Horse racing, Keeneland, Keeneland Race Course

Jeff Nahill’s Keeneland opinions for Thursday, July 9

FIRST RACE: 1. Gypsy King, 2. Fauci, 3. King Uhtred. LONG SHOT: Rustler.

SECOND RACE: 1. Free Cause, 2. Jeweled Princess, 3. Malibu Marlee. LONG SHOT: My Bets.

THIRD RACE: 1. Hop Kat, 2. The Great Dansky, 3. Pyron. LONG SHOT: Holly Blame.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Stealth, 2. Uranite, 3. Revenio. LONG SHOT: Tiz McNamara.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Osaka Girl, 2. Jen Take Charge, 3. Lady Oxbow. LONG SHOT: Teenage Kicks.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Movie Moxy, 2. Made to Measure, 3. Palio Flag. LONG SHOT: Speightful Charge.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. A K’s Song, 2. Ella Brilla, 3. Moral Reasoning. LONG SHOT: Fashionable Lady.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Dos Vinos (best bet), 2. Figure It Out, 3. Cardamon. LONG SHOT: Summer Delivery.

NINTH RACE: 1. King of Fortune, 2. Exult, 3. Pintxos. LONG SHOT: Pine Knoll.

Good luck. Stay safe.


Top choice winners: 1 (Admire $8, seventh race)

Second choice winners: 4 (Heavens Whisper $2.60, second; I Hear You $15.40, fourth; Greyes Creek $3.80, sixth; Maven $8.60, eighth)

Third choice winners: 0

Long shot winners: 0

Horse racing, Keeneland, Keeneland Race Course, Kentucky, Lexington

Jeff Nahill’s Keeneland opinions for Wednesday, July 8 (Races 4-9)

RACE 4: 1. It’s Mine, 2. Flying the Colors, 3. I Hear You. LONG SHOT: Country Time.

RACE 5: 1. Dark Web, 2. Lucky Asset, 3. Inis Gluaire. LONG SHOT: Uncle Steve.

RACE 6: 1. Lake Nakuru, 2. Greyes Creek, 3. Bee Catcher. LONG SHOT: My America.

RACE 7: 1. Admire (best bet), 2. Samaronti, 3. Lngtermrelationship. LONG SHOT: Fra Mauro.

RACE 8: 1. Cambria, 2. Maven, 3. Digital. LONG SHOT: Race Driver.

RACE 9: 1. Spice Road, 2. Carolina Airness, 3. The Falcon. LONG SHOT: Second Line David.

Good luck. Stay safe.


Top choice winners: 2 (Mohemian Rhapsody $2.60, first race; Sweet Honor $4, third)

Second choice winners: 3 (Sonic Brees $3.20, fourth; Uncle Chuck $2.80, sixth; Sneaking Out $16.40, eighth)

Third choice winners: 1 (Abusive Gary $5.80, seventh)

Long shot winners: 1 (Love Your Life $14.80, second)


Top choice winners: 1 (Harvest Moon $4.20, third race)

Second choice winners: 2 (Desert Swarm $6.60, first; Avery’s Charm $4, sixth)

Third choice winners: 2 (Imagineiamfastest $6.40, fourth; Clayton Delaney $10, seventh)

Long shot winners: 0


Top choice winners: 2 (Mama’s Kid $5, first race; Cezanne $2.20, fifth)

Second choice winners: 0

Third choice winners: 1 (None Above the Law $9.80, fourth)

Long shot winners: 2 (Exchange Vows $5.60, second; Mongolian Window $15.40, sixth)

Horse racing, Keeneland, Keeneland Race Course, Oaklawn Park, Tampa Bay Downs

Keeneland and Oaklawn Park stakes opinions for Saturday, April 13 (Plus Tampa Bay)


SEVENTH RACE (Ben Ali): 1. Nun the Less 2ND PAID $9.60 TO PLACE, 2. Bonus Points, 3. Hence. LONG SHOT: Third Day.

