Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Sunday, July 24

Preview: After the first five days of the meet through Friday, the jockey’s race was very crowded. At the top was Flavien Prat with seven wins from 36 mounts followed by Santiago Gonzalez (6-33), Tyler Baze (5-33) and Kent Desormeaux (5-27).

The track was a paved highway on Saturday and there was a no passing lane up. It was amazing to see how dumb some jockeys were by not going to the front out of the gate. The reason there is a Pick 6 carryover is due to the main track and jockey Chad Lindsay, who went to the front and wasn’t caught at more than 20-1. Keep it in mind when handicapping.

Race 1: 1. Back Beauty, 2, Stir Fry, 3. Aiming Straight. LONG SHOT: Esmeralda Belle.

Race 2: 1. La Berma, 2. Fanticola, 3. Crowley’s Law. LONG SHOT: Avenge.

Race 3: 1. Storm the Shore, 2. Atypique, 3. Supervisor. LONG SHOT: Above Board.

Race 4: 1. Hard Aces, 2. Quick Casablanca, 3. Seve’s Road. LONG SHOT: Engeria Fribby.

Race 5: 1. #5 Super Echelon (4-1), 2. Bourque, 3. Three Eclipse. LONG SHOT: Irish Goodbye.
This is the first 2-year-old grass race of the year in Southern California and trainer Keith Desormeaux has two entered here. Therefore it only makes sense that he gave his brother, jockey Kent, his choice of mounts and Kent ends up here. This son of Gio Ponti got off to a slow start last time and Keith Desormeaux is 18% with first-timer routers.

Race 6: 1. Coyote Fly, 2. Senator Bob, 3. Ain’t No Other. LONG SHOT: Justonemorething.

Race 7: 1. Dream Team 2. 2. Indygo Bo, 3. Fly Lexis Fly. LONG SHOT: Midnight Destiny.

Race 8: 1. #7 Poshsky (5-1), 2. Alert Bay, 3. Avanti Bello. LONG SHOT: Boozer.
This gelding got up in time last time against Cal breds and he gets some extra ground here. The 6-year-old has a 5-2-1-1 record on the Del Mar turf. Jockey Fernando Perez is 28% with trainer Peter Miller, who always comes out firing at Del Mar.

Race 9: 1. Dangerfield, 2. Orejas, 3. Farley. LONG SHOT: Midnight Pleasure.

Race 10: 1. #5 Opsec (12-1), 2. Zinvor, 3. Unusual Taste. LONG SHOT: Macro Access.
This 5-year-old was claimed two races back by young trainer Shelbe Ruis, probably with Del Mar in mind. This horse is 2-0-1–1 at Del Mar and is 5-2-1-1 at this 1 mile distance on the turf. Has a couple of good works coming into the race and might be ready to pop at a price.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 2 (Metaboss $11, fifth race; California Chrome $3.60, ninth)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 1 (Mokat $16.40, seventh)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 1 (Tooluckysupermoon $25.40, eighth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, July 15 (Opening day)

Preview: It’s Christmas Day in July as Del Mar opens. This is the second year of the dirt main track and the new widened turf course. Just a reminder it’s been 3 weeks since turf horses race in Southern California. Last summer Rafael Bejarano let the meet with 14 grass winners followed by Flavien Prat with 13. However, at the recent Santa Anita meet, Prat lapped the field with 22 grass wins and scoring 34% of the time.

Race 1: 1. #3 Successful Runner (3-1), 2. Hadfunlastnight, 3. Saddle Soar. LONG SHOT: My Secret Affair.
Trainer Chris Hartman makes his first appearance at Del Mar, but make no mistake this guy can train with a 24% win percentage mostly in the Midwest. This 7-year-old has tactical speed, which is key on the main track.

Race 2: 1. Radish, 2. I’ll be Around, 3. Veiled Heat. LONG SHOT: Cougar Creek.

Race 3: 1. Glory Bound, 2. Rye, 3. Ace Deuce. LONG SHOT: Preacher Roe.

Race 4: 1. Nextdoorneighbor, 2. Drover Crazy, 3. Madelyn’s Wild Max. LONG SHOT: Cougar Country.

