Churchill Downs, Horse racing, Kentucky, Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs opinions for Friday, May 4 (Kentucky Oaks Day)

Preview: Check the track conditions because rain is forecast for Friday and Derby Day on Saturday. Races might come off the turf so check the changes. I handicapped just the stakes races. For the other you are on your own but check out West Coast jockeys who get mounts in other races.

FIFTH RACE (Eight Belles, Grade II): 1. Mia Mischief, 2. Gas Station Sushi, 3. Amy’s Challenge, 4. Salt Bae. LONG SHOT: Talk Veuve to Me.

SIXTH RACE (La Troienne, Grade I): 1. Abel Tasman, 2. Salty, 3. Martini Glass, 4. Apologynotaccepted. LONG SHOT: Streamline.

SEVENTH RACE (Turf Sprint, Grade III): 1. Vision Perfect, 2. Bucchero, 3. Will Call, 4. Delectation. LONG SHOT: Latent Revenge.

EIGHTH RACE (Alysheba, Grade II): 1. Good Samaritan, 2. Always Dreaming, 3. Backyard Heaven, 4. Hoppertunity. LONG SHOT: Awesome Slew.

10TH RACE (Edgewood, Grade III): 1. Altea, 2. Rushing Fall, 3. Beyond Blame, 4. Daddy Is a Legend. LONG SHOT: Figarella’s Queen.
Rushing Fall (4-5) is a monster and should win but I’ll go with the longer price of the uncoupled Chad Brown entry. Rushing Fall is entered against the boys on Saturday in case it comes down in buckets Friday, but I think she’ll run here.

11TH RACE (Kentucky Oaks, Grade I): 1. Midnight Bisou, 2. Rayya, 3. Classy Act, 4. Monomoy Girl. LONG SHOT: Wonder Gadot.
This is a tough race for me because Midnight Bisou (5-2) is owned in part by Oceanside’s Jeff Bloom, one of my best friends in the sport and I guarantee a lot of people in the industry are pulling for Jeff and his group. And with good reason, the 3-year-old filly is two noses away from being undefeated. She lost twice to the Bob Baffert-trained Dream Tree, who is injured and out of this race. Midnight Bisou’s last race was visually impressive as jockey Mike Smith let her loop the field on the turn. She didn’t beat much but it was the way she did it. Look for a similar style in this race and if it rains, she has a victory on a wet/fast track at Santa Anita. Rayya, at 12-1 on the morning-line, is the filly to watch. She just finished second to Mendlessohn, who is one of the favorites in the Derby, in the UAE Derby. She came from off the pace on a speed-favoring track. She is in the Bob Baffert barn and is adding Lasix for the first time, a move Baffert is 30 percent with. Classy Act (15-1) has a second over this track and horses coming from the Fair Grounds have been tearing it up across the country since the end of that meet. Monomoy Girl (2-1) is favored, but that post (No. 14) is horrible.

Good luck.

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, March 3

Preview: Again rain is in the forecast so I am passing the grass races.

FIRST RACE: Grass no picks.

SECOND RACE: 1.Bocephus, 2. Jimmy Chila, 3. More Honor. LONG SHOT: Heartfullofstars.

THIRD RACE: 1. Matriculate, 2. City Steel, 3. El Super. LONG SHOT: Lewis Vale.

FOURTH RACE: Grass no picks.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Kawara, 2. Deal With It Dude, 3. Lookie Loo. LONG SHOT: Elwood J.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Dream Tree, 2. Midnight Bisou, 3. Spring Lily. LONG SHOT: One Fast Broad.
Ok, my buddy Jeff Bloom is going to let me have it for not picking his Midnight Bisou, but my reasoning is simple: Sometimes a horse has another horse’s number. Dream Tree has beaten Midnight Bisou twice, yes by a nose both times, but until Midnight proves she can beat Dream Tree I’m going with the Bob Baffert filly. I hope I’m wrong.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Honeymoonz Over, 2. Zippy Groom, 3. Joeray. LONG SHOT: Treasure Hunter.

