Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, July 19

Preview: Trainers Doug O’Neill and Jerry Hollendorfer, who were mediocre in 2017, dominated on opening day, winning the first seven races between them. Give their horses an extra look, especially O’Neill, who gets hot and then cools off.

Trainers to watch
PHIL D’AMATO: Tied for the Del Mar training title last summer with 18 wins and his stable has only gotten stronger since then. He is a monster on the turf with 12 wins and 11 seconds from 66 starters. This summer look for improved numbers on the dirt and with younger horses.

RICHARD BALTAS: He tied D’Amato for the crown a year ago. Surprisingly, he beat D’Amato on the grass, leading all trainer with 13 winners on the green. One area of weakness is first-time starters so stay away from them.

PETER MILLER: Last summer wasn’t the best for the Carlsbad resident who annually starts a ton of horses at the seaside oval. He had more than twice has many seconds and thirds (24 and 16) as wins (15). No doubt he wants to turn those numbers around. Don’t be afraid of horses showing San Luis Rey Downs works because he has a portion of his stable there. Miller was second in dirt wins and victories by 2-year-olds. He does a lot of damage with claimers and maiden claimers, but you often don’t get a square price.

MARK GLATT: He had a really good summer under the radar last year, finishing tied for third in the standings with Miller (15 wins) from far less starters (68). He also is sneaky on the grass with eight wins from 37 starts. Betting on all of Glatt’s starters would have produced a flat-bet profit, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

DOUG O’NEILL: It will be a race to see who starts more horses this meet: Miller or O’Neill. The O’Neill barn gets a lot of horses from J. Paul Reddam and a lot sired by Square Eddie so watch for that combination. O’Neill was tied for third in dirt wins (nine) and grass can be a weakness. However, look at turf sprints because in 2016 O’Neill did well in that category.

OTHERS: Bob Baffert has his second Triple Crown winner in four years but like American Pharoah, Justify won’t run at Del Mar. Baffert led all trainers with 12 dirt wins, with half of them coming from 2-year-olds. He is also usually strong in the sprint and handicap divisions. The best betting option is “the other Baffert.” When he has two horses in the same race, bet the one with the higher odds plus bet an exacta box of his two horses. … Jerry Hollendorfer had just five winners a year ago but he got hot during Santa Anita and might be back to his old self. Watch out for his 2-year-olds, especially the fillies, one of which (Brill) is running on opening day. … Michael McCarthy, the former Todd Pletcher assistant, is starting to get better stock after finishing last summer for third in dirt wins (nine). According to Mazur’s book, McCarthy produced a huge $73 flat-bet profit. … Simon Callaghan is another younger trainer to watch after he had seven 2-year-old winners in 2017. … Steve Miyadi is also good with 2-year-olds (four wins) and first-time starters (three of 11). … Jim Cassidy, the life-long New York Yankees fan, is 7-for-13 in turf sprints the last three years with a profit of $137, according Mazur’s book. … Tom Proctor, who trains mainly for Glen Hill Farm, is a whiz on the turf and he went 6-for-15 at 2017 meet for a flat-bet profit, but don’t expect any large prices because his horses get bet.

FIRST RACE: 1. Watch Me Burn, 2. Jellybeankristine, 3. No Thanks Erik. LONG SHOT: Lakerzwin.

SECOND RACE: 1. Gutsy Effort, 2. Welldidyougetit, 3. Latitude. LONG SHOT: June Two Four.

THIRD RACE: 1. PASTIME (best bet), 2. G Q Covergirl, 3. Painting Corners. LONG SHOT: Invested Prospect.
Let me just say this up front there is no way we are getting the 12-1 morning line on No. 8 Pastime in today’s third race. Trainer Victoria Oliver brings a small string to Del Mar almost every year from Kentucky and always seem to win at a good price, but the word is already out on social media. That being said Oliver is 4-for-11 at Del Mar with horses off a 31- to 60-day layoff like this filly and the average winning price is $20, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Robin’s Love, 2. Cylinders, 3. Lil Bit Dangerous. LONG SHOT: Go Smiley Go.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Memorable Election, 2. Rockaway, 3. Ivy Mike. LONG SHOT: Master Ruler.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Magic Musketier, 2. Andesh, 3. Inscom. LONG SHOT: Soltero.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Secret Spice, 2. Moonshine Memories, 3. Show It N Moe It. LONG SHOT: Treasuring.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Majorie E, 2. Venue, 3. Oh Pretty Woman. LONG SHOT: Unusual Gold.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 2 (Shivermetimbers $4.60, sixth race; Brill $3.40, seventh)

Second choice winners: 1 (Super Duper Cooper $6.40, ninth)

Third choice winners: 3 (Eighty Three $10.60, third; Dichotomy $5.40, fourth; Ann Arbor Eddie $20, fifth)

Long shot winners: 1 (Jimmy Chila $7, second)

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Oct. 6

Preview: Plenty of big prices on Thursday means a huge Pick 6 carryover into the program Friday. Evin Roman won times, two of them at big prices, and trainer Peter Miller had a couple of nice scores so his barn might be worth watching because when it gets hot, it gets HOT.

FIRST RACE: #2 Forthenineteen (8-1)
This filly has a 7-1-1-1 record over this track. Trainer Genaro Vallejo is 3-for-5 on the year. I try to look for prices in the these lower priced claiming races. If the favorite wins, I lose. It’s that simple.

THIRD RACE: #5 Christy Jackson (4-1)
Blinkers go on and trainer Kenny Black drops her to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks for the first time. Tyler Baze has ridden her the last three times and needs to get a better start out of the gate.

FIFTH RACE: #1 Candy Boss (8-1)
This filly has had two sprint preps and goes long for the first time, a move trainer John Sadler is 23% with. She will likely show speed from the inside, the key will be for jockey Joe Talamo to ration that speed going around two turns.

EIGHTH RACE: #1 Ava Forty Seven (12-1)
It’s possible this is a prep race for going two turns for trainer Phil D’Amato, but he is 22% off a layoff of this length, 22% going from route to sprint and 20% on the turf. He puts Jamie Theriot aboard and they are 21% together, but an even better 29% at Santa Anita. Good works at San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall. This is also the “other” D’Amato so be suggest an exacta box of Ava and #3 Be Mine (5-2).

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Saturday, Aug. 26

PREVIEW: Tough week handicapping. Horses I picked second come in to win and if you know me by now I don’t pick a lot of favorites. But have to keep on, keeping on.

FIRST RACE: 1. Real Big Deal, 2. Dream Police, 3. Que Chistoso. LONG SHOT: Sir Matador.
Apprentice Laura Werner didn’t go from the inside last time on Dream Police so it will be interesting to see what she does from the outside this time. Real Big Deal has apprentice Evin Roman aboard and he leads all Del Mar jockeys in wins on the dirt.

SECOND RACE: 1. It’s Not So Easy, 2. Mama’s Sugar, 3. Magical Lucy. LONG SHOT: Lady Cloud.

THIRD RACE: 1. G Q Covergirl, 2. Sheza Chattykat, 3. Late ‘n Left. LONG SHOT: Cash Prize.
Trainer Phil D’Amato leads the meet with 11 wins on the grass and really like both entries today (Newsman in the sixth is the other one).

FOURTH RACE: 1. True Royalty, 2. High Drama, 3. Saint Tropez. LONG SHOT: Curlin’s Journey.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Time for Cioppino, 2. Royal Bar, 3. Lucky Romano. LONG SHOT: Oh Man.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Newsman, 2. Oregon, 3. Conquest Typhoon. LONG SHOT: County Lineman.
Like I said before, I liked both of D’Amato’s horses today. This one like to finish second but this will be the third off the layoff abd good grass jockey Corey Nakatani keeps the mount.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Battle of Midway, 2. Klimt, 3. Gormley. LONG SHOT: Gato Del Oro.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Kona Dreams, 2. Irish Goodbye, 3. Popyhowuspelcupcak. LONG SHOT: Tyler’s Tek.
This one got caught up in a speed duel last time and spit the bit in the stretch. Here’s hoping the jockey switch to Tiago Pereira does the trick. Tiago is 60 percent over the last year with trainer Bill Spawr.

NINTH RACE: 1. Calculator, 2. Silent Bird, 3. Kobe’s Back. LONG SHOT: Giant Expectations.
This running of the 7-furlong of the Pat O’Brien lost some of its lust when Danzing Candy suffered a fractured leg Friday morning and has been retired. Losing the 8-5 morning-line favorite means this race is wide open. I wouldn’t talk anyone off any horse in here.

10TH RACE: 1. BOLD PAPA (best bet), 2. Tatar, 3. Chidamac. LONG SHOT: Brahms Forest.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, April 29

Preview: Hope some of you played our two horses yesterday and cashed.

Race 1 – SA
#9 Lady Acclamation (6-1) TURF ONLY ****
Our Eyes: Jockey Tyler Baze has ridden three other horses in this field and decides to take the mount on this first-time starter. I know trainer Kenny Black is 0-for-11 with first-timers, but there is always a first time and I’ll take a shot with this filly.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 4 – SA
#8 Line (6-1) TURF ONLY ****
Our Eyes: I’ve been waiting for this filly to hit her stride. Maybe today is the day with Mike Smith in the irons. Trainer Richard Mandella is 21% third off the layoff as is his other mare in here, Scandal (5-2). I’m taking the longer price and play and exacta box.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show. EXBX 8-6.

Race 7 – SA
#6 Farhaan (6-1) TURF ONLY ****
Our Eyes: This 8-year-old ran a decent second off the layoff and has a big work coming into the race. Phil D’Amato is great with turf horses and Tyler Baze keeps the mount.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show. EXBX 6-2-3-4.

Race 8 – SA
#4 Union Rebel (9-2) ****
Our Eyes: Has been improving each day and this might be graduation day. Rafael Bejarano keeps the mount and is 25% with trainer Richard Baltas.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 9 – SA
#4 Hero Ten All (6-1) TURF ONLY ****
Our Eyes: Jeff Mullins flies under the radar these days but he is 23% with horses off a 31 to 60-day layoff. This gelding had been training well and Tyler Baze keeps the mount.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show. EXBX 8-6.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, March 30

Race 1 – SA
#2 Vibe (4-1) ****
Our Eyes: This 3-year-old has been gelded by trainer Keith Desormeeaux since his last race and has been given 3 months off to grow up. Look for an improve effort.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win. Back wheel exacta all with 2.

Race 4 – SA
#2 Icona (10-1) ****
Our Eyes: This filly is going two turns for the first time and she is bred for it on the bottom side. She is coming out of a key race that has produced two winners so far and trainer Phil D’Amato is 20% going from sprint to route..
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win. Back wheel exacta all with 2.

Race 5 – SA
#2 Image of Joplin (3-1) ****
Our Eyes: Trainer Bill Spawr has had a big meet so far (34%). He’s 24% first off the claim and he’s 23% with jockey Martin Pedroza.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 8 – SA
#1 Felina (12-1) ***
Our Eyes: Big jock switch here to Joe Talamo and this filly has been away since October. She has been working well for her return.
Jeff’s Playbook: 3 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, March 24

Race 1 – SA
#7 Lil Awecim (5-1) ****
Our Eyes: Has been running in the Cal-bred ranks but takes the drop from MSW to maiden claiming, a move trainer Mark Glatt wins 23% of the time.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win. EXBX 7-1-4

Race 5 – SA
#2 The Topester (4-1) ****
Our Eyes: This gelding dropping to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks for the first time. Trainer Phil D’Amato is 29% when dropping a horse two or more levels. The 4-year-old is also coming out of a key race that has produced three winners so far.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 8 – SA
#1 Line (3-1) TURF ONLY ****
Our Eyes: Loved this filly last time out, but she stumbled at the start and never got back in the race. Richard Mandella brings her back in a similar spot and he’s 31% with horses second time on the turf. Rafael Bejarano takes over.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show. EXBX 1-8-10

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 4

Preview: Some rain on Friday, but only one race was taken off the turf which is a good sign for today’s card. At the start of the race week, Jerry Hollendorfer, Peter Miller and Richard Baltas led the way on the dirt with eight wins each. Doug O’Neill was right behind with seven winners. On the other end, Steven Knapp was 0-for-10 followed by Mike Harrington (1-18) and Sal Gonzalez (1-14), all of whom were having trouble winning races.

Race 4: #9 Amer Sista (6-1): Took money in her debut, but was off slow and then in right. Trainer Phil D’Amato puts blinkers on (22% move) and top turf rider Flavien Prat stays on and he’s 24% with D’Amato.

Race 6: #8 Fabozzi (6-1): This gelding is 3-2-0-1 at the distance. The 4-year-old is moving up in class but trainer Mark Glatt is 30% with horses that won their last race and that man Prat rides again on the turf. Prat is 27% with Glatt.

Race 8: #5 Mor Spirit (3-1): Pure and simple that try in the Malibu was a prep for this race by trainer Bob Baffert. This 4-year-old tries older horses for the first time, but Baffert is 27% going sprint to route and jockey Mike Smith stays aboard.

Race 9: #8 Perfectly Majestic (10-1): This gelding has beaten some of these before and has a record of 18-4-5-6 on the grass. Kent Desormeaux gets back on and he has had success with this 5-year-old in the past.

Good luck

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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