Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, May 3

Well at least I almost gave out the superfecta cold in the Kentucky Derby. I was rooting hard for Firing Line, but he never switched leads. Still great race. Hope all top three horses are healthy and on to Pimlico. Hope some of you out there made some money.

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Race 4: #7 Lindante (8-1)

This 4-year-old might have scored last time at 38-1 if not for some trouble like getting steadied at the quarter-pole. Jockey Tyler Baze stays aboard and the gelding has a good work coming into this race.

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Race 7: #5 Honey Ride (3-1)

Jockey Tyler Baze had his choice of three horses in this race and sticks with this 4-year-old filly. She has tactical speed and should be able to handle the class rise. Baze is 22% with trainer John Sadler.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Jan. 30

FIRST RACE: 1. Vocalist, 2. Sidepocket Run, 3. Cin City Lady, LONG SHOT: Lethal Story.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Next Right, 2. Mr. Itkins, 3. Willy Be Wild. LONG SHOT: Mr. Pete Got Even.

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THIRD RACE: 1. The Gomper (best bet), 2. St. Joe Bay, 3. Iancol. LONG SHOT: Prospect Park.

Trainer Ron Ellis rarely wins first time out, but he did with this son of Sky Mesa, THE GOMPER (4-5), and then came back with a good second to a good sprinter named Serbian Syclone. However, going two turns is really what this 3-year-old wants to do and a big win here could mean a trip on the Kentucky Derby trail.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Regally Soul, 2. Oligarch, 3. Sacred Ovation. LONG SHOT: Los Bambinos.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Something Awesome, 2. Nowalking, 3. The Custodian. LONG SHOT: J Serino.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. I Heart You, 2. Chia Love, 3. Swiss Jet. LONG SHOT: Lob City.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Shopping Savannah, 2. Susan B Good, 3. Carrick Bay. LONG SHOT: Sweet Boss.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Ruby N Diamonds, 2. Ski’s Copper Penny, 3. Quick Navigator. LONG SHOT: Profit Motive.

Off a pair of third-place finishes at the level, this 4-year-old filly, RUBY N DIAMONDS (6-1), gets a huge jockey change from C. Aragon to Edwin Maldonado, who is known as one of the better speed riders on the circuit. From the outside post, Maldonado should be able to get the jump on the competition and put them away early.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 3 (Bad Ju Ju $4.60, first race; Rattataptap $5.60, third; Spring Action $4.40, fourth)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 2 (Whiskey Wild $4, second; Wicked Heat $14, seventh)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 1 (Silent Ruler $6, eighth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 1 (Humoristica $19.40, fifth)

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Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Oct. 31 UPDATED (Breeders’ Cup Day 1)

FIRST RACE: Allowance/optional claiming

  1. #11 Intoxicating Move (8-1)
  2. #7 Night Song (3-1)
  3. #8 Hide My Heart (4-1)
  4. #5 Starry Skies (6-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #3 Blingismything

Intoxicating Move has been in the money 6-of-8 times on the downhill turf course with two wins. She just missed last time and gets a preferred outside post. Night Song makes her U.S. debut for trainer Simon Callaghan. She has been away from the races for a year, but Callaghan is 27% with long layoffs and Jamie Spencer, from across the pond, rides and she is coming out of a key race (three next out winners).

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SECOND RACE: Grade II Las Vegas Marathon

  1. #7 Sky Kingdom (5-1)
  2. #9 Cary Street (10-1)
  3. #3 Irish Surf (4-1)
  4. #6 Mystery Train (4-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #8 Volkonsky

Sky Kingdom could just be the start of a big weekend for trainer Bob Baffert. This 5-year-old horse has been off form but he loves these marathon distances. He has three wins from six tries at Santa Anita and could be ready for a big effort. Mystery Train is the real mystery here after showing high speed in the Pacific Classic and Awesome Again. Maybe he wanted to go this far all along.