EIGHTH RACE (Giant’s Causeway): 1. Mrs. Ramona G. SCRATCHED, 2. Morticia WINNER $6.40, 3. Excessivespending COLD EXACTA $26.80. LONG SHOT: Surrender Now. TRIFECTA $27.30 for 50 cents

NINTH RACE (Lexington): 1. Anothertwistafate 2ND PAID $3.60 TO PLACE, 2. Sueno THIRD, 3. Shang. LONG SHOT: Hawaiian Noises.

10TH RACE (Jenny Wiley): 1. Rymska SECOND, 2. Rushing Fall WINNER $3.80 REVERSE EXACTA $7.40, 3. Onthemoonagain, 4. Bellavais.


NINTH RACE (Oaklawn Handicap): 1. Quip WINNER $13, 2. Rated R Superstar, 3. Giant Expectations. LONG SHOT: Lookin At Lee.

11TH RACE (Arkansas Derby) : 1. Omaha Beach WINNER $5.40, 2. Galilean, 3. Improbable SECOND, 4. Long Range Toddy. LONG SHOT: Tikhvin Flew.


SECOND RACE: 1. R True Sensation WINNER $5.40, 2. Lovetobehappy, 3. Taylor’s Belle. LONG SHOT: U Know I B Lion.

THIRD RACE: 1. Spectacular Plum WINNER $9, 2. First Reward, 3. Trumpi. LONG SHOT: Candy Cove. COLD EXACTA $66.20; COLD TRIFECTA $102.30 for $1

SIXTH RACE: 1. Architect SECOND AT 19-1 PAID $19.60 TO PLACE, 2. Luna, 3. Itsagimme’s Girl. LONG SHOT: Red Curls.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Silver Duke WINNER $54.80, 2. Peas and Carrots, 3. Money Broker. LONG SHOT: Tamper (SCRATCHED). COLD EXACTA $189; COLD TRIFECTA $198.55 for 50 cents

Good luck.

Aqueduct, Horse racing, Keeneland

Stakes opinions for Aqueduct and Keeneland for Saturday, April 8


Race 6 (Grade III Bay Shore): 1. #1 Miggsy (5-1), 2. #5 Theory (7-5), 3. #4 Long Haul Bay (5-2). LONG SHOT: #3 Caledonian (12-1).
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez has been sitting on this one since his maiden win over the inner. The son of Hard Spun comes out of a key race and Rodirguez is 20% off a 46 to 90-day layoff.

Race 8 (Grade III Excelsior): 1. #2 Send It In (2-1), 2. #4 Hereditary (3-1), 3. #5 Tu Brutus (4-1). LONG SHOT: #1 Bellamy Way (12-1).
Send It In has a rec ord of 3-1-1-1 over this track and Todd Pletcher is 25% with shipps.

Race 9 (Grade I Carter Handicap): 1. #2 Tommy Macho (7-2), 2. #8 Unified (7-5), 3. #6 Spartiatis (10-1). LONG SHOT: #4 Awesome Banner (8-1).
Tommy Macho is coming back from Gulfstream Park for Todd Pletcher and has the edge over comebacker Unified.

Race 10 (Grade II Wood Memorial): 1. #2 Mo Town (6-1), 2. #7 Cloud Computing (5-2), 3. #3 Battalion Runner. LONG SHOT: Glennrichment.
Throw out Mo Town’s race at the Fair Grounds. He’s a New York kind of horse so look for a rebound.

Race 11 (Grade II Gazelle): 1. #9 Stay Fond (8-1), 2. #4 Lockdown, 3. #5 Miss Sky Warrior (9-5). LONG SHOT: Yorkiepoo Princess.
You don’t often gets this price on Pletcher, but this filly just broke her maiden at Gulfstream and there’s no telling how good she is.


Race 6 (Grade III Commonwealth): 1. #4 Yockey’s Warrior (8-1), 2. #2 Fish Traappe Road (8-1), 3. #8 A. P. Indian (8-5). LONG SHOT: #1 Tale of S’avall.
A. P. Indian will take some beating but Yockey’s Warrrior is coming off three straight wins and is 2-1-1-0 here.