Race 5: 1. #5 La Boheme (6-1), 2. Cover Song, 3. Zip N Bayou. LONG SHOT: Grandma’s Hands.
We have already extolled the virtues of jockey Falvien Prat on the turf, who is on this filly for trainer Richard Mandella, who is 21% with beaten favorites and 32% in allowance races. Mandella and Prat were 18% at Del Mar last year.

Race 6: 1. Warren’s Honey Bee, 2. Turf Club Queen, 3. Silver Oak. LONG SHOT: Wondrous Cat.

Race 7: 1. #2 Grazen Sky (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Westfest, 3. Forest Blue. LONG SHOT: Missing Groom.
This colt owns the top Brisnet Late Pace Rating by nine points so I can see jockey Tyler Baze letting the speed go and closing in the lane. Trainer Steve Miyadi is 23% with beaten favorites.

Race 8: 1. #8 Arcature (8-1), 2. Dressed in Hermes, 3. Moonlight Drive. LONG SHOT: Diplodocus.
Tough to tell what happened in this 3-year-olds last race as he finished eighth. Maybe it was the longer distance as he shortens up here for Prat and Simon Callaghan. Prat had his choice of several in here and takes this son of Archarcharch. The trip will be key here as a full field of 14 is entered.

Race 9: 1. Got Even, 2. Dr. Dorr, 3. Chief of Staff, LONG SHOT: Mad Bum.

Race 10: 1. #9 Langahm (9-2), 2. Airlite, 3. Scuderia. LONG SHOT: Alaskan Son.
This is a first-time starter that cost over $400K at auction. I love this Australian sire Fastnet Rock and his offspring should love the turf and the distance. Trainer John Sadler is 21% with horses going a route first time and jockey Mike Smith rides.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Fair Grounds, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, March 26 (Plus Fair Grounds)

Preview: Sort of a tough card with maiden races and the like and fields aren’t all that full. Just have to make the best of it. Plus I added the two big races from the Fair Grounds.

                                

Race 3 – SA

#2 Yana (6-1): The turf stretchout didn’t work for this mare last time so trainer Bill Spawr cuts her back on the dirt and he is 38% going from route to sprint plus he has his main man, Agapito Delagadillo aboard and they are 27%.

                   

Race 9 – SA

#5 Red Buttton (12-1): It could be a big day for the Bill Spawr barn as he brings this gelding back off a poor turf effort. Jockey Joe Talamo jumps on and he’s 24% with Spawr over the last year.

 

THE FAIR GROUNDS

 

Race 9 – FG

#8 Land Over Sea (3-1): After five straight losses to superstar Songbird, trainer Doug O’Neil has seen enough and decides to flee Southern California. This daughter of Bellamy Road has finished second to Songbird twice this year. O’Neill gets John Velazquez to ride. We’ll never get this morning-line.

                              

Race 10 – FG

#9 Dazzling Gem (12-1): Trainer Brad Cox has said he isn’t running in the Louisiana Derby for the heck of it and we believe him. This 3-year-old is a perfect 2-for-2 and while jockey Shaun Bridgmohan must work out a trip from this bad post, we think he can and the price is right.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

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Fair Grounds, Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, March 26 (plus Fair Grounds)

Preview: The rains hit Friday so I didn’t handicap any of the turf races because I don’t think they will stay on. If the track is wet, check out mud pedigrees. Also it’s that time of the year when trainers get horses ready for other tracks like trainer R. Gary Patrick, who stables at Indiana Downs, and has a pair of layoff horses today. Doubt if they are ready to win, but keep track.
Race 8: #5 Fancy Man (5-2): This colt finished second against better and trainer Dale Bennett drops him. Bennett is 30% third off the layoff and jockey Pablo Morales is 33% with Bennett.
Race 10: #1 Invasion Point (4-1): Just missed against better and takes a drop but jockey Daniel Centeno stays aboard.
THE FAIR GROUNDS
Race 9: #8 Land Over Sea (3-1): After five straight losses to superstar Songbird, trainer Doug O’Neil has seen enough and decides to flee Southern California. This daughter of Bellamy Road has finished second to Songbird twice this year. O’Neill gets John Velazquez to ride. We’ll never get this morning-line.
Race 10: #9 Dazzling Gem (12-1): Trainer Brad Cox has said he isn’t running in the Louisiana Derby for the heck of it and we believe him. This 3-year-old is a perfect 2-for-2 and while jockey Shaun Bridgmohan must work out a trip from this bad post, we think he can and the price is right.
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter
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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Thursday, March 17

Preview: The weather looks good for the week so we won’t have any issues with the track like we did last week. There’s a HUGE Pick Six carryover on the Thursday card and that’s all you need to say in Southern California.