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THIRD RACE: Golden State Juvenile Fillies

  1. #4 My Fiona (2-1)
  2. #6 Joylicious (12-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #9 Tatum’s Gold
  3. #7 Ashley’s Sassy (3-1)
  4. #1 Stormy Adieu (9-2)

My Fiona has done little wrong in Cal-bred company, having never been off the board in four lifetime starts. Southern California leading jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over for the daughter of Ghostzapper. We might get a clue how the Santa Anita oval is playing in this 7-furlong event. Joylicious just broke her maiden in Northern California and could be the upsetter.

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FOURTH RACE: Grade II Twilight Derby

  1. #8 Flamboyant (6-1)
  2. #11 Ring Weekend (3-1)
  3. #10 Long On Value (6-1)
  4. #5 Patriots Rule (12-1)

This race is wide open and any of the 12 horses could win it, especially since the favorite, Ring Weekend, is parked in an outside post. Flamboyant didn’t like Del Mar’s grass, but showed an affinity for the Santa Anita course in winning his U.S. debut in April. Word on the street is that he has been training well for this spot and jockey Joel Rosario keeps the mount.

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FIFTH RACE: Damascus Stakes

  1. #3 Chitu (4-1)
  2. #2 Midnight Hawk (7-2)
  3. #12 Unbridled’s Note (8-1)
  4. #11 Bahamian Squall (4-1)

Trainer Bob Baffert could legitimately hit the trifecta here as in addition to the top two horses he has Declassify (6-1) in the race, too. Chitu and Midnight Hawk were on the Kentucky Derby trail this spring but only Chitu got there (finishing ninth to California Chrome). Both horses have been training well for their return with Midnight Hawk slightly better, however, Chitu beat him twice this spring so we’ll stick with that.

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SIXTH RACE: Juvenile Turf

1. #2 Daddy D T (15-1)

2. #14 Danny Boy (20-1)

3. #5 Hootenanny (3-1)

4. #7 War Envoy (9-2)

Trainer John Sadler experimented last time by putting this 2-year-old Daddy D T on the dirt. Big mistake. This ridgling is a turf horse, scoring a stakes win over the green stuff at Del Mar. Jockey Corey Nakatani is reunited with the horse, who should get a nice inside run from the No. 2 hole.

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SEVENTH RACE: DIRT MILE

1. #8 Fed Biz (7-2)

2. #1 Goldencents (6-5)

3. #6 Golden Ticket (15-1)

4. #2 Carve (15-1)

Fed Biz just lost to Shared Belief, who will be the odds-on favorite in Saturday’s BC Classic. The Bob Baffert-trainee can either press the pace or come from off of it. Goldencents is the defending champ and will be tough in this spot.

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EIGHTH RACE: JUVENILE FILLIES TURF

1. #3 Sunset Glow (7-2)

2. #14 Qualify (5-1)

3. #4 Lady Eli (6-1)

4. #6 Sivoliere (12-1)

Sunset Glow has done well in Europe and then came over to win the Del Mar Debutante, but trainer Wesley Ward thinks she is best on turf and who are we to argue. Qualify, an import from Europe, has a tough post but is quality. Sivoliere is jockey Gary Stevens’ first start back from knee replacement surgery.

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NINTH RACE: DISTAFF

1. #10 Untapable (5-2)

2. #2 Tiz Midnight (10-1)

3. #11 Close Hatches (3-1)

4. #8 Valiant Emilia (20-1)

Untapable will be everyone’s Pick Six single and with good reason. She has been training lights out and with Beholder out of the race Untapable will be less than 2-1. Love the way Tiz Midnight is coming up to the race for Bob Baffert and it’s tough to figure out Close Hatches’ last race.

