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 Wednesday, Dec. 26 (Opening day)

Preview: Remember jockey Joel Rosario is coming West to ride until the spring so look for him to get plenty of live mounts. Also, a lot of out-of-town jockeys are in Arcadia today for the stakes-filled card. These guys can ride and you will get some great prices on great jockeys. If you like one of them, bet them. I’m not sure how the turf course will play after rain on Tuesday night so make sure you check changes.

FIRST RACE: 1. Twentytwentyvision, 2. Orchestral, 3. Taelyns Prince. LONG SHOT: Comes the Dream.

SECOND RACE: 1. Naughty Sophie, 2. Chatty, 3. Come On Kat. LONG SHOT: Easter Dream.

THIRD RACE: 1. I Am the Danger, 2. According to Buddy, 3. Shane Zain. LONG SHOT: Lil Milo.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Ms Bad Behavior, 2. Amandine, 3. Love and Peace. LONG SHOT: X S Gold.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Jumpin Thru Hoops, 2. Scalper, 3. All Good. LONG SHOT: Mo Mississippi.

SIXTH RACE (Grade I La Brea): 1. Emboldened, 2. Dream Tree, 3. Happy Like a Fool. LONG SHOT: Hot Autumn.
DREAM TREE is the rightful 8-5 morning-line favorite and is the most likely winner of this race for trainer Bob Baffert, but I have to go with the “other Baffert.” EMBOLDENED has never been worse than third over this track and has been training well for her comeback. I’m a big believer that horses either like or hate 7-furlong races and both of these Bafferts have won in their only tries at this elongated sprint distance.

SEVENTH RACE (Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile) 1. Choo Choo, 2. River Boyne, 3. Sejo. LONG SHOT: Desert Stone.
Again RIVER BOYNE is the deserving 8-5 morning-line favorite and will be tough to beat as jockey Flavien Prat stays on the 3-year-old rather than ride my choice, CHOO CHOO. This son of English Channel just missed at Del Mar and Joel Rosario takes over. SEJO is an import from France and gets Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle for trainer John Sadler, who got shut out at Del Mar.

EIGHTH RACE (Grade II San Antonio): 1. Gift Box, 2. Battle of Midway, 3. Dabster. LONG SHOT: Tatter to Riches.
The older horses finally take to the track and the thought is that BATTLE OF MIDWAY will be singled in a lot of wagers. Not here. GIFT BOX has been purchased privately by Hronis Racing LLC for Sadler. The 5-year-old comes out of the Chad Brown barn and has a couple of great works over the track. He has never been worse than second in three tries at the distance and that man Rosario rides back. One to watch is TATTER TO RICHES for trainer Jeff Mullins. The 3-year-old will be facing older and Mullins puts blinkers on. Plus Gift Box is coming out of a key race that has produced two winners already.

NINTH RACE (Grade I Malibu): 1. Ax Man (best bet), 2. Seven Trumpets, 3. McKinzie. LONG SHOT: Copper Bullet.
The big race of the day and it drew a field of 16 (only 14 can run). Baffert has five 3-year-olds in this race and at least one (or more) will scratch. AX MAN has been seen since July, but has been gelded since that race. He has been training lights out and Baffert’s layoff stats are huge. SEVEN TRUMPETS ships in from the East Coast for trainer Dale Romans. Throw out that eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. He’s back with has own age group and finished second at this distance in the Jerkens at Saratoga.

10TH RACE: 1. Souter, 2. Avalance, 3. Cupid’s Claws. LONG SHOT: Trojan Spirit.

Good luck.

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Gulfstream Park West, Horse racing

Gulfstream Park West opinions for Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 11-12

Race 3 – GPW

#5 It’s My Pleasure (3-1)

Trainer Edward Plesa Jr. ships this filly in from Monmouth Park where she finished fourth in the Sorority stakes. Pleasa is 21% on layoffs of 46-90 days and he puts speed jockey Paco Lopez aboard.

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Race 5 – GPW

#6 Depeche Cat (6-1) ***

Our Eyes: Trainer Jorge Navarro has hit the ground winning at this meet with 47% winners, mostly from shippers like this 7-year-old. The gelding finished fourth in a race at Saratoga that has proven to be a key race.

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Race 8 – GPW

#4 Robert Rocket (8-1) ***

Our Eyes: Trainer Gustavo Delgado is 26% with horses in their second start for him. This 4-year-old finished third in his comeback race so he should be tighter here.

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Gulfstream Park West for Thursday, Nov. 12

Race 1 – GPW

#7 Too Clever by Half (6-1)

Trainer Jorge Navarro is off to a blazing start at the meet (8-for-17) and this mare will be running for the second time for him. She is coming out a key race at Monmoth Park. Jockey Eddie Castro 32% on the year with Navarro.

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Race 4 – GPW               

#6 Scotland Bay (3-1)

This 2-year-old filly take a class drop but more importantly trainer Jose Pinchin is 3-for-3 with horses making their second start on Lasix. Jockey Edgard Zayas takes over and he is 31% with Pinchin.

