Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Oct. 13

THIRD RACE: #6 Earring (2-1)
I don’t normally like betting favorites, but the way I look at this filly is that she can be a single in the Pick 5 and a single to start off your Pick 6. Trainer Tom Proctor is one of the best with turf horses. This 4-year-old finished third to better at Saratoga. Proctor is 21% with shippers and good turf jockey Drayden Van Dyke rides like he normally does for Glen Hill Farm/Proctor.

FIFTH RACE: #8 Gogoula (20-1)
Going to take a shot with a big bomb here. Go back in the past performances and you will find this filly has run down the hills before in a minor stakes and she wasn’t disgraced. She takes a drop in class and had trouble at the start in her last. Worth a flyer.

SEVENTH RACE: #3 Popular Kid (5-1)
I’ll be honest here: I hope my friend Jeff Bloom wins with #2 Kona Dreams but he is a 3-year-old facing older and he’s been done in by speed duels in his last two races. And there is a ton of speed and pressers in this race. Therefore I was looking for a closer. I consider #9 Quality Line, but he just doesn’t seem to want two turns. Then I saw Popular Kid. Look two races back to what Kent Desormeaux did in just missing on the Del Mar turf. He took the horse back and that’s exactly what he needs to do today.

EIGHTH RACE: #1 Air On Fire (10-1)
The “other” Mandella. Trainer Richard Mandella has the morning-line favorite in Milhaud (5-2) and this first-time turfer. Air On Fire is a son of Unbridled’s Song, who gets 13% winner first time on the turf. He has a big work showing and jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over. A Mandella exacta box would seem to be in order.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Oct. 7

Preview: Three stakes races on the card, but the first two don’t look like prices will be coming in. Other than that, a decent card.

FIRST RACE: #3 Cause for Pardon (9-2)
Drops to his lowest level ever in the maiden claiming ranks and gets a good jockey switch to Edwin Maldonado, who is good from the gate so look for a send job.

THIRD RACE: #1 Antioch (6-1)
This filly wasn’t bad last year as a 2-year-old, but obviously suffered an injury. Trainer Richard Mandella doesn’t bring them back until they are ready, hence he has a 26% strike rate with horses off a 180-day plus layoff. Regular barn rider Flavien Prat keeps the mount and the colt is coming out of a key race that has produced four winners from 10 starters.

FIFTH RACE: #6 Bunny Yogurt (10-1)
John Sadler has had this filly stashed at San Luis Rey Downs sans one Santa Anita work. Sadler is 20% with first time starters and I love the sire Scat Daddy on the turf. He gets 15% first time grass. Victor Espinoza is 21% with Sadler.

EIGHTH RACE: #3 Mrs McDougal (4-1)
This is it for this mare and I. Either win today or we’re done. LOL. She came from New York off a long layoff but just hasn’t shown the form she had last year. This is her third off the layoff for the team on Mandella and Prat. I suspect if she doesn’t win it will be off to the breeding shed. This mile distance appears to be her favorite with a 4-3-0-1 record.

NINTH RACE: #3 Dadtughtmewell (10-1)
Takes a drop in class off a long layoff. She is 2-for-3 at this distance. Prat and trainer Dean Pederson are 4-for-4 together the last two years.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on the Twitter

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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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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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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, November 12

Preview: Keep in mind that journeyman Norberto Arroyo Jr. had a big summer meet here, especially on the turf, so keep it in mind at this fall meet. Good card for this time of year. Jockeys Rafael Bejarano (hand injury) and Mario Gutierrez (sickness) missed opening day on Friday. Hope someone bet my long shots on Friday as two of them came in.

Race 1: 1. #6 Klondike Creek (5-2), 2. Evicted, 3. Bedeviled. LONG SHOT: Pappou.

This colt is making only his third career start and he showed big improvement in his first race on the grass. Trainer Richard Mandella is 36% with second-time turfers and 29% with horses running their second time at a route. Flavien Prat keeps the mount.

Race 2: 1. Lunar Express, 2. Savannah Sky, 3. Call ot Congrats. LONG SHOT: Miss Star Maker.

Race 3: 1. SABI SANDS (BEST BET), 2. Sly Humor, 3. Princess Hulia. LONG SHOT: Mopotism

Race 4: 1. Defiantly, 2. Barhanpour, 3. Mittersill. LONG SHOT: Camino Del Paraiso.

Race 5: 1. #6 Velvet Jones (7-2), 2. Lil Miss Sapphire, 3. Feel Freely. LONG SHOT: Cioppino Pasadino.

This filly broke her maiden first time over this track with a come from behind effort. A similar style might work here as there appears to be a lot of speed. She is dropping out of a minor stakes race and gets a big jockey switch to Rafael Bejarano.

Race 6: 1. Infinite Magic, 2. Cervaro, 3. Tattenham. LONG SHOT: Saint Loup.

Race 7: 1. Thunder Basin, 2. Pedro Cerrano, 3. Anthonysgotgame. LONG SHOT: Smokey’s Legacy.

Race 8: 1. Crown the Kitten, 2. Hobbits Hero, 3. McHeat. LONG SHOT: Banze No Oeste.

Race 9: 1. #12 Gavin Streetsense (10-1), 2. Little Mustard, 3. The Golden Kid. LONG SHOT: Johann’s Command.

This gelding ran fourth over this track at this distance at this level. Trainer Richard Baltas owns this 3-year-old and he makes a jockey change to journeyman Tiago Pereira and they are 29% together.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, Sept. 2 (3:30 p.m. first post)

Preview: Interesting that the featured Cal-bred stakes is moved out of the Pick 6 and run as race 2. I don’t see a big favorite so don’t know why. The trainers race could come down to the final day on Monday. Phil D’Amato started the week with 19 winners followed by Richard Baltas at 16 and Bob Baffert and Peter Miller with 15 each. You can bet all those barns will be firing over the final four days of the meet.

