Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Tuesday, Aug. 13

Hot and cold
Mark Glatt led all Del Mar trainers last week with an 11-4-0-3 record and is now tied for fourth place in the standings with seven wins for the meet.
Doug O’Neill followed up his monster nine-victory week with a solid 16-3-4-2 mark and leads Peter Miller (11-1-3-4 for the week) by five wins for the meet, 16-11.
John Sadler followed up an 0 for 12 effort in Week 3 with a 10-2-2-0 mark in Week 4 and should be a trainer to watch this week. Sadler likes to win stakes races and there are plenty of those week, headed by the Pacific Classic on Saturday.
The Peter Eurton barn is starting to thaw from its icy start as he was 3-2-1-0 during the week.
Some barns are still struggling. Keith Desormeaux (1 for 22), Michael McCarthy (1-18), Steve Knapp (1-17), Tim McCanna (1-13), John Sherriffs (0-14), George Papaprodromous (0-17), Jim Cassidy (0-14) and Jack Carava (0-14) must be looked at as throw outs in handicapping until they show signs of life.
Miller and O’Neill lead the pack with six winners each on the main track followed by Sadler and Bob Baffert with five wins each. Neil Drysdale, who is known mainly for prowess on the turf, is 2 for 2 on the dirt.
It is pretty amazing O’Neill leads all trainers with 10 victories on the grass. from 42 starts. It wasn’t too many years ago that O’Neill went through a streak of 1 for 76 on the turf, but times have changed.
On the other end, Vladimir Cerin is 1 for 14 on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course while McCarthy if 0 for 17 with just two third place finishes and Patrick Gallagher is 0 for 12.

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 4

Preview: Some rain on Friday, but only one race was taken off the turf which is a good sign for today’s card. At the start of the race week, Jerry Hollendorfer, Peter Miller and Richard Baltas led the way on the dirt with eight wins each. Doug O’Neill was right behind with seven winners. On the other end, Steven Knapp was 0-for-10 followed by Mike Harrington (1-18) and Sal Gonzalez (1-14), all of whom were having trouble winning races.

Race 4: #9 Amer Sista (6-1): Took money in her debut, but was off slow and then in right. Trainer Phil D’Amato puts blinkers on (22% move) and top turf rider Flavien Prat stays on and he’s 24% with D’Amato.

Race 6: #8 Fabozzi (6-1): This gelding is 3-2-0-1 at the distance. The 4-year-old is moving up in class but trainer Mark Glatt is 30% with horses that won their last race and that man Prat rides again on the turf. Prat is 27% with Glatt.

Race 8: #5 Mor Spirit (3-1): Pure and simple that try in the Malibu was a prep for this race by trainer Bob Baffert. This 4-year-old tries older horses for the first time, but Baffert is 27% going sprint to route and jockey Mike Smith stays aboard.

Race 9: #8 Perfectly Majestic (10-1): This gelding has beaten some of these before and has a record of 18-4-5-6 on the grass. Kent Desormeaux gets back on and he has had success with this 5-year-old in the past.

Good luck

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Wednesday, July 27

Preview: For those that haven’t noticed, the main track has been playing to speed. If you get the lead, you win and if you have the lead at the head of the stretch you are long gone. The track was be dug up on Monday after training hours so what that means this week is anyone’s guess. By my count, only three or four closers have won the dirt. Maybe that will change today so be sure to watch the early races.

Race 1: 1. Ipray, 2. Kristinite, 3. Toppers Sunshine. LONG SHOT: Wahine Warrior.

Rac 2: Downside Up, 2. Westmont, 3. Amazing Love. LONG SHOT: Ninety Nine Proof.

Race 3: 1. #6 Ultimate Holiday (6-1), 2. Bendable, 3. Luminance. LONG SHOT: Diabolical Dame.
This race came up tough for a non-winners of two allowance test. This filly has been training lights out as the pair of bullet works prove for trainer Richard Baltas, who is 21% with horses off a layoff of 61 to 180 days.Look for this filly to make one run for jockey Tyler Baze

Race 4: 1. #1 Sirocco Strike (5-1), 2. All Indians, 3. Louden’s Gray. LONG SHOT: Go Vo.
This gelding has been away from the races for more than 18 months, but he has done well at Del Mar before. There is a nice work for trainer Jeff Mullins last week and Mullins is 21% with horses in for a tag for the first time. On top of that, turf wizard Flavien Prat is aboard.