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10TH RACE: Allowance optional claiming

  1. #11 Whine for Wine (8-1)
  2. #2 Day of Fury (6-1)
  3. #7 Jimmy Bouncer (9-2)
  4. #5 Test Ride (12-1)

How wide open is this race? Jimmy Bouncer is the morning-line favorite at 9-2. Whine for Win is one of our tophorses, coming out of a race with four next out winners. Day of Fury just broke his maiden for trainer Bob Baffert and has been training well for his initial try against winners. Jockey Gary Stevens, he of the knee replacements, takes the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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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

 

 

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Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Trainer Ken McPeek sending Frac Daddy to Del Mar

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s premiere race, the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 24, is turning into quite a race, already.
On Sunday, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said the undefeated 3-year-old Shared Belief, owned in part by media mogul Jim Rome, would be pointed for the Del Mar race at 1 1/4 on the Polytrack.
On Tuesday, trainer Ken McPeek confirmed his 4-year-old Frac Daddy would board a plane bound for Del Mar next Wednesday with the intention of running in the July 26 San Diego Handicap as a prep for the Pacific Classic.
“We’re pointing for the San Diego with the Pacific Classic as the goal,” said McPeek by telephone. “He’s doing extremely well.”
Frac Daddy is a synthetic surface special with three wins in four tries and earnings of $264,756 on Polytrack. The son of Scat Daddy saw his undefeated record on the surface come to an end July 1 when he finished second in the Grade III Dominion Day stakes at Woodbine Race Course in Toronto.
Despite being the overwhelming favorite, Frac Daddy finished second in the 1 1/4 race to Sky Captain, trained by Mark Casse, who is sending a string of 30 to 40 horses to Del Mar this summer for the first time. There is no official word from the Casse barn as to whether Sky Captain might make the trip, too. The 4-year-old son of Sky Mesa is now a perfect 3-for-3 on Polytrack.

For McPeek’s part, he is taking the blame for the loss at Woodbine.

“I think I ran a short horse,” he said. “I’ll take the bullet for that.
“He was out of his element in the race. He likes to sit outside and he was inside (under jockey Luis Contreras). He scooted along, but he never relaxed. I think I didn’t do enough with him (before the race).”
Frac Daddy, who has earned $674,036 in his career with five wins from 17 races, was coming off a 5-length win in the Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine on June 1.
McPeek said it looks like Frac Daddy will fly to Del Mar on July 16 and be stabled with trainer Blake Heap.
McPeek said he doesn’t have a rider yet for the San Diego, which will be run at 1 1/16-mile on the Polytrack.
As for facing last year’s 2-year-old champion Shared Belief at Del Mar, McPeek isn’t worried. Shared Belief is a perfect 4-for-4 on synthetic tracks and won last Saturday’s $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby in his first race on dirt.
“Facing older horses is a different bear all together,” he said. “He’s a very nice horse. (The Pacific Classic) should be a great race.”
If McPeek’s name sounds familiar, it should. He has earned $61 million in his training career. He won the 2002 Belmont Stakes with Sarava and finished second in the 1995 Kentucky Derby with Tejano Run. He also finished second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita with Golden Ticket.
McPeek is also the owner of the Horse Races Now app, which he started 14 months ago and has more than 200,000 followers. The app allows people to see entries, results, live video, race replays, news and most importantly wager on races.
“It hasn’t been easy starting it,” said McPeek, “but it’s something the industry needed.”
More information on the app is available at www.horseracesnow.com.
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown

Coburn: Still a Dumb Ass (Partner)

Despite his “apology” Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning, America,” California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn is still a Dumb Ass, just like his stable name (Dumb Ass Partners) says.

I love how a lot of people are lauding Coburn for finally stepping up to rectify the situation he created after Saturday’s Belmont Stakes loss when he basically called the owners of Tonalist and Commissioner “cheaters” for not running in the other two legs of the Triple Crown.

The man didn’t rectify anything.

Did you see the interview with Robin Roberts? The man was choking on every word he said. He had a hard time getting them out because he didn’t believe them. He was bullied into Monday’s apology. Check it out here:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/california-chrome-owner-angry-rant-belmont-24053547

The time to apologize for Saturday’s rant on national television was Sunday morning. Instead, Coburn went back on national TV and compounded the situation by stating the situation was akin to him playing basketball against a child in a wheelchair. How does one defend that? That was so wrong, it’s unbelievable.

