Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, April 16

Sorry  to hear of the death of trainer Mike Mitchell after a long fight with brain cancer. Mitchell always answered my questions whether they were on the phone or in the grandstand area where he would hang out during the races, no doubt near the betting windows sometimes.  My prayers to his family.

On the racing front, I think Santa Anita has hit the wall as the cards for Thursday and Friday aren’t the best. There are only a few races that are even worth betting. Get ready for this until the start of Del Mar and look for a lot of shippers from Northern California and around the country as Santa Anita has adopted the Ship N Win program, too.

Race 3: #1 Rock Shandy (5-2)

Look who this 3-year-old has been losing races to: Dortmund, Firing Line, Calculator, Conquest Typhoon. He has faced some toughies, comes out of a key race and off the layoff. If he runs back to the Sham runner-up finish, this race is over.

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Race 6: #2 Global View (4-1)

The prep is out of the way so it’s time for this 4-year-old to get serious for trainer Tom Proctor and jockey Gary Stevens. The colt has been working well out of his last race and figure to only improve here.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Sunday, Aug. 10

FIRST RACE: 1. Princess Bertrando, 2. Haaay Sexy Lady, 3. Tatum’s Gold. LONG SHOT: Cleverly Tuned.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Taelyns Prince, 2. I’vegotafeeling, 3. Home School. LONG SHOT: Toowindytohaulrox.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Harlan’s Vitesse, 2. Close to the Edge, 3. When We Met. LONG SHOT: Fly Blue.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Demonic, 2. Conquest Two Step, 3. Hadfunlastnight. LONG SHOT: My Samurai Warrior.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. He’s On His Toes, 2. Shaniel, 3. Criminal Element. LONG SHOT: Deputy Heat.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Motown Men (best bet), 2. Gladding, 3. Ezio. LONG SHOT: Wildcat Moon.

Trainer Phil D’Amato took over the stable for Mike Mitchell and hasn’t missed a beat. D’Amato is 23% first time with a horse and 40% with horses off a layoff of more than 180 days. MOTOWN MEN, a 5-year-old, has a win at Del Mar on the Polytrack and a good work coming in.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Mucho Blessings, 2. Windy Forecast, 3. Diva Express. LONG SHOT: Maybellene.

Make no mistake about it: this is a loaded 2-year-old filly maiden special race so why not go with a price. MUCHO BLESSINGS (12-1), a daughter of Macho Uno, will appreciate the extra distance and trainer Peter Eurton is better with second-time starters.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Miss Serendipity, 2. Wishing Gate, 3. Moulin de Mougin. LONG SHOT: Cozze Up Lady.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Juliet’s Tizzy, 2. Victory Parade, 3. Broadcaster. LONG SHOT: Hidden Zensation.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 4 (Enterprising $5, fifth race; Kulik Lodge $8.40, eighth; Sir Barclay $11, ninth; Asparagus $7.20, 10th)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 1 (Sunny Kat $12.60, second)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 1 (Long Hot Summer $4.40, sixth)

Saturday’s long shot winners: 1 (Rosewhitenblue $5.80, first)

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos thoroughbred picks for Saturday, July 5

FIRST RACE: 1. Oeighter, 2. Super Defence, 3. Desert Madam. LONG SHOT: My Sweet Afleet.
Trainer Philip D’Amato, who took over the barn of Mike Mitchell, won four races on closing day last Sunday at Santa Anita and looks to keep the roll going with OEIGHTER, a daughter of Tale of the Cat. D’Amato goes first-time blinkers (2-for-4) and top barn rider Joe Talamo (24%) stays aboard.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Hollanita, 2. Queen of the Hill, 3. Courageousandbold. LONG SHOT: Milady Maid.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Arkenstone, 2. Got Even, 3. I Don’t Care Who. LONG SHOT: Tres Borrachos.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. No Ez Money, 2. Grand Humor, 3. Johns Journey. LONG SHOT: Storm Bid.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Tiznow Or Tehn, 2. Sudden Rumor, 3. Go Black Tie. LONG SHOT: Take a Risk.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Radiant Dancer (best bet), 2. Prontezzo, 3. Opsec. LONG SHOT: Good Deal.

