Crowd $11.80, fifth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Stormy Lucy $11, seventh)

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Saturday, Jan. 18 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Sunland Vintage, 2. Clearly Confused, 3. Joint Attempt. LONG SHOT: Second Time.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Addendum, 2. No Tricks for Jack, 3. Quinnette. LONG SHOT: Rossi Reserve.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Kafister, 2. Close to the Edge, 3. Newfound Gold. LONG SHOT: Gal Has to Like It.

Trainer Ron Ellis makes a key jock switch here on KAFISTER going from apprentice Irving Orozco to  journeyman Victor Espinoza, who has won 30% of his mounts for Ellis the last two years. This gelding takes a class drop and just throw out his last disaster.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Right On Schedule, 2. Gold Tie Please, 3. Dynamite Wind. LONG SHOT: Eat My Bubbles.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Moone’s My Name (SCRATCHED), 2. Gulsary, 3. Fanticola. LONG SHOT: Lady Ten SCRATCHED. New order: 1. Gulsary, 2. Fanticola, 3. Charlie Em .LONG SHOT: Dancingtothestars.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Little Curlin (best bet), 2. Pimpernel, 3. Garen. LONG SHOT: Roger Rocket.

This son of Curlin was 5-1 in his debut at Keeneland and finished a fast-closing fourth, but he is likely more suited for the dirt. Jerry Hollendorfer has been handed the keys and puts barn favorite Rafael Bejarano in the saddle.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Moulin de Mougin, 2. Smart N Dreamy, 3. Oscillator. LONG SHOT: Bee Brave.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Hear the Ghost, 2. Shakin It Up, 3. Zeewat. LONG SHOT: Heir of Storm.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Dancinginthestreet, 2. Kitten de Pere, 3. Practising. LONG SHOT: Perfect Cursive.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 3 (Prescenceofagenius $3.40, first race; Happybirthdaybaby $5.80, fifth; Street Icon $6.20, seventh)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 1 (Graeme Crackerjack $7.60, fourth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Horse Laugh $5.80, second; Elegant in Silk $6.40, eighth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

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Friday’s top choice winners: 0

Friday’s second choice winners: 5 (Time for Angie $7, first; Just Dancing $4, second; Acute $7.60, fourth; Ambitious Brew $3.60, seventh; The Cleaners $4, eighth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 0

Friday’s long shot winners: 1 (El Nino Terrible $30.80, sixth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Thursday, Aug. 22

Wednesday’s action saw eight races with eight different jockeys and eight different trainers heading to the winner’s circle, but we probably should put an asterisk next to apprentice jockey Irving Orozco.

Orozcon crossed the wire first in the fourth race with 16-1 long shot Trelawny, but was disqualified by track stewards for costing Oak Kye Why a placing. The DQ was justified and will likely result in a three-day suspension.

Orozco then took the fifth race aboard first-time starter Clouds Clearing ($22.80) for trainer Dean Pederson and Harris Farms, Inc. You always have to give Harris Farm horses an extra look.

Trainer Ed Moger Jr. got off the duck when he won the seventh race with Qiaona ($7). Moger was 0-for-21 going into the race.

There was a possibility of a Pick Six carryover going into the last race with only three horses covered but when Oh My Enberg ($13.60) scored for first time out for trainer John Sadler, it was back to the drawing board. Oh My Enberg is co-owned by Halo Farms (aka Teddy Aroney) and another outfit to watch closely at Del Mar. It’s too bad the race wasn’t on Thursday, an off day for the Padres because Padres television play-by-play man Dick Enberg is a known lover of the sport of horse racing.

FIRST RACE: 1. Beast of Bourbon, 2. Hunger, 3. Shackbamalama. LONG SHOT: Hardliner.

We’ve been trying to get trainer Ron Ellis first off the claim all meet and we try again here with BEAT OF BOURBON. This 3-year-old moves up in class, but jockey Victor Espinoza stays aboard.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Toomanytomatoes, 2. Cotton’s Point, 3. Only Josie Knows. LONG SHOT: Hey Cowboy.

TOOMANYTOMATOES takes a drop into the Cal bred ranks for trainer Mike Mitchell. She was favored last time on the turf and Garrett Gomez takes over.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Extensive, 2. Grandstand, 3. Irish Surf. LONG SHOT: Dreamcatcher.

