Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos opinions for Friday, Sept. 6

Note: Don’t expect big prices at this meet because of field size. Always look for the horse-for-course and the No. 1 post is death in sprint races at this track due to the configuration. I will be throwing the No. 1 post in almost all sprints. That doesn’t mean the horse can’t finish in the money but I’m going to try and avoid unless there is a change in the track profile.

FIRST RACE: 1. Awesome Alessandra, 2. Phoenix Tears, 3. Billy’sotasingle. LONG SHOT: Screen Gossip.
This is just a brutal 2-year-old filly maiden claiming race.

SECOND RACE: 1. Topaz Time, 2. Ipray, 3. Cee Sam’s Girl. LONG SHOT: Party Hostess.

THIRD RACE: 1. Nver Think Twice, 2. Heraclitus, 3. Mountain Vie. LONG SHOT: Vastly Deep.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Short of Ez, 2. Young Hendrick, 3. Clem Labine. LONG SHOT: Policy.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Mo Hawk, Moon Mischief, 3. Enemy Runner. LONG SHOT: Prince Magician.
This race is so perplexing because trainers like Bob Baffert and John Sadler both have two 2-year-old first-time starters in here. Why would you run here for $20,000 in purse money than run the final week at Del Mar. I don’t get it. MO HAWK is a $925,000 baby debuting here. MOON MISCHIEF is a homebred from owner Herry Moss. ENEMY RUNNER is from Hronis Racing. My only thought is the trainers didn’t think these juveniles were good enough to beat a maiden field at Del Mar. We’ll see.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Boy Howdy, 2. Love Your Life, 3. Tiz Love. LONG SHOT: Ps Bettin On You.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Spokane Eagle, 2. McKale, 3. Seven Scnts. LONG SHOT: Koa.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. An Ocala Ten (best bet), 2. Royal Seeker, 3. Sokudo. LONG SHOT: Kenny Benny.

Good luck.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, Aug. 21 (UPDATED)

Barns heating up

Trainers Richard Baltas and Phil D’Amato finally jump-started their meets during Pacific Classic week.
Baltas was 6 for 20, including four wins on the Pacific Classic card (two with John Velazquez), now trails Doug O’Neill, 20-17.
O’Neill seems to on an every other week binge as he went 1 for 11 the last five racing days which might mean he’s due for another warm streak this coming week.
D’Amato went 4 for 11 and is now tied for fourth in the standings (10 wins) with John Sadler, who went 3 for 6 and leads the meet in money won with more than $1.5 million.
Peter Miller is third in the standings with 13 wins after a 2 for 12 week.
Mark Glatt (8-2-2-3) and Bob Hess Jr. (5-2-2-1) also had big weeks.
Sadler and Miller are tied for the lead with eight wins each on the main track while Bob Baffert and O’Neill have seven each.
O’Neill still leads in grass victories with 10 despite an 0 for 7 week. Baltas has nine wins on turf and D’Amato has eight while leading in money won with nearly $820,000.

WEDNESDAY’S SELECTIONS

FIRST RACE: 1. Lakaya, 2. Nina En Fuego, 3. Warren’s Showtime. LONG SHOT: Sassyserb.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Beyond Pleasure, 2. Atina (SCRATCHED) new horse: Whirling, 3. Cimarron. LONG SHOT: Fracas.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Secret Square, 2. Mind Out, 3. Nu Pi Lambda. LONG SHOT: Beautiful Thunder.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Go For a Ride, 2. Caribbean, 3. Noble Pursuit. LONG SHOT: Mongolian Hero.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. VERY VERY STELLA (best bet), 2. Unusually Green, 3. Murad Khan. LONG SHOT: Terrys Tom Cat.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Isotherm, 2. Dr. Dorr, 3. Line Judge. LONG SHOT: Two Thirty Five.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. No Bang No Boom (SCRATCHED), 2. Oil Can Knight (SCRATCHED), 3. Prodigal Son. LONG SHOT: Hartel. New picks: 1. Prodigal Son, 2. Hartel, 3. Boa Nova. LONG SHOT: Order and Law.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Nucky, 2. Bamboozler, 3. Railsplitter. LONG SHOT: Prince Ricky.

Good luck.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 1 (Vintage Hollywood $4.80, third race)

Second choice winners: 3 (Stellar Sound $5, first; Todos Santos $5.80, second; Flagstaff $3.60, fourth)

Third choice winners: 1 (Midcourt $31, eighth)

Long shot winners: 3 (Twirling Tiger $9, fifth; It’s Fitting $37.60, sixth; She’s Our Charm $18, ninth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Tuesday, Aug. 20

In the saddle

Victor Espinoza led all jockeys last week with six wins. He was followed by Joe Talamo and Rafael Bejarano, who had five wins each.
Flavien Prat still leads the standings with 27 winners and an argument could be made for the fact that he had the best week despite a 2 for 22 effort. Prat won the $1 million Pacific Classic aboard Higher Power for John Sadler.
Drayden Van Dyke (3 for 22) is still second in the standings but only one win ahead of Bejarano, 20-19.
Abel Cedillo was 4 for 13 during Week 5 on the dirt and is now the leading rider on the main track with 14 victories. Ruben Fuentes is second with 13 and Prat is third with 12.
Prat had a brutal week on the grass with an 0 for 12 effort, but he shouldn’t feel bad as New York jockey John Velazquez came in over the weekend to pilfer three victories on the turf. Plus, Saratoga-based jockey Florent Geroux added another turf victory in addition to a win he scored on main track. So that was five total wins for the out-of-towners.
Fuentes scored his first win on the green but he is still only 1 for 42 on the surface. Martin Garcia is 1 for 27, Norberto Arroyo Jr. is 1 or 29, Jorge Velez 1 for 23 and Aaron Gryder 1 for 22 on the grass while Tiago Periera is 0 for 32. Ouch.

