Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Tuesday, Aug. 20

In the saddle

Victor Espinoza led all jockeys last week with six wins. He was followed by Joe Talamo and Rafael Bejarano, who had five wins each.
Flavien Prat still leads the standings with 27 winners and an argument could be made for the fact that he had the best week despite a 2 for 22 effort. Prat won the $1 million Pacific Classic aboard Higher Power for John Sadler.
Drayden Van Dyke (3 for 22) is still second in the standings but only one win ahead of Bejarano, 20-19.
Abel Cedillo was 4 for 13 during Week 5 on the dirt and is now the leading rider on the main track with 14 victories. Ruben Fuentes is second with 13 and Prat is third with 12.
Prat had a brutal week on the grass with an 0 for 12 effort, but he shouldn’t feel bad as New York jockey John Velazquez came in over the weekend to pilfer three victories on the turf. Plus, Saratoga-based jockey Florent Geroux added another turf victory in addition to a win he scored on main track. So that was five total wins for the out-of-towners.
Fuentes scored his first win on the green but he is still only 1 for 42 on the surface. Martin Garcia is 1 for 27, Norberto Arroyo Jr. is 1 or 29, Jorge Velez 1 for 23 and Aaron Gryder 1 for 22 on the grass while Tiago Periera is 0 for 32. Ouch.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, Aug. 8

After going 2 for 8 on last week, Flavien Prat has made the race for the jockey title interesting again entering Wednesday action.
Prat was tied at the top with Drayden Van Dyke as both riders have 17 winners entering Week 4.
In all fairness to Prat, he missed three racing days last week, two by suspension and one while riding Bellafina in the Test at Saratoga. He was in the money with all eight of his mounts.
Van Dyke made up ground by going 5 for 21 on the week and that wasn’t even the most wins for the five days of racing.
Rafael Bejarano and Abel Cedillo both had six victories and also had a hand in Doug O’Neill’s big week.
Journeyman Ruben Fuentes rebounded from a winless Week 2 to score four wins from 19 mounts.
Aaron Gryder (1 for 33) and apprentice J.C. Diaz Jr (1-33) are struggling as is Alonzo Quinonez (0 for 14).
Fuentes took over on the top while riding on the main track as he has nine victories, but he is 0 for 26 on the grass and should be avoided.
Prat and Van Dyke lead the colony with 10 grass victories each.
Victor Espinoza (1-22), Norberto Arroyo (1-29), Martin Garcia (1-16), Tiago Pereira (0-19), apprentice Jorge Velez (0-18) and Gryder (0-16) have been less than stellar on the turf course.

FIRST RACE: 1. Miss Megan, 2. Remember to Smile, 3. Takethediamondlane. LONG SHOT: Jan Jan Can.
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SECOND RACE: 1. Moonshone Annie, 2. Tig Tog, 3. Playa Chica. LONG SHOT: Divine Dharma.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Best Two Minutes, 2. Weast Hill, 3. Fast Cotton. LONG SHOT: Monydontspenitself.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. MASTER RYAN (best bet), 2. Fredikstad, 3. Cunning Munnings. LONG SHOT: Tribals Last Reign.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Aced, 2. Emtech, 3. Vintage Hollywood. LONG SHOT: Sea’s Journey.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Zestful, 2. Builder, 3. Play Hard to Get. LONG SHOT: Zeke.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Solar Nova, 2. Senora Power, 3. Lady Sunset. LONG SHOT: Kuda Huraa.

Good luck.

Good luck.

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinion for Tuesday, July 30

In the saddle

In the Del Mar jockey’s race, Flavien Prat is still on top with 17 wins, including five from 17 mounts during Week 2. However, Prat is is the middle of serving a three-day suspension. He was limited to just one ride in a stakes race on Sunday and will be off all of his mounts Wednesday and Thursday.
Drayden Van Dyke closed the gap on Prat with a seven-win week from 21 mounts. He is three behind Prat with 12 wins and look for him to be live the next two days as Van Dyke will be riding for barns that might normally choose Prat, especially in turf races.
Rafael Bejarano had a strong second week with five wins in 21 tries and is now third in the standings with seven wins.
Kent Desormeaux, Joe Talamo and Martin Garcia all had three wins on the week to secure spots in the top 10.
On the other end, Rueben Fuentes went from having five victories in Week 1 to none in 22 mounts during Week 2. Also, Fuentes is 0 for 19 on the Del Mar grass course so far.
Abel Cedillo also had a tough second week with no wins in 19 mounts. He did have two seconds and five thirds. Cedillo is just 1 for 24 on the dirt.

