Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Wednesday, Dec. 26 (Opening day)

Preview: Remember jockey Joel Rosario is coming West to ride until the spring so look for him to get plenty of live mounts. Also, a lot of out-of-town jockeys are in Arcadia today for the stakes-filled card. These guys can ride and you will get some great prices on great jockeys. If you like one of them, bet them. I’m not sure how the turf course will play after rain on Tuesday night so make sure you check changes.

FIRST RACE: 1. Twentytwentyvision, 2. Orchestral, 3. Taelyns Prince. LONG SHOT: Comes the Dream.

SECOND RACE: 1. Naughty Sophie, 2. Chatty, 3. Come On Kat. LONG SHOT: Easter Dream.

THIRD RACE: 1. I Am the Danger, 2. According to Buddy, 3. Shane Zain. LONG SHOT: Lil Milo.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Ms Bad Behavior, 2. Amandine, 3. Love and Peace. LONG SHOT: X S Gold.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Jumpin Thru Hoops, 2. Scalper, 3. All Good. LONG SHOT: Mo Mississippi.

SIXTH RACE (Grade I La Brea): 1. Emboldened, 2. Dream Tree, 3. Happy Like a Fool. LONG SHOT: Hot Autumn.
DREAM TREE is the rightful 8-5 morning-line favorite and is the most likely winner of this race for trainer Bob Baffert, but I have to go with the “other Baffert.” EMBOLDENED has never been worse than third over this track and has been training well for her comeback. I’m a big believer that horses either like or hate 7-furlong races and both of these Bafferts have won in their only tries at this elongated sprint distance.

SEVENTH RACE (Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile) 1. Choo Choo, 2. River Boyne, 3. Sejo. LONG SHOT: Desert Stone.
Again RIVER BOYNE is the deserving 8-5 morning-line favorite and will be tough to beat as jockey Flavien Prat stays on the 3-year-old rather than ride my choice, CHOO CHOO. This son of English Channel just missed at Del Mar and Joel Rosario takes over. SEJO is an import from France and gets Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle for trainer John Sadler, who got shut out at Del Mar.

EIGHTH RACE (Grade II San Antonio): 1. Gift Box, 2. Battle of Midway, 3. Dabster. LONG SHOT: Tatter to Riches.
The older horses finally take to the track and the thought is that BATTLE OF MIDWAY will be singled in a lot of wagers. Not here. GIFT BOX has been purchased privately by Hronis Racing LLC for Sadler. The 5-year-old comes out of the Chad Brown barn and has a couple of great works over the track. He has never been worse than second in three tries at the distance and that man Rosario rides back. One to watch is TATTER TO RICHES for trainer Jeff Mullins. The 3-year-old will be facing older and Mullins puts blinkers on. Plus Gift Box is coming out of a key race that has produced two winners already.

NINTH RACE (Grade I Malibu): 1. Ax Man (best bet), 2. Seven Trumpets, 3. McKinzie. LONG SHOT: Copper Bullet.
The big race of the day and it drew a field of 16 (only 14 can run). Baffert has five 3-year-olds in this race and at least one (or more) will scratch. AX MAN has been seen since July, but has been gelded since that race. He has been training lights out and Baffert’s layoff stats are huge. SEVEN TRUMPETS ships in from the East Coast for trainer Dale Romans. Throw out that eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. He’s back with has own age group and finished second at this distance in the Jerkens at Saratoga.

10TH RACE: 1. Souter, 2. Avalance, 3. Cupid’s Claws. LONG SHOT: Trojan Spirit.

Good luck.

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Oct. 7

Preview: Three stakes races on the card, but the first two don’t look like prices will be coming in. Other than that, a decent card.

FIRST RACE: #3 Cause for Pardon (9-2)
Drops to his lowest level ever in the maiden claiming ranks and gets a good jockey switch to Edwin Maldonado, who is good from the gate so look for a send job.

THIRD RACE: #1 Antioch (6-1)
This filly wasn’t bad last year as a 2-year-old, but obviously suffered an injury. Trainer Richard Mandella doesn’t bring them back until they are ready, hence he has a 26% strike rate with horses off a 180-day plus layoff. Regular barn rider Flavien Prat keeps the mount and the colt is coming out of a key race that has produced four winners from 10 starters.

FIFTH RACE: #6 Bunny Yogurt (10-1)
John Sadler has had this filly stashed at San Luis Rey Downs sans one Santa Anita work. Sadler is 20% with first time starters and I love the sire Scat Daddy on the turf. He gets 15% first time grass. Victor Espinoza is 21% with Sadler.

EIGHTH RACE: #3 Mrs McDougal (4-1)
This is it for this mare and I. Either win today or we’re done. LOL. She came from New York off a long layoff but just hasn’t shown the form she had last year. This is her third off the layoff for the team on Mandella and Prat. I suspect if she doesn’t win it will be off to the breeding shed. This mile distance appears to be her favorite with a 4-3-0-1 record.

