Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Wednesday, Aug. 21 (UPDATED)

Barns heating up

Trainers Richard Baltas and Phil D’Amato finally jump-started their meets during Pacific Classic week.
Baltas was 6 for 20, including four wins on the Pacific Classic card (two with John Velazquez), now trails Doug O’Neill, 20-17.
O’Neill seems to on an every other week binge as he went 1 for 11 the last five racing days which might mean he’s due for another warm streak this coming week.
D’Amato went 4 for 11 and is now tied for fourth in the standings (10 wins) with John Sadler, who went 3 for 6 and leads the meet in money won with more than $1.5 million.
Peter Miller is third in the standings with 13 wins after a 2 for 12 week.
Mark Glatt (8-2-2-3) and Bob Hess Jr. (5-2-2-1) also had big weeks.
Sadler and Miller are tied for the lead with eight wins each on the main track while Bob Baffert and O’Neill have seven each.
O’Neill still leads in grass victories with 10 despite an 0 for 7 week. Baltas has nine wins on turf and D’Amato has eight while leading in money won with nearly $820,000.

WEDNESDAY’S SELECTIONS

FIRST RACE: 1. Lakaya, 2. Nina En Fuego, 3. Warren’s Showtime. LONG SHOT: Sassyserb.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Beyond Pleasure, 2. Atina (SCRATCHED) new horse: Whirling, 3. Cimarron. LONG SHOT: Fracas.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Secret Square, 2. Mind Out, 3. Nu Pi Lambda. LONG SHOT: Beautiful Thunder.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Go For a Ride, 2. Caribbean, 3. Noble Pursuit. LONG SHOT: Mongolian Hero.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. VERY VERY STELLA (best bet), 2. Unusually Green, 3. Murad Khan. LONG SHOT: Terrys Tom Cat.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Isotherm, 2. Dr. Dorr, 3. Line Judge. LONG SHOT: Two Thirty Five.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. No Bang No Boom (SCRATCHED), 2. Oil Can Knight (SCRATCHED), 3. Prodigal Son. LONG SHOT: Hartel. New picks: 1. Prodigal Son, 2. Hartel, 3. Boa Nova. LONG SHOT: Order and Law.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Nucky, 2. Bamboozler, 3. Railsplitter. LONG SHOT: Prince Ricky.

Good luck.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 1 (Vintage Hollywood $4.80, third race)

Second choice winners: 3 (Stellar Sound $5, first; Todos Santos $5.80, second; Flagstaff $3.60, fourth)

Third choice winners: 1 (Midcourt $31, eighth)

Long shot winners: 3 (Twirling Tiger $9, fifth; It’s Fitting $37.60, sixth; She’s Our Charm $18, ninth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Tuesday, Aug. 13

Hot and cold
Mark Glatt led all Del Mar trainers last week with an 11-4-0-3 record and is now tied for fourth place in the standings with seven wins for the meet.
Doug O’Neill followed up his monster nine-victory week with a solid 16-3-4-2 mark and leads Peter Miller (11-1-3-4 for the week) by five wins for the meet, 16-11.
John Sadler followed up an 0 for 12 effort in Week 3 with a 10-2-2-0 mark in Week 4 and should be a trainer to watch this week. Sadler likes to win stakes races and there are plenty of those week, headed by the Pacific Classic on Saturday.
The Peter Eurton barn is starting to thaw from its icy start as he was 3-2-1-0 during the week.
Some barns are still struggling. Keith Desormeaux (1 for 22), Michael McCarthy (1-18), Steve Knapp (1-17), Tim McCanna (1-13), John Sherriffs (0-14), George Papaprodromous (0-17), Jim Cassidy (0-14) and Jack Carava (0-14) must be looked at as throw outs in handicapping until they show signs of life.
Miller and O’Neill lead the pack with six winners each on the main track followed by Sadler and Bob Baffert with five wins each. Neil Drysdale, who is known mainly for prowess on the turf, is 2 for 2 on the dirt.
It is pretty amazing O’Neill leads all trainers with 10 victories on the grass. from 42 starts. It wasn’t too many years ago that O’Neill went through a streak of 1 for 76 on the turf, but times have changed.
On the other end, Vladimir Cerin is 1 for 14 on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course while McCarthy if 0 for 17 with just two third place finishes and Patrick Gallagher is 0 for 12.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, July 19

Preview: Trainers Doug O’Neill and Jerry Hollendorfer, who were mediocre in 2017, dominated on opening day, winning the first seven races between them. Give their horses an extra look, especially O’Neill, who gets hot and then cools off.