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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

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, July 27

Preview: For those that haven’t noticed, the main track has been playing to speed. If you get the lead, you win and if you have the lead at the head of the stretch you are long gone. The track was due.to be dug up on Monday after training hours so what that means this week is anyone’s guess. By my count, only three or four closers have won the dirt. Maybe that will change today so be sure to watch the early races.

Race 1: 1. Ipray, 2. Kristinite, 3. Toppers Sunshine. LONG SHOT: Wahine Warrior.

Rac 2: Downside Up, 2. Westmont, 3. Amazing Love. LONG SHOT: Ninety Nine Proof.

Race 3: 1. #6 Ultimate Holiday (6-1), 2. Bendable, 3. Luminance. LONG SHOT: Diabolical Dame.
This race came up tough for a non-winners of two allowance test. This filly has been training lights out as the pair of bullet works prove for trainer Richard Baltas, who is 21% with horses off a layoff of 61 to 180 days.Look for this filly to make one run for jockey Tyler Baze

Race 4: 1. #1 Sirocco Strike (5-1), 2. All Indians, 3. Louden’s Gray. LONG SHOT: Go Vo.
This gelding has been away from the races for more than 18 months, but he has done well at Del Mar before. There is a nice work for trainer Jeff Mullins last week and Mullins is 21% with horses in for a tag for the first time. On top of that, turf wizard Flavien Prat is aboard.

Race 5: 1. She’s a Warrior, 2. Summertimemischier, 3. Leveler. LONG SHOT: Sid the Squid.

Race 6: 1. Kennedie Sky, 2. Brookes All Mine, 3. Do the Dance. LONG SHOT: Watch the Cat.

Race 7: 1. #2 Smokey Image (7-2), 2. Mrazek, 3. Tribal Fighter. LONG SHOT: Taman Guard.
Trainer Carla Gaines got a bad case of Kentucky Derby fever with this 3-year-old and his performances suffered. Now he is back with his friends (Cal breds), where he is 3-for-3 against, including two wins at Del Mar last summer. This race is full of speed so jockey Martin Garcia must exercise patience. Absolutely the toughest race on the card.

Race 8: 1. #3 Mooney Makin Mike (8-1), 2. Alston, 3. Candy Cowboy. LONG SHOT: Ring Collector.
This colt was claimed out of his last race from trainer Doug O’Neill by trainer Steve Knapp. This is the only situation we will play Knapp as he is 47% first off his last 15 claims. This 3-year-old likes to be near the front, which is good on this track and red-hot jockey Santiago Gonzalez takes over.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 4 (Back beauty $4.40, first race; Hard Caes $2.80, fourth; Coyote Fly $18.20, sixth; Dream Team $3.40, seventh)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 1 (Zinvor $14.80, 10th)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long shot winners: 2 (Avenge $21.20, second; Midnight Pleasure $43,80, ninth)

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Belmont Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, June 10 (Plus Belmont Park stakes)

Preview: Just two turf races on the card and the rails at 30 feet so speed will likely dominate. Jockeys to avoid on the grass right now are Drayden Van Dyke (1-for-25), Edwin Maldonado (1-28) and Martin Garcia (0-19). We had two winners and third-place horse on Thursday.

Race 3 – SA
#3 Hayley’s Comment: Just gave an even effort in her debut and now go two turns. Red-hot Flavien Prat takes over in the saddle and trainer Kristin Mulhall is 21% going from sprint to route.

Race 5 – SA
#8 Aqua Frio: Trainer Blaine Wright has a couple of good works into this son of Uncle Mo, who gets 20% first time out winners. Jockey Tyler Baze jumps on and is 30% with Wright.

Race 8 – SA
#5 Tuscan Sun: It won’t take a world-beater to wins this lowest level maiden claimer so why not go with a first-timer. Cyclotron gets 20% first-time out winners and trainer Karen Headley is 31% with maiden claimers and 25% with jockey Edwin Maldonado.

BELMONT PARK

Race 3 (Rags to Riches): 1. Joint Return, 2. Theogony, 3. Mei Ling. LONG SHOT: Stroke Play.

Race 4 (The Tremont): 1. Lady Stardust, 2. Silver Mission, 3. Hey Mike. LONG SHOT: Pachi Cruze.

Race 5 (The Jersey Girl): 1. Kareena, 2. Blip n’ Th Bye, 3. Quick Release. LONG SHOT: One True Kiss.

