Belmont Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions (plus one from Belmont) for Friday, May 29

Race 1: #4 Where Is My Mind (7-2) 

Trainer A C Avila returned from a recent suspension and looks to get back in the win column. He is 57% with horses coming off a 61-180-day layoff like this 3-year-old filly.

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Race 3: #6 Baby Bea Scattin (7-2)

It’s possible this daughter of Scat Daddy wants further, but the sire has a 14% win percentage first time out and the dam’s sire is also 14% (Unbridled’s Song). Think maybe Art Sherman has a live one here.

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BELMONT PARK                  

Race 8: #11 Silver Ride (6-1)

This colt turned in a clunker in his 2015 debut at Keeneland, but three horses have come out of that race to win. On top of that trainer Brian Lynch wanted to put this 3-year-old on the grass in his debut but it got rained off. Now they try turf today.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Sunday, Dec. 28

Race 2: #3 Fiesta Rose (2-1)

This 2-year-old filly broke her maiden with ease at Gulfstream and was claimed by trainer Efren Loza Jr., who is 40% first off the claim from 15 horses. This filly was bred to be a sprinter and leading jockey Antonio Gallardo.

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Race 8 – Tam

#9 Remember Ned (9-2) ***

Our Eyes: This 3-year-old filly finished fourth in her debut at Tampa a year ago and returns under trainer Christophe Clement, who is 22% off long layoffs and 21% with all turf starters. The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid has been training steadily at Payson Park and jockey Channing Hill jumps on.

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Race 10  – Tam

#7 Anita Partner (8-1) ***

Our Eyes: Trainer Tom Proctor is one of the top conditioners on this circuit on the grass and he drops this 2-year-old filly into a maiden claimer for the first time, a move he is 21% with. She has been facing tougher at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. Jockey Channing Hill keeps the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Friday, Dec. 12

Race 5: #7 Framed (12-1)

This old-timer has been in the money more than half the time at this distance. Coming out of a key race at Churchill Downs which has produced three winners so far. Horses coming from Louisville have done well here and jockey Ronnie Allen Jr. is one of the top jocks on the circuit.

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Race 9: #5 Gavroche (3-1)

Trainer Eoin Harty, who is based in Southern California, does very well at Tampa with limited starters. This 3-year-old gelding is coming out of a Keeneland race which has produced 4 winners so far and the horse has been working well for his return.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Wednesday, Dec. 10

Thought we’d try and have some fun at another track this winter so we’re giving Tampa Bay Downs a whirl to see how it goes.

Of course, Gulfstream has the best racing in Florida in the winter, but you will see top trainer like Bill Mott ship in to Tampa with lesser stock or an easier spot for a horse.

Of people on the West Coast, trainer Tom Proctor and Eoin Harty both have strings at Tampa and you will see some of these horses in Southern California down the line.

The meet is  just underway but as we’ve noted in our picks Gulfstream West and Keeneland have proven to provide the most winners so far. Laurel Race Course and Thistledown have produced three winners while Gulfstream Park, Delaware Park and Hawthorne have produced to winners each. In the past, horses shipping in from Indiana Downs have done well in Tampa, but that hasn’t been try so far this meet. Keep an eye on it.

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Race 6: #7 Magic Luck (6-1)

Trainer Jason DaCosta is 32% shipping horses and turf to dirt. This 3-year-old gelding has won over the track before and ships in from Gulfstream West (aka Calder), which has produced the most winners at the meet so far (nine).

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Race 9: #1 Fine Candy (6-1)

Trainer Tom Proctor drops this 3-year-old filly into a maiden claimer for the first time and he is 20% with that move. She is bred to go long and coming out of a race a Keeneland, The track has produced six winners so far at Tampa Bay Downs. She also has a decent work last week.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Saturday, May 31

FIRST RACE: LONG SHOT: 1. Swift Eagle, 2. Showme Yourfriends, 3. Hog’s Hollow. Bench Light.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Night Badger, 2. Whine for Wine, 3. Public Policy. LONG SHOT: Master Chef.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Screamin Earlienne (best bet), 2. Roman Wild, 3. Mayie. LONG SHOT: Run Rosie Run.

