Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Saturday, Aug. 4

PREVIEW: “Jersey” Joe Bravo brings his riding tack from the East Coast to ride a pair of horses today at the seaside oval. Bravo will ride Cummings (12-1) in the sixth race for trainer James DiVito and Hallie Belle (10-1) in the featured Yellow Ribbon Handicap (eighth race) for trainer Michael Stidham. Keep an eye on both horses.

FIRST RACE: 1. Its Gonna Hurt, 2. Tanker, 3. Fortnite Dance. LONG SHOT: Drill Down Dude.

SECOND RACE: 1. Night at the Opera, 2. Closing Time, 3. Surfside Sunset. LONG SHOT: Artistic Ab.

THIRD RACE: 1. Any Questions, 2. Royal Albert Hall, 3. Conquest Typhoon. LONG SHOT: Dano’s Dream.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Carnivorous, 2. Our Silver Oak, 3. Oliver. LONG SHOT: Grab the Munny.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Madakey Sunset, 2. Tandalicious, 3. Royal Descendent. LONG SHOT: What’s Bruin.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Catfish Hunter, 2. Fight On, 3. Circus Act. LONG SHOT: Cummings.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Dark Prince, 2. Neptune’s Storm, 3. Sigalert. LONG SHOT: Union Station.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Hallie Belle, 2. Cambodia, 3. Madame Stripes.LONG SHOT: Tisbutadream/

NINTH RACE: 1. Gracida, 2. Flagstaff, 3. Tatters to Riches. LONG SHOT: Street Vision.

10TH RACE: 1. GOTNOQUIT (BEST BET), 2. Katie’s Cowboy, 3. Zipman. LONG SHOT: Aussie Fox.


Top choice winners: 1 (Silken Prince $13, sixth race)

Second choice winners: 3 (Family Girl $16.40, second; Sunday Prophet $8, third; Majestic Authority $5.40, eighth)

Third choice winners: 1 (Lucky Staxx $13.60, first)

Long shot winners: 0

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, August 6

Tough to explain some of Wednesday’s results other than the track was worked on Tuesday and you just never no how it is going to play on Wednesdays. Hats off to those who hit the long shots. I had no clue (obviously if you look at the results). Good luck.

FIRST RACE: 1. Avicii, 2. Always a Chance, 3. Swissarella. LONG SHOT: Two Step Flor.

SECOND RACE: 1. Scarlet Emerald, 2. Mitzi Winks, 3. Amare. LONG SHOT: Lady of the Lake.
THIRD RACE: 1. #2 CORNBREAD RED (4-1) best bet, 2. Know Plans, 3. Saticoy. LONG SHOT: Tribalist.

This colt makes his turf debut for a sire (Grazen) that is OK with those types. Trainer Phil D’Amato is 35% for an 180-day layoff or more, 22% turf/dirt and 31% with horses that won their last race.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Jet Warrior, 2. Not Enough Eddie, 3. The Cleaners. LONG SHOT: Chapman’s Peak.
FIFTH RACE: 1. #1 Alltheleavesrbrown (5-1), 2. Feynman, 3. Architop. LONG SHOT: Admiral Jaxon.

Midwestern trainer Michael Stidham tries for some more “Ship N Win” money with this son of Big Brown. When last seen at Arlington Park, he finished second in his turf debut. Stidham can get them ready off a long layoff (25%) and jockey Joe Talamo is 27% with Stidham.

SIXTH RACE: 1. #6 Atlantic Slew (6-1), 2. Tiz Pleasant, 3. Gracee Hunny. LONG SHOT: Briana Jean.

This 2-year-old filly ran into a buzz saw in her debut as the winner, Obey, came back to win a Cal-bred stakes recently. Trainer Mike Puype does well in the state-bred ranks and he is 23% going from MSW to maiden claimers.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Istanford, 2. Famous Alice, 3. She’s Not Here. LONG SHOT: Indecise.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Miltee, 2. Jens de Ville, 3. Out of Mischief. LONG SHOT: Ghost of Navigator.
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter
Wednesday’s top choice winners: 0
Wednesday’s second choice winners: 1 (Mrazek $3.2o, seventh race)
Wednesday’s third choice winners: 2 (Tara’s Tange $2.80, seventh; Sparkling Peg $15.60, eighth)
Wednesday’s long shot winners: 0
Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Sunday, Aug. 24

FIRST RACE: 1. Conquest Panthera, 2. Dream It Do It, 3. Madiba. LONG SHOT: Sunbeamsfromheaven.


SECOND RACE: 1. Yahilwa, 2. Free Money, 3. Bee Brave. LONG SHOT: Upbeat Mood.


THIRD RACE: 1. Star’s Woman, 2. Make the Sun Shine, 3. Madam Aamoura. LONG SHOT: Light the City.

