Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Tuesday, Aug. 13

Hot and cold
Mark Glatt led all Del Mar trainers last week with an 11-4-0-3 record and is now tied for fourth place in the standings with seven wins for the meet.
Doug O’Neill followed up his monster nine-victory week with a solid 16-3-4-2 mark and leads Peter Miller (11-1-3-4 for the week) by five wins for the meet, 16-11.
John Sadler followed up an 0 for 12 effort in Week 3 with a 10-2-2-0 mark in Week 4 and should be a trainer to watch this week. Sadler likes to win stakes races and there are plenty of those week, headed by the Pacific Classic on Saturday.
The Peter Eurton barn is starting to thaw from its icy start as he was 3-2-1-0 during the week.
Some barns are still struggling. Keith Desormeaux (1 for 22), Michael McCarthy (1-18), Steve Knapp (1-17), Tim McCanna (1-13), John Sherriffs (0-14), George Papaprodromous (0-17), Jim Cassidy (0-14) and Jack Carava (0-14) must be looked at as throw outs in handicapping until they show signs of life.
Miller and O’Neill lead the pack with six winners each on the main track followed by Sadler and Bob Baffert with five wins each. Neil Drysdale, who is known mainly for prowess on the turf, is 2 for 2 on the dirt.
It is pretty amazing O’Neill leads all trainers with 10 victories on the grass. from 42 starts. It wasn’t too many years ago that O’Neill went through a streak of 1 for 76 on the turf, but times have changed.
On the other end, Vladimir Cerin is 1 for 14 on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course while McCarthy if 0 for 17 with just two third place finishes and Patrick Gallagher is 0 for 12.

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Monday,May 30

Preview: Not the greatest card, but it’s a holiday so let’s have a good time. A few numbers to ponder: the leading rider of the main track is Edwin Maldonado with 15 wins from 51 mounts followed by Tyler Baze (10-47) and Rafael Bejarano (9-43). On the other end, Stewart Elliott 1-for-29, Agapito Delgadillo (0-21) and Abel Lezcano (0-18).

Race 1 – SA
#7 Mai Tai (5-2) LIKELY TO SCRATCH
This filly ran into a buzzsaw named Enola Gray first time out and lost by more than 16 lengths, despite finishing second. Enola came back to win a Cal-bred stakes Saturday so that’s good for this 3-year-old.

Race 5 – SA
#3 Little Bit Lovely (6-1): This 4-year-old could prove to be a great claim by trainer Jack Carava. She won her only race down the hill and comes back on the same layout with the same jockey, Flavien Prat, who is leading the meet in winners on the grass. The fill also has the top Brisnet Prime and Class Ratings.

Race 8 – SA
#8 Illuminant (5-1): This filly finished third to the monster female Tepin in the Grade I Jenny Wiley. She is the only speed I see in this race and think Falvien Prat will go to the front with her again. She must make up a length on Wekeela, who is shipping in for trainer Chad Brown but I think she can do with a patient ride.

Race 10 – SA
#9 El Super (6-1): The Richard Mandella-trainee gave just an even effort in his first race in more than a year last time. Good turf jockey Flavien Prat takes over and he is 17% with Mandella.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Jan. 1

Preview: Not a bad card for the first day of the new year. Couple down the hill events and always remember to look for horses that run well over it in the past.

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Race 5: #5 Bolitar (5-2)

This colt debuted running down the hill but finished fifth, but that was against straight maidens. Trainer Richard Mandella drops him into the maiden claiming ranks and the 3yo may just hold a class edge with jockey Flavien Prat aboard.

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Race 7: #2 Intoxicating Move (turf only) (7-2)

This mare loves the down hill course with a 8-2-3-1 record. Trainer Jack Carava drops her in class no doubt thinking no one is going to claim a 6-year-old. Red hot jockey Santiago Gonzalez jumps aboard.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Sunday, Nov. 29 (closing day)

FIRST RACE: 1. Diablo Caballero, 2. Cool Green, 3. Sundar Drums. LONG SHOT: Otto’s Echo.