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Race 7 – GPW

#1 At the Ready (turf only) (3-1)

This colt broke his maiden on the Gulfstream Park turf and then finished fifth in a tough Kentucky Downs stakes race. Trainer Joseph Hennessy is 20% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Gulfstream Park West, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita early opinions for Sunday, Oct. 25 (plus Gulfstream Park West)

Race 4: #4 Blessherheart (7-2)

Trainer Phil D’Amato drops this filly into a maiden claimer for the first time, a move he is 29% with. She showed speed going long and now cuts back to 7 furlongs. Jockey Tiago Pereira jumps on and he is 27% with D’Amato at Santa Anita.

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Race 6: #4 Cant Do the Danse (4-1)

Trainer Jonathan Wong claimed this gelding at Golden Gate and ships south. Wong is a 47% trainer on dirt and 30% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff. Wong employs red-hot apprentice Ty Kennedy.

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Race 9: #6 Lucky Reality (5-1)

Young trainer Dan Blacker doesn’t start many, but this is his best move: going from MSW to maiden claiming. He’s 50% with this move and this gelding finished second at Del Mar in the maiden claiming ranks at a higher level. Jockey Martin Garcia knows the 3-year-old well.

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Gulfstream Park West 

Race 2: #5 E Z’s Irishman (8-1)

Was bet down to 7-2 in debut, but didn’t do much running. Trainer Larry Pilotti is 28% with horses making their second career start. Apprentice jockey Harry Hernandez jumps on for a weight break.

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Race 5: #1 Morning Calm (turf only) (7-2)

Our Eyes: This colt finished 6th in the John’s Call at Saratoga and now takes a class drop. Also, that race has produced three next out winners. Trainer Michelle Nihei is 21% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff.

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Race 9 – GPW

#6 Set On Salsa (turf only) (8-1) ***

Our Eyes: Trainer Kathy Mongeon ships this filly down from New Jersey where the 4-year-old comes out of a race that has produced three next out winners. Leading jockey Tyler Gaffallione takes the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Gulfstream Park West, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Oct. 16 (Plus Gulfstream Park West)

Race 3: #1 Tribal Zen (12-1)

Trainer John Sadler makes it a habit to claim maidens dropping from MSW ranks and he did again with this son of Tribal Rule. Sadler likes to change things up and he puts this 2-year-old on the grass where his sire is 17% first time turf. Sadler is 24% first off the claim.

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Race 5: #7 El Gran Turismo (5-1)

This colt is out of the mare Cambioscorsa, who was a monster going down the hill as was her full brother California Flag. The colt is trained by Mike Puype and ridden by Joe Talamo in his first start. Breeding wins out here over all other factors.

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Gulfstream Park West

 Race 3: #3 Dreams Cut Short (8-1)

This gelding was claimed out of a winning effort at Saratoga and then shipped to Florida, where he finished third in a minor stakes. Now he drops into a high-priced claimer for trainer Marcus Vitali, who is 25% with horse making their second start for him. Barn rider Matthew Rispoli (26%) jumps on.

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Race 6: #8 Friendswith K Mill (5-2)

This gelding has been facing tougher in Southern California and it looks like he was a private purchase by trainer Kristin Mulhull, who has split her stable between SoCal and Florida. This 4-year-old has no early speed so he will be closing down the lane with jockey Jesus Rios.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, Aug. 21

FIRST RACE: 1. Good Looking, 2. I’m a Drama Mama, 3. Vronsky’s Devka. LONG SHOT: Daddy’s Sweetie.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Basmati, 2. Saint Adalbert, 3. Mistaken Identity. LONG SHOT: Sacred Ovation.
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THIRD RACE: 1. #8 Trifecta (5-2), 2. Lovenseek, 3. Dynamite Ride. LONG SHOT: A Colt Following.

Trainer Phil D’Amato claimed this 3-year-old out of an off-the-turf affair the first weekend of the meet and brings him back at the same level. D’Amato is 25% first off the claim and 22% with jockey Joe Talamo.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. #9 True Ranger (6-1), 2. Nusret, 3. Kelly With a Twist. LONG SHOT: Outrage.

Trainer Dan Hendricks was 46% with maiden claimers at Del Mar coming into this meet. This 2-year-old finished third in his SoCal debut from New Jersey and now drops a level plus Hendricks puts blinkers on.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Chief of Staff, 2. Storm Comin Thru, 3. Prince Charmant. LONG SHOT: Nina’s Dragon.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. #3 DIDO (5-2) BEST BET, 2. Circling, 3. Honey Lake. LONG SHOT: One More.

Trainer Graham Motion doesn’t ship West much so when he does it’s with a purpose. The big question is whether this is a prep for a race later in the meet or the main objective? This 5-year-old mare comes out of a Belmont Park key race that produced a graded stakes winner at Saratoga last week.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Olympic Fashion, 2. Katsfashion, 3. Warren’s Honey Bee. LONGSHOT: Katy’s Plum.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 2 (Belle Et Bete $6.20, first race; Dream Police $7.60, second)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 2 (Some Caan Job $4, fourth; Herbies Thunder $7.60, eighth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Rocket Heat $7.40, third; Golden Bayers $9.60, sixth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

 

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Saturday, Sept. 27

FIRST RACE: 1. Original Rex, 2. Wooram, 3. Captain Carchy. LONG SHOT: Better Luck.

There doesn’t appear to be any world beaters in this maiden claiming race so why not go with ORIGINAL REX (4-1), a first-time starter? Square Eddie is good first time out as a sire, especially in Cal-bred company. Trainer Doug O’Neill is OK with firsters and puts red-hot apprentice Drayden Van Dyke aboard.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Blackford, 2. Mosso, 3. Sir Barclay. LONG SHOT: Van Fraassen.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Heat Flash, 2. Conquest Two Step, 3. Quality Plan. LONG SHOT: Unusual Taste.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Kantune, 2. Madiba, 3. Fame and Power. LONG SHOT: Punctuate.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Beholder, 2. Iotapa, 3. Tiz Midnight. LONG SHOT: Yahilwa.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Lord Nelson, 2. American Pharoah, 3. Conquest Panthera. LONG SHOT: Skyway.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Rusty Slipper, 2. Irish Mission, 3. Moulin de Mougin. LONG SHOT: Stormy Lucy.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Shared Belief, 2. Majestic Harbor, 3. Fed Biz. LONG SHOT: Mystery Train.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Stars Above Me (best bet), 2. On the Backstreets, 3. Alexis Tangier. LONG SHOT: Meinertzhageni.

Trainer Graham Motion doesn’t ship West much, especially for a minor stakes so he must like this 3-year-old filly, STARS ABOVE ME (5-2), a lot. She had all kinds of trouble in her last race at Saratoga and figures to get a better ride with jockey Elvis Trujillo aboard.

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10th RACE: 1. Dad’s Princess, 2. Maybellene, 3. Conquest Eclipse. LONG SHOT: Sunday Sonnet.

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Race 11: 1. Dream It Do It, 2. Nakamoto, 3. Papscoolpapacool. LONG SHOT: Borealis Breeze.

Love offspring of Colonel John when they get a chance to try two turns and that’s what we have here in this Peter Miller trainee DREAM IT DO IT (6-1). Showed speed in his last race and jockey Elvis Trujillo (26% with Miller) knows how to ride on the grass.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Expo and Fig $3.20, fifth race; Betty Bing Bing $5, sixth)

Friday’s second choice winners: 2 (Gal Has to Like It $7.80, second; Indianapolis $4.60, eighth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 1 (Tatum’s Gold $8.20, third)

Friday’s long shot winners: 1 (More Complexity $10.40, fourth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Aug. 16

FIRST RACE: 1. Test Ride, 2. Vegas Strip, 3. He’s a Bling. LONG SHOT: Moonlight Meeting.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Kadesha, 2. Sistas Stroll, 3. Remarkable Moon. LONG SHOT: Starry Skies.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Secret Command, 2. Presiding Justice, 3. Sidepocket Champ. LONG SHOT: Candy Anniversary.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Miceli, 2. Relentless Heat, 3. Greeley Awesome. LONG SHOT: Timeless Indy.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Eldorado Prado, 2. Zimmer, 3. Valley Cat. LONG SHOT: Craving Carats.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Abusive Power, 2. Kantune, 3. Discreet Prince. LONG SHOT: Pappou.

ABUSIVE POWER (4-1), a 2-year-old son of Curlin has been training well in the mornings for Bob Baffert. The barn’s top jockey, Martin Garcia, gets aboard and it might be time for Baffert to start getting to the winner’s circle again.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Yard Line, 2. Got Even, 3. Lolo El Canonero. LONG SHOT: Seeking the West.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Sea Queen (best bet), 2. Diversy Harbor, 3. My Conquestadory. LONG SHOT: Tepin.

Trainer Christophe Clement leaves the cozy confines of Saratoga and when he does that he’s live. SEA QUEEN (5-2), a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, just finished second in the Grade I Belmont Oaks Invitational. Turf master Rafael Bejarano gets the mount and he will find a winning way from the outside post.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Moscato Girl, 2. Adriatic Skye, 3. Salsita. LONG SHOT: Bird In Love.

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10TH RACE: 1. Bayview Drive, 2. True Visionary, 3. Classified Weapon. LONG SHOT: Royal Tale.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Eltoninadress $43.80, fourth race; Natal $6.60, seventh)

Friday’s second choice winners: 1 (Kings Adventure $4, first)

Friday’s third choice winners: 1 (Istanford $4.60, sixth)

Friday’s long shot winners: 0

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