Trainers to watch
PHIL D’AMATO: Tied for the Del Mar training title last summer with 18 wins and his stable has only gotten stronger since then. He is a monster on the turf with 12 wins and 11 seconds from 66 starters. This summer look for improved numbers on the dirt and with younger horses.

RICHARD BALTAS: He tied D’Amato for the crown a year ago. Surprisingly, he beat D’Amato on the grass, leading all trainer with 13 winners on the green. One area of weakness is first-time starters so stay away from them.

PETER MILLER: Last summer wasn’t the best for the Carlsbad resident who annually starts a ton of horses at the seaside oval. He had more than twice has many seconds and thirds (24 and 16) as wins (15). No doubt he wants to turn those numbers around. Don’t be afraid of horses showing San Luis Rey Downs works because he has a portion of his stable there. Miller was second in dirt wins and victories by 2-year-olds. He does a lot of damage with claimers and maiden claimers, but you often don’t get a square price.

MARK GLATT: He had a really good summer under the radar last year, finishing tied for third in the standings with Miller (15 wins) from far less starters (68). He also is sneaky on the grass with eight wins from 37 starts. Betting on all of Glatt’s starters would have produced a flat-bet profit, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

DOUG O’NEILL: It will be a race to see who starts more horses this meet: Miller or O’Neill. The O’Neill barn gets a lot of horses from J. Paul Reddam and a lot sired by Square Eddie so watch for that combination. O’Neill was tied for third in dirt wins (nine) and grass can be a weakness. However, look at turf sprints because in 2016 O’Neill did well in that category.

OTHERS: Bob Baffert has his second Triple Crown winner in four years but like American Pharoah, Justify won’t run at Del Mar. Baffert led all trainers with 12 dirt wins, with half of them coming from 2-year-olds. He is also usually strong in the sprint and handicap divisions. The best betting option is “the other Baffert.” When he has two horses in the same race, bet the one with the higher odds plus bet an exacta box of his two horses. … Jerry Hollendorfer had just five winners a year ago but he got hot during Santa Anita and might be back to his old self. Watch out for his 2-year-olds, especially the fillies, one of which (Brill) is running on opening day. … Michael McCarthy, the former Todd Pletcher assistant, is starting to get better stock after finishing last summer for third in dirt wins (nine). According to Mazur’s book, McCarthy produced a huge $73 flat-bet profit. … Simon Callaghan is another younger trainer to watch after he had seven 2-year-old winners in 2017. … Steve Miyadi is also good with 2-year-olds (four wins) and first-time starters (three of 11). … Jim Cassidy, the life-long New York Yankees fan, is 7-for-13 in turf sprints the last three years with a profit of $137, according Mazur’s book. … Tom Proctor, who trains mainly for Glen Hill Farm, is a whiz on the turf and he went 6-for-15 at 2017 meet for a flat-bet profit, but don’t expect any large prices because his horses get bet.

FIRST RACE: 1. Watch Me Burn, 2. Jellybeankristine, 3. No Thanks Erik. LONG SHOT: Lakerzwin.

SECOND RACE: 1. Gutsy Effort, 2. Welldidyougetit, 3. Latitude. LONG SHOT: June Two Four.