The Triple Crown is meant to be hard. That’s why we haven’t had a winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 36 years. A super horse hasn’t been born to do it. So be it.

In last week’s build up to the Belmont, I was still amazed Real Quiet lost his Belmont to Victory Gallop. I covered Real Quiet’s Preakness that year and for him to lose by a nose in New York still is unfathomable.

But back to the point at hand, even if Coburn and others associated with California Chrome were complaining about the Triple Crown system and dates of the races beforehand, you knew what you were getting into when you started the journey. Three wins in five weeks. I didn’t hear anyone complaining about all the new shooters in the Preakness.

Now after losing, Coburn is bitching and moaning.

I don’t feel sorry for Coburn one bit.

I feel sorry for the man’s wife, who tried to reel him in on Saturday, but was rebuffed. The woman must be a saint.

I feel sorry for others like trainer Art Sherman and his son, Steve, a trainer in his won right who stayed with Chrome on the East Coast for five weeks. I feel for the exercise rider and other barn personnel.

There is a long way to go this year, but if California Chrome ends up not winning the Eclipse Award for top 3-year-old, it might end being Coburn’s fault, and that’s just not right. I don’t have a vote, but I guarantee that if it comes down to coin flip, there will be voters who don’t vote for the horse due to Coburn’s ignorance.

One reporter tweeted on Saturday that after meeting Coburn earlier on the Triple Crown trail, he knew it was just a matter of time before the man blew up.

There’s no doubt, Steve Coburn has lived up to his barn’s name: Dumb Ass (Partners), and no apology is going to change that.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 3 (Magna Warrior $5.60, first race; Babe’s Journey $10.40, fifth; Soi Phet $7.40, sixth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 5 (Elegant $6.40, second; Natalie Paige $6.40, fourth; Red N Black Attack $6, seventh; Unusual Heatwave $16.80, eighth; Nothing to Hide $4.40, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Myrna Lou $8.80, first)

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Horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Saturday, May 3 (Derby Day)

Remember first post is 11:30 a.m. in Arcadia.

FIRST RACE: 1. Nueva Fortuna, 2. Real Bright Boots, 3. Truly Beautiful. LONG SHOT: Good Proof.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Gisele At Fonz’s, 2. Puttybadshark, 3. Mayie. LONG SHOT: Swiss Peak.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Fanny Brice, 2. More Stormyweather, 3. Grammy Times Six. LONG SHOT: My Monet.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Home School, 2. Karma King, 3. Schoolofhardrocks. LONG SHOT: Royal Banker.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Zackos My Man, 2. Myfundsarelo, 3. Wonderful Union. LONG SHOT: Closet E.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Afleet Echo, 2. Private Marina, 3. Say’s Who. LONG SHOT: Bert’s Melody.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Showme Yourfriends, 2. Macias, 3. Star Rocker. LONG SHOT: Mel’s Game.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Saticoy, 2. Night Badger, 3. Whine for Wine. LONG SHOT: Bob Consultation.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Trelawny, 2. I’ll Wrap It Up, 3. Money Clip. LONG SHOT: Avare.

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10TH RACE: 1. Majestic City, 2. Fury Kapcori, 3. American Blend. LONG SHOT: Secretsatmidnight.

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11TH RACE: 1. Scene Queen, 2. Kissin Lucky Lips, 3. Soar Home. LONG SHOT: Susan B Good.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 1 (Mahalo Princess $3.80, first race)

Friday’s second choice winners: 4 (Hobbits Hero $4.20, second; Rprettyboyfloyd $6.60, third; On the Backstreets $2.80, fourth; Clearly Confused $6, fifth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 1 (Van Fraassen $7.40, ninth)

Friday’s long shot winners: 1 (Quay Factor $24.60, sixth)

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Horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown

Churchill Downs selections for Kentucky Derby Day, May 3

Kentucky Derby

11TH RACE: 20 Wicked Strong, 5 California Chrome, 15 Tapiture, 17 Commanding Curve. LONG SHOT: 14 Medal Count.