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SECOND RACE: 1. #8 Intoxicating Move (4-1), 2. Vanlose Stairway, 3. With a Twist. LONG SHOT: Artistic Charm.

Tough to explain the last race by this mare, but it would appear she likes going around two turns better with three lifetime wins. She takes a drop in class for trainer for trainer Jack Carava and he goes with good turf rider Corey Nakatani.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Wise Tale, 2. Start a Runnin, 3. Purrin’ Proud. LONG SHOT: Fin de Semaine.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. It Is Living Water, 2. Thanksgiving Day, 3. Nahem. LONG SHOT: Bird E House.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Perfect Set, 2. Ike Walker, 3. Crucero. LONG SHOT: Gold Treasure.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. #9 Rare Candy (15-1), 2. Dressed in Hermes, 3. Imperious One. LONG SHOT: Ninety One Assault.

This colt comes out of the Front Runner at Santa Anita. All he did was finish fouth behind the 1-2 finishers in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Nyquist and Swipe). It appears this 2-year-old likes grass better and Joe Talamo knows how to ride on the turf.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Lord Walton, 2. Hard Gale, 3. Hoffenheim. LONG SHOT: My Patate.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Olorda, 2. Filimbi, 3. Stellar Path. LONG SHOT: Curlin’s Fox.
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NINITH: 1. #6 RIM NICK (6-1) BEST BET, 2. Miner’s Light, 3. Agronomy. LONG SHOT: Trump Diesel.

It would be right to close out the meet with the leading jockey (Rafael Bejarano) and leading trainer (Doug O’Neill). This first-time starter is sired by J P’s Gusto, who gets 18% first-time winners. Plus this one seems to be training good over the track.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 4 (Roper $5.40, first race; Tulira Castle $3, second; Tribal Jewel $15, sixth; Dortmund $3.20, eighth)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 1 (Path of David $7.60, third)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 0

Saturday’s long shot winners: 0

 

   

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Nov. 7

FIRST RACE: 1. #7 Mighty Moses (6-1), 2. Let’s Meet in Rio, 3. Esposito. LONG SHOT: Sorryaboutnothing.

This 2-year-old is trained by Bob Baffert, ridden by Vicor Espinoza and owned by Zayat Stables LLC. Does this sound familiar? Can you say American Pharaoh. One Baffert’s best moves is the route to sprint, which he is 37%.

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SECOND RACE: 1. With a Twist, 2. Priviledged One, 3. Zanbo. LONG SHOT: Thundering Gale.
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THIRD RACE: 1. H R Express, 2. Loyalist, 3. Mike’s Benchmark. LONG SHOT: Tough But Nice.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. What a View, 2. Somethings Unusual, 3. Unusual Fleet. LONG SHOT: Grachus the Hunter.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Antinanco, 2. Alpine Luck, 3. The Gold Monkey. LONG SHOT: Dive Down.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. #3 INTOXICATING MOVE (8-1) BEST BET, 2. Glory, 3. Spirit of Ten. LONG SHOT: Journey On.

Jockey Corey Nakatani rides this Del Mar turf course to perfection. This 5-year-old mare won over this course during the summer and coming off a good work. Nakatani is 20% with trainer Jack Carava.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. All Run, 2. Kafister, 3. Story to Tell. LONG SHOT: Melatonin.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Three Hearts, 2. Energia Fribby, 3. Nashoba’s Gold.; LONG SHOT: Chaulk O Lattey.
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NINTH RACE: 1. Blue Copper, 2. Unbirdled Rocket, 3. Twisted Earl. LONG SHOT: Small Town Shuffle.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Lucky Reality $3, sixth race; Poshsky $7, seventh)
Friday’s second choice winners: 2 (Riri $3.20, first; Zuzu’s Petals $5.80, second)
Friday’s third choice winners: 0
Friday’s long shot winners: 2 (A New Trend $10.40, third; Avanti Bello $3.20, fourth)
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Gulfstream Park West, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita early opinions for Friday, Oct. 23 (Plus Gulfstream Park West)

Well, 4 out of 5 isn’t bad on yesterday’s selections. Let’s try to stay on a roll.

