Horse racing, Pimlico, Preakness Stakes, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, May 19 (Plus Preakness)

Preview: Isn’t 12 races overkill in Arcadia? Of course, not as bad as 14 at Pimlico. Really?

FIRST RACE: 1. Red Livy, 2. Giant Mongolian, 3. Girl Downstairs. LONG SHOT: Lori’s Attitude.

SECOND RACE: 1. Carnivorous, 2. Takahiro’s Dream, 3. Luck’s Royal Flush. LONG SHOT: Takeo Squared.

THIRD RACE: 1. Catfish Hunter, 2. Insubordination, 3. Two Hail Marys. LONG SHOT: Polity.

FOURTH RACE: 1. California Breeze, 2. Brandon’s Law, 3. Fluorescent. LONG SHOT: Conformation.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Oh Scatty Oh, 2. Trap Queen, 3. Myrcella. LONG SHOT: Majestic Diva.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Catalina Cruiser, 2. Best Two Minutes, 3. Tony Blackjack. LONG SHOT: Fast Munny.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Rumpus Cat, 2. Jimmy Chila, 3. Littlebitamedal. LONG SHOT: Facts Matter.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Kochees, 2. Ketos, 3. Eighty Three. LONG SHOT: Burn Me Twice.

NINTH RACE: 1. Cheekaboo, 2. Cordality, 3. Moonless Sky. LONG SHOT: Desert Steel.

10TH RACE: 1. North County Guy, 2. Nova, 3. Bless His Heart. LONG SHOT: Poise to Strike.

11TH RACE: 1. Swayze, 2. Ike Walker, Sheer Flettery. LONG SHOT: Two Thirty Five.

12TH RACE: 1. Crown the Kitten, 2. Ky. Colonel, 3. Secreto Primero. LONG SHOT: Bourbon Soul.

Preakness Stakes

1. Good Magic, 2. Justify, 3. Lone Sailor, 4. Quip. LONG SHOT: Bravazo.
There is no doubt the Pimlico surface will have some water in it. The track has been a quagmire all week and although the rain is suppose to let up early today, it will be wet. Good Magic and Justify have proven they can handle that. Justify is 1-2 on the morning-line and it’s justified, but watch Good Magic’s Kentucky Derby again. He loomed up and made it a race. I think he can turn the tables. Lone Sailor had a troubled Derby as did Bravazo. Quip skipped the Derby because he has the same owners as Justify. He’s got some talent and will be a decent price.

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 4 (Fool’s Paradise $6, second race; Tough It Out $7, fifth; Explorer $5.40, sixth; Popular Kid $9.40, seventh)

Second choice winners: 4 (Beautiful Becca $6.40, first; G Q Covergirl $4.60, third; Broome $3.20, fourth; Winning Element $4.80, eighth)

Third choice winners: 0

Long shot winners: 0

Good luck.

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Horse racing, Pimlico

Pimlico Race Course for Saturday, May 20 (Preakness Stakes Day)

Preview: If you watched the races on Friday you know it rained midway through the card making the main track sloppy and turf course good. Check the conditions today. I think the main track will end up fast, but the grass will have some give in it.

PIMLICO RACE COURSE RACE 13: (Grade I Preakness): 1. #10 Conquest Mo Money (15-1), 2. #5 Classic Empire (3-1), 3. #4 Always Dreaming (4-5), 4. #9 Lookin At Lee (10-1). Long shot: #3 Hence (20-1).
I’m bucking a whole lot of history here as the Preakness winner usually comes from those who ran in the Kentucky Derby, like the last four mention horses above. Here’s the deal: Conquest Mo Money is coming in fresh, off a second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby to Classic Empire and he has speed. No doubt Derby winner Always Dreaming will go for the lead but so will Conquest Mo Money. Classic Empire is the “wise guy” horse as he had all kinds of trouble in the Derby. Conquest lost by a half-length to Classic Empire. I think he can be prominent again.