I liked HOPPERTUNITY until he was scratched. WICKED STRONG was impressive in winning the Wood Memorial. CALIFORNIA CHROME deserves favoritism. TAPITURE might be ready to rebound. COMMANDING CURVE had a horrible trip in Louisiana Derby, but was running at the end. MEDAL COUNT is bred to get the distance.

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Race 4: #10 Kyriaki (3-1)

There is a ton of speed in this grass race. This filly ships in from Santa Anita for trainer Peter Eurton and appears to be the only true closer in the bunch. Jockey Mike Smith takes the mound and should be flying down the lane.

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SIXTH RACE (Churchill Distaff Turf Mile): 1. I’m Ready Sexy, 2. Centre Court, 3. Miz Ida, 4. Effie Trinket. LONG SHOT: Ready Signal.

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SEVENTH RACE (Humana Distaff): 1. Midnight Lucky, 2. Judy the Beauty, 3. Scherzinger, 4. Iotapa. LONG SHOT: Speedinthruthecity.

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EIGHTH RACE (American Turf): 1. Cleburne (30-1), 2. Chief Barker, 3. Woodfield Springs, 4. Global View. LONG SHOT: Craftsman.

This running of the American Turf is wide open so why not go with a long shot which has a Hall of Fame jockey aboard (Mike Smith). CLEBURNE, a son of Dixie Union, broke his maiden on the grass and then won on the dirt at Churchill before going to sidelines in September. After finishing third in the Calder Derby last month, he returns to the grass and looks like he will be moving turning for home.

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NINTH RACE (Churchill Downs): 1. Delaunay, 2. Shakin It Up, 3. Sahara Sky, 4. Clearly Now. LONG SHOT: Broadway Empire.

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10TH RACE (Woodford Reserve Turf Classic): 1. Wise Dan (best bet), 2. Seek Again, 3. Guys Reward, 4. Bright Thought. LONG SHOT: Boisterous.

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Race 13: #8 Rocket Time (15-1)

This is a first-time starter sired by Tiz Wonderful, who is good first time out. Trainer Al Stall is 16% with first-timers and 27% with first-timers going a route plus jockey Joel Rosario takes the mount and they are a 33% proposition the last two years.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 1 (Fiftyshadesofgold $6.20, eighth race)

Friday’s second choice winners: 2 (On Fire baby $5.20, fifth; Untapable $4, 11th)

Friday’s third and long show winners: 0

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

California Chrome’s connections fine with No. 5 draw in Derby

Jockey Victor Espinoza was more than happy when Kentucky Derby morning-line favorite California Chrome (5-2), who trains at Los Alamitos Race Course in Orange County, drew the No. 5 post for Saturday’s Run for the Roses in Louisville, Ky.

“It’s my lucky number,” said Espinoza.

Espinoza won the Kentucky Derby aboard War Emblem from post No. 5 for trainer Bob Baffert in 2002.

California Chrome also won the Santa Anita Derby from post five in his last start and the 3-year-old, trained by Art Sherman, will be looking for his fifth straight victory on the track.

With California Chrome’s tactical speed, the No. 5 post should not prove a problem as Espinoza should be able to get out quickly and place him where he wants.

“He’s an amazing horse to ride,” said Espinoza. “I let him do his own thing. I think that’s why he’s running so great.”

Sherman obviously didn’t want to draw the No. 1 hole like Louisiana Derby winner Vicars In Trouble (30-1) did or the outside post in the 20-horse field like Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong (8-1).

“I like it fine,” said Sherman after the draw. “Victor says he likes it. I’m happy and I feel no pressure.”