Trainer Michael Stidham brought a string to Del Mar for the first time and included STAR’S WOMAN (6-1), a 2-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality. She has one big work over the track, Stidham is 17% with first-timers and he gets red-hot Kent Desormeaux to ride.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Kirov, 2. Go Get Em Babe, 3. Miss Super Quick. LONG SHOT: Silver Sails.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Obviously (best bet), 2. He Be Fire N Ice, 3. Tom’s Tribute. LONG SHOT: Rock Me Baby.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Sandy’s Song, 2. Dr. Fager’s Gal, 3. Ritzy Tags. LONG SHOT: Sweeter Thancandy.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Foolhardy, 2. Shun, 3. Hurricane Lake. LONG SHOT: Be Here Now.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Burns Turn, 2. Al Freej, 3. Burning Arch. LONG SHOT: Special Charm.


NINTH RACE: 1. Fed Biz, 2. Big Macher, 3. Goldencents. LONG SHOT: Silentio.


10TH RACE (Pacific Classic): 1. Majestic Harbor, 2. Shared Belief, 3. Game On Dude. LONG SHOT: Clubhouse Ride.

This 6-year-old MAJESTIC HARBOR (9-2) broke through last time with a scintillating win in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita. He has been training good over the Polytrack and we are expecting a pace meltdown up front with jockey Tyler Baze picking up the pieces on this Sean McCarthy-trainee.


11TH RACE: 1. Navarre, 2. World Famous Sam T, 3. Charisma Code. LONG SHOT: Sonicvelocity.

Jockey Joe Talamo had his choice mounts in this race and chooses to ride this 5-year-old NAVARRE (6-1), who was claimed by trainer Craig Dollase out of his last effort. Coming from off the pace just might be the right ticket at 6½ furlongs.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 3 (Play Hard to Get $8.40, second race; Masochistic $3, fourth; Next Speaker $9.20, ninth)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 0

Saturday’s third choice winners: 3 (Jedi Mind Trick $6.60, third; Top Drawer $22.20, sixth; Mindfully $7.20, seventh)

Saturday’s long shot winners: 2 (Stylish in Black $6.20, fifth; Big John B $5.20, eighth)

Del Mar, Horse racing

The week that was at Del Mar

Well, opening week has come and gone at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

The Polytrack was inside speed-favoring the first two days and then seemed to play fair over the weekend.

The new Jimmy Durante Turf Course also seemed to play fair despite the fact it looked more like it belongs on a golf course than a race track. Oh, yeah, it was developed by Greg Norman.

And finally if you’re a fan of trainer Gary Sherlock or a member of his barn, you got rich. It’s safe to say Sherlock’s wins with Passing Game on opening day at $62.80 and She’s Flush on Sunday at $108.60 will result in a positive ROI for a couple of years. There was no way I could come up with She’s Flush, even if it was a bad race. Passing Game, on the other hand, had a past win on the Polytrack. Horses that won on it before should be given extra consideration when handicapping.

Surprisingly, jockey Martin Garcia was the star the first week with six wins from 23 starts and only two of them were for his main guy, trainer Bob Baffert. Even more shocking was the fact that Garcia won twice on the turf, a surface he hasn’t excelled at a lot in the past.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith was a standout, as usual. When big money is on the line, you want Smith in your corner. Smith was 5-of-19 for the week and his horses earned $455,720.

Elvis Trujillo, the import from Florida who joined the Southern California circuit in May, had a very quiet 4-of-27 week.

Rafael Bejarano returned from injury and scored three victories, all of them on the turf. He seems to be getting more comfortable and stronger every day.

Corey Nakatani (15-1-4-5) and Stewart Elliott (7-1-4-0) bear watching because those seconds and thirds will turn into wins. Elliott, who is riding a lot for Canadian-based trainer Mark Casse, should be watched on the Polytrack, especially. He will notice a bias in a minute and take advantage of it.

On the not so good side, Victor Espinoza, California Chrome’s jockey, went 0-for-23 and Edwin Maldonado was 0-for-18 the first four days.

On the training side, Doug O’Neill leads after one week after going 4-for-21.He led with Polytrack victories with three.

Following O’Neill in the standings, John Sadler, Peter Miller and Jerry Hollendorfer all recorded three victories. Miller led the way with two wins on the turf.

It looks like Casse has brought a strong group from Canada and will be a force to watch at the meet.

I’m still trying to get a handle on Midwest trainer Michael Stidham. It’s looking to me like his turf horses are taking better to the Del Mar grass than his Polytrack horses are in going from Arlington Park to the seaside oval, but it could all change.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 1 (Luminance $3, eighth race)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 3 (Thermal Nermal $9.80, third; Tom’s Tribute $6.60, fifth; Poshsky $11.40, seventh)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 4 (Tigah $6.60, second; Tara’s Tango $4.60, fourth; Shysheisnot $5, sixth; Secret Command $19.60, 10th)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 0