Race 5: 1. She’s a Warrior, 2. Summertimemischier, 3. Leveler. LONG SHOT: Sid the Squid.

Race 6: 1. Kennedie Sky, 2. Brookes All Mine, 3. Do the Dance. LONG SHOT: Watch the Cat.

Race 7: 1. #2 Smokey Image (7-2), 2. Mrazek, 3. Tribal Fighter. LONG SHOT: Taman Guard.
Trainer Carla Gaines got a bad case of Kentucky Derby fever with this 3-year-old and his performances suffered. Now he is back with his friends (Cal breds), where he is 3-for-3 against, including two wins at Del Mar last summer. This race is full of speed so jockey Martin Garcia must exercise patience. Absolutely the toughest race on the card.

Race 8: 1. #3 Mooney Makin Mike (8-1), 2. Alston, 3. Candy Cowboy. LONG SHOT: Ring Collector.
This colt was claimed out of his last race from trainer Doug O’Neill by trainer Steve Knapp. This is the only situation we will play Knapp as he is 47% first off his last 15 claims. This 3-year-old likes to be near the front, which is good on this track and red-hot jockey Santiago Gonzalez takes over.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 4 (Back beauty $4.40, first race; Hard Caes $2.80, fourth; Coyote Fly $18.20, sixth; Dream Team $3.40, seventh)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 1 (Zinvor $14.80, 10th)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long shot winners: 2 (Avenge $21.20, second; Midnight Pleasure $43,80, ninth)

Arlington Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita (plus Arlington Park) opinions for Saturday, July 9

Preview: Interesting card just because there are a pair of 2-year-old stakes. Looking for that Pick 6 and late Pick 4 single? Looking no further than Navy Hymn (4-5) in the sixth race. Don’t see him beaten, but that might be the kiss of death. And don’t forget that 2015 Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line (also 4-5) makes his return to the races in the fourth and trainer Simon Callaghan has admitted he isn’t fully cranked up.

Race 5 – SA: #2 Tap It All (8-1): This filly cost $800K at auction in March and she has finished second in all three of her maiden races this year for trainer Doug O’Neill. By Tapizar, I think this 2-year-old has been wanting more ground and she gets an extra half-furlong here. Sure, she’s a maiden but O’Neill is 23% with beaten favorites and new rider Santiago Gonzalez takes over.

Race 7 – SA: #1 Big Break (4-1): I’m not the biggest fan of trainer Steve Knapp and in fact in most cases if Knapp wins, I lose, but here is the one category Knapp excels in: beaten favorites. He is 41% with those kind of horses. This mare is moving up in class, but her early speed will be a weapon from the inside post.


Race 4 (Modesty Handicap): 1. Faufiler, 2. No Fault of Mine, 3. Al’s Gal, 4. Marypop.

Race 6 (The Stars and Stripes): 1. Roman Approval, 2. Quiet Force, 3. The Pizza Man, 4. Bullards Alley.

Race 7 (Arlington Handicap): 1. Kasaqui, 2. Messi, 3. Roman Approval, 4. Only in America.
Be careful because ROMAN APPROVAL and QUIET FORCE are cross-entered in the Stars and Stripes plus the Arlington Handicap.

Race 8 (American Derby): 1. Oscar Nominated, 2. Two Step Time, 3. J R’s Holiday, 4. The Rouge Diesel.

Good luck.

Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Jan. 22

Preview: Just an OK card with two races on the turf. Speaking of the turf, jockey Rafael Bejarano is 6-for-25 on the green followed by Flavien Part, who is 5-for-29. Those struggling on the green are leading rider Santiago Gonzalez 2-19, Mike Smith 0-17 and Tyler Baze 0-22.