California Chrome has been a step slow in two of his last five starts, but Sherman isn’t worried.

“We’re going to school (from the gate Thursday),” said Sherman. “(In a race) he’ll be standing there perfect and just before he gets anxious. When he puts those blinkers on he gets anxious because he knows it’s a whole new ballgame (race day).”

Arkansas Derby winner Danza (10-1) drew just inside California Chrome in the No. 4 post.

Other California horses drew toward the outside in Hoppertunity (6-1) at No. 11, Dance With Fate (20-1) at No. 12, Chitu (20-1) at No. 13 and Candy Boy (20-1) at No. 18 for trainer John Sadler and jockey Gary Stevens.

Hoppertunity, who finished second to California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby, was made the second choice on the morning line after Wicked Strong drew the outside post.

However, four of the last six Derby winners have come from the auxiliary gate (post No. 15 and out) and the last three in a row have come from there.

Baffert trains both Hoppertunity and Chitu. He was fine with the draw for both.

“I’m happy with the way the horses are training and that’s more important,” he said. “The only disadvantage is that Hoppertunity is going to have to wait in the gate for a long time, but I’d rather wait in the 11-hole than wait in the one-hole. I think he’s second choice because he’s gotten the closest to California Chrome this year.”

Chitu is expected to be part of the speed in the 1¼-mile race.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Baffert. “The speed horses, you don’t know who’s going to break, who’s going to go, what if the pace isn’t fast? What if it’s a War Emblem pace and they keep going? I think nobody knows. We’re all assuming a lot of stuff but, this Derby, aside from that California Chrome has proven he’s a really good horse, there’s a lot of horses in there that are pretty close. There’s a lot of parity in this field so that’s why we have 20 horses, because everybody might have a chance. He’s fast. (Jockey) Martin Garcia thinks he can do it so he’s real confident about the horse.”

Trainer Peter Eurton didn’t have a problem with Blue Grass winner Dancer With Fate’s draw.

“I am thrilled with it,” he said. “There is a lot of speed to the inside of us rather than outside and that should give us a good chance to pick a spot.”

Sadler said he doesn’t worry about post draws.

“It’s OK,” Sadler said. “I’d rather be outside than in. And I don’t put a lot of energy into things I can’t control. We’ll figure out a strategy and go from there. I think we’ll be fine.”

Stevens said he was already planning a strategy as the draw progressed, but he wasn’t giving away any trade secrets.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita

What to watch for this week at Santa Anita

It’s Kentucky Derby week so that means a lot of top jockeys will be out of town and it means it’s time for the second-stringers to make some money while the big guys are gone.

You won’t see guys like Mike Smith, Gary Stevens, Corey Nakatani, Victor Espinoza and Rafael Bejarano will be in Louisville most of the week or thinking about Saturday’s race. (Note: Even though Bejarano was named on Wildcat Red some time back, it appears he was taken off.)

You could say they already started thinking about it as Espinoza, who will ride favored California Chrome in the Derby, was just 1-for-12 last week while Bejarano was 2-for-17 and Nakatani was 2-for-12.

Jockeys to watch for in Arcadia this week are Joe Talamo, who started the new spring/summer meet by going 5-for-20, followed by Edwin Maldonado (3-for-14), apprentice Drayden Van Dyke (3-for-15) and apprentice Gonzalo Nicholas (3-for-9).

Tyler Baze was 1-for-21 last week but look for a rebound by him and riders like Agapito Delgadillo (1-for-10) and Fernando Perez (1-for-10).

On the training side, Jerry Hollendorfer, Doug O’Neill, John Sadler, Ron Ellis and Bill Spawr all recorded two wins last weekend.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 0

Sunday’s second choice winners: 4 (Queen of the Hill $6.40, first race; Mal Verde $7.20, second; Fly to Freedom $3.60, fifth; Shared Image $6.60, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 2 (Vicki Victoria $6, third; Parranda $6.40, eighth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Not Too Shiny $5.20, sixth)

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