NINTH RACE: #3 Dadtughtmewell (10-1)
Takes a drop in class off a long layoff. She is 2-for-3 at this distance. Prat and trainer Dean Pederson are 4-for-4 together the last two years.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on the Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, July 20

PREVIEW: Day 2 of the meet. Rafael Bejarano won four times and Flavien Prat won three times on opening day and trainer Vladimir Cerin took the first two races of the meet so watch out his barn appears ready. On the opposite end, trainer Peter Miller went 0-for-10 on opening day after extolling his virtues first out the meet. Ouch.

FIRST RACE: 1. #2 Frac Candy, 2. #4 Oh Newman, 3. #6 Finallygotabentley. LONG SHOT: #5 Royal F J.

SECOND RACE: 1. #6 Sassy Ashley, 2. #4 Ocean Dream, 3. #5 Yavrig. LONG SHOT: #3 Honor Maker.

THIRD RACE: 1. #10 Battleground State, 2. #5 Jabber Now, 3. #6 Easy Song. LONG SHOT: #11 Halo Ahead.

FOURTH RACE: 1. #5 CLIFTON BEACH (BEST BET), 2. #8 Shadow Op, 3. #1 Orejas. LONG SHOT: #7 Ruff House.
Clifton Beach has the top Brisnet Prime and Class ratings which means the 5-2 morning-line won’t be close look for 8-5 or less. This colt has speed and shorten ups for John Sadler.

FIFTH RACE: 1. #9 Buymeabond, 2. #3 Hero Ten All, 3. #6 Awesome Return. LONG SHOT: #2 Moving.

SIXTH RACE: 1. #5 Hold That Smile, 2. #8 Whatyoucuswhatuget, 3. #6 Sharona Sunset. LONG SHOT; #2 Miss Pretty.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. #1 Lajatico, 2. #4 Everqueen, 3. #6 Tapped. LONG SHOT: #9 Snow Cloud.
Trainer Doug O’Neill isn’t know for his prowess on the turf, but he seems to do well in Del Mar turf sprints so we are with his horses in the first two slots. Long shot Snow Cloud is from the Jim Cassidy barn and he did very well last year going short on the grass, but why no Jamie Theriot?

EIGHTH RACE: 1. #6 Acharnement, 2. #4 Factorize, 3. #1 Midnight Summer. LONG SHOT: #10 Ginger Street.
It isn’t often that you jockey Gary Stevens stick around for the last race and a maiden claimer at that. Trainer Eddie Truman is 29% with horses the first time they drop into a maiden claimer for the first time. Trainer Peter Miller has both the second and third horses and is live whenever he runs first time at the meet.

Good luck

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, Aug. 18

Preview: Big week at Del Mar with the Pacific Classic on Saturday. Bob Baffert, to no one’s surprise is leading all trainers in main track wins with 10 from 33 mounts. John Sadler is having a great meet with 7 wins from 16 starters on the dirt and Mark Glatt is 6-of-21.

Race 1: #2 Nuke Laloosh (3-1), 2. Ideal, 3. Papa Gulf. LONG SHOT: Foolish to Deceive.
Trainer Peter Miller brings this 3-year-old back after more than a year’s layoff, but look who he lost to in his last race, no other than Preakness winner Exaggerator. That race was a key race and with the drop to maiden claimers for the first time (Miller’s 28% there) this first-time gelding could be real tough.

Race 2: Dame Street, 2. Optimism And Hope, 3. Compel. LONG SHOT: Tequila Mary.

Race 3: 1. Golden Atlantic, 2. Cee the Preacher, 3. Look Me in the Eye. LONG SHOT: Redneck Crazy.

Race 4: 1. Marvelous Max, 2. Bernardjfortunato, 3. Zealous Tale. LONG SHOT: Ring Collector.

Race 5: #1 Marriedtoaminister (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Papa Mambo, 3. Watch This Cat. LONG SHOT: Conquest So True.
This filly was claimed by trainer Richard Baltas out of a maiden claiming victory and we think he had grass in mind for her. Baltas is 21% first off the claim and 25% both first turf and dirt to turf. The filly has the best Brisnet Late Pace Rating by 9 points which should work out well on the grass.

Race 6: 1. Warren’s Purrfect, 2. Appealing Lady, 3. Goliath’s Girl. LONG SHOT: Lob City.

Race 7: 1. Danas Best, 2. Pretentious, 3. Infinite Loop. LONG SHOT: Banze No Oeste.

Race 8: 1. #8 You’re the Reason (5-1), 2.It’s Not So Easy, 3. Starr of Quality. LONG SHOT: Victory Seeker.
Trainer William Morey drops this filly into a maiden claimer for the first time and he is 53% with such moves. Huge jockey switch from Kerwin John to Gary Stevens.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, July 15 (Opening day)

Preview: It’s Christmas Day in July as Del Mar opens. This is the second year of the dirt main track and the new widened turf course. Just a reminder it’s been 3 weeks since turf horses race in Southern California. Last summer Rafael Bejarano let the meet with 14 grass winners followed by Flavien Prat with 13. However, at the recent Santa Anita meet, Prat lapped the field with 22 grass wins and scoring 34% of the time.

