Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Sunday, March 1

Looks like they are staying on turf. Hope we don’t have a repeat of last Sunday.


FIST RACE: 1. Bobby Z Man, 2. Gangnam Guy, 3. Hot Market. LONG SHOT: Smokey’s Legacy.


SECOND RACE: 1. Lucky Views, 2. Lnock Em Flat, 3. Papa Turf. LONG SHOT: City State.


THIRD RACE: 1. Midnight Lady, 2. Frandontjudge, 3. Winninginfashion. LONG SHOT: Spirit of Ten.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Codacious, 2. Medicine Butte, 3. Sadie Clare. LONG SHOT: Jenna’s Faith.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Mr. Jay D. (best bet), 2. Whiskey Wild, 3. English Art. LONG SHOT: Bourne Hot.

MR. JAY D. (8-5), a 3-year-old, broke its maiden at Tampa Bay Downs and then finished second in an allowance race. Looks to be a private purchase by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and he put a big work into this one for this race. Hollendorfer is 32% first time with a horse.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Faith Proof, 2. Promiscuoussuances, 3. Addendum. LONG SHOT: Nothing to Hide.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Socialized, 2. Frosty Friday, 3. Showcase Winner. LONG SHOT: Housemaker.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Frensham, 2. Missing Groom, 3. Head South. LONG SHOT: Field Report.

Despite being 128-1, this 4-year-old FRENSHAM (3-1) wasn’t entirely embarrassed in the Grade I Malibu, where he finished fifth to Shared Belief. That race has proven to be a key with the top two returning to win. This son of Square Eddie is back in the Cal-bred ranks and should give a good account of himself.


NINTH RACE: 1. Gnarly Harly, 2. Bandidio Too, 3. Sky Heart. LONG SHOT: Woody’s Folly.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 0

Friday’s second choice winners: 0

Friday’s third choice winners: 2 (Hidden Zensation $12, first race; Horizontalyspeakin $6.40, third)

Friday’s long shot winners: 1 (Verraco $13.60, sixth)


Saturday’s top choice winners: 2 (Commander King $43.20, first race; Oligarch $6.40, third)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 4 (Patriotic Brother $4, second; Masochistic $4.40, fifth; Luminance $5, seventh; Cindy’s Secret $21.40, ninth)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 0

Saturday’s long shot winners: 0

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Saturday, Feb. 7

FIRST RACE: 1. Signature Cat, 2. Cheap O Charlie, 3. Ministers Prayer. LONG SHOT: Roper.


SECOND RACE: 1. Industry Leader, 2. Pray Hard, 3. Love Forever. LONG SHOT: American Act.


THIRD RACE: 1. Ghost of Navigator, 2. Cyrus Alexander, 3. Nob Hill. LONG SHOT: Scorpious.

Barn has always been high on this son of Mineshaft, but GHOST OF NAVIGATOR (30-1) just hasn’t put it together. This is a tough maiden heat, but worth a stab at the price for trainer Ron Ellis and jockey Tiago Perez. The 3-year-old has shown improved works and should be worth a couple of bucks on win end and underneath the favorites in the exacta.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Shanty Irish (best bet), 2. Go Trumpy Go, 3. Young and Hungry. LONG SHOT: Perfect Temptation.

Trainer Mike Puype must want to get this Cal-bred SHANTY IRISH (8-1) on the grass pretty bad as he runs in an open MSW. Breeding says yes to the grass. Pressed that pace in debut, has good work coming into race down the hill and jockey Elvis Trujillo sticks.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Firing Line, 2. Dortmund, 3. Rock Shandy. LONG SHOT: Tizcano.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Cautious Giant, 2. Whine for Wine, 3. Pulling G’s. LONG SHOT: Kristo.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Quadrivium, 2. Finnegans Wake, 3. Patrioticandproud. LONG SHOT: Dyanmic Sky.


EIGHT RACE: 1. Bronzo, 2. Shared Belief, 3. California Chrome. LONG SHOT: Tonito M.