Trainer Tim Yakteen sends out this 3-year-old filly SCREAMIN EARLIENNE for her second career start. She showed speed in her debut and faded. She takes a drop in class and apprentice Drayden Van Dyke jumps on. Yakteen is 4-for-12 with horses coming off a 61-180 day layoff and 31% with maiden claimers.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Dreamy Kid, 2. Schoolofhardrocks, 3. Monastic. LONG SHOT: Van Fraassen.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Sunset Strip, 2. Acategoryfivestorm, 3. Alexis Tangier. LONG SHOT: Brilliant Audrey.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Woodys Wharf, 2. Exclusive Girl, 3. Scene Queen. LONG SHOT: Lethal Story.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Fury Kapcori, 2. Storm Fighter, 3. Clubhouse Ride. LONG SHOT: Majestic Harbor.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Little Journey, 2. Nashoba’s Gold, 3. Diversy Harbor. LONG SHOT: Room Service.

Trainer Chad Brown isn’t shipping this 3-year-old French filly LITTLE JOURNEY for his health. She finished third in a minor stakes at Keeneland and figures to be tighter for this effort. She showed tactical speed in debut. Jockey Joe Bravo comes West to ride.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Lovmeister, 2. Newfound Gold, 3. Carbonite. LONG SHOT: Senator Bob.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Midnight Mayhem $4.40, third race; Hijra $5.60, sixth)

Friday’s second winners: 1 (Big Swag $11.40, second)

Friday’s third choice winners: 0

Friday’s long shot winners: 3 (Lady Vivien $4.80, first; Belonging $10, fourth; Navarre $15.40, eighth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Del Mar: Casse coming from Woodbine

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club spent the last week talking to horsemen about coming to its annual summer meeting, looking to beef up a horse population that shrinks yearly. The efforts are working.

Woodbine trainer Mark Casse recently told Del Mar officials he will bring 30 to 40 horses this year for the first time. In Hot Springs, Ark., trainer Cody Autrey told Del Mar he will be back and hopefully earlier like during the the Los Alamitos meet.

Del Mar officials then moved on to Lexington, Ky., and the Keeneland meet to tell more horsemen about the third year of the “Ship N Win” program which gives horses a starting gate and purse bonus in their initial start of the meeting as long as their last start was out of state.

The big get is Casse, who started Delegation in last year’s Pacific Classic.

“He came close to coming last year,” said Tom Robbins, executive vice president/racing. “He was all set and then they had a virus outbreak and there was no movement into the United States. We’re excited. We have our fingers crossed.”

“That’s the plan,” said Casse on last week’s NTRA teleconference. “I’ve been in communications with Del Mar.  I’ve cleared it with my owners and the plan is currently to bring probably between 30 and 40 horses to Del Mar, and then probably stay there maybe for who knows how long; a long time.”

The key with Casse is that he has a lot of allowance horses, which will help increase the quality of Del Mar’s races.

“He liked what he saw last year, and he has California owners,” said Robbins, “but the key is he’s planning on staying beyond our meet and that’s good for the industry.”

Casse won nine races and $368,653 from 84 starters this winter at Gulfstream Park. In the first week of the Keeneland meet, he has a 27-5-3-5 record with earnings of $305,312 and during the first weekend of racing at Woodbine (in Toronto) Casse was 7-2-1-1, earning $86,193.

Another key to the Casse move is that Keeneland and Woodbine have Polytracks, a similar surface which will be making its swan song at the seaside oval this summer before being replaced by dirt next year.

Jockey Luis Contreras rides many of Casse’s top horses at Woodbine and rode Delegation (poorly, I might say) in last year’s Pacific Classic, but don’t expect him to come to Del Mar as the barn rider.

