Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, July 29 (4 p.m. first post)

Preview: The turf rails come back in to 12 feet today which will allow closers to have a better shot in the stretch. Yesterday we talked about jockeys who have done well so far during the meet on the grass. Here are a couple of jockeys who have been struggling on the green (stats through Tuesday): Tyler Baze (1-for-18), Santiago Gonzalez (1-15) and Stewart Elliott (0-9).

Race 1: 1. #4 Mrs. Guty (7-2) BEST BET, 2. Spindle, 3. Generous Pour. LONG SHOT: La Galy
This filly finished third as the 6-5 favorite in her debut. She showed a lot of speed that day and tired so should be fitter for this race. Trainer Michael McCarthy is 23% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff. The filly also takes a drop in class.

Race 2: 1. Cioppino Pasadino, 2. My California, 3. I’ll Be Around. LONG SHOT: Love a Honeybadger.

Race 3: 1. Katy Drama, 2. Sizzling Bel, 3. B K Miss. LONG SHOT: Chicago Angel.

Race 4: 1. #5 Ciao Bella Rosa (12-1), 2. Simmy’s Temple, 3. You Missed It. LONG SHOT: Gio’s Lady.
This filly cost $125K at auction and is sire by Kitten’s Joy, who gets 17% first out winners on the grass. This 2-year-old is prep to love the green and go a distance of ground. Trainer Peter Miller likes to win at Del Mar and at a price is even better.

Race 5: 1. Jonny’s Choice, 2. Minister Vivendi, 3. Nahem. LONG SHOT: Misdeed.

Race 6: 1. #5 Doubelievenmagic (7-2), 2. Out Ofthe Ordinary. LONG SHOT: Queen Scheherazade.
This filly finished second on the grass for trainer Todd Pletcher at Gulfstream Park 2 months ago and now ends up here to try and cash in on the “Ship N Win” program. Trainer David Hofmans is 35% going from sprint to route, 18% with first-time routers and 27% with jockey Joe Talamo at Del Mar.

Race 7: 1. Elwood J, 2. Caiifornia Clone, 3. Amodei. LONG SHOT: Midnight Reveler.

Race 8: 1. With a Twist, 2. Swiss Skimmer, 3. Intoxicaing Move. LONG SHOT: Lady’s Lunar Luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 20

Preview: Interesting card with the highly anticipated debut of Ziconic, a son of Zenayata, set to run in what looks like a tough maiden race in the third.

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Race 2: #4 Decisive Triumph (turf only) (8-1) 

Trainer Graham Motion doesn’t have a win at the meet yet, but he’s too good not to score eventually. This son of Kitten’s Joy should love this distance and surface. Motion adds Lasix and he’s 23% first time he does that plus he adds leading jockey Rafael Bejarano.

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Race 3: #2 Fast Munny (6-1)

This is the race with Zenyatta’s son, Ziconic, plus two horses trained by Bob Baffert and one trained by Jerry Hollendorfer so this could turn out to be a key race. We’re going with the son of Munnings and trained by Craig Dollase, who is 26% with first-time starters. I know the connections are high on this 3-year-old colt, but like I said it’s a tough heat. Flavien Prat rides and he’s 2-for-4 with Dollase.

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Race 7: #9 I’m Zonin (8-1) 

This gelding is in the money 60% (3 for 5) at this distance. Trainer Richard Baltas is 30% going sprint-route-sprint meaning that this 4-year-old should have plenty of stamina. Veteran jockey Stewart Elliott gets the mount.

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FAIRGROUNDS

Race 11 (Grade II Risen Star Stakes: 1.#4 Bistraya (15-1), 2. #10 Airoforce (5-2), 3. #13 Candy My Boy (15-1), 4. #6 Gun Runner (6-1). LONG SHOT: #7 Its All Relevent (15-1).