Race 3: #1 You Know I Know (6-1) 

Trainer David Jacobson is still looking for his first win this winter after sending some horses West from New York. This gelding was claimed off Keith Desormeaux and Jacobson is 26% first off the claim and 22% going a sprint to a route .


Race 4: #1 Warrensdollarsigns (4-1)

Any horse claimed off Steve Knapp is a play for me. New trainer Steve Miyadi is 27% first off the claim and he is 20% with horses going from sprint to route. Edwin Maldonado gets the mount back and he knows the mare well.


Race 5: #10 Last Resort (8-1) 

Jockey Drayden Van Dyke is underrated on the turf. This post is bad but here’s hoping Van Dyke can figure out a winning trip. Trainer Tom Proctor is 24% off a 61-180 day layoff and 24% going from dirt to turf.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Thursday, August 20

FIRST RACE: 1. #4 Belle Et Bete (5-2) BEST BET, 2. Looking for Money, 3. Sound City. LONG SHOT: Revenue Virginius.

Trainer Phil D’Amato claimed this 3-year-old filly and moves her up, which is a positive sign. D’Amato is 25% first off the claim and 24% with beaten favorites plus he goes to the meet’s leading rider, Rafael Bejarano, and they are 32% together.


SECOND RACE: 1. Dream Police, 2. Power of Hope, 3. Day in the Sun. LONG SHOT: Big Discovery.


THIRD RACE: 1. City of Vengeance, 2. Smack Talk, 3. Rocket Heat. LONG SHOT: Jazzy Josh.


FOURTH RACE: 1. #4 Pulpit Rules (6-1), 2. Some Caan Job, 3. Tequila Mary. LONG SHOT: Miss Lori.

Showed some pace pressure in her last two before taking 10 weeks off. Now she takes the all important drop from MSW to maiden claimers and trainer Steve Knapp is 29% with that move.


FIFTH RACE: 1. #6 Tell Her Yes (8-1), 2. Sheza Eyeopener, 3. Miss Nikki J. LONG SHOT: Midnight Lady.

Trainer Jonathan Wong runs on Northern California circuit but he does have a win at Del Mar. Wong is 56% second off the claim like this 3-year-old filly is. He is 52% on dirt and 29% in route races. Jockey Santiago Gonzalez will have to use her speed in order to get good position going into the first turn.


SXITH RACE: 1. Fast Escape, 2. She’s Too Wild, 3. Golden Bayers. LONG SHOT: One Bye Two.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Saint of Saints, 2. Small Town Cop, 3. Olympic Blue. LONG SHOT: Ice Cream Truck.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Show and Tell, 2. Herbies Thunder, 3. Ladies Man. LONG SHOT: Alston.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Wednesday’s top choice winners:  (Cadet Roni $6.40, first race)

Wednesday’s second choice winners: 0

Wednesday’s third choice winners: 2 (Devil Rising $25.80, fourth; Aaron Again $12.20, eighth)

Wednesday’s long shot winners: 1

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita Park picks for Friday, May 30

Remember first post is 3 p.m. on Friday.

FIRST RACE: 1. Acute, 2. Summers Dignity, 3. Eltoninadress. LONG SHOT: Lady Vivien.


SECOND RACE: 1. Lucky Logan, 2. Big Swag, 3. Show and Tell. LONG SHOT: Keegers.

Trainer Peter Miller is on fire, winning 6-of-13 races last week, and he sends out LUCKY LOGAN, a 2-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit, for the first time here. Miller is 21% with first-time starters and this one has been putting up bullets at San Luis Rey Downs training center. Speed jockey Edwin Maldonado gets on.


THIRD RACE: 1. Midnight Mayhem, 2. Yodeling Honey, 3. Stauffenberg. LONG SHOT: End of Time.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Gia Is a Bella, 2. Citizen Jane, 3. New Nature. LONG SHOT: Belonging.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Fanny Brice, 2. Tribal Peace, 3. I’m No Patsy. LONG SHOT: Divine Way.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Hijra, 2. Warren’s Rosebud, 3. Winning Rhythm. LONG SHOT: Nickels Wild.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Big Break (best bet), 2. Lemon de Oro, 3. Innocent Love. LONG SHOT: Miss Radiance.

