Race 4: #4 Hard Night’s Day (NL)
This 4-year-old has proven she can go two turns, but that was on grass. Now she needs to do it on dirt. Her works have been great and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is 29% second off the layoff.
Race 7: #2 Sky Preacher (NL)
Not sure winning in this comeback race is the top priority for trainer Doug O’Neill, but it’s tough to ignore who this son of Sky Mesa lost to last time he was in the these days: American Pharoah, Calculator and Texas Red. Now that is the definition of a KEY race. This 3-year-old has a win over the course and jockey Tyler Baze knows him well.
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FIRST RACE: 1. Vocalist, 2. Sidepocket Run, 3. Cin City Lady, LONG SHOT: Lethal Story.
SECOND RACE: 1. Next Right, 2. Mr. Itkins, 3. Willy Be Wild. LONG SHOT: Mr. Pete Got Even.
THIRD RACE: 1. The Gomper (best bet), 2. St. Joe Bay, 3. Iancol. LONG SHOT: Prospect Park.
Trainer Ron Ellis rarely wins first time out, but he did with this son of Sky Mesa, THE GOMPER (4-5), and then came back with a good second to a good sprinter named Serbian Syclone. However, going two turns is really what this 3-year-old wants to do and a big win here could mean a trip on the Kentucky Derby trail.
FOURTH RACE: 1. Regally Soul, 2. Oligarch, 3. Sacred Ovation. LONG SHOT: Los Bambinos.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Something Awesome, 2. Nowalking, 3. The Custodian. LONG SHOT: J Serino.
SIXTH RACE: 1. I Heart You, 2. Chia Love, 3. Swiss Jet. LONG SHOT: Lob City.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Shopping Savannah, 2. Susan B Good, 3. Carrick Bay. LONG SHOT: Sweet Boss.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Ruby N Diamonds, 2. Ski’s Copper Penny, 3. Quick Navigator. LONG SHOT: Profit Motive.
Off a pair of third-place finishes at the level, this 4-year-old filly, RUBY N DIAMONDS (6-1), gets a huge jockey change from C. Aragon to Edwin Maldonado, who is known as one of the better speed riders on the circuit. From the outside post, Maldonado should be able to get the jump on the competition and put them away early.
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Thursday’s top choice winners: 3 (Bad Ju Ju $4.60, first race; Rattataptap $5.60, third; Spring Action $4.40, fourth)
Thursday’s second choice winners: 2 (Whiskey Wild $4, second; Wicked Heat $14, seventh)
Thursday’s third choice winners: 1 (Silent Ruler $6, eighth)
Thursday’s long shot winners: 1 (Humoristica $19.40, fifth)
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 http://www.horseracesnow.com.
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