Trainer Jeff Bonde is 28% with first-time starters and RADIANT DANCER, a son of Langfuhr, has been tearing up the track in the mornings at Santa Anita. Speed jockey Edwin Maldonado jumps on so it looks like a send job from the outside post.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Appealing Resume, 2. Creditcardroulette, 3. Rhodium. LONG SHOT: Sydney’s Darling.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Top Fortitude, 2. Shared Belief, 3. Candy Boy. LONG SHOT: Can the Man.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Swiss Intrigue, 2. Grace Victoria, 3. Yodelmesomemagic. LONG SHOT: Lucky S.J.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Wicked Heat $3.60, first race; Amina Perfect $22, eighth)

Friday’s second choice winners: 0

Friday’s third choice winners: 2 (Colorado Strong $4.80, first; Brannaman $9.40, sixth)

Friday’s long shot winners: 2 (Leedstobeaver $11, fourth; Shh She’s Ours $6, fifth)

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Easter Sunday, April 20 (updated)

Not sure how I accomplished it, but had all nine winners in my selections (eight in the top three) on Saturday, but managed to not win any money at Santa Anita. Bad bettor.

FIRST RACE: 1. Que Sorpresa, 2. New Nature, 3. Chasing Hope. LONG SHOT: She’s Flush.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Cuneo, 2. Askingfortrouble (SCRATCHED), 3. Lovmeister (SCRATCHED). LONG SHOT: Mary Helen’s Storm. NEW PICKS: 1. Cuneo, 2. Mary Helen’s Storm, 3. Warren’s Tyler S. LONG SHOT: Minister of Trade.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Abbey Vale, 2. Stoney Fleece, 3. American Act. LONG SHOT: Irish Surf.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Alexis Tangier, 2. Spy Girl, 3. Faith Hope love. LONG SHOT: Enchanted Fortune.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Nazareth (best bet), 2. Not a Love Song, 3. Tough Business. LONG SHOT: Secret Appeal.

Trainer Mike Puype seems like “king of the downhill” with all the winners he seemingly gets over the unique course. This 3-year-old filly, NAZARETH, tries for a third time over the layout with one key change: she’s dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time and Puype is 18% with that move. Jockey Tyler Baze takes over.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Good Samurai, 2. Happy Idea, 3. Seeking Asylum. LONG SHOT: Betting McCann Can.

Trainer Mike Mitchell is going into semi-retirement after this race, turning his stable over to assistant Phil D’Amato, so this will be the final horse to officially run in Mitchell’s name. GOOD SAMURAI, a 3-year-old colt, broke his maiden in impressive fashion and might be able to make the step up with ease as jockey Martin Garcia keeps the mount.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Safety Belt, 2. Royal F J, 3. Rangi. LONG SHOT: Zenji.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Beholder, 2. Magic Union (SCRATCHED), 3. City At Dawn. LONG SHOT: Eblouissant (SCRATCHED). NEW PICKS: 1. Beholder, 2. City At Dawn, 3. Legacy. LONG SHOT: Moulin de Mougin.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Proud Boss, 2. Bench Light, 3. Affrettando. LONG SHOT: Hawk’s Eyes.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 2 (Yahilwa $3.80, third race; Glitter of Silver $4.40, ninth)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 1 (Valley Cat $5.60, first)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 5 (Back to Bako $22, second; Rhonda Rocks $10, fourth; Aqua Revelation $4.40, sixth; Doctor Dempsey $7.80, seventh; Flamboyant $15, eighth)

Saturday’s long show winners: 1 (Among the Stars $14, fifth)

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Friday, March 28

FIRST RACE: q. Mank, 2. Bad Behavior, 3. Scarly Charly. LONG SHOT: A Red Tie Day.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Cousin Ricky, 2. Johnny Reb, 3. Reps and Warrants. LONG SHOT: Still Unbroken.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Husband’s Folly, 2. Polytechnicien, 3. Depreciable. LONG SHOT: Timeless Indy.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. This Cat’s Awesome, 2. Seeking Asylum, 3. Mason B. LONG SHOT: Uncle Luck.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Trelawny, 2. Botch, 3. Swift Eagle. LONG SHOT: Yankee Rebel.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Chattering Class (best bet), 2. Primal Revival, 3. Summer Sea. LONG SHOT: Malbros.

For the second time in two days trainer Peter Miller gets a horse from the New Mexico circuit to run at Santa Anita. This 3-year-old, CHATTERING CLASS, is dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time and showed speed last time out. Miller is 38% when going from MSW to a maiden claimer and 27% with jockey Victor Espinoza.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Karma King, 2. Forever Juanito, 3. Number Five. LONG SHOT: Al Baz.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Jovita’s Tuffy, 2. My Jealous, 3. Topper’s Ghost. LONG SHOT: Nome.