Race 3: #1 Intoxicating Move (3-1)

Jockey Corey Nakatani has his choice of three horses in this race and chooses this tough mare. She has a 7-2-3-1 down the hill and had to be one of the reasons trainer Jack Carava claimed her two back. Carava and Nakatani are a 23% combination.

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Race 5: #7 With a Twist (9-2)

Trainer Phil D’Amato claimed this mare last time at Del Mar and he moves her up, which is a good sign. D’Amato is 24% first off the claim and the trainer decides to keep jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard her, someone D’Amato doesn’t use him much.

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Gulfstream Park West

Race 7: #6 Megeve (5-1)

This colt showed some interest in the stretch last time an now moves up a class level. The 2-year-old comes out of a race that has produced three next out winners. Trainer Phil Gleaves and jockey J C Caraballo are a 24% combination.

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Race 10: #2 Farleys Mandate (turf only) (10-1)

This gelding loves this GPW turf layout with an 8-3-2-1 record. Trainer Christos Gatis is 25% with layoffs of 46-90 days and it’s safe to say he’s been saving this one for this track. Jockey Manoel Cruz stays aboard.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita Opinions for Sunday, April 19

Sorry no picks for Saturday, Felled by a stomach virus for the last 36 hours. Sunday is closing day of the winter-spring meet. Mandatory payouts in all pools.

Race 6: #2 Heavenly Candy (8-1)

Over the years, trainer Jack Carava hasn’t done his best work with first-out maidens, but there must be something to this offspring on Candy Ride and jockey Tyler Baze, the hottest rider on the planet takes the mount. Candy Ride is a 14% first time out sire so we’ll give it a shot .

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Race 9: #8 Scuti de Patuti (4-1)

This 3-year-old filly has show improvement each time out and her best yet was a third last time down the hill. Red-hot Tyler Baze got to know her last time and she could be coming up to her best effort here.

@Jeff-Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

The grass is always greener

The Santa Anita turf course is considered one of the best in the business. Now, we’ll see what happens later this spring when the meet extends into May and June with the extinction of Hollywood Park.

So far this meet, the rain has been confined to one week. Unfortunately, rain is in the forecast for this week so this probably isn’t the best time to talk about the best turf riders and trainers, but such is life.

When handicapping I always give horses ridden by Joe Talamo (16-for-121), Corey Nakatani (16-99), Gary Stevens (11-49) and Mike Smith (12-71) extra credit. I guess I need to start looking at more Rafael Bejarano, even if he is the track’s leading rider already. Bejarano has won 31-of-130 turf starts, according to Equibase stats. The price might be great, but winners are winners.

On the flip side. jockeys to stay away from on the grass are Martin Garcia (1-54), Alonso Quinonez (1-26), Fernando Perez (1-22), Aaron Gryder (0-20) and Orlando Mojica (0-19). Garcia’s stats surprise me a little bit, but he does ride No. 1 for the Bob Baffert barn, which is 1-for-12 on the grass this meet.

The top turf trainer is Tom Proctor (14-47), especially with all those Glen Hill Farm horses he has and Stevens rides most of those.

The trainer that surprised me was Marty Jones, who has won 10 of 26 grass starts. He’s followed by Jerry Hollendorfer (9-43), John Sadler (8-59) and Doug O’Neill (8-87). O’Neill has usually been a throw out for me on turf at Del Mar, but he’s starting to get a lot of horses from Europe lately.

Surprisingly, trainer Barry Abrams is a horrible 1-for-26 on the grass this year despite most of his horses being by the sire Unusual Heat, who has excelled on the surface in the past. Others to ignore are Richard Baltas (1-17), Eoin Harty (1-16), Jack Carava (1-17) and Jorge Gutierrez (1-18).

As for last week, Baltas had three wins in one day while at least four other trainers (Jones, Hollendorfer, O’Neill and Ron Ellis) had two wins. Peter Miller continued his cold spell with an 0-for-8 week and Baffert’s barn was 0-for-3.