“No, I don’t think so,” said Casse.  “You know, Luis does really well at Woodbine.  It would be kind of crazy for him to come out there.  I don’t know who.  Somebody may come with me.  I mean there’s plenty of good riders in California.  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.”

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 2 (Queen of the Hill $5.20, third; Cat Burglar $5.20, fifth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 1 (Kid Rollins $7, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (Stormy Lucy $5.40, fourth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Remind Mee $8.40, seventh)

Note: Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Saturday/Sunday for the close of the winter/spring meet. There will be mandatory Pick 6 and Super High 5 payouts on Sunday. The spring/summer meet opens Friday, April 24.)

 

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Del Mar, Horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita, Triple Crown

On to Kentucky for California Chrome

California_Chrome_cb4_200 (1)

California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza return to the winner’s circle after winning Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby. BENOIT PHOTO

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The overwhelming sentiment when leaving Santa Anita Park in Arcadia on Saturday was that everyone saw the winner of next month’s Kentucky Derby. Heck, he might finally break the drought of Triple Crown winners.

And they well have, but maybe it wasn’t the horse you’re thinking about.

There’s no doubt that California Chrome was spectacular in winning Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby. But will he be the winner on the first Saturday of May in Louisville, Ky.

The thing you have to remember is there will be a full field of 20 horses at Churchill Downs. There will be all kinds of trouble for all kinds of horses. There will be horses that don’t belong, and California Chrome surely isn’t one of those, but he could get stopped by one who is. Remember funny things happen in 20-horse fields.

I hope California Chrome wins it for trainer Art Sherman and jockey Victor Espinoza and to stick it to the “bluebloods,” but I know too many things can go wrong. It just seems amazing to me that California Chrome was running last summer in Cal-bred races and now maybe the betting favorite in Kentucky. It brings back fond memories of Silver Charm, one of my all-time favorites.

Hoppertunity, who finished second to California Chrome, certainly belongs in the equation. He has run three good races in a row.

And perhaps the most impressive 3-year-old winner Saturday was Wicked Strong taking the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, seemingly passing the entire field in the stretch.

Personally, I’m keeping my eye on Commanding Curve, who finished third in the Louisiana Derby, to see if he gets in.

And don’t forget there are two more big preps this coming Saturday with the Blue Grass at Keeneland and the Arkansas Derby at Hot Spring, Ark.

Wait until all the data is in and then make your decision. Just think how many other times have you left Santa Anita on its Derby Day saying you thought you saw the winner of the Kentucky Derby?

You might have and you might not.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 0

Saturday’s second choice winners: 3 (Fashion Plate $6.20, fifth race; Nashoba’s Gold $7.40, seventh; Kerrilynn $10.60, 11th)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 4 (Reno Rebel $6.80, first; Storm Fighter $6.40, second; California Chrome $3.40, eighth; Seeking the Sherif $9.80, 10th)

Saturday’s long shot winners: 1 (Alert Bay $20.20, third)

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Sunday’s top choice winners: 1 (Crusher $7.60, first race)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 3 (Big Note $10.40, fourth; Congregationalist $11.80, seventh; Perfect Tango $7, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Jules Journey $14.40, sixth)

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Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Hollywood Park picks for Friday, Nov. 29 (UPDATED 3, 5, 9 OFF TURF)

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really like Friday’s card, but what do I know?

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FIRST RACE: 1. Warrensgoldenyears, 2. Charisma Code, 3. Regal Randy. LONG SHOT: Head South.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Judge Carr, 2. Tale Be Told, 3. Tribal Smoke. LONG SHOT: Turn On the Brites.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Mr. Bossy Pants, 2. Koast, 3. Dixieland Blues. LONG SHOT: Regally Soul.

OFF THE TURF.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Perfect Tango, 2. Kevin’s Kool Kat, 3. Glad’s Gals. LONG SHOT: U R My Candy Girl.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Journey On, 2. Level Headed, 3. Passionate Diva. LONG SHOT: High Jinks.