Race 7 (Grade II Shakertown): 1. #4 Justin Squared, 2. #6 Mongolian Saturday, 3. #7 Hogy (4-1). LONG SHOT: #5 Element (30-1).
No doubt trainer Wesley Ward is trying to find out if this colt is possible for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar. Ward got this horses from Bob baffert. Mongolian is a perfect 2-for-2 on this course.

Race 8 (Grade I Madison): 1. #5 High Ridge Road (7-2), 2. #4 Constellation (4-1), 3. #3 Kathballu (12-1). LONG SHOT: #9 Mines and Magic (20-1).
This mare won at Laurel and now steps up in class for trainer Linda Rice. Constellation comes from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn.

Race 9 (Grade I Ashland): 1. #8 Tapped (4-1), 2. #6 Daddys Lil Darling (5-2), 3. #2 Elate (7-2). LONG SHOT: #7 Sailor’s Valentine (12-1).
Tapped is Plan B for Hollendorfer after Unique Bella went down with an injury, but he wouldn’t ship unless he thought Tapped could get the job done.

Race 10 (Grade II Blue Grass): 1. #4 Tapwrit (5-2), 2. #2 McCracken (7-5), 3. #7 Practical Joke (7-2). LONG SHOT: #1 It’s Your Nickel (20-1).
McCracken is a perfect 4-for-4 and it will take some beating. Tapwrit finished second to him in the SF Davis at Tampa Bay Downs while encountering some traffic.

Good luck

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Belmont Park, Horse racing, Keeneland Race Course

Belmont and Keeneland opinions for Saturday, Oct. 8


Race 4 (The Frizette): 1. Nonna Mela, 2. Sky Gesture, 3. Yellow Agate. LONG SHOT: Colorful Charades.

Race 5 (The Kelso Handicap): 1. #2 Point Piper (3-1), 2. Tommy macho, 3. Tamarkuz. LONG SHOT: Ocean Knight.
POINT PIPER really came to life in the Longacres Mile for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who is 19% when he ships. The Longacres was this 6-year-old’s Beyer. He loves to come from off the pace and with the long stretch jockey Mario Gutierrez shouldn’t hit the button until the top of the lane.

Race 6 (The Flower Bowl): 1. Lady Eli, 2. Sea Calisi, 3. Strike Charmer. LONG SHOT: Ame Bleue.

Race 7 (The Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational): 1. Power Alert, 2. Pure Sensation, 3. Ready for Rye. LONG SHOT: Triple Burner.

Race 8 (The Champagne): 1. #6 Big Gray Rocket (6-1), 2. Practical Joke, 3. Favorable Outcome. LONG SHOT: Syndergaard.
Trainer Bob Baffert is shipping 2-year-olds all over the country because his barn is loaded which is why BIG GRAY ROCKET is running here. Baffert is 33% when he ships and 25% when he sends a horse first time at a route.This colt was odds-on in his first start, got left at the gate and still almost won. Then he blew away the field at 6 1/2 furlongs. He wants longer and gets it here. Jockey Mike Smith, 31% with Baffert, jumps on.

Race 9 (The Hill Prince): 1. #7 Monster Bea (8-1), 2. Camelot Kitten, 3. American Patriot. LONG SHOT: Conquest Daddyo.
This gelding MONSTER BEA was impressive on opening day at Del Mar winning the Oceanside and then he finished fourth twice in graded company, the last one missing by a half-length. Pure and simple he’s a closer and will have to get the right ride. Leading jockey Javier Castellano jumps on and the longer stretch at Belmont should help. Trainer Peter Miller is 16% with shippers.

Race 10 (The Jockey Club Gold Cup): 1. Effinex, 2. Hoppertunity, 3. Mubtaahij. LONG SHOT: Protonico.


Race 5 (The Woodford): 1. Front Pockey Money, 2. Hogy, 3. Almasty. LONG SHOT: Mosler.

