Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Thursday, Nov. 27 (Bing Crosby Season)

Happy Thanksgiving and don’t forget first post is 11 a.m.


FIRST RACE: 1. May B, 2. Inspired Wisdom, 3. Kings Adventure. LONG SHOT: Watch It Buster.


SECOND RACE: 1.Champion Risk, 2. Windy Forecast, 3. Xoxo. LONG SHOT: Stealth Drone.

CHAMPION RISK (6-1), a 2-year-old filly, broke her maiden over this track in July and came back with another win at Santa Anita. She has speed and decent works since her last race for trainer Tim Yakteen and jockey Tyler Baze.


THIRD RACE: 1. Burning, 2. Curlin Iron, 3. Royal Tale. LONG SHOT: Stauffenberg.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Peaches n’ Brandy, 2. Albany Candy, 3. Where Is My Mind. LONG SHOT: Emerald Bay.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Colonel Joan (best bet), 2. Odisseia, 3. Aguafria. LONG SHOT: Royal Temptress.

COLONEL JOAN (6-1), a 3-year-old filly, won over this turf course earlier in the meet and moves up in class. She has been out of the money just once in five grass tries. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens picks up the mount for trainer Eoin Harty.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Alfa Bird, 2. Nowalking, 3. Little Curlin. LONG SHOT: The Custodian.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. The Piazza Man, 2. Finnegans Wake, 3. Holiday Star. LONG SHOT: Irish Surf.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Pat the Bear, 2. Dream Police, 3. Sky Heart. LONG SHOT: Sunbeamsfromheaven.

 @Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 3 (El Nino Terrible $6.60, sixth; Dancinthenightaway $3, seventh; Jomelo $5.20, ninth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 3 (Guy Code $6.60, first; Whoyougonnacall $8.40, third; Big Macher $4.80, eighth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (Zanbo $4.40, second)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Grandstand $4.60, fifth)

Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Big changes coming to Del Mar

With the evolution of the Southern California racing calendar due to the loss of Hollywood Park, there will be big changes at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, it was announced today.

Change No. 1, will be a Thursday opening day this season (July 17) due to a late closing of the fair and the change in surface from Los Alamitos’ dirt to Del Mar’s Polytrack. The extra day will give horses another day of training over the synthetic surface. In the past, many fatalities have occurred when the circuit moved from Hollywood Park to Del Mar so track officials are trying to avoid that.

This will be the first time since 1999 the track has opened its summer season on a Thursday. The previous times were 1969 and 1956.

This year’s meet will end on Sept. 3, a Wednesday, but it will likely be the last Wednesday closing in the history of the track.

Del Mar announced its 2015 summer dates will be Wednesday, July 15, to Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day). The track gains an extra week of racing (41 days instead of 37 due to the calendar).

According to sources, the Labor Day closing will likely remain the norm, instead of having a dark day (Tuesday) and then closing with the traditional closing day on Wednesday, including the Grade I Del Mar Futurity for 2-year-olds.

Here’s hoping executive vice president/racing Tom Robbins makes the Futurity the last race on the card. Robbins has talked in the past about running stakes at the end of the program but has been overruled by the operations department. Maybe a new tradition can be started.

Some details on Del Mar’s new fall meet were released.

While first post in the summer will remain 2 p.m., except on Fridays (4 p.m.), in the fall the first race will be at noon, except on Thanksgiving (11 a.m.).

Del Mar’s first fall meet will be Nov. 7 to Nov. 30. The meet will be 15 days long with a Friday opening and traditional Sunday closing. Del Mar will race Thursday-Sunday the other weeks of its meet.

“Our fall race meeting starting this year will be totally separate from our summer session,” said Del Mar president and CEO Joe Harper in a press release. “They will be two different animals. We know our summer meet is a winner; we’ve proven it over and over again. And we expect our autumn run can be special, too, in its own way. With the backing of our horsemen and all our many racing fans in the San Diego area, we think we can put on a first-rate show here in the fall and help to keep racing in Southern California strong and successful.”

In 2015, Del Mar gains an extra week in the fall, opening on Oct. 28 in hopes of gaining the Breeders’ Cup although the chances of that happening are highly unlikely at this point. Churchill Downs seems to be the frontrunner in 2015 after Santa Anita has hosted the event several years in a row. Del Mar’s best chance might be in 2016.

Breeders’ Cup officials have been told Del Mar would have to run any 1¼ mile races on its new turf course would need to be contested at 1 3/8 mile due to the configuration. According to sources, BC officials don’t have a problem with that.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Del Mar will race on Thanksgiving in 2014

The children are back in school and everyone has returned to their Monday-Friday routine after last week’s Thanksgiving holiday.

One thing to count on next year is that the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will be racing on Thanksgiving Day, said Craig Dado, senior vice president/marketing, on Tuesday.

“Yes, we will race, probably with an 11 a.m. first post,” said Dado.

Del Mar will be hosting its first inaugural fall meet from Nov. 6 to Nov. 30. Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 27.

“Some tracks have done very well on Thanksgiving,” said Dado. “Hollywood Park used to do very well during the Marge Everett era.

“In Year 1, we’re not expecting great things, but we’re going to try some fun things.”

Dado said nothing is set in stone, but Del Mar is kicking around things such as a children’s 1K run in the morning.

“People don’t usually sit down to eat until 2 or 3 p.m.,” he said. “We’ll have 11 a.m. first post so what’s wrong with going to the races on Thanksgiving?”