Trainer Blaine Wright is based in Northern California was a 23% trainer in 2013. He rarely comes to Southern California so when he does, you have to take notice. JOVITA’S TUFFY, a 4-year-old gelding, won in his only appearance on the Santa Anita for trainer Mike Mitchell. Wright claimed him for $12.500 and ran him twice at Golden Gate. He returns to what be his favorite surface and gets red-hot apprentice Drayden Van Dyke to ride.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 2 (Raven Wild $5, first race; Christopher Street $6.40, seventh)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 1 (Mascato Girl $4, eighth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 3 (Consecrate $7.40, second; Do Some Magic $4.60, third; No Ez Money $7.60, fourth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 1 (Purahexonher $9.60, fifth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Saturday, Aug. 31

FIRST RACE: 1. NIGHT DANCE (best bet), 2. Suances Flower, 3. One Magical Girl. LONG SHOT: Rossi Reserve.

Trainer Mike Mitchell is always competitive in the claiming ranks. He’s trying something different here with NIGHT DANCE as he goes route to sprint with this 4-year-old filly. But one area where Mitchell really excels is third off the layoff. He’s 6-for-9 the last three years at Del Mar in that category so go with the flow.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Southern Freedom, 2. Confisio, 3. Bourne Hot. LONG SHOT: Even Echo.

SOUTHERN FREEDOM is sitting on a win and is bred to love two-run trip on the Polytrack for 2-year-olds. Mike Smith takes over for an absent Julien Leparoux as Jerry Hollendorfer.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Danderek, 2. Senator Bob, 3. Husband’s Folly. LONG SHOT: So Elite.

Hollendorfer tries to go back-to-back here as DANDEREK went wire-to-wire last time and now takes a minor drop in class. Jockey Rafael Bejarano is at Saratoga on Saturday so Corey Nakatani takes over.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Cautious Giant, 2. New Year’s Day, 3. Carson’s Ten. LONG SHOT: Candy Boy.

CAUTIOUS GIANT comes from the Jerry Quinn/Carla Gaines barn. He got off to a slow start in his debut, but make no mistake he is bred top and bottom to go around two turns, which he attempts here.

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FIFTH RACE (Harry F. Brubaker Stakes): 1. Liaison, 2. Hawk’s Eyes, 3. Sky Kingdom. LONG SHOT: Summer Hit.

LIAISON was suppose to run in the Pacific Classic last weekend, but was scratched to run in this spot. He finished a disappointing sixth in the San Diego Handicap, but might be due to turn it around.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Socialbug, 2. Llandudno, 3. Tribal Peace. LONG SHOT: Spring Breeze.

SOCIALBUG was outstanding first time out for trainer Bob Baffert and while she might have missed some time after her July 21 maiden win, she appears to training just fine to make it 2-for-2 lifetime.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Swissarella, 2. Stole a Kiss, 3. Eddies Curl. LONG SHOT: Keepnherinthedark.

SWISSARELLA and STOLE A KISS come out of the Sunday Rules maiden race. All Sunday Rules did was win a Cal-bred stakes race on Wednesday. SWISSARELLA has tactical speed and jockey Gary Stevens retains the mount.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Blue Tone, 2. Northern Iowa, 3. Tiz the Truth. LONG SHOT: Indycott.

BLUE TONE was the 8-5 favorite last time at this level and finished third while pressing the pace all the way around. He has had a good work since that race and Smith takes over for Bejarano.

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NINTH RACE (Grade I Del Mar Debutante): 1. She’s a Tiger, 2. Awesome Baby, 3. Fascinating. LONG SHOT: Bajan.

SHE’S A TIGER finished a half-length behind Concave in the Sorrento Stakes. Trainer Jeff Bonde puts blinkers on here and Stevens takes over for Frank Alvarado in the saddle.

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10TH RACE: 1. Rookie Sensation, 2. This One’s for Mel, 3. Cacau. LONG SHOT: Heir of Storm.

Jockey Victor Espinoza had the choice of three horses in this spot and he chooses ROOKIE SENSATION, who lost by a neck to the highly regarded Surfcup.

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11TH RACE: 1. Wasted At Midnight, 2. Perfectamente, 3. The Magic Stone. LONG SHOT: Miss Charming.

WASTED AT MIDNIGHT finished four lengths behind the aforementioned SOCIALBUG in her first race in 11 months last time. She should be fitter in this spot.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Wednesday, Aug. 14

The  last five racing days trainer Doug O’Neill won seven races from 20 starters to make the trainer’s race a four-man battle between John Sadler (14 winners, 2-for-16 for the week),  Bob Baffert (12, 0-for-13), Jerry Hollendorfer (11, 4-for-12) and O’Neill (10).

Rafael Bejarano continues to pull away in the jockey’s race. He had eight wins on the week and has 29 for the meet. Former Kentucky Derby winning jockey Mario Gutierrez had an outstanding week with six wins from 17 mounts. Of course, Gutierrez rides a lot for O’Neill.

Jockey Julien Leparoux was 4-for-18 last week while Martin Garcia was 3-for-19 and Edwin Maldonado was 3-for-25. On the flip side, Joe Talamo continues to struggle as he went 1-for-30 for the week. Tough to bet on him these days, especially when he gets out-finished by the likes of apprentice Irving Orozco.

Don’t forget jockey Garrett Gomez is back in the mix and Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens returns from riding in Europe last week.

FIRST RACE: 1. Bubba Fizz, 2. Jets to Brazil, 3. Manewal. LONG SHOT: Zippingaroundtown.

Maldonado and trainer Adam Kitchingman have hit with an amazing 41 percent of their mounts over the last two years from 44 mounts. BUBBA FIZZ returns to sprinting after a failed effort at Santa Rosa going long on the grass. He also takes a drop in class.

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SECOND RACE: 1. TANGERINE TICKLE (best bet), 2. Atta Girl Anna, 3. Promiscuoussuances. LONG SHOT: Ziva the Diva.

TANGERINE TICKLE just lost to Glorious Luck, who won impressively on Saturday at Del Mar. This Tribal Rule filly will stalk the pace and let’s hope Talamo gets out of his funk.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Scary Fast, 2. Secret Memo, 3. Calameera. LONG SHOT: Spritzy.

The big Pick 6 carryover off more than $255,000 will start here. I wanted desperately to like SPRITZY in this spot for Bejarano and trainer Vann Belvoir, and she could very well win, but her works just haven’t been sensational for her debut. Then, again, maybe Belvoir is trying to hide something. Instead, we went with SCARY FAST, who just finished third at this level and has a good work since that race over the Del Mar Polytrack. Beside, we all know now that trainer Carla Gaines isn’t really suspended and she’s watching all her horses run in the afternoons.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Pawn Shop, 2. Bonita Star, 3. Bas. LONG SHOT: Lindz Winz.

Bejarano jumps on PAWN SHOP for little-known Northern California trainer Genaro Vallejo. They have hit 1-of-2 connections like this in the last year with a huge ROI of $15.30. Bejarano’s agent only puts him on horses that have a shot to win. LINDZ WINZ comes from the Dallas Keen barn, which just got off the 0-for-48 schneid on the Polytrack on Sunday.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Keldy, 2. Patriot C H, 3. Coconut Cream Pie. LONG SHOT: Cravin the Heat.

KELDY is one of six horses in this race going from turf to Polytrack. This 3-year-old daughter of Benchmark finished third at Hollywood Park and secures the services of Stevens for this race.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Cosmic Heat, 2. Unbridled Giant, 3. Frenemy. LONG SHOT: Somewhere With You.

COSMIC HEAT is first off the claim for Ron Ellis, who is 40 percent with this move. We tried this angle last week and got burned by a bad ride on the part of Agipito Delgadillo. Unfortunately, he’s riding here again so let’s hope he doesn’t get trapped on the rail again and no way to get through.

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SEVENTH RACE (The Green Flash Handicap): 1. Boat Trip, 2. Wiredfortwotwenty, 3. Distinctiv Passion. LONG SHOT: Circa’sgoldengear.

There’s lots of speed in this race so we’ll go with the closer BOAT TRIP, who is 1-for-1 at the distance and 4-of-6 on the grass.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Frannie’sspirittoo, 2. Dolphin Shorts, 3. Janes Ship. LONG SHOT: Reclusive.

FRANNIE’SSPIRITTOO has third-place finish over the track and may have the right style today. DOLPHIN SHORTS had a tone of trouble in her debut for trainer Mike Mitchell, who is 20 percent second time out. RECLUSIVE has been training well at Hollywood Park, but trainer Eric Kruljac is just 3-for-56 with first-time starters. He admitted in an interview that he tends to give a horse a race before fully cranking them up.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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