Trainer Steve Knapp puts blinkers on BIG BREAK, a daughter of Mr. Big, and we have to assume that is the reason for a pair of bullet works since her last race. Jockey Kent Desormeaux jumps on and he has been getting run out of his mounts since returning to SoCal.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Superboot, 2. Itsgettinhotinhere, 3. Red Globe. LONG SHOT: Navarre.

Red-hot trainer Peter Miller sends out another one here. Miller claimed SUPERBOOT, a gelding, last time out and returns him to the grass, where he ran in England. He also moves up in class. There is also a big work showing since his last race.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Updated Santa Anita picks for Friday, Oct. 4

FIRST RACE: 1.Shand, 2. Elusive Luci, 3. Patriot C H. LONG SHOT: Tizhardtoget.

SHAND faced maiden special weights last time, finishing fourth. Jockey Rafael Bejarano jumps back on the 3-year-old filly, who has a second-place finish over the track.


SECOND RACE: 1. Purim’s Dancer, 2. In the Stars, 3. Minds Eyes. LONG SHOT: A Time to Love.

You could single IN THE STARS, but this looks more like an “ALL” race in horizontal wagers, but PURIM’S DANCER returns from a layoff and she has three wins down the hill.


THIRD RACE: 1. BURNING (best bet), 2. Hobbits Hero, 3. Market Notes. LONG SHOT: Behind the Bossman.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has done this many times over the last few years: go to Florida, purchase a horse that has run and turn into a good horse, if not a superstar. Well, BURNING, a 2-year-old son of Candy Ride, doesn’t look like a surperstar, but who knows down the line. Hollendorfer obviously didn’t pay too much for this colt because he’s running him in a maiden claimer $40,000) for the first time. The key here is Burning’s first race and not his last when he ran off in the post parade, finishing last of six. In his career debut, he was second to Casiguapo, who was second in Saratoga’s closing-day Hopeful and is running in this weekend’s Champagne at Belmont Park. Jockey Edwin Maldonado climbs aboard so look for a send from the gate.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Lia Juliana, 2. Unkept Rendez Vous, 3. Eltoninadress. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Morgan.

This is a wide-open race. LIA JULIANA comes off an OK effort at Fairplex Park and jockey Joe Talamo takes over for trainer Steve Knapp. The due have won 29 percent of their races the last two years.


FIFTH RACE: 1. No Tricks for Jack, 2. Quinnette, 3. Kilted Tilt. LONG SHOT: Sydney’s Darling.

Jockey Agapito Delgadillo and trainer Victor Garcia were hot at Del Mar. Maybe they can recapture that magic with NO TRICKS FOR JACK, who is moving up in class off a Del Mar win. KILTED TILT IS SCRATCHED.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Kana Flavor, 2. Lucky Student, 3. Chumash. LONG SHOT: Run Sophia Run.

KANA FLAVOR finished third in her last at Del Mar as the 3-1 favorite. She will be looking to make amends here with Bejarano taking over for Mike Smith.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Cinco de Mario, 2. Sinfully, 3. Very Unusual. LONG SHOT: Tommy O.

CINCO DE MARIO has never won on the dirt but has a good work over the Santa Anita surface coming into the this race for jockey Mario Gutierrez and trainer Doug O’Neill.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Amp and Adrenalin, 2. Bipartisan, 3. Tap It In. LONG SHOT: Public Defender.

AMP AND ADRENALIN comes out of a key race. The 4-year-old gelding takes a class drop off a second-place finish.

Thursday’s top choice winners: 1 (Llandudno $11, sixth race, BEST BET)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 4 (Frandonjudge $9.80, 2nd; Tuckers Point $7, 4th; Scary Fast $7.40, 5th; Rousing Sermon $8, 7th)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Big Macher $13.20, first; Candy Anniversary $8.20, 8th)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter