Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Oct. 12

FIRST RACE: 1. Coilette, 2. Marrazano, 3. Square Peggy. LONG SHOT: Time for Kisses.

SECOND RACE: 1. Twirling Tiger, 2. Top of the Game, 3. Sunset Seven. LONG SHOT: Smokin B.

THIRD RACE: 1. Muskoka, 2. Fay Dan, 3. Go for a Ride. LONG SHOT: Camps Bay.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Miss Lady Ann, 2. Claudelle, 3. Jaccat. LONG SHOT: Diamond of Value.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Majestic Gigi, 2. Miss Kitness, 3. Roadrunner’s Honor. LONG SHOT: Crazy Speighty.

This is a tough maiden race and a win by almost any 2-year-old would surprise me. This might end up being a key race so keep track.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Overjoyed, 2. Gingham, 3. Matera, 4. Rare Find. LONG SHOT: Dolci.

Like the fifth race, this is a tough MSW race for 2-year-olds and they are fillies here going two turns. To me jockey Mike Smith and his agent hold the key to this race. Smith rode all three of the fillies in our top three, but he opts for OVERJOYED, trained by Neil Drysdale over GINGHAM (Bob Baffert) and MATERA (Dan Ward/Jerry Hollendorfer). OVERJOYED debuted on the turf the last day at Del Mar and took money at the windows. She broke poorly but came running in the stretch and has the best late pace rating from Brisnet. Baffert puts apprentice J.C. Diaz Jr. abaord GINGHAM from the rail so that means to me Baffert wants the filly sent out of there. MATERA cost $1.4 million at auction and will be trying two turns for the first time. She’s bed by Tapit so distance should be no problem. DOLCI gets hot-riding Abel Cedillo for the Mike McCarthy barn, which has to break out of its slump sooner or later. Finally, RARE FIND comes from the team of jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Richard Mandella. The filly may be ready to go in her debut.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Just Grazed Me, 2. S Y Sky, 3. Don’t Sell. LONG SHOT: Gypsy Blu.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Shear Class, 2. Unicorn, 3. Cover Version. LONG SHOT: Surreptitious.

NINTH RACE: 1. Moody Jim (best bet), 2. Wound Tight, 3. M Town Gem. LONG SHOT: North County Guy.

God luck.

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, Feb. 13

Preview: Great card. All one had to do was look at the jockeys scheduled to run (Javier Castellano, John Velazquez, Julien Leparoux, Jose Lezcano) to know it’s a big stakes day at Tampa. Four stakes on card so should be some prices, hopefully.

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Race 2: #6 Quick Coconut (6-1) 

This is a first-time starter from the Gerald Bennett barn, which is 29% with debuting maiden claimers. Jockey Ronnie Allen Jr. rides and he is 12-for-24 with Bennett over the last 60 days.

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Race 4: #7 Ms. Scarlet Fever (6-1) 

This 3-year-old filly has never been worse than fifth in five races and that was a stakes race where she was over her head as a maiden. This is a tough race, but trainer Joe Arboritanza is 4-for-7 with horses cutting back in distance.

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Race 6: #5 Mata Mua (turf only) (15-1) 

It isn’t often that you get a morning-line like this on trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Javier Castellano. McGaughey is 2-for-2 this winter shipping in to Tampa and Castellano got to know this filly last time at Gulfstream Park when she showed speed and tired going longer.

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Race 10: #3 A Lot (turf only) (10-1) 

 Trainer Bill Mott ships this son of Tapit in for this race. Mott takes the blinkers off and he’s 23% with that move. This 4-year-old finished third by a neck in the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park. The big difference today is he’s moving from an outside post to inside, where his speed can be rationed better by Jose Lezcano.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Friday, Sept. 4

FIRST RACE: 1. Tiz Pleasant, 2. Briana Jean, 3. Atlantic Slew. LONG SHOT: And in the End.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Gunslinger, 2. Silver Torch, 3. Commander King. LONG SHOT: Baby Blake.
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THIRD RACE: 1. Yana, 2. Enduring Erin, 3. French Press. LONG SHOT: Queenofhercastle.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. #8 DREAMOLOGIST (5-2) BEST BET, 2. Redheads Rule, 3. Yaffe. LONG SHOT: Nashoba’s Candy.

This filly showed speed in her debut while finishing third in a key race where the top two finishers have come back to win. Trainer Richard Mandella os 32% going from dirt to turf and this 3-year-old is bred to love the distance by Tapit and the fabulous filly Dreaming of Anna.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Found Money, 2. Smokey Image, 3. Viviendo El Sueno. LONG SHOT: Quorum of Joy.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Set of J’s, 2. Caminetto, 3. Serbian Syclone. LONG SHOT: Inkling.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. #2 Blue Ratio (7-2), 2. Zerxes, 3. Juansagain. LONG SHOT: Simplicityizgenius.

It could be a big night for trainer Richard Mandella and jockey Flavien Prat as they team up here again. This gelding showed speed against better and drops to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks. He might hold a class edge here.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

Thursday’s top choice winners: 2 (Scarlet Emerald $5.20, third race; Sir Cal $5.40, fourth)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 0

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Karma King $8.80, fifth; Vartan $20.60, eighth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, May 23

Race 5: #2 Maximinus (4-1)

Jockey Flavin Prat had is choice of horses in this race and picks this 4-year-old. The gelding pressed the pace in his last at this level but steadied at the top of the stretch.

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Race 8: #9 Rocko’s Wheel (6-1)

This 3-year-old makes his debut on the turf. Trainer Phil D’Amato is 26% first-time turf and the sire Grazen is 30% first-time on the green. Jockey Joe Talamo keeps the ride.

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Race 9: #3 Magic Mark (10-1)

Trainer Ron Ellis is 38% in non-graded stakes so he’s worth a look in this spot.

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Race 10: #1 Silver Spirit (8-1)

The son of Tapit closed some ground last time, but trainer Julio Canani, who is 34% third off the layoff, shortens him up to a mile. Jockey Alex Solis had a trouble trip last time and needs to avoid trouble from the rail here.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Saturday, March 14

FIRST RACE: 1. Perfect Set, 2. Jackson Sundown, 3. Fonz. LONG SHOT: Fast Mast.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Satin Cinnamon, 2. Bert’s Baby, 3. Easter Lillian. LONG SHOT: Sparkling Peg.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Sudden Rumor, 2. Sir barclay, 3. Como Mi Padre. LONG SHOT: Jedi Mind Trick.

Trainer Brian Koriner has had a tough meet (0-for-14), but he claimed this gelding SUDDEN RUMOR (4-1) two back, moved it up in class and now drops still above claimed level. Koriner is 2-of-8 going turf to dirt and this 4-year-old finished second at this level three back.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Vocalist, 2. Grey Girl Gone, 3. Spy Girl. LONG SHOT: Council Rules.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Velvet Mesquite, 2. Demonica, 3. Go West Marie. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Gussie.

This mare VELVET MESQUITE (9-5) is one of our favorites as she has five wins down the hill on the turf course. She broke slowly last time and lost all chance, but jockey Mike Smith sticks around for trainer Blake Heap.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Kings Adventure, 2. Coolington, 3. Takem by Surprise. LONG SHOT: Sidepocket Champ.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Skylander, 2. Fighter Squadron, 3. Corinthian’s Song. LONG SHOT: Mobilized.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Cassatt (best bet), 2. Dame Dorothy, 3. Warrne’s Veneda. LONG SHOT: Tiz Midnight.

The older filly and mare division on the dirt isn’t much on the West Coast so trainer Larry Jones ships this 4-year-old CASSATT (3-1) for this Grade I event. There is no secret here: jockey Kerwin Clark will go to the front and take this daughter of Tapit as far as she can go.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Qui Bear, 2. Zip N Bayou, 3. Show Stealer. LONG SHOT: Madam Aamoura.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 1 (Underhill Drive $3.80, third race)

Friday’s second choice winners: 1 (Short Heat Wave $5.40, sixth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 0

Friday’s long shot winners: 2 (J and S Express $18, fourth; K Thirty Eight $12.20, eighth)

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Friday, Feb. 20

Race 3: #3 Lord of Love (turf only) (8-1)

This gelding was facing tougher in New York, even if it was state breds. Finished sixth in Tampa debut off two-month layoff for trainer Anthony Granitz. Look for better effort for jockey Fernando De La Cruz in this spot.

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Race 5: #2 Black Eagle (turf only) (12-1)

Trainer Graham Motion is 26% first time Lasix and 16% first time turf and that’s what we have with this son of Tapit out of a War Chant mare. Worth a shot at the price.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Friday, Dec. 26

Race 1: #8 Lightning Quick (9-2)

Trainer Kathleen O’Connell has gotten off to a fast start at the meet, mainly with horses shipping in from Gulfstream West. This 2-year-old filly should relish the extra distance, being by Thunder Gulch and O’Cpnnell is 21% with second-time starters.

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Race 4: #5 Divining Rod (7-2)

Trainer Arnaud Delacour tried to get this son of Tapit on the grass in his debut, but it got taken off the turf and he won anyway at Laurel. So now he tries to get on the turf again and Delacour is 29% with horses that won their last race.

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Race 9: #1 Ward Three Art G (5-1)

Trainer John Rigattieri has shipped down from Suffolk Downs and put up three wins already. This 3-year-old gelding had trouble at the start in his last race and come out of a key race. Jockey Dyn Panell knows this horse well, having won three times on him.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos Race Course opinions for Friday, Dec. 12

Check track conditions as it’s suppose to rain pretty good. Los Alamitos cancelled training for Friday morning in anticipation of the storm.

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Race 1: #1 Maid Easy (4-1)

Jockey Kayla Stra will have to gun this 2-year-old from the inside post, but the daughter of Top Hit is bred for speed. Star is 39% with trainer Kory Owens and won a race last week. There are no world beaters in here.

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Race 4: #6 Lady Tapit (5-1)

Daughter of Tapit received an education in her Santa Anita debut. She broke slow, but passed horses in the stretch to finish fifth for trainer John Sadler and jockey Tiago Pereira. She has been working well since that race and Sadler is 19% sprint-to-route.

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Race 6: #8 Sir Samson (8-1)

Popped and stopped and was pulled up in debut. However received decent action (9-1) in that debut, which featured Dortmund and that race has produced three winners so far. Has been working well since that race and Elvis Trujillo takes over for trainer Brian Koriner.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Thursday, April 3

FIRST RACE: 1. Swan Street Lady, 2. Broadway Bells, 3. Indian Fields. LONG SHOT: Blind Dreams.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Sweetrayofsunshine, 2. Vicki Victoria, 3. Clearly Confused. LONG SHOT: Valarta.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Our Pure Creation, 2. Quizzical, 3. Tiz Molly. LONG SHOT: Peppy Bolly.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Mavericks Gun (best bet), 2. Take a Risk, 3. Goyan. LONG SHOT: End of Time. 

MAVERICKS GUN, a son of Officer, has been racing way above his class level in his last three races (Starter allowance twice and MSW once) and now he finally drops to the bottom of the maiden claiming ranks for the first time. Seems to have some tactical speed and at least one decent workout since his last start.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Bobby Flay, 2. Nahem, 3. Cook Inlet. LONG SHOT: Macias.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Mahalo Princess, 2. Rossi Reserve, 3. Fourthornsnoroses. LONG SHOT: Secret Genius.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Ginger Tap (turf only), 2. Feline Forum. LONG SHOT: Scooter Bird. LONG SHOT: Sweet Red Cat.

Trainer Neil Drysdale and jockey Rafael Bejarano rarely hook up with just six rides the last two years, but they have won twice (33%). This 4-year-old daughter of Tapit, GINGER TAP, makes her third start off the layoff and seems to be rounding into form.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Backseat Blonde, 2. Shakeitupbetty, 3. Gouyen. LONG SHOT: Charming Starlet.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Saturday, Feb. 22

First off, let me just say this is a horrible Saturday card. Almost every other card at the major tracks this weekend are better than this one. Good luck.

FIRST RACE: 1. Salsita, 2. Soar Home, 3. Queen Mad. LONG SHOT: Veronica Bay.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Do Some Magic, 2. Brave Act, 3. Mahogany Run. LONG SHOT: It Is Living Water.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Sri’s Red, 2. Room for Me, 3. Frannie’sspirittoo. LONG SHOT: Georgia’s Niece.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Tap the Magic (best bet, 2. Burns Turn, 3. Julio’s Gold. LONG SHOT: Joeandbetty’sbaby.

The 4-year-old daughter of Tapit, TAP THE MAGIC, drops into a claimer for the first time and returns to turf sprinting. She broke her maiden going short on the turf at Hollywood Park two years ago and after a string of route races, she tries the downhill turf course for the first time. Flavin Prat has won on this course and the filly should be plenty fit for the upset.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Zuzu’s Petals, 2. Sidebar, 3. Elegant in Silk. LONG SHOT: Lets Get Frisky.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Baruta, 2. One Time Only, 3. Somethingabouther. LONG SHOT: Deity.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. I Don’t Care Who, 2. Avare, 3. Golden Itiz. LONG SHOT: Carlsbad Mountain.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Ambitious Brew, 2. Lakerville, 3. Summer Hit. LONG SHOT: Ain’t No Other.

It was tough to pick against Lakerville, but AMBITIOUS BREW, a 4-year-old gelding, is a perfect 2-for-2 on this downhill turf course. He has a win at the meet against open competition and now drops in with Cal breds. Journeyman Brice Blanc takes over for Mike Smith, who is out of town, but he knows how to ride on the turf.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Profire, 2. End of Time, 3. Spectacularjourney. LONG SHOT: Love Forever.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Incline Village $3.60, fifth race; Senator Bob $5.60, sixth)

Friday’s second choice winners: 3 (Vicki Victoria $3.60, fourth; Bobby Flay $8.40, seventh; Among the Stars $4.80, eighth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 2 (Marla Hooch $6.60, first; Sir Macho $5.40, second)

Friday’s long shot winners: 0

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