Yes, this is a tough spot for BRONZO (20-1) with the likes of Hoppertunity, Shared Belief and California Chrome in the race, but trainer Neil Drysdale has been quoted as saying the longer the better for this Chile-import. Jockey Gary Stevens got familiar with him last time and hopefully learned something.


NINTH RACE: 1. Arethusa, 2. Our Little Hen, 3. Dakota Kid. LONG SHOT: Kyiaki.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Katerrific $3, first race; Midnight Hawk $4.40, sixth)

Friday’s second choice winners: 1 (Bluegrass Reward $7, second)

Friday’s third choice winners: 3 (Fighter Squadron $15.80, fourth; Nextdoorneighbor $11.20, fifth; Christopher Street $6.40, seventh)

Friday’s long shot winners: 1 (Discatsonthesquare $11.80, third)

Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Oct. 31 UPDATED (Breeders’ Cup Day 1)

FIRST RACE: Allowance/optional claiming

  1. #11 Intoxicating Move (8-1)
  2. #7 Night Song (3-1)
  3. #8 Hide My Heart (4-1)
  4. #5 Starry Skies (6-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #3 Blingismything

Intoxicating Move has been in the money 6-of-8 times on the downhill turf course with two wins. She just missed last time and gets a preferred outside post. Night Song makes her U.S. debut for trainer Simon Callaghan. She has been away from the races for a year, but Callaghan is 27% with long layoffs and Jamie Spencer, from across the pond, rides and she is coming out of a key race (three next out winners).


SECOND RACE: Grade II Las Vegas Marathon

  1. #7 Sky Kingdom (5-1)
  2. #9 Cary Street (10-1)
  3. #3 Irish Surf (4-1)
  4. #6 Mystery Train (4-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #8 Volkonsky

Sky Kingdom could just be the start of a big weekend for trainer Bob Baffert. This 5-year-old horse has been off form but he loves these marathon distances. He has three wins from six tries at Santa Anita and could be ready for a big effort. Mystery Train is the real mystery here after showing high speed in the Pacific Classic and Awesome Again. Maybe he wanted to go this far all along.


THIRD RACE: Golden State Juvenile Fillies

  1. #4 My Fiona (2-1)
  2. #6 Joylicious (12-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #9 Tatum’s Gold
  3. #7 Ashley’s Sassy (3-1)
  4. #1 Stormy Adieu (9-2)

My Fiona has done little wrong in Cal-bred company, having never been off the board in four lifetime starts. Southern California leading jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over for the daughter of Ghostzapper. We might get a clue how the Santa Anita oval is playing in this 7-furlong event. Joylicious just broke her maiden in Northern California and could be the upsetter.


FOURTH RACE: Grade II Twilight Derby

  1. #8 Flamboyant (6-1)
  2. #11 Ring Weekend (3-1)
  3. #10 Long On Value (6-1)
  4. #5 Patriots Rule (12-1)

This race is wide open and any of the 12 horses could win it, especially since the favorite, Ring Weekend, is parked in an outside post. Flamboyant didn’t like Del Mar’s grass, but showed an affinity for the Santa Anita course in winning his U.S. debut in April. Word on the street is that he has been training well for this spot and jockey Joel Rosario keeps the mount.


FIFTH RACE: Damascus Stakes

  1. #3 Chitu (4-1)
  2. #2 Midnight Hawk (7-2)
  3. #12 Unbridled’s Note (8-1)
  4. #11 Bahamian Squall (4-1)

Trainer Bob Baffert could legitimately hit the trifecta here as in addition to the top two horses he has Declassify (6-1) in the race, too. Chitu and Midnight Hawk were on the Kentucky Derby trail this spring but only Chitu got there (finishing ninth to California Chrome). Both horses have been training well for their return with Midnight Hawk slightly better, however, Chitu beat him twice this spring so we’ll stick with that.


SIXTH RACE: Juvenile Turf

1. #2 Daddy D T (15-1)

2. #14 Danny Boy (20-1)

3. #5 Hootenanny (3-1)

4. #7 War Envoy (9-2)

Trainer John Sadler experimented last time by putting this 2-year-old Daddy D T on the dirt. Big mistake. This ridgling is a turf horse, scoring a stakes win over the green stuff at Del Mar. Jockey Corey Nakatani is reunited with the horse, who should get a nice inside run from the No. 2 hole.



1. #8 Fed Biz (7-2)

2. #1 Goldencents (6-5)

3. #6 Golden Ticket (15-1)

4. #2 Carve (15-1)

Fed Biz just lost to Shared Belief, who will be the odds-on favorite in Saturday’s BC Classic. The Bob Baffert-trainee can either press the pace or come from off of it. Goldencents is the defending champ and will be tough in this spot.



1. #3 Sunset Glow (7-2)

2. #14 Qualify (5-1)

3. #4 Lady Eli (6-1)

4. #6 Sivoliere (12-1)

Sunset Glow has done well in Europe and then came over to win the Del Mar Debutante, but trainer Wesley Ward thinks she is best on turf and who are we to argue. Qualify, an import from Europe, has a tough post but is quality. Sivoliere is jockey Gary Stevens’ first start back from knee replacement surgery.



1. #10 Untapable (5-2)

2. #2 Tiz Midnight (10-1)

3. #11 Close Hatches (3-1)

4. #8 Valiant Emilia (20-1)

Untapable will be everyone’s Pick Six single and with good reason. She has been training lights out and with Beholder out of the race Untapable will be less than 2-1. Love the way Tiz Midnight is coming up to the race for Bob Baffert and it’s tough to figure out Close Hatches’ last race.


10TH RACE: Allowance optional claiming

  1. #11 Whine for Wine (8-1)
  2. #2 Day of Fury (6-1)
  3. #7 Jimmy Bouncer (9-2)
  4. #5 Test Ride (12-1)

How wide open is this race? Jimmy Bouncer is the morning-line favorite at 9-2. Whine for Win is one of our tophorses, coming out of a race with four next out winners. Day of Fury just broke his maiden for trainer Bob Baffert and has been training well for his initial try against winners. Jockey Gary Stevens, he of the knee replacements, takes the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Trainer Ken McPeek sending Frac Daddy to Del Mar

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s premiere race, the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 24, is turning into quite a race, already.
On Sunday, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said the undefeated 3-year-old Shared Belief, owned in part by media mogul Jim Rome, would be pointed for the Del Mar race at 1 1/4 on the Polytrack.
On Tuesday, trainer Ken McPeek confirmed his 4-year-old Frac Daddy would board a plane bound for Del Mar next Wednesday with the intention of running in the July 26 San Diego Handicap as a prep for the Pacific Classic.
“We’re pointing for the San Diego with the Pacific Classic as the goal,” said McPeek by telephone. “He’s doing extremely well.”
Frac Daddy is a synthetic surface special with three wins in four tries and earnings of $264,756 on Polytrack. The son of Scat Daddy saw his undefeated record on the surface come to an end July 1 when he finished second in the Grade III Dominion Day stakes at Woodbine Race Course in Toronto.
Despite being the overwhelming favorite, Frac Daddy finished second in the 1 1/4 race to Sky Captain, trained by Mark Casse, who is sending a string of 30 to 40 horses to Del Mar this summer for the first time. There is no official word from the Casse barn as to whether Sky Captain might make the trip, too. The 4-year-old son of Sky Mesa is now a perfect 3-for-3 on Polytrack.

For McPeek’s part, he is taking the blame for the loss at Woodbine.