Race 6 (The Thoroughbred Club Of America): 1. #5 Bendable (6-1), 2. Stonetastic, 3. I’m a Looker. LONG SHOT: Irish Jasper.
Could trainer Richard Mandella picked a harder spot for Bendable’s graded stakes debut? Probably not, but that’s the point Mandella wants to find out if this filly belongs in the Breeders’ Cup F&M Sprint next month at her home base of Santa Anita. Mandella isn’t shipping for the heck of it. He’s 29% with shippers. She has “California speed” and should be able to stalk the pace and pounce in the stretch under Jose Ortiz.

Race 7 (The First Lady): 1. Tepin, 2. Now Or Never, 3. Celestine. LONG SHOT: Onus.

Race 8 (The Breeders’ Futurity): 1. Classic Empire, 2. No Dozing, 3. Singing Bullet. LONG SHOT: Blame Will.

Race 9: (The Shadwell Turf Mile): 1. Miss Temple City, 2. Tower of Texas, 3. Mondoaliste. LONG SHOT: Ring Weekend.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, Nov. 26

Happy Thanksgiving. First post is at 11 a.m.

FIRST RACE: 1. Heed to Speed, 2. Sarno’s B F F, 3. Mended. LONG SHOT: Exit Sixty Slew.

SECOND RACE: 1. #6 Twirling Tiger (7-2), 2. Ready Cat, 3. Scatastic. LONG SHOT: My Summer Bird.

This 2-year-old has been facing tougher, especially in his last at Keeneland. Now in the care Kristin Mulhall, who is 20% with shippers. She is also 24% with horse going from sprint to route.


THIRD RACE: 1. Bijoux, 2. Untouchable U, 3. Tap Dancing. LONG SHOT: Gift of a Star.
FOURTH RACE: 1. Smooth Talker, 2. Shakeitupbetty, 3. Winninginfashion. LONG SHOT: Spiced Latte.
FIFTH RACE: 1. #6 Diamond Cut (6-1), 2. Jade With Envy, 3. Tiz a Classy Lass. LONG SHOT: Awesome Luck.

This filly has been idle since throwing in a clunker early in the Del Mar summer meet. She is coming out of a key race and trainer John Sadler can get them ready off a layoff (18%) and jockey Victor Espinoza, who is 20% with Sadler, sticks around.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Star of Munster, 2. Patriotic Diamond, 3. Run Like the Boss. LONG SHOT: Run for Retts.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. THE PIAZZA MAN (5-2) BEST BET, 2. Up With the Birds, 3. Big John B. LONG SHOT: Ganesh.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. #7 Discreetlyhumorme (12-1), 2. And Then Some, 3. Redneck Crazy. LONG SHOT: Finnerty’s Folly.

This 2-year-old went off at 2-1 in a MSW at Los Alamitos and was in third when a stablemate went down in front of him and he fell, too. He resurfaces in a maiden claimer with some decent works for trainer Mark Glatt and jockey Tyler Baze, an 18% combination.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter


Churchill Downs, Horse racing

Churchill Downs opinions for Friday, May 1

Race 2: #11 Vouch for Kitten (8-1)

Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey like to go to the winner’s circle during Derby week and this 3-year-old filly makes her debut for trainer Wesley Ward and jockey Joel Rosario. Offspring of Kitten’s Joy are 17% first time turf.


Race 4: #5 Counterfactual (9-2)

This 3-year-old filly had a ton of trouble in her debut at the Fair Grounds. Trainer Tom Amoss has good numbers in all areas and makes a key jockey switch to James Graham as they are 28% together.


Race 9: #10 Power Alert (5-1)

The favorite in the Shakertown at Keeneland tired in second race off the layoff for trainer Brian Lynch, who is 26% in turf sprints. There is a ton of speed in here so we think jockey Julien Leparoux will come from off the pace and nail them at the wire. The sire Alert is 32% on the turf.