EIGHTH RACE: Grass no picks.

NINTH RACE: 1. Wild Edie, 2. Venice, 3. Go Girl Gone. LONG SHOT: No Honey Money.

10TH RACE: 1. Go Ghetto (best bet), 2. Kenny Benny, 3. Hank the Tank. LONG SHOT: Rick’s Dream.

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 3 (Southern Thunder $5.20, third race; Jeweled $2.20, fourth; Street Vision $7.60, eighth)

Second choice winners: 1 (Dr. Dorr $25.80, seventh)

Third choice winners: 0

Long shot winners: 1 (End of Now $21.80, second)

Good luck.9

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Oct. 13

THIRD RACE: #6 Earring (2-1)
I don’t normally like betting favorites, but the way I look at this filly is that she can be a single in the Pick 5 and a single to start off your Pick 6. Trainer Tom Proctor is one of the best with turf horses. This 4-year-old finished third to better at Saratoga. Proctor is 21% with shippers and good turf jockey Drayden Van Dyke rides like he normally does for Glen Hill Farm/Proctor.

FIFTH RACE: #8 Gogoula (20-1)
Going to take a shot with a big bomb here. Go back in the past performances and you will find this filly has run down the hills before in a minor stakes and she wasn’t disgraced. She takes a drop in class and had trouble at the start in her last. Worth a flyer.

SEVENTH RACE: #3 Popular Kid (5-1)
I’ll be honest here: I hope my friend Jeff Bloom wins with #2 Kona Dreams but he is a 3-year-old facing older and he’s been done in by speed duels in his last two races. And there is a ton of speed and pressers in this race. Therefore I was looking for a closer. I consider #9 Quality Line, but he just doesn’t seem to want two turns. Then I saw Popular Kid. Look two races back to what Kent Desormeaux did in just missing on the Del Mar turf. He took the horse back and that’s exactly what he needs to do today.

EIGHTH RACE: #1 Air On Fire (10-1)
The “other” Mandella. Trainer Richard Mandella has the morning-line favorite in Milhaud (5-2) and this first-time turfer. Air On Fire is a son of Unbridled’s Song, who gets 13% winner first time on the turf. He has a big work showing and jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over. A Mandella exacta box would seem to be in order.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, Aug. 9

PREVIEW: In looking at the post position stats after the first three weeks, the inside has been the place to be in sprints, distance races and on the turf. The inside five posts have won 71% of the dirt sprints. In dirt two turn races, one weird stat is that post No. 6 has won nearly 25% of the races (14-of-57). On the turf, outside of post 6 is not the place to be.

FIRST RACE: 1. Bridal Arch, 2. Warrior Vixen, 3. Christmas Carol. LONG SHOT: Grace Hopper.

SECOND RACE: 1. Dream Police, 2. Radio Silent, 3. Monterey Shale. LONG SHOT: Seal Six.
Friend Jeff Bloom hopes gelding can get the job done after finishing a close up third last time. The 5-year-old is taking a sneaky class drop from open $16k claimer to $16k claimers that are nonwinners of three.

FIFTH RACE: 1. MR VARGAS (Best bet), 2. Zipman, 3. Tina’s Exchange. LONG SHOT: King Caymus.
Always like Florida speed in breeding and that’s what we have in the fifth race today with Mr Vargas. This appears to be a private purchase by Samantha Seigel (Jay Em Ess Stable) and she is looking for Del Mar’s Ship and Win money. The 3-year-old by Midshipman has been throwing nothing but bullets in morning workouts. Apprentice Evin Roman gets aboard and I look for him to go straight to the front.

For the rest of my picks, go to:
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/sd-sp-delmar-handicapping-aug9-story.html

Good luck

@Jeff_Nahill on the Twitter

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