It’s time for the 50-point races on the Kentucky Derby trail so a win in any of these races pretty much gets you in the starting gate on the first Saturday of May. We’re going with an upset here as Bistraya ships in off a maiden victory in Southern California. Jockey Edwin Maldonado comes along for the ride. Candy My Boy is interesting but that post is a killer.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

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Horse racing, Pimlico, Triple Crown

Pimlico Race Course opinions for Saturday, May 16

The Pimlico is here and I’m not going to try to re-invent the wheel. I still think the West Coast horses are the best so here are my picks:

#8 Firing Line (4-1)

#1 American Pharoah (4-5)

#2 Dortmund (7-2)

#5 Tale of Verve (30-1)

Comment: I’m sticking with Firing Line and hope jockey Gary Stevens can get him to switch leads down the lane this time.

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Here are some other races on the card:

Race 1: #7 Mafia Muscle Man (turf only) (6-1)

Trainer Larry Rivelli is based in Chicago, yet he picks this spot for this 2-year-old to make his debut. He also owns the colt and the sire Lewis Michael is 15% with first-time turfers. Rivelli is 27% with first-timers and gets Javier Casellano to ride. Play an exacta box with #8 FINNEGAN (6-5), who is supposed to be trainer Wesley Ward’s next big Ascot thing.

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Race 3: #10 Chiropractor (7-2)

Trainer Tom Proctor is going to have a barn on the East Coast based near Pimlico and starts this Kitten’s Joy first-timer on the turf, where the sire is 17% first-time turf. One of Proctor’s West Coast jockeys, Drayden Van Dyke, rides, but they have been cold lately.

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Race 6: #2 Hooligan (4-1)

Trainer Wesley Ward is almost an automatic play in a 5-furlong turf sprint and here he gets jockey John Velazquez aboard (22% together).

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Race 9: #1 Bocaouva (8-1), #8 Watsdachances (6-1), #9 Token of Love (5-1).

One of the toughest races on the card, BOCAOUVA had a ton of trouble in her last race and drawing the No. 1 hole here is no bargain. Will use all three in all vertical bets.

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Race 10: #7 Gimme Da Lute (3-1)

Trainer Bob Baffert is an amazing 39% with horses going sprint-route-sprint and that’s what this 3-year-old does after finishing third to Competitive Edge in the Pat Day Mile on Derby Day.

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Race 12: #10 Manchurian High (turf only) (15-1)

Jockey Gary Stevens doesn’t need to ride every race so he must have gotten a good story on this gelding to ride for little-known trainer Lilli Kurtinecz. The 7-year-old has won twice over this Pimlico turf course and will be charging down the lane. He also comes out of a key race with three next out winners. This is one of tougher races on the card so go for a price.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jeff Nahill’s Kentucky Oaks top four

#4 Eskenformoney

#12 Stellar Wind

#1 Forever Unbridled

#10 Oceanwave

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Sunday, Oct. 5

FIRST RACE: 1. Brazilian Court, 2. Hold Everything, 3. Caramuru. LONG SHOT: Mapping.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Justa Splash, 2. Vavoom, 3. Shackleford Banks. LONG SHOT: Thesheetsguy.

JUSTA SPLASH (5-1), a 3-year-old, gets a huge jockey switch from a 10-pound apprentice to Hall of Famer Alex Solis. The son of Harlan’s Holiday should like the dirt and already has proven he likes two turns.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Racing for Chasen, 2. Champion Risk, 3. Love the Kids. LONG SHOT: Wackett.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Rule the Field, 2. Smart Journey, 3. City State. LONG SHOT: Itsgettinhotinhere.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Eltoninadress, 2. Acute, 3. Courageousandbold. LONG SHOT: Goldilocks Planet.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Luck of the Kitten (best bet), 2. Rowdy Dylan, 3. Dallas Skyline. LONG SHOT: Remo.

Obviously trainer Wesley Ward is trying to find out if  LUCK OF THE KITTEN (3-1), a 2-year-old, is good enough to run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf after a second-place finish in a stakes at Kentucky Downs. The son of Kitten’s Joy figures to go to the front and great turf jockey Corey Nakatani will guide him for the first time.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Always a Chance, 2. Rovenna, 3. Sweet Marini. LONG SHOT: Only Josie Knows.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Her Emmynency, 2. Heart of Paradise, 3. Sea Mona. LONG SHOT: Into Oblivion.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Hot Lightning, 2. Conquest Dreamin, 3. All Around Brown. LONG SHOT: Guy Code.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 1 (Compulsive $12.20, 10th race)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 1 (One Lucky Dane $3.40, sixth)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 1 (Rich Tapestry $16.80, eighth)

Saturday’s long shot winners: 1 (Jimmy Bouncer $9.40, second)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, Aug. 29 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Missing Groom, 2. Beach Fever, 3. Mr. Casanova. LONG SHOT: Synnin.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Chippette, 2. Warren’s Assassin, 3. Pursuitofparadise. LONG SHOT: Dixie Deville.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Sheezflippinsexy (best bet), 2. Hennythelovepenny, 3. Suite One. LONG SHOT: Doctor Susan (SCRATCHED) NEW LONG SHOT: Ill Tell You What.