Race 12: #4 Lunar Gaze (8-1)

Trainer Tom Amoss and jockey James Graham are looking to have a big Oaks Day. This filly pressed the pace in her debut, but had to wait at the quarter pole and lost all chance. Amoss is 31% with second-time starters.


Jeff Nahill’s Kentucky Oaks top four

#4 Eskenformoney

#12 Stellar Wind

#1 Forever Unbridled

#10 Oceanwave

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Elliott could flourish on Del Mar Polytrack

Here’s the first betting hint of the upcoming Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s summer meet, which opens on Thursday: Give horses ridden by Stewart Elliott extra consideration on the Polytrack.

Elliott is the veteran jockey who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with Smarty Jones a decade ago. He has kicked around the sport over that time, but rose to prominence again this spring at the Keeneland meet in Lexington, Ky.

Elliott rode a lot for Canadian-based Mark Casse.

Elliott finished second in the jockey standings with 15 wins from 73 mounts good for $557,650 in purses. The veteran rider showed a propensity for getting to the winner’s circle on the Polytrack as he tied for most synthetic winners (14). Elliott was just 1-for-16 on the grass.

So when Casse decided to bring a string this summer to Del Mar for the first time, Elliott was asked if he wanted to come west, too.

“We were trying to decide whether to go to Saratoga or Del Mar,” said Nelson Arroyo, Elliott’s agent, on Monday. “We have a good relationship with Mark and didn’t put any pressure on him. He just said if we wanted to come to Del Mar, come.”

There is no agreement for Elliott to ride first string for all of Casse’s horses, which number at least 36 so far at the seaside oval.

“We’re going to ride a lot of them,” said Casse. “Mark is really fair. If she’s another jockey fits a horse better, he will ride them.”

Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form reporter via Twitter Monday that Victor Espinoza will ride Casse’s Conquestadory in Saturday’s San Clemente on the new turf course.

But Arroyo isn’t worried.

“I didn’t know anyone here two days ago,” said Arroyo, who is a former jockey himself, “but business is picking up quickly. We’ve working horses for John Sadler and Peter Miller.”

Arroyo booked mounts with trainer Barry Abrams for Thursday and Friday.

Arroyo said Elliott loves riding the Polytrack, the synthetic surface that will be making its final appearance this year before a return to dirt next year.

“He gets along with the Polytrack well,” said Arroyo. “He can put a horse on the lead or he can come from off the pace. It’s very easy to ride for him.”

Del Mar’s has rarely been called easy to ride since it seems sensitive to the weather, whether it’s warm or cooler due to the coastal overcast.

“I asked John Sadler how it plays,” said Arroyo, “and he said, ‘That’s a trick question.’

“Stewart likes to play it by ear. That’s why he’s so good on it. He gets a feeling for the horse and how he’s handling it and a feel for the track. He adapts each race.

“At Keeneland this spring, he won the first race on the lead on the fence, but by the third race he went to the outside. He told me during the second race, he could tell the rail was dying and getting deeper.”

Elliott will face similar conditions at Del Mar.

Hope he figures it out. Quickly.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter



Del Mar, Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Derby, Preakness winning jockey Elliott heads to Del Mar

Jockey Stewart Elliott, who rode Smarty Jones to wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes a decade ago, will be coming to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, starting with opening day on Thursday.

The news was first reported by Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form.

Elliott is coming west to ride a lot for trainer Mark Casse, who has sent a string to the seaside oval for the first time in the final year of Del Mar’s use of Polytrack. Del Mar will replace its Polytrack main surface with dirt after its inaugural fall meet.

Casse promised Del Mar officials he would send 30 to 40 horses this meet.

Elliott rode a lot for Casse at this spring’s Keeneland meet and finished second in the jockey standings with 15 wins from 73 mounts good for $557,650 in purses. The veteran rider showed a propensity for getting to the winner’s circle on the Polytrack as he tied for most synthetic winners (14). Elliott was just 1-for-16 on the grass.

Casse’s main stable in the summer is at Toronto’s Woodbine Race Course, which also features Polytrack.