“I think I ran a short horse,” he said. “I’ll take the bullet for that.
“He was out of his element in the race. He likes to sit outside and he was inside (under jockey Luis Contreras). He scooted along, but he never relaxed. I think I didn’t do enough with him (before the race).”
Frac Daddy, who has earned $674,036 in his career with five wins from 17 races, was coming off a 5-length win in the Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine on June 1.
McPeek said it looks like Frac Daddy will fly to Del Mar on July 16 and be stabled with trainer Blake Heap.
McPeek said he doesn’t have a rider yet for the San Diego, which will be run at 1 1/16-mile on the Polytrack.
As for facing last year’s 2-year-old champion Shared Belief at Del Mar, McPeek isn’t worried. Shared Belief is a perfect 4-for-4 on synthetic tracks and won last Saturday’s $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby in his first race on dirt.
“Facing older horses is a different bear all together,” he said. “He’s a very nice horse. (The Pacific Classic) should be a great race.”
If McPeek’s name sounds familiar, it should. He has earned $61 million in his training career. He won the 2002 Belmont Stakes with Sarava and finished second in the 1995 Kentucky Derby with Tejano Run. He also finished second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita with Golden Ticket.
McPeek is also the owner of the Horse Races Now app, which he started 14 months ago and has more than 200,000 followers. The app allows people to see entries, results, live video, race replays, news and most importantly wager on races.
“It hasn’t been easy starting it,” said McPeek, “but it’s something the industry needed.”
More information on the app is available at
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Thursday, April 10

FIRST RACE: 1. Road Ready, 2. Newfound Gold, 3. Trucial State. LONG SHOT: El Pitucon.


SECOND RACE: 1. Mum, 2. Dancinginthestreet, 3. Courageous Call. LONG SHOT: Tiz Champ.


THIRD RACE: 1. Honduran, 2. Seeking the West, 3. Footbridge. LONG SHOT: Perfect Set.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Ryleigh Ruler, 2. Wild Optimism, 3. Betty Bing Bing. LONG SHOT: New Nature.

RYLEIGH RULER, a daughter of Roman Ruler, might have won her career debut at Del Mar last summer except for a poor start. She returns here and obviously trainer Robertino Diodoro knows how to get one ready to run, especially after a long layoff (30%).


FIFTH RACE: 1. Ambitoness, 2. Smart N Dreamy, 3. Spiced Latte. LONG SHOT: Miss American Pie.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Neurosurgeon, 2. Slight Edge, 3. Storm Bird. LONG SHOT: Grey is Best.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Mark of a Gem, 2. Tiz a Kiss, 3. Tribal Chatter. LONG SHOT: Noise of the Crowd.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Even Echo (best bet), 2. Warrensgoldenyears, 3. Wicked Heat. LONG SHOT: Fuzzy Logic.

Yes, this 3-year-old colt, EVEN ECHO, was favored last time in the drop to the maiden claiming ranks, but we’re willing to give another shot. Look who he has lost races to in the last few races: Hoppertunity, Shared Belief, Enterprising. Maybe this is the day he outclasses the field.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Shared Belief reportedly doing well

From Ed Golden of the Santa Anita publicity department on the status of 2-year-old champion Shared Belief:

This report from Jerry Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward on 2013 male 2-year-old champion Shared Belief, recovering from a quarter crack on his right front foot at Golden Gate Fields:

“He’s doing well. He was training at Golden Gate before, so we already knew he liked it. There’s never any problem with the weather up there (because of the synthetic Tapeta surface) and that’s one of the reasons we took him back up there . . . He was having foot issues here and he never did up there, so . . . We’re going day to day with him. He’s doing well.”

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Shared Belief still in the barn

From Ed Golden of the Santa Anita publicity department:

Unbeaten Triple Crown contender Shared Belief, who missed a scheduled workout Jan. 12 due to an abscess in his right front foot, reportedly was set to work this morning but did not.

Asked Friday morning for an update on the gelding’s status, Jerry Hollendorfer said, “There is no update.” When approached again later, the Hall of Fame trainer said, “I don’t have any news for the next 15 days.”

Named champion male 2-year-old of 2013 last Saturday, Shared Belief had been scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 8.