Churchill Downs, Horse racing

Churchill Downs opinions for Friday, May 6

Race 7 – CD
#2 Jade Princess (8-1): Simple philosophy: If you lost to undefeated Songbird, it’s no disgrace and play next time without her in the same race. This 3-year-old filly comes out of the Santa Ysabel that Songbird won and two fillies came out of the race to win, including Land Over Sea. Trainer Bob Baffert knows Churchill Downs well and gets Victor Espinoza to ride.

Race 10 – CD
#3 Nodiac (15-1) (turf only): Trainer Phil D’Amato has shipped a string from SoCal to Kentucky this spring and is spreading his wings. This filly finished third over a yielding course and now gets the services of jockey Flavien Prat, who is 32 with D’Amato and one of the top turf riders in SoCal.

Kentucky Oaks selections
1. #13 Land Over Sea
2. #6 Mokat
3. #3 Lewis Bay
4. #2 Weep No More
Like I said before if you lost to Songbird you go to the head of the class. LAND OVER SEA lost so many times Doug O’Neill decided to go to the Fair Grounds to win a race. MOKAT finished second to Songbird in the Santa Anita Oaks in the mud.

Race 13 – CD
#6 Kiss Limit (3-1): As we said trainer Phil D’Amato has come to the Blue Grass and he stepped up to claim this colt off Mike Maker for 50K. By virtue of a cheaper maiden claiming win, this 3-year-old gets to run in a starter allowance. D’Amato is 24% first off the claim and gets that man Flavien Prat (32%) to ride.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Gulfstream Park West, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita early opinions for Saturday, Oct. 17

Race 3: #1 Sutton’s Smile (9-5)

This filly has no luck when it comes to post position draws until today. She drew 9, 9 and 11. Finally, here she draws inside for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and jockey Rafael Bejarano, who are a 35% proposition together.


Race 6: #7 The Gomper (7-2)

Tough to explain this colt’s last effort but trainer Jerry Hollendorfer probably has him ready to go here. Jockey Mike Smith jumps on and he is 30% with Hollendorfer.


Race 9: #9 Of Course It Is (9-2)

It appears to be a safe bet that jockey Tiago Pereira had his choice of horses trained by Phil D’Amato and he chooses this daughter of Yes It’s True. D’Amato is putting blinkers on the 2-year-old and he is 27% with that move.


Gulfstream Park West

Race 5: #6 Pursuing Fate (4-1)

This filly has been facing tougher horses in stakes races. She takes a drop in class for trainer Mike Maker and jockey Rafael Hernandez takes over.


Race 10: #3 El Kracken (4-1)

Trainer Ramon Moya is 47% when he takes a horse from sprint-route-sprint. He claimed this 3-year-old for $10,000 and keeps him at the same level. He showed speed last time out and should do so here again.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita (plus a few others) opinions for Saturday, June 27

Race 2: #7 Architop (5-2)

When trainer Richard Mandella drops a horse into the maiden claiming ranks for the first time, he means business to the tune of 39% like with this son of Arch. Jockey Flavien Prat showed speed with this one in the last two and if he does that here, he might go wire-to-wire.


Race 8: #7 Fanticola (7-2)

This 5-year-old mare just missed going longer in the Grade I Gamely Handicap and now she gets to go shorter which means she will be able to go harder earlier. Trainer Phil D’Amato is 21% in graded stakes.


Race 10: #6 Where Was Eddie (7-2)

This is a first-time starter by In Excess, who wins at an 18% rate first time out. This 3-year-old colt has been tearing up the track in the mornings.



Race 5: #5 Private Tale (8-1)

This 7-year-old won over the surface and now moves up in class and tries to go longer. Trainer Mike Maker is 38% with horses winning back-to-back in the claiming ranks plus top jockey Javier Castellano takes the mount.



Race 10: #10 Langdarma (15-1)

This 3-year-old has been ITM 6 of 9 career races and just missed last time. Maybe moving to the turf will do the trick for the son of Candy Ride, who is coming out of a key race that has produced two winners so far.



Race 9: #3 Racetrack Romance (4-1)

Trainer Marcial Navarro did us right the other day so we’re going back to the well. Navarro is winning 43% of his races this year and is 8-for-13 at Gulfstream. This gelding just won at the condition but is now shortening up and being put up for a claiming price. Jockey Eddie Castro is 3-for-5 in the last 60 days with Navarro.

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita Park selections for Friday, Dec. 26 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Hot Lightning, 2. Guyfromtheskyfive, 3. Justonemorething. LONG SHOT: Top Estate.


SECOND RACE: 1. Vegas Street, 2. Rambling House, 3. May B. LONG SHOT: Como Mi Padre.


THIRD RACE: 1. Hurry Up Henry (best bet), 2. Jimbaran Bay, 3. Captain Carchy. LONG SHOT: Life On Riviera.

Trainer Phil D’Amato was on fire at Los Alamitos and were looking for that roll to continue with HURRY UP HENRY (6-1). This colt drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and D’Amato is 40% with that move. He is also 36% fist time blinkers so we expect this 2-year-old to show plenty of speed.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Wabel, 2. Iancol, 3. Steam Play. LONG SHOT: Passinaflash.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Crux, 2. Mal Verde, 3. Bench Light. LONG SHOT: Life’s Journey.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Thank You Marylou, 2. Jojo Warrior, 3. Taris. LONG SHOT: Stonetastic.

THANK YOU MARYLOU (6-1), a 3-year-old filly, finished third to Judy the Beauty in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint and has been off since then. Trainer Mike Maker has kept her sharp at Gulfstream Park and she has a big work since shipping West. Jockey Joel Rosario keeps the mount.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Heart to Heart, 2. Talco, 3. Alert Bay. LONG SHOT: Red Outlaw.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Shared Belief, 2. Pimpernel (SCRATCHED) new pick: Indianapolis, 3. Chitu. LONG SHOT: Conquest Two Step.


NINTH RACE: 1. Dea, 2. Foolish Ways, 3. Indian Princess. LONG SHOT: Bourbon Rose.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a flyer on trainer Mark Casse and jockey Corey Nakatani with DEA (12-1), especially on the grass. Casse is 23% maidens making their second start and 22% with 2-year-olds.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter