Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Feb. 20

FIRST RACE: 1. Selection, 2. A Colt Following, 3. Sterling Wager. LONG SHOT: Unusually Big.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Rousing Sermon, 2. Appealing Tale, 3. Magic Mark. LONG SHOT: Fly Lexis Fly.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Majestic Minister, 2. Cacica Dulima, 3. Grey Girl Gone. LONG SHOT: Cin City Lady.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Miserable Blue, 2. Fab Four Ever, 3. Just Bookin. LONG SHOT: Fancy Brandi.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Tigah, 2. Ezio, 3. Compari. LONG SHOT: Sizzlin’ Joe.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Wild in the Saddle (best bet), 2. Magnificent Shirl, 3. Taste Like Candy. LONG SHOT: My Sweet Addiction.

WILD IN THE SADDLE (4-1), a 6-year-old mare, runs her second race off the layoff for trainer Richard Baltas, who put in a bullet work to her last week. Leading jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over Edwin Maldonado.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Buymeabond, 2. Gab Power, 3. Avare. LONG SHOT: Sinfully.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Shared Image, 2. Faith Proof, 3. Fabulous Fit. LONG SHOT: Goodhumorgirl.

There is no doubt this 4-year-old filly SHARED IMAGE (6-1) runs her best races on the front end. She moves up in class off a layoff for trainer R Kory Owens, who has good numbers in a lot of categories, and good numbers with jockey Kayla Stra.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos Race Course opinions for Friday, Dec. 19

Race 4: #6 Patsy G and Me (2-1)

This 2-year-old made his debut in September at Golden Gate in a race that has produced two winners. Now he is in the Tim Yakteen barn, which is 38% with horses off a 61-180-day layoff. Apprentice Drayden Van Dyke is likely to gun from the gate.

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Race 6: #6 Maid Easy (5-1)

We liked this first-timer by Top Hit earlier in the meet, but she was scratched out of the No. 1 hole. She gets an outside draw here for the potent jockey/trainer combination of Kayle Stra and Kory Owens (38%). Owens is also 23% with 2-year-olds.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos Race Course opinions for Friday, Dec. 12

Check track conditions as it’s suppose to rain pretty good. Los Alamitos cancelled training for Friday morning in anticipation of the storm.

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Race 1: #1 Maid Easy (4-1)

Jockey Kayla Stra will have to gun this 2-year-old from the inside post, but the daughter of Top Hit is bred for speed. Star is 39% with trainer Kory Owens and won a race last week. There are no world beaters in here.

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Race 4: #6 Lady Tapit (5-1)

Daughter of Tapit received an education in her Santa Anita debut. She broke slow, but passed horses in the stretch to finish fifth for trainer John Sadler and jockey Tiago Pereira. She has been working well since that race and Sadler is 19% sprint-to-route.

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Race 6: #8 Sir Samson (8-1)

Popped and stopped and was pulled up in debut. However received decent action (9-1) in that debut, which featured Dortmund and that race has produced three winners so far. Has been working well since that race and Elvis Trujillo takes over for trainer Brian Koriner.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Oct. 17 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. St. Joe Bay, 2. Lofe On Riviera, 3. Mr. Chase. LONG SHOT: Follow Me Cerv.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Blackford, 2. Red N Black Attack, 3. Papa’s Paisley. LONG SHOT: Prince of Paris.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Up the Alley, 2. New Nature, 3. Cravin’ the Heat. LONG SHOT: Fly to Freedom.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Star Act, 2. Seek a Star, 3. Nighttiming. LONG SHOT: Purple Rose.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Flexible (best bet), 2. Pulmarack, 3. Temple Keys. LONG SHOT: Quiet Thunder.

We’re going to find out how good the Acceptance maiden race is as this 2-year-old colt, FLEXIBLE (7-2), is one of the first horses to return out of that event. The son of Olmodavor  tries two turns for first time for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who is 23% with sprint to route types. Top jockey Rafael Bejarano stays on.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Moscato Girl, 2. Nothing to Hide, 3. She’s Flush. LONG SHOT: Marla Hooch (SCRATCHED) new long shot: Cin City Lady.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Jennyway U Want It, 2. Shysheisnot, 3. Market Quote. LONG SHOT: Mindfully.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Sweetpeacefuldream, 2. Bunuska, 3. Shared Image. LONG SHOT: Swiss Heart.