RACE 5 (The Very One): 1. #1 Elusive Joni (12-1), 2. #5 Pretty Perfection (4-1), 3. #2 Everything Lovely (9-2). LONG SHOT: #11 Most Beautiful (12-1).
RACE 7 (Chick Lang): 1. #9 Bobby Abu Dhabi (15-1), 2. #4 Liar’s Dice (12-1), 3. #7 Recruiting Ready (8-5). LONG SHOT: Theory.
RACE 8 (James W. Murphy): 1. #10 Adonis Creed (8-1), 2. #2 Total Tap (12-1), 3. #6 Yoshida (3-1). LONG SHOT: #13 Chubby Star (20-1).
RACE 9 (Grade III Maryland Sprint): 1. #6 Holy Boss (8-1), 2. #5 Whitmore (9-5), 3. #4 A. P. Indian (8-5). LONG SHOT: #9 Awesome Banner (20-1).
RACE 10 (Grade III Gallorette): 1. #3 Danilovna (6-1), 2. #10 Cambodia (8-1), 3. #7 Elysea’s World (5-2). LONG SHOT: ##2 Zipessa (9-2).
RACE 11 (Sir Barton): 1. #2 Hedge Fund (9-5), 2. #6 Watch Me Whip (12-1), 3. #7 True Timber (8-1). LONG SHOT: #5 No Mo Dough (12-1).
RACE 12 (Grade II Dixie): 1. #8 Catapult (10-1), 2. #7 Blacktype (4-1), 3. #10 Ring Weekend (4-1). LONG SHOT: #5 One Mean Man (20-1).

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, Aug. 18

Preview: Big week at Del Mar with the Pacific Classic on Saturday. Bob Baffert, to no one’s surprise is leading all trainers in main track wins with 10 from 33 mounts. John Sadler is having a great meet with 7 wins from 16 starters on the dirt and Mark Glatt is 6-of-21.

Race 1: #2 Nuke Laloosh (3-1), 2. Ideal, 3. Papa Gulf. LONG SHOT: Foolish to Deceive.
Trainer Peter Miller brings this 3-year-old back after more than a year’s layoff, but look who he lost to in his last race, no other than Preakness winner Exaggerator. That race was a key race and with the drop to maiden claimers for the first time (Miller’s 28% there) this first-time gelding could be real tough.

Race 2: Dame Street, 2. Optimism And Hope, 3. Compel. LONG SHOT: Tequila Mary.

Race 3: 1. Golden Atlantic, 2. Cee the Preacher, 3. Look Me in the Eye. LONG SHOT: Redneck Crazy.

Race 4: 1. Marvelous Max, 2. Bernardjfortunato, 3. Zealous Tale. LONG SHOT: Ring Collector.

Race 5: #1 Marriedtoaminister (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Papa Mambo, 3. Watch This Cat. LONG SHOT: Conquest So True.
This filly was claimed by trainer Richard Baltas out of a maiden claiming victory and we think he had grass in mind for her. Baltas is 21% first off the claim and 25% both first turf and dirt to turf. The filly has the best Brisnet Late Pace Rating by 9 points which should work out well on the grass.

Race 6: 1. Warren’s Purrfect, 2. Appealing Lady, 3. Goliath’s Girl. LONG SHOT: Lob City.

Race 7: 1. Danas Best, 2. Pretentious, 3. Infinite Loop. LONG SHOT: Banze No Oeste.

Race 8: 1. #8 You’re the Reason (5-1), 2.It’s Not So Easy, 3. Starr of Quality. LONG SHOT: Victory Seeker.
Trainer William Morey drops this filly into a maiden claimer for the first time and he is 53% with such moves. Huge jockey switch from Kerwin John to Gary Stevens.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Elliott could flourish on Del Mar Polytrack

Here’s the first betting hint of the upcoming Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s summer meet, which opens on Thursday: Give horses ridden by Stewart Elliott extra consideration on the Polytrack.

Elliott is the veteran jockey who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with Smarty Jones a decade ago. He has kicked around the sport over that time, but rose to prominence again this spring at the Keeneland meet in Lexington, Ky.

Elliott rode a lot for Canadian-based Mark Casse.

Elliott finished second in the jockey standings with 15 wins from 73 mounts good for $557,650 in purses. The veteran rider showed a propensity for getting to the winner’s circle on the Polytrack as he tied for most synthetic winners (14). Elliott was just 1-for-16 on the grass.

So when Casse decided to bring a string this summer to Del Mar for the first time, Elliott was asked if he wanted to come west, too.

“We were trying to decide whether to go to Saratoga or Del Mar,” said Nelson Arroyo, Elliott’s agent, on Monday. “We have a good relationship with Mark and didn’t put any pressure on him. He just said if we wanted to come to Del Mar, come.”

There is no agreement for Elliott to ride first string for all of Casse’s horses, which number at least 36 so far at the seaside oval.