Trainer Vann Belvoir and jockey Rafael Bejarano are a 50% combination at Del Mar the last two years. Here they team up on a first time starter named SHEEZFLIPPINSEXY (6-1), by Tale of the Cat, who is a good first out sire.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Intoxicating Move, 2. Fantastic Mizz, 3. Highly Rated. LONG SHOT: Boller Bomb.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Ashleyluvssugar, 2. Deraptor, 3. Public Policy. LONG SHOT: True Ten.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Big Tire, 2. Conquest Two Step, 3. Red Outlaw. LONG SHOT: Van Fraasen.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Keepnherinthedark, 2. Nero’s Pleasure, 3. Covey. LONG SHOT: Delphia.

KEEPNHERINTHEDARK (6-1), a daughter of Kitten’s Joy, drops into a maiden claimer for the first time off a nine-month layoff. Trainer Mark Glatt is 21% with horses off a layoff of more than 180 days and he’s 29% going from turf to synthetic.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 1 (Noble Bird $4.20, third race)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 3 (Big Cazanova $3, second; Sheza an Eyeopener $7, fourth; Small Town Cop $10.80, fifth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Only Josie Knows $11.40, seventh; It Is Living Water $12, eighth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 1 (Chilada $9.80, sixth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, Aug. 14

FIRST RACE: 1. Rosie Brown, 2. Gold Journey, 3. Awe Gee. LONG SHOT: Fortune’s Daughter.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Theatre Star, 2. Bunairgead, 3. Spring Bloom. LONG SHOT: Biorhythm.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Monument (best bet), 2. Got Even, 3. Pepnic. LONG SHOT: Kate’s Event.

MONUMENT (8-1), a 4-year-old colt, is a perfect 2-for-2 on the Del Mar Polytrack. Still above his claimed level and pressed the pace last time on the turf before tiring. Jockey Agapito Delgadillo stays aboard for trainer Alfredo Marquez.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Mosso, 2. Boom Boys, 3. Rainbow North. LONG SHOT: Tasha’s Courage.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Tiz Zoe Cee, 2. Kid Rollins, 3. Contessa B. LONG SHOT: Sheza Eyeopener.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Williams Bay, 2. Sweet as a Rose, 3. Penny Sixpence. LONG SHOT: Freethinker.

WILLIAMS BAY (3-1), a daughter of Kitten’s Joy, is bred to run all day long. She turned in an even effort coming down the hill at Santa Anita for trainer Tom Proctor, who is 25% with second time maiden starters. Apprentice Drayden Van Dyke jumps aboard. PENNY SIXPENCE is the likely favorite, but a horse has yet to win from the No. 1 post on the turf at the meet and the Neil Drysdale trainee got moved in by a scratch.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. New Nature, 2. Fable, 3. Hugh Knew. LONG SHOT: La Casadora.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Hope ‘n Pray, 2. Cuneo, 3. Zippingaroundtown. LONG SHOT: Valentine Boy.

Trainer Andy Mathis claimed HOPE ‘ N PRAY (6-1), a son of Old Topper, out of a third-place effort last time. The gelding was closing down the lane and gets an extra half-furlong at the same class level. Long shot jockey Tiago Pereira jumps aboard in a definite jockey upgrade.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Wednesday’s top choice winners: 0

Wednesday’s second choice winners: 3 (Ontology $5.40, first race; Perfect Set $5.20, fourth; Merit Man $7.20, seventh)

Wednesday’s third choice winners: 1 (Majestic Presence $7.80, fifth)

Wednesday’s long shot winners: 1 (Watch It Buster $13.60, eighth)

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