Race 8 The True North): 1. Catalina Red, 2. Joking, 3. Holy Boss. LONG SHOT: Always Sunshine.

Race 9 (The New York): 1. Dacita, 2. Sea Calisi, 3. Havana Moon. LONG SHOT: Kyllachy Queen.

Race 10 (Belmont Gold Cup): 1. Now We Can, 2. Kaigun, 3. Up With the Bird. LONG SHOT: Closing Bell.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, June 9

Preview: Not the best of cards. Remember no more downhill turf races due to renovation but they will go two turns on the grass. Speaking of the turf, Flavien Prat is lapping the jockeys with 16 wins on the green stuff from 46 mounts for 35% winning percentage and he’s in-the-money 59%. Next closest is Rafael Bejarano with 8 wins from 43 mounts and in the money 56% of the time.

Race 2 – SA
#7 Grand Prix (6-1): Trainer Gary Mandella gets wins 20% of the time from his first-time starters. This is a daughter of Tale of the Cat, who wins 16% of the time with his FTS. Good dirt jockey Martin Garcia rides.

Race 6 – SA
#5 Fast Magoo (4-1): Trainer Rosemary Trela doesn’t have many horses and she’s 0-for-6 this year, but she was injured earlier and is back in charge now. This mare has been smokin’ in workouts at San Luis Rey Downs and has a 9-2-2-2 record over the track. Trela is 26% on dirt, 25% in sprints and 38% in claimers.

Race 8 – SA
#6 Proud ‘n’ Ready (4-1): Trainer Peter Eurton drops this filly into a maiden claimer for the first time, a move he is 43% with. He also gets that turf maven Flavien Prat to ride so we’re looking for a huge effort in the 3-year-olds first time around two turns.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, May 28

Race 6: #3 Runaway Wildcat (10-1): One of the few non-stakes races on the card here with these cheap claimers. This gelding has won three times in the past at Santa Anita and trainer Lorenzo Ruiz is 3-for-5 with horses third off the layoff. He is also 31% with jockey Vinny Bednar.

Race 8: #7 Rocko’s Wheel (5-1): We have talked many times about trainer Phil D’Amato and the year (23% winners) he is having. Here he drops this colt back in with state breds after facing open company for three straight races. D’Amato is 28% with horses third off the layoff and 28% when he goes two sprints to a route race. Jockey Martin Garcia, who is 32% with D’Amato jumps on.

Race 10: #8 Singing Kitty (4-1): This filly has carved out a nice career on the grass. She is 3-for-8 on the Santa Anita green and has some back class that could be tough in her first race back since March. Trainer Matthew Chew is 21% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff and he’s 25% in nongraded stakes. Jockey Rafael Bejarano jumps on.

Race 11: #2 Flaming Vixen (4-1): Trainer Richard Baltas puts the blinkers on this filly after a disappointing effort as the even-money favorite. Baltas is 34% with beaten favorites and 36% first-time blinkers.

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, May 5

Preview: There is a chance of rain for the return to Santa Anita so the turf races could be in danger of coming off. It’s looks like Rafael Bejarano is new top rider for the Bob Baffert barn after a falling out with jockey Martin Garcia. Also top jocks will be missing for much of this week to ride in Kentucky for the Oaks and the Derby.

                                

Race 6 – SA

#3 Emmzy (5-2): This filly from the Bob Baffert barn cuts back a half-furlong, which is a little surprising knowing haw the trainer likes to stretch them out. Rafael Bejarano takes the mount and he’s tough to beat in the stretch.

                   

Race 7 – SA

#4 Tribal Again (6-1): There is a ton of speed in this race and this gelding seems like the only one that come from off the pace. There is a big jockey upgrade to Flavien Prat, who is 24% with trainer Peter Miller.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, April 8

Preview: Make sure you check your mud ratings because it looks like Arcadia is going to get with plenty of rain on the final weekend of the meet so it’s doubtful the turf course will get any use until next month.

                                

Race 2 – SA

#6 Maid Easy (10-1): Trainer Kory Owens puts blinkers on this filly and he changes to apprentice jockey David Lopez. Another plus is that sire Top Hit gets 29% winners on an off track.

                   

Race 6 – SA

#3 Latest Craze (3-1): This colt takes a drop in class for trainer Bob Baffert and regular barn rider Martin Garcia jumps back on. The son of Super Saver has the top Brisnet Class and Prime Ratings plus a 21% win rate on a wet track..

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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