When asked this spring if Elliott might come to Del Mar to ride for the barn, Casse was noncommittal.

“I mean there’s plenty of good riders in California,” said Casse.  “I don’t think I really have to bring anybody.  You know, (Hall of Fame jockey) Mike Smith and we go back probably 25 or 30 years, and so there are a lot of good riders.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

“So far we’ve been very lucky recently at Keeneland with Stewart Elliott, and, you know, we’ll just have to see how things are going. I like the way he rides, and him and I have a good relationship, but we may or may not bring somebody.  That just remains to be seen.  But like I said, I’m not concerned.  There’s a lot of good riders in California.”

Casse supposedly has brought a barn full of stakes and allowance runners so he might opt for a rider like Smith, or others, who know the circuit better at times.

Elliott has one mount (Know Plans) on opening day for trainer Barry Abrams in Thursday’s seventh race and another mount for Abrams on Friday.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Los Alamitos thoroughbred results

Saturday’s top choice winners: 3 (Sacred Ovation $3.40, first race; Stracciatella $7, third; Rowdy Dylan $2.80, fifth)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 0

Saturday’s third choice winners: 1 (Smogcutter $22.60, second)

Saturday’s long shot winners: 1 (Doinghardtimeagain $9.80, seventh)


Sunday’s top choice winners: 4 (Swiss Heart $3.40, second race; Story to Tell $5.20, third; Sharla Rae $9, seventh; La Grange $10.60, eighth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 1 (Patriotic Lion $6.60, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (Melanistic $5.80, fifth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 2 (Wicked City Woman $8.20, first; I’ve Had Enough $7.80, fourth)


Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Saturday, Jan. 18 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Sunland Vintage, 2. Clearly Confused, 3. Joint Attempt. LONG SHOT: Second Time.


SECOND RACE: 1. Addendum, 2. No Tricks for Jack, 3. Quinnette. LONG SHOT: Rossi Reserve.


THIRD RACE: 1. Kafister, 2. Close to the Edge, 3. Newfound Gold. LONG SHOT: Gal Has to Like It.

Trainer Ron Ellis makes a key jock switch here on KAFISTER going from apprentice Irving Orozco to  journeyman Victor Espinoza, who has won 30% of his mounts for Ellis the last two years. This gelding takes a class drop and just throw out his last disaster.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Right On Schedule, 2. Gold Tie Please, 3. Dynamite Wind. LONG SHOT: Eat My Bubbles.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Moone’s My Name (SCRATCHED), 2. Gulsary, 3. Fanticola. LONG SHOT: Lady Ten SCRATCHED. New order: 1. Gulsary, 2. Fanticola, 3. Charlie Em .LONG SHOT: Dancingtothestars.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Little Curlin (best bet), 2. Pimpernel, 3. Garen. LONG SHOT: Roger Rocket.

This son of Curlin was 5-1 in his debut at Keeneland and finished a fast-closing fourth, but he is likely more suited for the dirt. Jerry Hollendorfer has been handed the keys and puts barn favorite Rafael Bejarano in the saddle.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Moulin de Mougin, 2. Smart N Dreamy, 3. Oscillator. LONG SHOT: Bee Brave.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Hear the Ghost, 2. Shakin It Up, 3. Zeewat. LONG SHOT: Heir of Storm.


NINTH RACE: 1. Dancinginthestreet, 2. Kitten de Pere, 3. Practising. LONG SHOT: Perfect Cursive.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 3 (Prescenceofagenius $3.40, first race; Happybirthdaybaby $5.80, fifth; Street Icon $6.20, seventh)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 1 (Graeme Crackerjack $7.60, fourth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Horse Laugh $5.80, second; Elegant in Silk $6.40, eighth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0


Friday’s top choice winners: 0

Friday’s second choice winners: 5 (Time for Angie $7, first; Just Dancing $4, second; Acute $7.60, fourth; Ambitious Brew $3.60, seventh; The Cleaners $4, eighth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 0

Friday’s long shot winners: 1 (El Nino Terrible $30.80, sixth)