On the jockeys’ side, Bejarano had three wins from just nine mounts as he had to sit out a suspension. He was joined with three wins by Talamo (3-24), Tyler Baze (3-22), Smith (3-8) and apprentice Drayden Van Dyke (3-16). Nakatani was just 1-for-13 while Victor Espinoza was 1-for-10.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 2 (Musical Arts $7.40, seventh race; Hobbits Hero $31.80, eighth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 3 (Halo Dolly $7.60, third; Tizmetizyou $18, fourth; Fast Moka Too $3.40, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Arkenstone $35.80, first)

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Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Hollywood Park opinions for Friday, Dec. 6

Race 5: #4 Pretty Storm

This 2-year-old filly drops to her lowest level ever ($30,000 maiden claimer) and gets a huge jockey change from apprentice Irving Orozco to Joel Rosario. The daughter of Primal Storm has shown speed every time out and today should be no different.

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Race 8: #11 Very Thankful

This race is a split of the fifth race and looks just as tough. This 2-year-old filly is by McCann’s Mojave, who unfortunately died earlier this fall. Right after his death, his horses have started to come around first time out. Trainer Jack Carava isn’t know as a first out winner or working well with 2-year-olds but he has done in the past. Plus he puts speed jockey Martin Pedroza aboard. Look for a send from the gate.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Note: Won’t have full handicap this week due to surgery Thursday.

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Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Sunday, Aug. 11

FIRST RACE: 1. Bev N Bud, 2. Faster Action, 3. Father Pabst. LONG SHOT: So Far So Fast.

The Victor Garcia barn has been on fire at the meet and BEV N BUD has never been worse than third on this track.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Horizon Sky, 2. Magic Channel, 3. Los Bambinos. LONG SHOT: Democratic Duck.

MAGIC CHANNEL won first time in this country, but jockey Julien Leparoux jumps off to ride HORIZON SKY, who takes a drop in class.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Market Portfolio, 2. Spotted Owl, 3. Valid But True. LONG SHOT: Heza Great Friend.

MARKET PORTFOLIO is a first-time starter by After Market for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who has won 42 percent of his maiden claiming first-time starters.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Elusive Luci, 2. Not My Tap, 3. Fanticola. LONG SHOT: Rockabye Lady.

ELUSIVE LUCI is a first-time starter from the Tim Yakteen barn. The daughter of Elusive Quality has decent works and gets leading rider Rafael Bejarano.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Under Review, 2. Little Jerry, 3. Meyden Magic. LONG SHOT: No Jet Lag.

UNDER REVIEW has been away from the races since Dec. 29 but has been working steadily for his return. Trainer John Sadler knows how to get them ready and Leparoux has been riding well on the turf course.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Dance With Fate, 2. American Pride, 3. Southern Freedom. LONG SHOT: Uncharted Course.

DANCE WITH FATE comes out of a maiden race where the top three finishers have come back to win. The 20year-old had all kinds of trouble in his debut and Bejarano sticks around to ride.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Lady Rosamond, 2. Sallyana, 3. Magestic Stinger. LONG SHOT: Daddy’s Song.

Trainer Bob Baffert drops Lady Rosamond into a claimer for the first time and gets Bejarano to ride the daughter of Keyed Entry.

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EIGHTH RACE (John C. Mabee): 1. Tiz Flirtatious, 2. Customer Base, 3. Lady of Shamrock. LONG SHOT: My Gi Gi.

There are only five fillies and mares in this year’s running of the Mabee, but it is still a talented group. TIZ FLIRTATIOUS is Cal bred who has blossomed on the turf, never finishing worse than second in six runs on the green stuff. CUSTOMER BASE is the wild card from the Tom Proctor barn. She will be coming from off the pace, looking for her first graded stakes victory.

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NINTH RACE: 1. JOE CARL (best bet), 2. Romeo Royale, 3. God of War. LONG SHOT: Mr. Make Believe.

JOE CARL has been claimed an amazing seven times in a row. He loves this Del Mar track with two wins, two seconds and a third in eight career runs. Bejarano keeps the mount for trainer Jack Carava.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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