Race 1: 1. #3 Successful Runner (3-1), 2. Hadfunlastnight, 3. Saddle Soar. LONG SHOT: My Secret Affair.
Trainer Chris Hartman makes his first appearance at Del Mar, but make no mistake this guy can train with a 24% win percentage mostly in the Midwest. This 7-year-old has tactical speed, which is key on the main track.

Race 2: 1. Radish, 2. I’ll be Around, 3. Veiled Heat. LONG SHOT: Cougar Creek.

Race 3: 1. Glory Bound, 2. Rye, 3. Ace Deuce. LONG SHOT: Preacher Roe.

Race 4: 1. Nextdoorneighbor, 2. Drover Crazy, 3. Madelyn’s Wild Max. LONG SHOT: Cougar Country.

Race 5: 1. #5 La Boheme (6-1), 2. Cover Song, 3. Zip N Bayou. LONG SHOT: Grandma’s Hands.
We have already extolled the virtues of jockey Falvien Prat on the turf, who is on this filly for trainer Richard Mandella, who is 21% with beaten favorites and 32% in allowance races. Mandella and Prat were 18% at Del Mar last year.

Race 6: 1. Warren’s Honey Bee, 2. Turf Club Queen, 3. Silver Oak. LONG SHOT: Wondrous Cat.

Race 7: 1. #2 Grazen Sky (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Westfest, 3. Forest Blue. LONG SHOT: Missing Groom.
This colt owns the top Brisnet Late Pace Rating by nine points so I can see jockey Tyler Baze letting the speed go and closing in the lane. Trainer Steve Miyadi is 23% with beaten favorites.

Race 8: 1. #8 Arcature (8-1), 2. Dressed in Hermes, 3. Moonlight Drive. LONG SHOT: Diplodocus.
Tough to tell what happened in this 3-year-olds last race as he finished eighth. Maybe it was the longer distance as he shortens up here for Prat and Simon Callaghan. Prat had his choice of several in here and takes this son of Archarcharch. The trip will be key here as a full field of 14 is entered.

Race 9: 1. Got Even, 2. Dr. Dorr, 3. Chief of Staff, LONG SHOT: Mad Bum.

Race 10: 1. #9 Langahm (9-2), 2. Airlite, 3. Scuderia. LONG SHOT: Alaskan Son.
This is a first-time starter that cost over $400K at auction. I love this Australian sire Fastnet Rock and his offspring should love the turf and the distance. Trainer John Sadler is 21% with horses going a route first time and jockey Mike Smith rides.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, May 13

Preview: So not a good start to the week on Thursday. Hopefully we do better Friday. Not a bad weekday card. During the first week of racing, trainer John Sadler, Phil D’Amato and Mark Glatt all recorded three wins each. The Sadler barn has struggled over the last year or so and might be coming out of a prolonged slump.

Race 1 – SA
#1 Proud ‘n’ Ready (3-1): This filly gets a huge jockey change to Rafael Bejarano and he is 27% with trainer Peter Eurton, who is 43% when dropping a horse from MSW ranks into a maiden claimer for the first time.

Race 4 – SA
#6 Born to Serve (5-2): Trainer Jonathan Wong is 50% when moving a horse from a route to a sprint. This gelding has a good work over the track and has won here before. Also key jock switch from Brice Blanc to Edwin Maldonado.

Race 8 – SA
#2 Doodetta (3-1) (turf only): This mare has a 6-2-1-2 record down the hill. Trainer Peter Miller claimed her last time and gave her a break. Miller is 53% when dropping a horse off the claim and he’s 35% first off the claim. Jockey Rafael Bejarano sticks around and he’s 3-for-10 with Miller at Santa Anita.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, March 6

Preview: With rain scheduled to begin late Saturday night, SA management finally did something smart and carded only one grass race, which will be taken off to main track in all likelihood on Sunday. Look for horses that have done well on wet tracks before and check those Tomlinson numbers.

                                

Race 3: #4 Toledo Eddie (9-2) 

Trainer Robertino Diodoro claimed this gelding last time and moves him up, which is always a good. Diodoro is 22% first off the claim and this 7-year-old is 2-for-2 on a wet track.

                   

Race 4: #5 Keeping the Faith (6-1)

Plenty of class droppers in this maiden claimer, including this gelding. Trainer Anthony Saavedra is a perfect 3-for-3 when employing the sprint-route-sprint angle. Also the sire Southern Image is 18% with horses on a wet track. Apprentice David Lopez jumps on.

 

Race 6: #3 Feldini (8-1) 

Tough maiden race with trainers like Bob Baffert, Jerry Hollendorfer and John Sadler with horses entered but going with a possible up and comer in this 3-year-old by Twirling Candy, a sire who is 31% with mud horses. Trainer Scott Hansen is 33% with horses going two turns for the first time and jockey Tyler Baze jumps on.

 

Race 8: #3 Star of Munster (5-1) 

This filly had been doing well in open company and now drops into a Cal-bred race so looks like a class drop to me. Trainer Robertino Diodoro is 27% with horses that won their last race and should it stay wet the sire Tribal Rule does well on an off-track.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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