THIRD RACE: 1. PASTIME (best bet), 2. G Q Covergirl, 3. Painting Corners. LONG SHOT: Invested Prospect.
Let me just say this up front there is no way we are getting the 12-1 morning line on No. 8 Pastime in today’s third race. Trainer Victoria Oliver brings a small string to Del Mar almost every year from Kentucky and always seem to win at a good price, but the word is already out on social media. That being said Oliver is 4-for-11 at Del Mar with horses off a 31- to 60-day layoff like this filly and the average winning price is $20, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Robin’s Love, 2. Cylinders, 3. Lil Bit Dangerous. LONG SHOT: Go Smiley Go.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Memorable Election, 2. Rockaway, 3. Ivy Mike. LONG SHOT: Master Ruler.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Magic Musketier, 2. Andesh, 3. Inscom. LONG SHOT: Soltero.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Secret Spice, 2. Moonshine Memories, 3. Show It N Moe It. LONG SHOT: Treasuring.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Majorie E, 2. Venue, 3. Oh Pretty Woman. LONG SHOT: Unusual Gold.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 2 (Shivermetimbers $4.60, sixth race; Brill $3.40, seventh)

Second choice winners: 1 (Super Duper Cooper $6.40, ninth)

Third choice winners: 3 (Eighty Three $10.60, third; Dichotomy $5.40, fourth; Ann Arbor Eddie $20, fifth)

Long shot winners: 1 (Jimmy Chila $7, second)

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Friday, July 28 (First post 4 p.m.) UPDATED

PREVIEW: Speed has always done well on these twilight programs as the moisture stays in the main track making it tighter. Keep that in mind.The rails on the turf course are moved out to 30 feet and that usually means frontrunners have the edge as it’s tough to pass in the stretch. However, on Wednesday, closers ruled the day coming from way back

FIRST RACE: 1. Terra Lago, 2. Fly as a Falcon, 3. Mis Viola. LONG SHOT: Trust Fund Kitty.

SECOND RACE: 1. Excavation, 2. El Super, 3. Country Road. LONG SHOT: Pampers n’ Boots.

THIRD RACE: 1. May B, 2. Stormy Rocit, 3. No Silent. LONG SHOT: Zuri Chop.
The only time this gelding was on the turf, he finished sixth. Trainer Mark Glatt decides to give it another go with this speed demon. Look for apprentice Evin Roman to go front to the front and hope to hang on.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Freedom Journey, 2. Candy Ruler, 3. Dangerously Close. LONG SHOT: Paschalitsa.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Bold Papa, 2. Ashley’s Song, 3. Kings River King. LONG SHOT: Lovely Anzi.
SIXTH RACE: 1. ANN ARBOR EDDIE (Best bet), 2. Fly to Mars, 3. Elwood J. LONG SHOT: Edwards Going Left.
Ann Arbor Eddie just beat older horses and now returns to the 3-year-old Cal-bred ranks. Good spot to pick up a nice check. He is a perfect 3-for-3 against Cal-breds.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Offshore, 2. Fritz Johansen, 3. Trifecta. LONG SHOT: Special Season.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Mr. Brightside, 2. Indium, 3. Rick’s Dream. LONG SHOT: Hoppitty

Good luck,

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, March 24

Race 1 – SA
#7 Lil Awecim (5-1) ****
Our Eyes: Has been running in the Cal-bred ranks but takes the drop from MSW to maiden claiming, a move trainer Mark Glatt wins 23% of the time.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win. EXBX 7-1-4

Race 5 – SA
#2 The Topester (4-1) ****
Our Eyes: This gelding dropping to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks for the first time. Trainer Phil D’Amato is 29% when dropping a horse two or more levels. The 4-year-old is also coming out of a key race that has produced three winners so far.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 8 – SA
#1 Line (3-1) TURF ONLY ****
Our Eyes: Loved this filly last time out, but she stumbled at the start and never got back in the race. Richard Mandella brings her back in a similar spot and he’s 31% with horses second time on the turf. Rafael Bejarano takes over.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show. EXBX 1-8-10

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 4

Preview: Some rain on Friday, but only one race was taken off the turf which is a good sign for today’s card. At the start of the race week, Jerry Hollendorfer, Peter Miller and Richard Baltas led the way on the dirt with eight wins each. Doug O’Neill was right behind with seven winners. On the other end, Steven Knapp was 0-for-10 followed by Mike Harrington (1-18) and Sal Gonzalez (1-14), all of whom were having trouble winning races.