Race 1: 1. #8 Crown of Light (8-1), 2. Princess Tiznow, 3. She’s Got Style. LONG SHOT: Cyclone Betty.
Trainer Peter Eurton is 28% the second time puts a horse on the grass. The sire Popular gets 18% winners on grass and jockey Rafael Bejarano, who is 25% with Eurton, jumps on.

Race 2: 1. #1 Rinse and Repeat (6-1), 2. Elwood J, 3. California Diamond. LONG SHOT: Upstaging the Cast.
Trainer Doug O’Neill threw this 2-year-old to the big boys in the Best Pal stakes and finished fourth. He is now back with his friends in the Cal-bred ranks and look for him to be up on engine after a poor start in the last race.

Race 3: 1. Start a Runnin, 2. Trust Your Gut, 3. American League. LONG SHOT: Blanket of Ice.

Race 4: 1. Trump Diesel, 2. Blue Navy Blue, 3. Resistanceisfutile. LONG SHOT: Gotta Get Lucky.

Race 5: 1. Shysheisnot, 2. Lady’s Lunar Luck, 3. Midnight Candy. LONG SHOT: My Sweet Afleet.

Race 6: 1. Red Apple, 2. Start to Finish, 3. You’re the Reason. LONG SHOT: Lilac Street.

Race 7: 1. #9 Paquita Coqueta (5-1) BEST BET, 2.Long Hot Summer, 3. Pretty N Cool. LONG SHOT: Crowley’s Law.
Trainer Richard Mandella does well with imports as his 24% win rate with horses first time in North America would suggest. This mare from Chile won 8 of 10 at this sprint distance on the turf down there and she has been throwing bullets in the morning. Flavien Prat, who is 20% with Mandella, rides.

Race 8: 1. Vending Machine, 2. L.A. Tower, 3. Mt. Leinster. LONG SHOT: Two Thirty Five.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, July 23 (updated)

Preview: Can any card with California Chrome and Dortmund on it, be bad? Doubt it. Soi Phet and Hard Aces have scratched out of the San Diego, leaving just five horses for Chrome and Dortmund. Jockey Edwin Maldonado is off all mounts today attending his grandmother’s funeral.

In case you haven’t heard three horses were injured this morning at Del Mar during workouts, with at least one fatality. Trainer Richard Mandella decided not to work Beholder due to the condition of the track and said he hopes to work on Sunday morning.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has scratched a top 2-year-old filly from a maiden race today. I don’t know if the track has anything to do with it.

I had one Del Mar executive tell me after the first three days of racing last weekend that he didn’t like the way the main track was playing. Food for thought.

Race 1: 1. Ketos, 2. Feldini, 3. Patron. LONG SHOT: Westwood’s Wizard.

Don’t know what to do with Bob Baffert’s Patron. She is working well, but she is bred for the grass and to run long. She will get bet. She may win, but not with my money.

Race 2: 1. Dutchessa, 2. Q’ Viva, 3. Foxy Lover. LONG SHOT: Avicii.

Race 3: 1. #6 Paiasolo (9-2), 2. Hobbits Hero, 3. Free Rose. LONG SHOT: Banze No Oeste.
This colt almost broke through at this condition last time but came up a length short. Trainer Richard Mandella is 21% with beaten favorites and 31% in allowance races. Jockey Flavien Prat rides and he is 18% with Mandella.

Race 4: 1. #4 Light of the Moon (3-1) SCRATCHED, 2. Adorable, 3. Princess Coco. LONG SHOT: Feel Freely.
This filly didn’t get off to the best start in her debut, but she took plenty of money so the clockers must have liked what they saw. She must make up 5 lengths on Adorable in this race, but trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is 30% with second-time starters. Jockey Mike Smith stays aboard and he’s 47% with Hollendorfer the last two years at Del Mar.

Race 5: 1. #1 Metaboss (5-1), 2. Calculator, 3. Perfectly Majestic. LONG SHOT: Texas Two Step.
After running his last three races in Maryland for trainer Michael Dickinson, this 4-year-old ends up in the Phil D’Amato barn, which is 18% with horse first time in their barn. Jockey Rafael Bejarano jumps on and he’s 31% with D’Amato.

Race 6: 1. Sorryaboutnothing, 2. Classico, 3. Swiss Minister. LONG SHOT: Blanket of Ice.

Race 7: 1. #1 Belvoir Bay (4-1), 2. Mokat, 3. Be Mine. LONG SHOT: Jade Princess.
Jockey Florent Geroux comes west to ride this filly for owners Team Valor and Gary Barber. Last the 3-year-old was seen, she destroyed the competition in the Blue Northern stakes at Santa Anita. Trainer Peter Miller has been her ready at San Luis Rey Downs. Look for her to use her speed from the inside and roll from there.

Race 8: 1. Princess Kendra, 2. Katy Drama, 3. Tooluckysupermoon. LONG SHOT: Ish.

Race 9: 1. California Chrome, 2. Dortmund, 3. Win the Space. LONG SHOT: Follow Me Crev.

Pace 10: 1. Sassy Ashley, 2. Lethal Legacy, 3. Whistle Pretty. LONG SHOT: Georgia Blue.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 3 (Pray Hard $6.20, fifth race; Little Scotty $7.60, sixth; Enola Gray $2.20, seventh)

Friday’s second choice winners: 0

Friday’s third choice winners: 3 (Ask Me I Might $8, second; All Star Parade $6, third; Lord of Chaos $5.40, eighth)

Friday’s long shot winners: 0

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