Interesting jockey switch here as Kayla Stra rides regularly for Kory Owens but gets off his horse in this race (#1 Shared Image) and rides SWEETPEACEFULDREAM (20-1), a 4-year-old filly, who was fifth in her SoCal debut a couple of weeks ago.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 2 (Coolington $4.60, first race; Air of Royalty $23.20, seventh)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 1 (Bettys Bambino $5.60, second)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 1 (Kafister $4, third)

Thursday’s fourth choice winners: 0

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

How ‘terrible’ is Santa Anita’s turf course?

I wrote a blog last week about what jockeys and trainers were doing well on Santa Anita’s turf course since the start of the meet on Dec. 26, 2013 in Arcadia.

Along the way, I mentioned Santa Anita was one of the top turf courses around, but it would be interesting to see how it will be as racing continues into the longer meet of May and June due to the closure of Hollywood Park.

No sooner had I posted the blog than I received an email from a person in the industry who said the turf course “sucks right now. Way too hard.

“(Santa Anita) doesn’t water near enough. Too much racing.

“Right now, a terrible surface, but nobody says a word.”

I respect this person and it’s tough to argue the point, especially after the last two weekends.

Two weeks ago, stakes star Vagabond Shoes ($665,497 money won from eight career wins) broke down in the Grade II San Luis Rey, which was run at 1 1/2 miles on the turf course. Owned by Hronis Racing LLC and trained by John Sadler, the 7-year-old gelding had to be euthanized.

This past Saturday, jockey Kayla Stra had to pull up maiden Russian Silk, a 3-year-old filly trained by Daniel Dunham, in the ninth race due to a fatal injury. In the process, Stra dislocated her thumb and will be out of action at least a week, if not longer.

There hasn’t been a lot of rain this year in Southern California, but there’s no reason Santa Anita can’t water its turf course a little bit more. I know there is rain in the forecast the next few days so hopefully that will help the situation. Otherwise, maybe horsemen should speak up and make their concerns known for the good of the sport, including horses and jockeys.

 

http://fromthewinnerscircle.me/2014/03/26/the-grass-is-always-greener/

 

http://fromthewinnerscircle.me/2013/11/21/did-breeders-cup-fiasco-result-in-santa-anita-track-superintendent-change/

 

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 2 (Kafister $2.40, first race; Newfound Gold $7.40, third)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 2 (Fury Kapcori $3.80, seventh; Nueva Fortuna $7.20, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 2 (Street Maven $9.20, sixth; Spring Up $12.40, eighth)

Sunday’s long shot winner: 1 (Life’s Journey $15.60, fourth)

 

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Updated Santa Anita picks for Saturday, March 1

Track is list as wet-fast. No turf racing until at least Thursday.

FIRST RACE: 1. Paseo Alegro, 2. Courtside, 3. Truelee Scrappin. LONG SHOT: Dekko.

PASEO ALEGRO, a 7-year-old gelding, almost won at this level in his Southern California debut last time out. Here he gets extra distance plus jockey Rafael Bejarano jumps on plus if it comes up wet, he has never finished worse than second in five tries on a wet track.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Socialbug, 2. Caraquista, 3. Peppy Bolly. LONG SHOT: Quizzical.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Taran Taran, 2. Mank (SCRATCHED), 3. Bad Behavior. LONG SHOT: A Red Tie Day. New order: 1. Taran Taran, 2. Bad Behavior, 3. Unbridled Loyalty. LONG SHOT: A Red Tie Day.

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FOURTH RACE: Off the grass. 1. Bob Consultation, 2. Major Truth, 3. Bobo. LONG SHOT: Wings of Mojave.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Free Time, 2. Peacenik, 3. She Digs Me. LONG SHOT: First Strike.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Big Rosie Brown, 2. L X Sunrise, 3. Lovely Instinct. LONG SHOT: Chicago Angel.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Willetta (best bet), 2. Secret Memo, 3. Vindicted Ruler. LONG SHOT: Lil Barbie Doodle.

The 5-year-old mare WILLETTA comes out of a key race earlier in the meet when she got steadied and lost all chance. She almost won at a level above this at Hollywood Park so long-shot jockey Kayla Stra should have the daughter of With Distinction in contention.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Artemis, 2. Awesome Baby, 3. Be Proud. LONG SHOT: Saintly Joan.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Fishinkonablue, 2. Closet E, 3. White Front Freddy. LONG SHOT: Kanuck Kowboy (SCRATCHED). New long shot: Muck N Grind.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 1 (Empress of Midway $3.20, third race)

Friday’s second choice winners: 2 (Runaway Que $3.20, first; Deep Play $6.20, second)

Friday’s third choice winners: 2 (J Louie $6.40, fifth; Winninginfashion $10, seventh)

Friday’s long shot winners: 2 (Bettys Bambino $17.20, fourth; Find Your Spot $52.20, sixth)

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Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Wednesday, Aug. 7

FIRST RACE: 1. A TOAST TO YOU, 2. Summer Exclusive, 3. Et Tu Walker. LONG SHOT: Depreciable.

