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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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Feb. 3

Preview: To be honest I’m not sure what to do with this card because rain has been forecast for much of the week, but the percentage has gone down. It probably means there is 100% of rain and it will wash the turf races off the grass.

Race 1 – SA
#2 Rangi (7-2) (TURF ONLY) ****
Our Eyes: The Peter Miller barn has been on fire for the last week. This gelding has speed and takes a drop in class. He has won over the downhill before and Rafael Bejarano stays aboard.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 3 – SA
#1 Yellow Bonnett (5-2) ****
Our Eyes: Been following this filly for a while and she finally gets to run around two turns for the first time, which she is bred to do. Trainer Mark Glatt is 24% second off the layoff and he’s 27% with Flavien Prat.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 8 – SA
#7 Sequentially (6-1) ****
Our Eyes: This gelding faced tougher in his debut at Del Mar and now takes a class drop. Glatt is 31% when dropping a horse two or more classes. He is also 21% with jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr..
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Delta Downs, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Saturday, November 19 (plus Delta Downs)

Preview: Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. missed Thursday’s card due to personal reasons but was due back Friday and will ride this weekend. Flavien Prat, Kent Desormeaux and Martin Pedroza are all riding elsewhere today. The rails on the turf course will be at 24 feet which could mean speed will dominate on the green.

Race 1: 2. #6 Black Tie ‘n Tails (6-1), 2. Junior Gilliam, 3. El Super. LONG SHOT: Dano’s Dream.
Trainer Peter Miller claimed this gelding and he must have had a planned for this as this 4-year-old goes first time on the turf. Miller is 32% first off the claim and he gets apprentice Austin Solis to ride which tells me they are going to try and go to the front.

Race 2: 1. Finallygotabentley, 2. Quorum of Joy, 3. Senator Bob. LONG SHOT: Captain Akers.

Race 3: 1. #6 Big Hit (6-1) BEST BET, 2. Fielder, 3. Law Abidin Citizen. LONG SHOT: Little Juanito.
Trainer Phil D’Amato is 47% when have a horse go sprint-route-sprint like this 2-year-old. The colt should be plenty fit for this elongated sprint. Santiago Gonzalez picks up the mount for the injured Rafael Bejarano.

Race 4: 1. #1 Sergio (5-1), 2. Avalanche, 3. Irap. LONG SHOT: Odyssey Explorer.
Big jockey switch to Gary Stevens, who rode two turf winners opening weekend. This colt’s best race came on the grass so why he was switch to the dirt for his last is a mystery.

Race 5: 1. Mastery, 2. California Diamond, 3. Bernin Sensation. LONG SHOT: Opper Wallah.

Race 6: 1. #1 Gangster (12-1), 2. Liam the Charmer, 3. Fritz Johansen. LONG SHOT: Sawyer’s Hill.
In his second race back off a long layoff, trainer Doug O’Neill puts this 4-year-old on the turf for the first time and his sire Street Boss gets 18% winners first time on the green. Good grass rider Drayden Van Dyke takes the mount. O’Neill is also 23% second off the layoff.

Race 7: 1. Match Play, 2. Honor and Courage, 3. Bobby Abu Dhabi. LONG SHOT: Adorned.

Race 8: 1. Wanstead Gardens, 2. Play Hard to Get, 3. Perfectly Majestic. LONG SHOT: Little Curlin.

Race 9: 1. Aloha Spirit, 2. Warren’s Honey Bee, 3. Motutapu. LONF SHOT: Turf Club Queen.

Plus here are some picks on the big 2-year-old races at Delta Downs.

DELTA DOWNS
Race 6 (Delta Downs Princess): 1. Flatter Up, 2. Golden Mischief, 3. Shane’s Girlfriend, 4. Jilly.
Race 7 (Delta Downs Jackpot): 1. Thirstforlife, 2. Gunnevera, 3. Baladeen, 4. Hot Sean.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, Nov. 18

Preview: Just a so-so weekday card. Jockey Flavien Prat has started the meet on top in the jockey standings with four wins, but shockingly all of his wins are on the dirt. Prat came into the week 0-for-10 on the grass and that won’t last long. Norberto Arroyo is due to return to riding today after missing Thursday due to a personal issue. Three winners on Thursday, including the early daily double and second race trifecta cold. I really like Alsatian in the last race, but that horse was scratched on Thursday so I will be watching the entries closely.

Race 1: 1. Nanybelle, 2. Princess Tiznow, 3. Santa Nella. LONG SHOT: Chuchotti.