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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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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, Aug. 7 (updated)

NOTE: To say trainer Doug O’Neill had a good Week 3 at Del Mar is just wrong. He had a great week.
The venerable trainer, who tied his own track record last Wednesday with five winners in a single day, climbed into the meet lead with nine victories from 20 entries. He also added four runner-up finishes and a third.
O’Neill jumped over several trainers and now leads the meet with 13 victories.
Peter Miller is second with 10 wins after a 2 for 10 week while Bob Hess Jr. grabbed third place (seven wins) with a 3 for 7 week.
John Sadler, the meet’s leading money earner with $738,875, had a week to forget with an 0 for 12 effort.
On the dirt, O’Neill and Miller lead the way with six wins each. However, more shocking is the fact that O’Neill leads everyone on the turf with seven victories.
Overall, a few trainers continue to struggle at the meet like Keith Desormeaux (1 for 17), Peter Eurton (1-18), Michael McCarthy (1-19) and Val Brinkerhoff (1-13).

FIRST RACE: 1. Chasin Mummy, 2. Temple Bar, 3. K P Indy. LONG SHOT: Whispering Flame.
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SECOND RACE: 1. D’s Lovely Sophia, 2. Miss Lady Ann, 3. Interesting Times. LONG SHOT: Coilette.
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THIRD RACE: 1. WAR CHEST (best bet), 2. He’s Like Violence, 3. Passionate Reward. LONG SHOT: Aussie Fox.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Ma Bella, 2. Rattle, 3. Appolina (SCRATCHED) New pick: Tell It again. LONG SHOT: Aleda Lutz.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Toinette, 2. Youngest Daughter, 3. Quebec. LONG SHOT: Just a Smidge.
It was all I could do not to pick YOUNGEST DAUGHTER in this spot. She is 15-1 on the morning-line and trainer Vicki Oliver has won me a lot of money over the years shipping into Del Mar with grass horses from Kentucky. This is a tough spot and TOINETTE looks like a slam duck. I promise you one thing, I will have a couple bucks on YD and will back her up in the exactas. I just couldn’t put her on top.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Crown the Kitten, 2. For Him, 3. Avanti Bello. LONG SHOT: Gran Fiesta (SCRATCHED) New pick: Tiz Love.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Play Money, 2. Fravel, 3. Jamming Eddy. LONG SHOT: Asaro.

Good luck.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 3 (Dr. Wysong $4.60, third race; Offshore $7.20, fourth; Passing $8, eighth)

Second choice winners: 1 (Eight Rings $3.20, fifth)

Third choice winners: 0

Long shot winners: 1 (Kingly $18.60, seventh)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, July 31

NOTES: Adam Kitchingman is one of three trainers who are perfect (1 for 1) at the Del Mar meet so far. David Randall and Tim Yakteen are the others.
Week 2 proved to be big for Peter Miller, who took over the training lead even though he shipped a lot of horses East during the spring ills of Santa Anita. Miller had five wins out of 11 starters last week and now has eight winners for the 10-day-old meet.
Miller leads John Sadler and Richard Baltas by three wins.
Sadler was 3 for 7 for the week and all five of his victories have been in stakes events. Sadler’s barn has earned $684,291, which is tops by more than $275,000.
Baltas had a tough second week, going 2 for 16, and Doug O’Neill had a tougher week, winning just once in 19 starters. O’Neill did have two runner-up placings and six third-place finishers.
The Bob Baffert barn finally started to heat up with three wins, one second and two thirds from six starters.
Bob Hess Jr. also had three wins for the week, also from seven starters.
Jeff Mullins is quietly having a good meet. He had two wins and two seconds from five starters. He now has four wins overall and has been in the money 77 percent of the time.
At the other end of the spectrum, Michael McCarthy (0 for 15), Valdimir Cerin (0-12) and Jonathan Wong (0-11) are all looking for their first wins of the meet.
Phil D’Amato is 1 for 25 but at least that one win was in a stakes race. Keith Desormeaux (1-16) and Peter Eurton (1-12) are also struggling.

FIRST RACE: 1. Vangogo, 2. Bellazano, 3. Grey Lady. LONG SHOT: So Much Happy.
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SECOND RACE: 1. STREET CLASS (best bet), 2. C Falls, 3. Commanding Chief. LONG SHOT: Mica Bay.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Baby Gronk, 2. The White Shadow, 3. Call You Tomorrow. LONG SHOT: Big Barrel.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Smiling to Excess, 2. Twentyseventrouts, 3. Traffic Stopper. LONG SHOT: Bayonce.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Wind Tartare, 2. My Aunt Tillie, 3. Lady Phyllis. LONG SHOT: Convince.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Cholula Lips, 2. Bulletproof One, 3. None of Your Biz. LONG SHOT: Bella Renella.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Honos Man, 2. Chosen Vessel, 3. River God. LONG SHOT: Tequila Blanco.

Good luck.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 4 (Immediate Impact $2.80, first race; Wound Tight $5.80, second; Spokane Eagle $4.40, fourth; Desert Oasis $8.80, eighth)

Second choice winners: 0

Third choice winners: 1 (Reedley $4.60, fifth)

Long shot winners: 1 (Ollie’s Candy $10, seventh)

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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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