 Race 3: #1 Oh Great Idea (9-5)

This 3-year-old drops into a claimer for the first time and gets a huge jockey switch from Eikleberry to apprentice David Lopez. Trainer Peter Miller takes blinkers off (22%) and he’s 22% in maiden claimers. Look for a send job from the rail

                            

Race 4: #7 Algorrhythmic (3-1)

Just throw out that last race on the dirt and go back to that first race down the hill. If this filly does that she will win for jockey Brice Blanc, who jumps back on.

                   

Race 8: #3 Turf Club Queen (4-1)

This mare ran a pretty good race off a more than three-year layoff. She should be tighter for this race and trainer Lloyd Wicker, who is 26% with maiden claimers, switches from an apprentice (Pena) to a journeyman jockey (Hernandez).

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, March 12

Race 2: #4 Harp N Halo (4-1): This mare likes to win races and she’s 2-for-3 over this track in the past. Trainer John Terranova ships her in and Terranova is 20% with shippers. On top of that he gets Irad Ortiz Jr. to ride.

                              

Race 5: #4 Elusive Speed (9-2): Trainer Jamie Ness might be known for winning with claiming horses but he can win with first-time starters (24%), too. He also team up with Tampa riding champ Antonio Gallardo and they are a 34% proposition.

    

Race 8: #6 Family Meeting (8-1) (turf only): This 3-year-old filly was facing tougher in Southern California and won the Grade III Durante at Del Mar. Trainer Tom Proctor can get them ready off the layoff (21%).

                      

Race 11 (TAMPA BAY DERBY):  #3 Outwork (12-1): Trainer Todd Pletcher is playing catch up with this 3-year-old. This is only his third career race but he’s a perfect 2-for-2. Pletcher is 29% with a first-time router and he’s out of Uncle Mo and an Empire Maker mare. Plus jockey John Velazquez comes North for the ride.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 20

Preview: Interesting card with the highly anticipated debut of Ziconic, a son of Zenayata, set to run in what looks like a tough maiden race in the third.

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Race 2: #4 Decisive Triumph (turf only) (8-1) 

Trainer Graham Motion doesn’t have a win at the meet yet, but he’s too good not to score eventually. This son of Kitten’s Joy should love this distance and surface. Motion adds Lasix and he’s 23% first time he does that plus he adds leading jockey Rafael Bejarano.

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Race 3: #2 Fast Munny (6-1)

This is the race with Zenyatta’s son, Ziconic, plus two horses trained by Bob Baffert and one trained by Jerry Hollendorfer so this could turn out to be a key race. We’re going with the son of Munnings and trained by Craig Dollase, who is 26% with first-time starters. I know the connections are high on this 3-year-old colt, but like I said it’s a tough heat. Flavien Prat rides and he’s 2-for-4 with Dollase.

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Race 7: #9 I’m Zonin (8-1) 

This gelding is in the money 60% (3 for 5) at this distance. Trainer Richard Baltas is 30% going sprint-route-sprint meaning that this 4-year-old should have plenty of stamina. Veteran jockey Stewart Elliott gets the mount.

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FAIRGROUNDS

Race 11 (Grade II Risen Star Stakes: 1.#4 Bistraya (15-1), 2. #10 Airoforce (5-2), 3. #13 Candy My Boy (15-1), 4. #6 Gun Runner (6-1). LONG SHOT: #7 Its All Relevent (15-1).

It’s time for the 50-point races on the Kentucky Derby trail so a win in any of these races pretty much gets you in the starting gate on the first Saturday of May. We’re going with an upset here as Bistraya ships in off a maiden victory in Southern California. Jockey Edwin Maldonado comes along for the ride. Candy My Boy is interesting but that post is a killer.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

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