Race 4: #9 Amer Sista (6-1): Took money in her debut, but was off slow and then in right. Trainer Phil D’Amato puts blinkers on (22% move) and top turf rider Flavien Prat stays on and he’s 24% with D’Amato.

Race 6: #8 Fabozzi (6-1): This gelding is 3-2-0-1 at the distance. The 4-year-old is moving up in class but trainer Mark Glatt is 30% with horses that won their last race and that man Prat rides again on the turf. Prat is 27% with Glatt.

Race 8: #5 Mor Spirit (3-1): Pure and simple that try in the Malibu was a prep for this race by trainer Bob Baffert. This 4-year-old tries older horses for the first time, but Baffert is 27% going sprint to route and jockey Mike Smith stays aboard.

Race 9: #8 Perfectly Majestic (10-1): This gelding has beaten some of these before and has a record of 18-4-5-6 on the grass. Kent Desormeaux gets back on and he has had success with this 5-year-old in the past.

Good luck

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Feb. 3

Preview: To be honest I’m not sure what to do with this card because rain has been forecast for much of the week, but the percentage has gone down. It probably means there is 100% of rain and it will wash the turf races off the grass.

Race 1 – SA
#2 Rangi (7-2) (TURF ONLY) ****
Our Eyes: The Peter Miller barn has been on fire for the last week. This gelding has speed and takes a drop in class. He has won over the downhill before and Rafael Bejarano stays aboard.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 3 – SA
#1 Yellow Bonnett (5-2) ****
Our Eyes: Been following this filly for a while and she finally gets to run around two turns for the first time, which she is bred to do. Trainer Mark Glatt is 24% second off the layoff and he’s 27% with Flavien Prat.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 8 – SA
#7 Sequentially (6-1) ****
Our Eyes: This gelding faced tougher in his debut at Del Mar and now takes a class drop. Glatt is 31% when dropping a horse two or more classes. He is also 21% with jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr..
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, November 17

Preview: Jockey Rafael Bejarano will be out until Nov. 26 so look for Flavien Prat to jump on a lot of his previous mounts. As for the track, the No. 1 post was 3-for-13 in dirt sprints but 1-for-14 in dirt route races and 0-for-11 in all turf races. Small sample but something to consider.

Race 1: 1. Late ‘n Left, 2. Rocky’s Rainbow, 3. Tinderette. LONG SHOT: Quality Key.

Race 2: 1. Warrensdollarsigns, 2. Hal’s Buddy, 3. Buttercup Gold. LONG SHOT: Individual Design.

Race 3: 1. Over Par, 2. Luckarack, 3. Eagle Screams. LONG SHOT: Plain Wrap.

Race 4: 1. Adir, 2.Wild Mischief, 3. Mimis Big Boy. LONG SHOT: Solar Zone.

Race 5: 1. Tiz Seeking a Win, 2. My Pi Romancer, 3. Princess Roi. LONG SHOT: Ocean Dream.

Race 6: 1. #1 Passionate Emotion (6-1), 2. Kristie’s Heart, 3. Daring Darling. LONG SHOT: Pico Chick.
We’ve mentioned that jockey Kent Desormeaux wakes horses up the first time he rides them and we’re hoping for that here on this class dropper. This filly has won twice over this surface and trainer Mark Glatt is 31% the second time he runs a horse acquired from another barn.

Race 7: 1. #4 Mizzen Glory (12-1), 2. Mai Tai, 3. Almost Reality. LONG SHOT: La Premiere Etoile.

Trainer Cliff Sise Jr. isn’t known for winning first time out so this daughter of Mizzen Mast must have some talent to have done that at LRC. Now she tries the turf and a route for the first time. Sise is 3-for-9 first time turf and Mizzen Mast is 11% first time on grass.

Race 8: 1. #8 Pattin for a Dance (9-2) BEST BET, 2. Gio’s Lady, 3. Princess Marie. LONG SHOT: Eskenforandreya.