Race 2: 1. Chicago Angle, 2. Joan of Arch, 3. Frandontjudge. LONG SHOT: Papaslilprincess.

Race 3: 1. Southern Drawl, 2. My Aunt Tillie, 3. Sweet Judy. LONG SHOT: Correlation.

Race 4: 1. #7 Limited Response (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Madelyn’s Wild Max, 3. Nextdoorneighbor. LONG SHOT: Accelerant.
Trainer Doug O’Neill claimed this gelding last time out and immediately drops him. However, a win and claim here he’s out on the horse. O’Neill is 20% first off the claim and this 6-year-old has a pair of wins at this 7-furlong distance, something I like to see at these elongated sprint distances.

Race 5: 1. Marchtothemusic, 2. True Appeal, 3. Squared Squared. LONG SHOT: Tiz Indy.

Race 6: 1. Jimmy Bouncer, 2. Bottle Rocket, 3. Stormy Rocit. LONG SHOT: Secreto Primero.

Race 7: 1. Princess Karen, 2. Auntjenn, 3. Fact of Life. LONG SHOT: Carrie.

Race 8: 1. Jet Ski, 2. Burnt Cognac, 3. Calli Way. LONG SHOT: Marckie’s Water.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, Nov. 11

Preview: The fall meet returns to the seaside oval for the third year now. On opening day for some reason the Jimmy Durante Turf Course is at 12 feet instead of being zero. Don’t ask me why. As the rails come out, look for speed to prevail but for now here’s hoping it’s a fair grass course. .

Race 1: 1. #2 Perfect Set (6-1), 2. Out of Patience, 3. Rough Passage. LONG SHOT: Alex Rossi.
This gelding was claimed last time out by Anthony Saavedra no doubt with this meet in mind. The 7-year-old has a 7-2-1-2 record at Del Mar. This is his second race off the layoff and he should be tighter.

Race 2: 1. Desert Madam, 2. Ponder Lea, 3. Enduring Erin. LONG SHOT: Lookout Sister.

Race 3: 1. Celebrated Talent, 2. Tribal Jewel, 3. Forest Blue. LONG SHOT: City Steel.

Race 4. 1. Ciao Bella Rosa, 2. Tammy’s Window, 3. Go Argento. LONG SHOT: Mo Style.

Race 5: 1. #2 Dman Doughty (12-1), 2. Dixie Pistol, 3. Dynamic Ruler. LONG SHOT: Pumpkin Star.
Trainer Robertino Diodoro knows how to win with first-time starters (21%) and 2-year-olds (22%). This is a son of U S Ranger, who gets 9% winners first time out. Jockey Joe Talamo takes the mount.

Race 6: 1. Bird E House, 2. All Call, 3. Winning Causeway. LONG SHOT: Comes the Dream.

Race 7: 1. #2 Hot Rodin (9-2), 2. Admiral’s Club, 3. Salient. LONG SHOT: Country Road.
This gelding bobbled at the start in his last and still showed speed, like he has in all of his races. Speed can be dangerous on this track and the 3-year-old shortens up. Norberto Arroyo takes over for trainer Kristin Mulhall.

Race 8: 1. Keri Belle, 2. Sobradora, 3. Amboseli. LONG SHOT: Do the Dance.

Race 9: 1. Buzzer Beater, 2. Aiming Straight, 3. Wake the Dawn. LONG SHOT: Zanab.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Sunday, Aug. 21

Preview: Very good card, except for the Del Mar Mile, which drew just five horses, but Del Mar was smart enough to keep it out of the Pick 6. I’ll go out on the limb and say there will be a carryover into next week.

Race 1: 1. #6 Bohemian Bliss (6-1), 2. Cyclone Betty, 3. Ratera. LONG SHOT: Royal Flush Babe.
Trainer Mike Puype is 63% when he drops a horse two or more class levels. He drops this filly to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks after a troubled sixth. At least one horse has come to win out of that race and jockey Tyler Baze stays aboard.

Race 2: 1. #5 Northern Iowa (6-1), 2. Winning Causeway, 3, Emmett Park. LONG SHOT: L’s Choice.
Trainer Vladimir Cerin moves this gelding from an open claimer to a non-winners of three for a slightly higher claiming price. He also secures the services of leading rider Flavien Prat. Cerin is 22% when a horses goes sprint-sprint-route race.

Race 3: 1. Pee Wee Reese, 2. Hot Rodin, 3. Son of a Royal. LONG SHOT: Martini Up.