“We’re going to ride a lot of them,” said Casse. “Mark is really fair. If she’s another jockey fits a horse better, he will ride them.”

Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form reporter via Twitter Monday that Victor Espinoza will ride Casse’s Conquestadory in Saturday’s San Clemente on the new turf course.

But Arroyo isn’t worried.

“I didn’t know anyone here two days ago,” said Arroyo, who is a former jockey himself, “but business is picking up quickly. We’ve working horses for John Sadler and Peter Miller.”

Arroyo booked mounts with trainer Barry Abrams for Thursday and Friday.

Arroyo said Elliott loves riding the Polytrack, the synthetic surface that will be making its final appearance this year before a return to dirt next year.

“He gets along with the Polytrack well,” said Arroyo. “He can put a horse on the lead or he can come from off the pace. It’s very easy to ride for him.”

Del Mar’s has rarely been called easy to ride since it seems sensitive to the weather, whether it’s warm or cooler due to the coastal overcast.

“I asked John Sadler how it plays,” said Arroyo, “and he said, ‘That’s a trick question.’

“Stewart likes to play it by ear. That’s why he’s so good on it. He gets a feeling for the horse and how he’s handling it and a feel for the track. He adapts each race.

“At Keeneland this spring, he won the first race on the lead on the fence, but by the third race he went to the outside. He told me during the second race, he could tell the rail was dying and getting deeper.”

Elliott will face similar conditions at Del Mar.

Hope he figures it out. Quickly.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

 

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Horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown

Coburn: Still a Dumb Ass (Partner)

Despite his “apology” Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning, America,” California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn is still a Dumb Ass, just like his stable name (Dumb Ass Partners) says.

I love how a lot of people are lauding Coburn for finally stepping up to rectify the situation he created after Saturday’s Belmont Stakes loss when he basically called the owners of Tonalist and Commissioner “cheaters” for not running in the other two legs of the Triple Crown.

The man didn’t rectify anything.

Did you see the interview with Robin Roberts? The man was choking on every word he said. He had a hard time getting them out because he didn’t believe them. He was bullied into Monday’s apology. Check it out here:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/california-chrome-owner-angry-rant-belmont-24053547

The time to apologize for Saturday’s rant on national television was Sunday morning. Instead, Coburn went back on national TV and compounded the situation by stating the situation was akin to him playing basketball against a child in a wheelchair. How does one defend that? That was so wrong, it’s unbelievable.

The Triple Crown is meant to be hard. That’s why we haven’t had a winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 36 years. A super horse hasn’t been born to do it. So be it.

In last week’s build up to the Belmont, I was still amazed Real Quiet lost his Belmont to Victory Gallop. I covered Real Quiet’s Preakness that year and for him to lose by a nose in New York still is unfathomable.

But back to the point at hand, even if Coburn and others associated with California Chrome were complaining about the Triple Crown system and dates of the races beforehand, you knew what you were getting into when you started the journey. Three wins in five weeks. I didn’t hear anyone complaining about all the new shooters in the Preakness.

Now after losing, Coburn is bitching and moaning.

I don’t feel sorry for Coburn one bit.

I feel sorry for the man’s wife, who tried to reel him in on Saturday, but was rebuffed. The woman must be a saint.

I feel sorry for others like trainer Art Sherman and his son, Steve, a trainer in his won right who stayed with Chrome on the East Coast for five weeks. I feel for the exercise rider and other barn personnel.

There is a long way to go this year, but if California Chrome ends up not winning the Eclipse Award for top 3-year-old, it might end being Coburn’s fault, and that’s just not right. I don’t have a vote, but I guarantee that if it comes down to coin flip, there will be voters who don’t vote for the horse due to Coburn’s ignorance.

One reporter tweeted on Saturday that after meeting Coburn earlier on the Triple Crown trail, he knew it was just a matter of time before the man blew up.

There’s no doubt, Steve Coburn has lived up to his barn’s name: Dumb Ass (Partners), and no apology is going to change that.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 3 (Magna Warrior $5.60, first race; Babe’s Journey $10.40, fifth; Soi Phet $7.40, sixth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 5 (Elegant $6.40, second; Natalie Paige $6.40, fourth; Red N Black Attack $6, seventh; Unusual Heatwave $16.80, eighth; Nothing to Hide $4.40, ninth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Myrna Lou $8.80, first)

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