Reasoning would say that in a 5 1/2-furlong race to go with a speed horse, but I’m going contrarian here. This filly is a closer and holds a 9-point advantage on Brisnet’s Late Pace Ratings. This filly was beaten as a favorite last time, getting off to a slow start. Look for improvement.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, Aug. 31

Preview: This is the final week of the summer meet. Watch for trainers who are prepping their horses either for the Los Alamitos meet (all dirt) or trying to get a grass race into their horses since there won’t be any turf racing until the end of the month at Santa Anita.

Race 1: 1. Californiasummer, 2. Lady Sophia, 3. It’s Not So Easdy. LONG SHOT: Pattin for a Dance.

Race 2: 1. Airfoil, 2. Dadtaughtmewell, 3. Basmati. LONG SHOT: Senator Bob.

Race 3: 1. Peppermint Kitty, 2. Stylistic, 3. Dixie Dame. LONG SHOT: One Smart Cat.

Race 4: 1. #8 Heat Me (4-1), 2. Chao Chom, 3. Plane Lucky. LONG SHOT: Easter Fever.
Trainer Mark Glatt has had a good meet and moves this filly from open company to a Cal-bred race. The 4-year-old has two good works on the main track since the claim and Glatt is 29% first off the claim.

Race 5: 1. We Go Now, 2. Caiifornia Clone, 3. Highly Acclaimed. LONG SHOT: Boo Boo Bear.

Race 6: 1. Secreto Primero, 2. Calculator, 3. Jimmy Bouncer. LONG SHOT: Holy Lute.

Race 7: 1. Vale Dori, 2. The Dream, 3. Scattagirl. LONG SHOT: She’s a Big Winner.

Race 8: 1. #4 Senza Fina (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Tooluckysupermoon, 3. Q’ Viva. LONG SHOT: Frandontjudge.
Looks like trainer Mark Glatt is looking for the shipping money today. This mare takes a drop in class anf gets leading rider Flavien Prat, who is 25% with Glatt over the last year. She will be forwardly placed.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, Aug. 18

Preview: Big week at Del Mar with the Pacific Classic on Saturday. Bob Baffert, to no one’s surprise is leading all trainers in main track wins with 10 from 33 mounts. John Sadler is having a great meet with 7 wins from 16 starters on the dirt and Mark Glatt is 6-of-21.

Race 1: #2 Nuke Laloosh (3-1), 2. Ideal, 3. Papa Gulf. LONG SHOT: Foolish to Deceive.
Trainer Peter Miller brings this 3-year-old back after more than a year’s layoff, but look who he lost to in his last race, no other than Preakness winner Exaggerator. That race was a key race and with the drop to maiden claimers for the first time (Miller’s 28% there) this first-time gelding could be real tough.

Race 2: Dame Street, 2. Optimism And Hope, 3. Compel. LONG SHOT: Tequila Mary.

Race 3: 1. Golden Atlantic, 2. Cee the Preacher, 3. Look Me in the Eye. LONG SHOT: Redneck Crazy.

Race 4: 1. Marvelous Max, 2. Bernardjfortunato, 3. Zealous Tale. LONG SHOT: Ring Collector.

Race 5: #1 Marriedtoaminister (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Papa Mambo, 3. Watch This Cat. LONG SHOT: Conquest So True.
This filly was claimed by trainer Richard Baltas out of a maiden claiming victory and we think he had grass in mind for her. Baltas is 21% first off the claim and 25% both first turf and dirt to turf. The filly has the best Brisnet Late Pace Rating by 9 points which should work out well on the grass.

Race 6: 1. Warren’s Purrfect, 2. Appealing Lady, 3. Goliath’s Girl. LONG SHOT: Lob City.

Race 7: 1. Danas Best, 2. Pretentious, 3. Infinite Loop. LONG SHOT: Banze No Oeste.

Race 8: 1. #8 You’re the Reason (5-1), 2.It’s Not So Easy, 3. Starr of Quality. LONG SHOT: Victory Seeker.
Trainer William Morey drops this filly into a maiden claimer for the first time and he is 53% with such moves. Huge jockey switch from Kerwin John to Gary Stevens.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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