Trainer Peter Miller would appear to hold all the cards in this race with both A TOAST TO YOU and SUMMER EXCLUSIVE. A TOAST TO YOU is the preferred pick here because the 4-year-old has a win over the course at this distance. SUMMER EXCLUSIVE is a 3-year-old running against older, but he has been training at Del Mar while his stablemate has been at Hollywood Park. DEPRECIABLE is a first-time gelding and those horses have been popping up at big odds at the meet.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Sudden Rumor, 2. Smogcutter, 3. Onebadshenanigan. LONG SHOT: Ashleyluvssugar.

Jockey Martin Garcia is the key to this race. He rode SMOGCUTTER in his debut on July 21 for trainer Bob Baffert, yet he decides to jump on first-time starter SUDDEN RUMOR for trainer Phil D’Amato, who has two first out winners in 10 tries.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Spring Breeze, 2. Addendum, 3. Queen of the Hill. LONG SHOT: Sean S.

The huge Pick 6 carryover starts here. Trainer Jeff Bonde tries to get some of that “Ship and Win” bonus money with SPRING BREEZE, who has been running in the East. The daughter of Congrats finished second last time on the turf, but she shows one synthetic track victory out of two attempts and appears to be training well on the Del Mar Polytrack. ADDENDUM is a horse for the course and QUEEN OF THE HILL has been training well at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park for her first race since May 26. Jockey Kayla Stra shows a win in the only time she rode QUEEN OF THE HILL.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Quick Navigator, 2. Exotic Behavior, 3. Sierra Electrica. LONG SHOT: Clenor.

The 2-year-old fillies get their first chance to go around two turns on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. QUICK NAVIGATOR is by Henrythenavigator and has every right to enjoy this trip for trainer Mike Puype. CLENOR has raced three times at shorter distances in Europe and figures to be the favorite.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Take One, 2. Slewthatflew, 3. Pining Play. LONG SHOT: Derek’s Girl.

There’s not much good form in this maiden claimer for 2-year-old fillies. When that is the case, you might as well try a fresh face. TAKE ONE is from the Adam Kitchingman barn, which struck with a first-time starter earlier in the meet. SLEWTHATFLEW showed an even effort in her debut and figures to improve. DEREK’S GIRL is another first-time starter and jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse jumps aboard.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Ismene, 2. Charm the Maker, 3. Tribal Gal. LONG SHOT: Minds Eyes.

Looks like a tough race here for fillies and mares. ISMENE and CHARM THE MAKER both shows wins over the Polytrack. ISMENE likes to use her speed while CHARM THE MAKER comes from behind in her races. TRIBAL GAL is a 3-year-old taking on older for the first time and she also has a win over the Polytrack.

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SEVENTH RACE (The Grade II Sorrento): 1. Concave, 2. Stop Smiling, 3. She’s a Tiger. LONG SHOT: Love Smitten.

The 2-year-old fillies prep for the Del Mar Debutante at 6 ½ furlongs on the Polytrack. CONCAVE broke her maiden on the Hollywood Park grass going short for trainer Doug O’Neill, but she is bred to go longer, being a daughter of Colonel John. STOP SMILING and SHE’S A TIGER just finished second and first, respectively, in the Landaluce at Hollywood while LOVE SMITTEN ships in from Presque and has a win on a synthetic surface.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Sri’s Red, 2. Kana Flavor, 3. That’s a Bingo. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Dixi Bell.

In this maiden special weight for Cal-bred fillies and mares we have horses with records of 0-for-12, 0-for-15 and 0-for-21 so we are looking for a new face. SRI’S RED was training great for trainer Carla Gaines before Gaines began serving a suspension last week. Jerry Quinn is in charge of the barn now, but it looks like Gaines may have this one ready to first at first asking. WARREN’S DIXI BELL comes out a key Jan. 26 race at Santa Anita which has produced four next out winners. The daughter of Affirmative gets jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who is looking for his first winner since returning over the weekend.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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