Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Aug. 27

Preview: The turf rails will be at 12 feet today so closers should have a shot. Jockeys Flavien Prat (16-for-69) and Rafael Bejarano (10-56) lead the way on the grass. Jockeys to avoid (maybe) are Stewart Elliott 1-for-26, Mike Smith 1-for-25 and Martin Garcia 0-21.

Race 1: 1. #3 Where’s Bubba (6-1) BEST BET, 2. Boompa, 3. Tomasino. LONG SHOT: Exemplar.

Trainer Bill Spawr is good a changing a horses distance. He is 36% when going from a route to a sprint and even more impressive when going sprint-route-sprint he is 56%.

Race 2: 1. Above Board, 2. Latest Craze, 3. Counturluckystars. LONG SHOT: Cavalry.

Race 3: 1. Masochistic, 2. Indexical, 3. Vyjack.

Race 4: 1. Vartan, 2. Dream It Do It, 3. Moose Skowron. LONG SHOT: Dynamic Scoring.

Race 5: 1. #3 Lauren’s Export (12-1), 2. Dust It, 3. Leveler. LONG SHOT: Anythingcanhappen.

Trainer Carla Gaines is 23% when debuting a horse on the turf and this daughter of Lonhro has three straight big works coming into the race. Lonhro is 13% with first-time turfers.

Race 6: 1. Hell On Heels, 2. Krisie’s Heart, 3. Passionate Emotion. LONG SHOT: Dragon Flowerr.

Race 7: 1. Nodiac, 2. Do the Dance, 3. How Unusual. LONG SHOT: Patriotic Diamond.

Race 8: 1. #5 How About Zero (6-1), 2. Miss Sunset, 3. You’re Late. LONG SHOT: I’ll Be Around.

We have seen trainer Doug O’Neill do this before: start a first-time maiden in a stakes race and he has won. This is a daughter of Square Eddie, who gets 16% winners first time out and barn jockey Mario Gutierrez takes the ride.

Race 9: 1. #8 Hansen Tale Blues (10-1), 2. Life’s Blessings, 3. Lovely Linda. LONG SHOT: Soul Singer.

Trainer Victor Garcia is 12% with first-time starters and he always seems to cash a bomber for his father King Juan Garcia, who races under the name Lucky Charm Stable. This son of Hansen has been training steadily and the sire gets 14% first time out. Follow the money.

Race 10: 1. American Aristocat, 2. Temple Keys, 3. Anatolian. LONG SHOT: Over Par.

Good luck

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, Aug. 24

Preview: Not the best of cards, but at least they have a maiden grass sprint. Heading into the final two weeks of the meet, the jockeys’ race appears to be a three-horse race: Flavien Prat 28-146, Rafael Bejarano 25-122 and Santiago Gonzalez 23-160..

Race 1: 1. #2 Fruity (7-2), 2. Desert Madam, 3. Take It Easyplease. LONG SHOT: Ipray.
Jockey Flavien Prat jumps on this filly, which tries two turns on the dirt for the first time. Trainer Matthew Chew claimed her out of her last and drops her into this spot off a win over the track.

Race 2: 1. Magic Tatse, 2. Silver Chrome, 3. Citori. LONG SHOT: Footloos Indy Lane.

Race 3: 1. Eddie’s Turn, 2. Eight Spokes, 3. Never Say Try. LONG SHOT: Pulla Train.

Race 4: 1. #6 Moonlight Blue (4-1), 2. Three Eclipse, 3. Sorry Erik. LONG SHOT: Ucanthankmelater.
Most of the 2-year-olds in this race are going around two turns for the first time. This gelding has been running in Florida and looks for the Ship ‘N Win bonus. Trainer Vladimir Cerin is 21% first time with a horse and 20% with horses off a 31 to 60-day layoff. This one also drops into a maiden claimer for the first time.

Race 5: 1. Soi Phet, 2. The Gomper, 3. Kristo. LONG SHOT: Grazen Sky.

Race 6: 1. #5 Schwary’s Girl (6-1) BEST BET, 2. Lori’s Attitude, 3. Could Be Magic. LONG SHOT: White Rock Lake.
Love the Australian sire Lonhro, especially on the turf where he gets 14% winners first time out. This filly has a good last work and trainer Mike Puype is 20% with jockey Stewart Elliott.

Race 7: 1. Blue Tone, 2. Conquest Cobra, 3. Avanti Bello. LONG SHOT: War Envoy.

Race 8: 1. Sidepocket Run, 2. Revenue Virginius, 3. Hennythelovepenny. LONG SHOT: Desert Thief.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, June 3

Preview: It’s another mediocre midweeek card but there is the the return of Lord Nelson for trainer Bob Baffert in the seventh race. When last seen, Lord Nelson finished third to Runhappy in the Grade I Malibu on Dec. 26. Just a note: This will be the final week of racing on the downhill portion of the turf course as the remodeling of the course begins so look for lots of 6 1/2 furlong races.

Race 5 – SA
#9 Mysterious Miracle (4-1): This filly ran second in her only try down the hill. Trainer Phil D’Amato tried to get her on it again but it was rained off and she broke her maiden on a wet fast track. The red-hot D’Amato returns her to the turf where he is 21% going dirt to turf. He is 21% with jockey Joe Talamo.

Race 6: #7 Like That (9-2): Really like the Australian sire Lonhro, who gets 11% first out winners. We would love it even more if this race was on the grass, but trainer Peter Miller still gets good numbers first out (15%) and puts good speed rider Edwin Maldonado aboard. This filly has been training at San Luis Rey Downs away from the private clockers so Miller might be trying for a score here.

Race 8 – SA
#8 Radiant Journey (5-2): Another Phil D’Amato mare that finished second in her only trip down the hill. This one has been away since November at Del Mar. She is taking a big class drop from open company to Cal-bred company. D’Amato is 27% with horses off a 180-day layoff or more. She has speed and that has done well on the turf this year.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 13

Preview: Good card with a nice stakes. Wish there were a few more entries in a few races. Tough to handicap some races where trainers have two entries because you don’t know which one is live.


Race 4: #5 Conquest Flatterme (3-1) 

This filly finished second in her West Coast debut for trainer Vladimir Cerin, who is 24% with horses returning off a 31- to 60-day layoff. Cerin puts apprentice David Lopez aboard and they are 57% together.


Race 8: #3 Birdatthewire (5-2)

Looks to me like Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith had his choice of three horses in this race and chose this 4-year-old filly. She has a 5-2-2-0 record at this distance and should be ready to go here.


Race 9: #2 Macalla (20-1) 

I like the Australian sire Lonhro, who wins with 13% of his turf horses. This filly may like the firm turf here instead of the good turf last time. Big jock switch in my mind from Alonso Quinonez to Victor Espinoza.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter