Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, Aug. 26 (First post 3:30 p.m.)

Preview: How will the main track play for this late afternoon is anybody’s guess. On Saturday, there was a strong closer bias, which made California Chrome’s wire job even more impressive. On Sunday, there was an outside bias. They usually work the main track after training on Fridays to beware.

Race 1: 1. Rim Ditch, 2. Pacific Song, 3. Caan Me. LONG SHOT: Westmont.

Race 2: 1. Papacoolpapacool, 2. A Red Tie Day, 3. Forever Juanito. LONG SHOT: Poshsky.

Race 3: 1. Six Cider, 2. Bernin Sensation, 3. What’sontheagenda. LONG SHOT: A. P. Zona.

Race 4: q. #8 Big Finish (20-1), 2. El Koreano, 3. Swiss Minister. LONG SHOT: Nusret.
This 3-year-old has been facing tougher, including Eric the Trojan and Navy Hymn which both won over the weekend. Trainer Molly Pearson puts the blinkers back on so she wants this gelding on the engine early and good gate jockey Martin Pedroza rides back. Plus there is a good work showing since his last race, presumably in the blinkers.

Race 5: 1. Yellow Bonnet, 2. Untouchable U, 3. Escapee. LONG SHOT: Dama Fina.

Race 6: 1. Hot Market, 2. Jazzy Josh, 3. Wildfire Kid. LONG SHOT: Zuri Chop.

Race 7: 1. #9 Who’s Out (3-1), 2. Accererate, 3. Taman Guard. LONG SHOT: Touched by Autism.
Kind of ironic that trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has a big shot to win the Shared Belief Stakes here. This 3-year-old likes this track and goes around two turns for the first time. Hollendorfer is 23% when going sprint-sprint-route. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith rides.

Race 8: 1. #5 Yavrig (3-1) BEST BET, 2. If You Believe, 3. Buzzer Beater. LONG SHOT: Tanager.
It’s now or never for this filly. She lost at a mile and finished second at 6 1/2 furlongs so this 7-furlong race should hit her right between the eyes. Trainer Richard Baltas is 24% third off the layoff.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, June 4

Preview: Really good card (any card with Beholder on it is good), especially the Late Pick Four and if a couple of Bob Baffert favorites get beat that wager will pay off huge. Speaking of Baffert, he has been quiet at the meet with just a 2-for-13 record on the dirt. He’s probably getting ready for a summer assault on Del Mar has he starts a lot of comebacking horses this weekend. Phil D’Amato (9-24) and Jerry Hollendorfer (6-31) lead the way on the dirt.

Race 1 – SA
#7 Fiftypercentcotton (5-1): Trainer Dan Blacker is winless (0-for-17) on the year but one area where he excels is adding blinkers (25%, 4 for his last 12) and that’s what he does with this filly.

Race 2 – SA
#7 Bombard (4-1): Love this colt last time out bu didn’t get the job done for the team of jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Richard Mandella. Don’t think the 3-year-old liked the good turf and it will be firm today. Go to the windows.

Race 5 – SA
#6 No Contingency (8-1): This gelding has been popular at the claim box this year. In fact, trainer Mike Pender lost the 6-year-old and claimed him back out of his last race, which is always a popular angle. Pender is 25% first off the claim this gelding also has one of the best back speed Brisnet numbers. The gelding finished second at this level two back and Pender puts jockey Edwin Maldonado back on.

Race 6 – SA
#2 Twentytwentyvision (7-2)
Pure and simple we’re hoping for a pace meltdown between Heart to Heart and Midnight Storm here in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile. If that happens, we hope this gelding picks up the pieces for that team of Prat and Mandella again.

Race 9 – SA
#5 Right Wing (10-1)
#7 Alley Boss (12-1)
We’re going to dutch in this race and hope to beat all three Bob Baffert’s maidens in here. RIGHT WING is from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn and he’s 27% with first-time starters and we think jockey Martin Garcia would like nothing better than to stick to his old boss Baffert. ALLEY BOSS is from the Molly Pearson barn and has some nice works at San Luis Rey Downs. This 3-year-old is a son of Twirling Cany, who gets 20% first out winners.

Race 11 – SA
#2 Film Freak (12-1): Not sure this colt like the good turf or the distance in his last race. Trainer Tim Yakteen cuts him back to a distance where he finished second at in a similar race two back. Red-hot jockey Flavien Prat takes tthe mount and he has been winning everything on the grass.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Gulfstream Park, Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos (plus Gulfstream) opinions for Friday, July 10

Race 5: #5 Lazy Daisy May (12-1)

Trainer Molly Pearson Usually puts her horses in the right spots. This filly is dropping to her lowest level ever on this circuit and comes out of a Turf paradise race that has produced three winners. Jockey Scott Stevens (33% with Pearson) rides the 4-year-old back.


Race 7: #11 Cornbread Red (4-1)

This colt must draw into the race, but if he does watch out. The 3-year-old is coming out of a key race and trainer Phil D’Amato is having a great 2015. D’Amato is 35% with horses coming off a layoff of more than 180 days and this son of Grazen won over the track in December.



Race 6: #7 Bottle Walk (7-2)

Trainer Wesley Ward is a master with first-time starters (26% debuting maiden claimers) and this is a daughter of Tale of the Cat, who gets 16% first-time starters. Apprentice John Cruz has won 2 of his last 4 races for Ward.