Race 4: 1. Midnight Storm, 2. Om, 3. Little Curlin. LONG SHOT: Ambitious Brew.

Race 5: 1. #1 Princess Kendra (4-1), 2. Late ‘n Left, 3. Stand by for News. LONG SHOT: Truly Ponti.
Trainer Bill Spawr is 34% first off the claim, but likes to bring horses back sooner than this. Still Spawr is 21% off a 46 to 90-day layoff and this one had a troubled trip in last but Kent Desormeaux sticks. This filly is taking a drop in class from an open claimer to a non-winners of two. Sneaky.

Race 6: 1. #5 Sky Preacher (12-1), 2. Hat Dude, 3. Comes the Deam. LONG SHOT: Street Moxie.
Another horse coming off a troubled third, but trainer Richard Baltas moves him up. Baltas is 28% second off the claim. Jockey Norberto Arroyo has been sneaky good on the grass this meet.

Race 7: 1. #4 The Rule of King’s (8-1), 2. Irish Freedom, 3. Honor and Courage. LONG SHOT: Royal Mo.
This is a tough 2-year-old race but we’re going with a price as this colt has come out of a couple of highly rated races, losing to Best Pal Stakes winner Klimt and Chasing Aces, who might be the closing-day Futurity favorite.

Race 8: 1. Kentuckian BEST BET, 2. Navy Hymn, 3. Celebrated Talent. LONG SHOT: Alabama Tide.

Race 9: 1. Eric the Trojan, 2. Schillaireess, 3. Tiz a Billy. LONG SHOT: Gutsy Ruler.

Race 10: 1. #3 Celebrity Status (5-1), 2. Swiss Cheese, 3. Pat the Bear. LONG SHOT: Ain’t No Other.
This gelding is claimed back by trainer Peter Miller and owner Rockingham Ranch. Miller is 32% first off the claim and jockey Rafael Bejarano rides back.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Aug. 6

Preview: Not a bad card with a pair of stakes races on the 10-race card. Some stats to consider are jockeys not doing well on the dirt: Drayden Van Dyke 0-for-15, Abel Lezcano 0-11, Jamie Theriot 1-15 and Mike Smith 1-14.

Race 1: Nextdoorneighbor, 2. Basmati, 3. Luckarack. LONG SHOT: Changing Karma.

Race 2: 1. #6 Big Tire (5-1), 2. Hay Dude, 3. All Call. LONG SHOT: Madikwe.
It’s been a long time since this gelding has been on the grass, but trainer John Brocklebank claimed him last out and gets top turf rider Flavien Prat to take the mount. Look for this 5-year-old to close down the lane.

Race 3: 1. Truly Ponti, 2. Angel Lane, 3. Esmeralda Belle. LONG SHOT: Lisa Largo.

Race 4: 1. #3 Rooms (10-1), 2. Miss Southern Miss, 3. Champagne Room. LONG SHOT: Ciao Bella Rosa.
This filly wanted no part of two turns on the grass so what does trainer George Papaprodromou do? He puts this maiden in a stakes on the dirt cutting back in distance. She should be plenty fit and he gets the meet’s leading rider Flavien Prat to take over.

Race 5: 1. Sutton’s Smile, 2. La Boheme, 3. Stylish in Black. LONG SHOT: Dynamic Mizzes K.

Race 6: 1. Pragmatical, 2. Tandora, 3. Vivacious Beauty. LONG SHOT: Dashin Ashen.

Race 7: 1. #7 Annie’s Candy (15-1), 2. Bombard, 3. Curlin Rules. LONG SHOT: Trinitas Soldier.
This gelding showed a decent effort while closing in a 5-furlong turf event recently. Now trainer Peter Miller stretches him out and Miller is 21% with horses their second time on the turf. Jockey Norberto Arroyo keeps the mount.

Race 8: 1. Excavation, 2. Straight Fire, 3. James River. LONG SHOT: Plum Dandy.

Race 9: 1. Lucky Bryan, 2. Moonlight Drive, 3. Monster Bea. LONG SHOT: Dressed in Hermes.

Race 10: 1. #4 Little Mustard (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Rideo, 3. Alaskan Cruise. LONG SHOT: Woodstock Memory.
This gelding likes to finish second and third, but maybe today is graduation day. Jockey Flavien Prat could have ridden two others in this race but opted to get back on this 3-year-old. The gelding likes to be close to the pace so maybe there will be a speed bias to help him.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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