Dado said Del Mar is still working on the “branding” of its fall meet.

“We really want to differentiate it from the successful summer meet,” he said. “We want to make sure it has its own character, feel and personality.”

Dado said Del Mar will keep some of the names of several of the Hollywood Park fall stakes races, but would change most of them.

“Once you see the new branding, the new names of the stakes races will fall into place,” he said.

Dado was unsure whether Del Mar would keep Hollywood Park’s Turf Festival intact, but that turf racing would be an important part of the fall program.

“Luckily, we have this new fancy turf course that will have all of these different settings to use,” Dado said.

Del Mar is in the process of replacing its old turf course (see here for live cameras )  and it will be ready for the 2014 summer meet.

The circuit will go to Los Alamitos for three weeks following Del Mar’s fall meet before Santa Anita opens on Dec. 26. It means turf horses will have nearly four weeks off, if they don’t run up north at Golden Gate Fields.

“People will certainly want to get a grass race in before the end of Del Mar,” said Dado.

As for the rest of the new meet, Dado said it should be “interesting.”

“It won’t be the size and the scope of the summer meet, but it should be strong,” he concluded.

Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Hollywood Park picks for Friday, Nov. 29 (UPDATED 3, 5, 9 OFF TURF)

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really like Friday’s card, but what do I know?


FIRST RACE: 1. Warrensgoldenyears, 2. Charisma Code, 3. Regal Randy. LONG SHOT: Head South.


SECOND RACE: 1. Judge Carr, 2. Tale Be Told, 3. Tribal Smoke. LONG SHOT: Turn On the Brites.


THIRD RACE: 1. Mr. Bossy Pants, 2. Koast, 3. Dixieland Blues. LONG SHOT: Regally Soul.



FOURTH RACE: 1. Perfect Tango, 2. Kevin’s Kool Kat, 3. Glad’s Gals. LONG SHOT: U R My Candy Girl.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Journey On, 2. Level Headed, 3. Passionate Diva. LONG SHOT: High Jinks.



SIXTH RACE: 1. Truelee Scrappin, 2. Sandys Diamond, 3. Hurry Home Clover. LONG SHOT: Close to the Edge.


SEVEN RACE: 1. Summer Front (best bet), 2. Silentio, 3. Winning Prize. LONG SHOT: Bright Thought.

Just throw SUMMER FRONT’s last race at Keeneland which was moved from the turf to the Polytrack. When you do that he is 2-for-3 on the grass this year and Eastern-based trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Joe Bravo aren’t coming out for the Thanksgiving leftovers. The son of War Front ran over this course last November (sixth in Hollywood Derby) so he is familiar with the surroundings. Will be closing from the back on the turn.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Heir Kitty, 2. Atta Boy Pete, 3. American Act. LONG SHOT: Say Ow.


NINTH RACE: 1. Practising, 2. Kitten de Pere, 3. Elite Eight. LONG SHOT: Parade Bound.


@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 1 (Inner Groove $4.20, first race)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 3 (Majestic Stride $3.40, fourth; Procurement $7.20, seventh; Elusive Luci $18.60, eighth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 2 (Wings of Mojave $11, fifth; In Dad’s Honor $6.20, sixth)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 1 (Mesana $7, second)

Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Hollywood Park picks for Thursday, Nov. 28

Of course, the big question is why do tracks continue to run on Thanksgiving. Can’t they give everyone associated with the sport at least the afternoon off to spend with family and friends?

Thanksgiving is for football and eating, two of my favorite things. LOL

But seriously, would it have killed Hollywood Park to race on Wednesday and not run Thanksgiving?


FIRST RACE: 1. Inner Groove, 2. Brown Is Beige, 3. Sunland Vintage. LONG SHOT: Lia Juliana.


SECOND RACE: 1. Sea John’s Spirit, 2. Dreamy Blues, 3. Humor Me. LONG SHOT: Mesana.


RACE 3. 1. Highly Rated, 2. Dreditcardroulette, 3. Woebegon, 4.With a Miracle. LONG SHOT: Blushing Martha.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer claimed this 4-year-old filly HIGHLY RATED and promptly moves her up in class so he must like what he sees. She showed speed and will have to do so again from the rail. Jockey Rafael Bejarano retains the mount. Highly Rated is “stuck” in the race and likely to be scratched Thursday morning.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Anillo, 2. Majestic Stride, 3. Handsome Mike. LONG SHOT: Chosen Miracle.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Hurryhank (best bet), 2. Thunder Cole, 3. Wings of Mojave. LONG SHOT: Good Company.

Trainer Andy Mathis found that this 3-year-old gelding likes the turf in his last race. He finished second in open maiden company at Golden Gate. Mathis now ships south to run in a Cal-bred maiden event. He gets top turf rider Joe Talamo to accept the mount and draw a nice cozy express. This is only the son of Stormin Fever’s third career start so there’s plenty of room for improvement.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Too Obvious, 2. Curvy Kitten, 3. In Dad’s Honor. LONG SHOT: Princess Genevieve.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Fury Kapcori, 2. Procurement, 3. Rosengold. LONG SHOT: Den’s Legacy.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Princess of Pearl, 2. Elusive Luci, 3. Kid Rollins. LONG SHOT: Heavens Stairway.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 4 (Dunmore East $4.20, first race; Indianapolis $8.20, fourth; Rousing Sermon $6.60, seventh; Luxuriance $10.60)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 0

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (My Secret Affair $10.40, sixth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 0