Race 9: #9 Senshi (5-1)

This son of Pulpit is making his turf debut and the sire is 10% with those kind. Trainer Joe Catanese is 23% third off the layoff and this gelding looks to be on the improve and crying out for two turns. Apprentice Harry Hernandez rides and a five-pound weight break.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park, Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos (plus a few others) opinions for Thursday, July 9

Race 3: #5 Myrna Lou (8-1)

Has a good second over the track last year and has good speed. Has a good work over the track. Trainer Molly Pearson is 29% with beaten favorites and regular jockey Scott Stevens is in from Turf Paradise to ride. He is 33% with Pearson.


Race 6: #8 Changing Karma (8-1)

This gelding has been competitive on the main circuit and had a good second over this track in December. Trainer Tom Bazley has good numbers all the way around led by 55% with horses coming off a 31 to 60-day layoff.



Race 3: #8 Ask the Lonely (5-1)

Trainer Michelle Nevin starts this 2-year-old filly by Congrats, who is 12% with first-timers. The dam has dropped five winners, including two stakes winners. Nevin is 11% with debuting MSW types and jockey Jose Ortiz is 7 for his last 23 rides.


Race 5: #1 Baby B (12-1)

This filly hasn’t had munch success on the turf so it’s time to go back to the dirt, where she finished third in her only try. Trainer Richard Schosberg is 30% going turf to dirt. She is also dropping to a career low in claiming ranks and hopefully hot jockey Jose Ortiz will put her on the lead with her speed.



Race 4: #5 Hard to Picture (3-1)

Trainer Michael Petro, who has a lot of horses for owner Frank Calabrese, is 6-for-9 with horse making their second start on the turf. The daughter of Hard Spun finished fourth in her debut at Churchill Downs. Apprentice jockey Tyler Gaffalione (38% with Petro) takes the mount.


Race 5: #5 R Quick Temper (5-1)

Don’t be fooled by the trainer’s name on this 2-year-old filly. Sally Mitchelhill is the listed trainer, but this horse is really trained by Kirk Ziadie, who hasn’t had his license renewed by the state. The daughter Elusive Quality has some good works over at Calder the sire is 13% with firsters.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, May 21

Race 1: #3 Modonna (NL)

Trainer Molly Pearson wins a lot of her races in Arizona, but can win on this circuit. She has two first-timers in this 2-year-old filly race and this daughter of Uncle Mo seems faster than her stablemate. Uncle Mo is 1-for-2 so far as a first-year sire.


Race 6: #6 Wynhurst (NL)

Trainer Bob Baffert drops this 4-year-old into a maiden claimer for the first time. The colt pressed the pace in his first race in more than a year, but tired. Regular barn rider Martin Garcia takes over.


Race 8: #8 Light Dew (NL)

Trainer E.G. Burnison is 0-for-7 in his last tries with first-time starters, but make no mistake he can get one ready. The sire Tribal Rule wins 14% first time and this 4-year-old has a good last work showing and it won’t take much in this $20K maiden claimer.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing, Los Alamitos, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Thursday, June 26

Heading into the final week of the new Santa Anita spring/summer meet, beware of a couple things:

Peter Miller might be pulling out all stops to win the training title as he trails Doug O’Neill by three, 25-22, going into the final four days of racing.

Also, with no turf racing at Los Alamitos the next two weeks, you might see trainers put horses in grass races as a prep for Del Mar, which begins on July 17.

The same is true with trainers in other races.

Del Mar’s new “Ship N Win” program allows out-of-state horses a prep during the last three weeks of Santa Anita or the two weeks at Los Alamitos before they make their first start at Del Mar and still allow them to cash the $1,000 starting gate fee and 33.3% purse bonus.

Trainers like Cody Autrey and Molly Pearson have already started horses like that and so have the likes of Miller and John Sadler.


FIRST RACE: 1. Mel’s Game, 2. Dr Williams, 3. Two Is to Many. LONG SHOT: Cook Inlet.


SECOND RACE: 1. Missing Groom, 2. Yard Line, 3. Sing With Bling. LONG SHOT: Gold Chaser.


THIRD RACE: 1. Customer Base, 2. Plaza de Indias, 3. Charlie Em. LONG SHOT: Phonybooksnrecords.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Sweet Mz. Poppet (best bet), 2. Tribal Express, 3. Soul Flyer. LONG SHOT: Fab Four Ever.

SWEET MZ. POPPET ran a good second place first time out and has had two months off to grow. The daughter of Old Topper must be doing well as she has two bullet works on her tab. Jockey Agapito Delgadillo should be able to stalk from the outside post for owner/trainer George L. Lopez.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Surfer Moon, 2. Cernobbio, 3. Pyrotechnics. LONG SHOT: Stolen Property.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Sunday Rules, 2. Majestic Jewel, 3. Courageous Call. LONG SHOT: Sweet Factory.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Happybirthdaybaby, 2. Rhodium, 3. Heat Du Jour. LONG SHOT: Always a Chance.


EIGHT RACE: 1. Philanderer, 2. Juansagain, 3. Midnight Roar. LONG SHOT: Alsace.

Trainer Karen Headley drops PHILANDERER, a son of Perfect Mandate, to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks off a debut in which he pressed the pace for three furlongs before tiring. Headley shows positive marks in second starts and the maiden claiming ranks plus speed jockey Edwin Maldonado sticks around.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 4 (Sunset Skies $5.20, third race; Nikki Allyn $3.60, fourth; Queen of The Sand $7.80, fifth; Enchanting Lady $4.60, eighth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 0

Sunday’s third choice winners: 2 (Stand by Your Man $7.20, first; Senator Bob $13.80, second)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Hollywood Producer $4.40, sixth)