THIS RACE IS OFF THE TURF

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Truelee Scrappin, 2. Sandys Diamond, 3. Hurry Home Clover. LONG SHOT: Close to the Edge.

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SEVEN RACE: 1. Summer Front (best bet), 2. Silentio, 3. Winning Prize. LONG SHOT: Bright Thought.

Just throw SUMMER FRONT’s last race at Keeneland which was moved from the turf to the Polytrack. When you do that he is 2-for-3 on the grass this year and Eastern-based trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Joe Bravo aren’t coming out for the Thanksgiving leftovers. The son of War Front ran over this course last November (sixth in Hollywood Derby) so he is familiar with the surroundings. Will be closing from the back on the turn.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Heir Kitty, 2. Atta Boy Pete, 3. American Act. LONG SHOT: Say Ow.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Practising, 2. Kitten de Pere, 3. Elite Eight. LONG SHOT: Parade Bound.

OFF THE TURF

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 1 (Inner Groove $4.20, first race)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 3 (Majestic Stride $3.40, fourth; Procurement $7.20, seventh; Elusive Luci $18.60, eighth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Wings of Mojave $11, fifth; In Dad’s Honor $6.20, sixth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 1 (Mesana $7, second)

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Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Updated Santa Anita/Breeders’ Cup picks for Saturday, Nov. 2

Call it what you will, but watch the first few dirt races on Saturday to see if the speed bias continues on Santa Anita’s main track.

FIRST RACE: 1. Richies Party Girl, 2. Love in the Desert, 3. Mr. Cactus, 4. Jedi Mind Trick. LONG SHOT: Test Ride.

Just throw out RICHIES PARTY GIRL’s last race at Keeneland because she want no part of two turns. She returns to a turf sprint here down the hill. Trainer Wesley Ward thought enough of her to send her to France in August and she finished a strong fourth in Grade III company.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Flashback, 2. Anillo, 3. Zeewat. LONG SHOT: Tour Guide.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Purim’s Dancer, 2. Pontchatrain, 3. Sky High Gal, 4. Judy In Disguise. LONG SHOT: Ultrasonic.

ULTRASONIC IS SCRATCHED.

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BREEDERS’ CUP RACES START HERE

FOURTH RACE: 1. Concave, 2. Secret Compass, 3. Artemis Agrotera, 4. Sweet Reason. LONG SHOT: Ria Antonia.

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies is a tough spot for this 2-year-old filly CONCAVE, but she is a daughter of Colonel John and we love Colonel John’s offspring on the stretchout. She has been away since finishing third in the Del Mar Debutante on Aug. 31, but it appears she has been working quite nicely for trainer Doug O’Neill. She has been given time to fill out and we think she will relish the two turns on the dirt.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Dank, 2. Tiz Flirtatious, 3. Romantica, 4. Laughing. LONG SHOT: Qushchi.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Sweet Lulu, 2. Teddy’s Promise, 3. Book Review, 4. Dance to Bristol. LONG SHOT: Ismene.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. MIZDIRECTION (BEST BET), 2. Reneesgotzip, 3. Unbridled’s Note, 4. Capo Bastone. LONG SHOT: Havelock.

CARACORTADO IS SCRATCHED.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. New Year’s Day, 2. Tap It Rich, 3. Mexikoma, 4. Havana. LONG SHOT: Diamond Bachelor.

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NINTH RACE: 1. The Fugue, 2. Magician, 3. Indy Point, 4. Little Mike. LONG SHOT: Real Solution.

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TENTH RACE: 1. Private Zone, 2. Secret Circle, 3. Fast Bullet, 4. Laugh Track. LONG SHOT: Gentleman’s Bet.

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ELEVENTH RACE: 1. Olympic Glory, 2. Wise Dane, 3. Za Approval, 4. No Jet Lag. LONG SHOT: Silentio.

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TWELVETH RACE: 1. Mucho Mach Man, 2. Game On Dude, 3. Fort Larned, 4. Will Take Charge. LONG SHOT: Moreno.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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