Trainer Vladimir Cerin had a good Hollywood Park meet, but has yet to reach the winner’s circle at the seaside oval. That might end here with EXTENSIVE, who is dropping out of a third-place finish to Marketing Mix in the Grade III Sunset Handicap.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. MARKET NOTES (best bet), 2. Uptown Big Brown, 3. Tosheen. LONG SHOT: I’ll Wrap It Up.

MARKET NOTES moves down the Southern California circuit from the NoCal fair circuit for trainer Jeff Bonde. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano takes the mount and that should be all you need to know.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Koko Loca, 2. Lanida, 3. Dilly’s Dancer. LONG SHOT: Full’s Figurehead.

KOCO LOCA takes a huge drop from a $32,000 claiming race to $8,000. She didn’t run bad last time with a fifth-place effort and apprentice Irving Orozco gets aboard for a 5-pound weight break for hot trainer Doug O’Neill.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Here’s to Rose, 2. Midnight Lady, 3. Lets Get Frisky. LONG SHOT: Gabbiano.

Trainer Adam Kitchingman claimed HERE’S TO ROSE from a win at the maiden claiming level. Jockey Edwin Maldonado takes over so look for a change of tactics.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Boat Trip, 2. Compari, 3. Chips All In. LONG SHOT: Winning Prize.

BOAT TRIP just missed going five furlongs on the turf course here and now stretches out to a mile. The 4-year-old colt has a win in a minor stakes at Hollywood Park so the trip should be fine.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Tookmebysurprise, 2. Sweet Millicent, 3. Silver N Sassy. LONG SHOT: Jade and Sauci.

TOOKMEBYSURPRISE got bumped at the start and finished third. With a cleaner start, the 2-year-old filly might be right there.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Wednesday, Aug. 14

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Thursday, Aug. 1

FIRST RACE: 1. Frequent Flame, 2. Katy’s Kitty, 3. Memo to Kathy. LONG SHOT: Igotnosixes.

FREQUENT FAME gets a second run over the Del Mar Polytrack after an even effort. Jockey Joe Talamo sticks around for Peter Miller.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Smart N Dreamy, 2. Lets Get Frisky, 3. Midnight Lady. LONG SHOT: Comin Easy.

SMART N DREAMY just broke his maiden coming from just off the pace and a similar style will work here. Looks very much on the improve.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Thunder Bonnet, 2. Rousseau, 3. Tookmebysurprise. LONG SHOT: Ritual Hills.

Wow, so close to a two-day carryover in the Pick 6, but we start anew here. The horses which have run aren’t all that much so time to go with first-timers THUNDER BONNET and ROUSSEAU. Trainer Adam Kitchingman already has a first out winner so we’ll go with THUNDER BONNET on top.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Cast a Doubt, 2. La Mano Nera, 3. Sacred Ovation. LONG SHOT: Brutally Handsome.

CAST A DOUBT is first off the claim for trainer John Sadler, who obviously has a plan by moving to the turf for the first time.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Citron Kid, 2. Mikey T, 3. Money Machine. LONG SHOT: Scatman Blues.

CITRON KID drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and goes from turf to Polytrack for the first time. Talamo takes the mount from Martin Pedroza.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Doyouseemecoming, 2. Trelawny, 3. Fury Kapcori. LONG SHOT: Gladding.

DOYOUSEEMECOMING showed speed last time and that style has worked well the first two weeks of the meet. He has been working well over the surface and could be ready to go to the winner’s circle.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Lucayan, 2. Old Time Hockey, 3. Camp Victory. LONG SHOT: Hawk’s Eyes.

LUCAYAN has been chasing OBVIOUSLY in his last two races and drops from graded stakes company.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. THE GATEKEEPER (best bet), 2. Warren’s Tyler S., 3. Candy Sweetheart. LONG SHOT: IN a Wine Tizzy.

THE GATEKEEPER could make it a very big day for the Sadler barn. Big jock switch from Irving Orozco to Edwin Maldonado. Orozco lost his whip and steadied late so this switch may make all the difference at this low level.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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