Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, July 22

To say it was a tough week on the handicapping front during the first week of Del Mar is an understatement. Five top choice winners isn’t acceptable, but with the weather and surface changes what are you going to do? I had second choice winners score but they weren’t on top.

As for track itself, newcomer Flavien Prat leads the jockey race with six winners, five of them on the dirt. Prat is in his first full season in Southern California after riding mainly on the grass in his native France. Prat is tied for the lead on the dirt with Joe Talamo (5-for-16). Santiago Gonzalez follows with four wins, all in the mud on Sunday. There is an old handicapping angle that says bet South American-sired horses in the mud. I guess that now carries over to the jockeys, too.

On the flip side on the dirt, Edwin Maldonado is 0-for-10, James Graham is 0-9 and Fernando Perez is 1-13. Graham, a newcomer from the Midwest is off to a rough 0-for-12 start overall.

On the grass, Mike Smith, Rafael Bejarano and Drayden Van Dyke all have two wins. Tyler Baze is 0-for-7 on the grass and Triple Crown riding jockey Victor Espinoza is 0-for-6. In fact, Espinoza is 0-for-13 overall. Can you say TC hangover?

On the training front, Jeff Mullins (4-for-7) and Peter Miller (4-for-24) lead the race. Jerry Hollendorfer is 3-for-8 on the dirt while Doug O’Neill is 0-for-9 on the dirt and 0-for-13 overall.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Silvertron, 2. Comanche Ruler, 3. Domingo Cat. LONG SHOT: Crazy Al.

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SECOND RACE: 1. #5 Venetian Mask (4-1), 2. Sir Macho, 3. Whiskey Wild. LONG SHOT: Karma King.

Trainer Jerry Holldendorfer drops this 4-year-old into a claimer for the first time and gelded the son of Pulpit. Hollendorfer is 25% turf to dirt and he puts jockey Martin Garcia aboard.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Forest Chatter, 2. Marchman, 3. Head South. LONG SHOT: Giant Ego.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. Gypsy’s Rule, 2. Grape Fizz, 3. Lady Wedge. LONG SHOT: She’s too Wild.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Merle, 2. Gigantis, 3. Diablo Caballero. LONG SHOT: Heat.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Savings Account, 2. All Star Bub, 3. Front Range. LONG SHOT: Sky Mega.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Kulik Lodge, 2. Footstepsinbronze, 3. Winning Prize. LONG SHOT: Zuri Chop.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. #1 DIXIE TWEET (5-2) BEST BET, 2. Mucho Blessings, 3. Luvuryan. LONG SHOT: Katsfashion.

Trainer Mark Glatt drops this filly to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks. Glatt is 36% dropping a horse two or more class levels. This daughter of Dixie Chatter showed high speed on the turf and jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over and he is 27% with Glatt.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 1 (War Destiny $5, fourth race)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 2 (Codacious $16.20, second; Pretty N Cool $4, sixth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 2 (Toomanytomatoes $11.40, third; Husband’s Folly $7.80, fifth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Sweet Profit $4.60, first)

 

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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.

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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.

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GULFSTREAM PARK

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.

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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

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Thursday, Feb. 6

FIRST RACE: 1. Geldautomat, 2. Cousin Ricky, 3. Mr. Cactus. LONG SHOT: Goldnesian.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Sweet Spell, 2. Provenance, 3. Seattle Charlie. LONG SHOT: Wasted At Midnight.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Madoffwiththemoney, 2. Metaxa, 3. Warren’s Judy. LONG SHOT: Backwoods Belle.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Cougarontheprowl, 2. Our Pure Creation, 3. Small Moves. LONG SHOT: Kerrilynn.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Moonlight Stroll, 2. Chicago Angel, 3. Mini Candy. LONG SHOT: Alissa R N.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Readyforhercloseup, 2. Akiss Forarose, 3. Elegant in Silk. LONG SHOT: Incredible Journey.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Mark of a Gem (best bet), 2. J and S Express, 3. Always a Chance. LONG SHOT: Yawannagokid.

MARK OF A GEM, a 4-year-old filly, hasn’t raced since May 19, 2013, but she has speed and has been working well over the Santa Anita dirt. Trainer Tim Yakteen is 38% turf to dirt and he’s 36% with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Los Borrachos, 2. Kozani, 3. Melatonin. LONG SHOT: J Kat.

Jockey Mike Smith is looking for the late daily double here with this son of Pulpit. The 3-year-old LOS BORRACHOS isn’t drawn ideally for a down-the-hill effort on the rail, but Pulpits seem to do well in the move from dirt to turf. He showed improvement in his second race and comes out of a maiden race where a horse he beat by 2 lengths (Hoppertunity) has already come back to win.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 1 (Te Rapa $4.60, sixth race)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 3 (Intoxicating Move $9, second; Putahexonher $8.20, third; Stollin Home $10.20, fifth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (Wild Dude $19.20, fourth); Cat Burglar $3.40, seventh)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 0

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