Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Hollywood Park opinions for Friday, Dec. 6

Race 5: #4 Pretty Storm

This 2-year-old filly drops to her lowest level ever ($30,000 maiden claimer) and gets a huge jockey change from apprentice Irving Orozco to Joel Rosario. The daughter of Primal Storm has shown speed every time out and today should be no different.


Race 8: #11 Very Thankful

This race is a split of the fifth race and looks just as tough. This 2-year-old filly is by McCann’s Mojave, who unfortunately died earlier this fall. Right after his death, his horses have started to come around first time out. Trainer Jack Carava isn’t know as a first out winner or working well with 2-year-olds but he has done in the past. Plus he puts speed jockey Martin Pedroza aboard. Look for a send from the gate.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Note: Won’t have full handicap this week due to surgery Thursday.

Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Hollywood Park opinions for Thursday, Dec. 5

Race 6: #11 California Jade

This 2-year-old gelding drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and trainer Bob Hess Jr. is 30% (3-for-10) with that move. Corey Nakatani takes over to ride and should show speed from the gate.


Race 8: #9 Rambling House

This looks like a tough $30,000 maiden claimer for 2-year-olds and we’ll try to get a price with this first-timer by Bertrando. Trainer Dean Pederson has won 27% of his first starts and 40% with debuting maiden claimers. He has teamed up with jockey Martin Pedroza before and Pedroza likes to send them from the gate.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Note: No full selections the rest of the week. Carpal tunnel surgery Thursday morning. See ya next week.

Sunday’s top choice winners: 3 (Street Car $8.80, fifth race; Seek Again $12.40, sixth; Wild Dude $6.80, ninth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 2 (Magestic Stinger $4.40, second; Dress Code $14.80, third)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Secretsatmidnight $7.20, seventh)

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)

Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

HRTV finally coming to Del Mar, sort of

Finally, HorseRacing Television (HRTV) will be able to show the races from Del Mar beginning next summer.

For years, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has had an exclusive agreement with TVG, but the California Horse Racing Boasrd had other ideas.

“The CHRB wanted this to happen,” said Josh Rubinstein, senior vice president, development for the DMTC on Thursday. “We were fine with it as long as TVG was, too. They were our partner.”

After two weeks of negotiations, an agreement was announced at Thursday’s CHRB meeting.

“Everyone will be probably compensated,” said Rubinstein, as both HRTV/Xpressbet and TVG are also in the advance deposit wagering business, too.”The more people that receive the Del Mar product, the better.”

What’s to be determined is whether HRTV personalities will actually be on the Del Mar grounds?

The simple answer is probably not.

The agreement will likely be like the one currently in place at other Southern California tracks.

At Santa Anita, HRTV is on-site while TVG just talks and shows the races from its studios in Santa Monica. At Hollywood Park, TVG is on-site while HRTV talks about the races from Arcadia.

Whatever the case, at least horse racing fans will have a choice of which network they want to get their handicapping information from. Todd Schrupp/Simon Bray vs. Laffit Pincay III/Kurt Hoover.

Rubinstein did add TVG would continue to handle the inter-track wagering show like it has for the last few years.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Hollywood Park picks for Thursday, Nov. 21 (updated, OFF THE TURF))

Hollywood Park is off the turf today and tomorrow due to rain. Handicap accordingly.


FIRST RACE: 1. Cinco de Mario, 2. Dragon Dance, 3. Educated Guess. LONG SHOT: Friends With Macy.


SECOND RACE: 1. Another Flashback, 2. Key Vista, 3. J and S Express. LONG SHOT: Oscillator.


THIRD RACE: 1. Peggy Sue’s Loose, 2. Tiz Zoe Cee, 3. Little Unusual. LONG SHOT: Hot and Pleasing.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Full’s Kris S. (SCRATCHED), 2. Midnight Casanova, 3. Chocolatier. LONG SHOT: Anzeau.

We’re taking a bomber here in this 5-year-old gelding FULL’S KRIS S. Trainer Richard Baltas is 39% with the sprint-to-route move and that’s what we have here. He’s also 24% with maiden claimers and 20% with routes. This horse is bred to get a distance of ground and didn’t run all that bad in his one time around two turns. FULL’S KRIS S. has been scratched.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Sacred Ovation, 2. Afternoon Sun, 3. Talk the Walk. LONG SHOT: Zippingaroundtown.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Handsome Dennis, 2. Magic Daddy, 3. Money Clip. LONG SHOT: I Buy Gold.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Gutshot Straight, 2. Motown Men, 3. Master Chef. LONG SHOT: Newfound Gold.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Marino Mizer (best bet), 2. Angel Charge, 3. Attempt. LONG SHOT: Bringon the Wain.

Jockey Agapito Delgadillo could have ridden a maiden special weight dropper (ANGEL CHARGE) in this race, but decides to stick with this 3-year-old gelding MARINO MIZER, who is dropping from a maiden claiming $40,000 to MC $20,000. That’s quite a drop and this one showed plenty of speed last time. Might have been facing a lot better. Look for a winning run here.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Hollywood Park picks for Friday, November 8

FIRST RACE: 1. Autumn View, 2. Air of Royalty, 3. Teacher Teacher. LONG SHOT: Swiss Heart.


SECOND RACE: 1. Dunmore East, 2. Private Bounty, 3. Guidopanzini. LONG SHOT: Toss the Dice.


THIRD RACE: 1. Joyce and Me, 2. Toomanytomatoes, 3. There Is No Limit. LONG SHOT: Always a Chance.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Charisma Code, 2. Johns Journey, 3. Oneandonlyloveman. LONG SHOT: Prince of Paris.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Sultry Season, 2. Only Josie Knows, 3. Joeandbetty’sbaby. LONG SHOT: Sallyana.

Our Eyes: It looks like trainer Mike Pender has been pointing for the beginning of this final meet in Inglewood as he has five horses entered the first two days. This 3-year-old filly was claimed out of a runner-up effort at Santa Anita and moved up in class. Pender is 23 percent first off the claim and this filly has her only synthetic win over this surface.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Brown Boss, 2. Christopher Street, 3. Volkonsky. LONG SHOT: China Prince.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Oliver’s Tale, 2. Imperial Fortune, 3. Justa Runner. LONG SHOT: Wild Media.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Sushi Empire (best bet), 2. Costamar, 3. Kazam. LONG SHOT: Lethal Story.

Trainer Eoin Harty gets this 2-year-old filly SUSHI EMPIRE to stretch out around two turns after two sprint efforts, one down the hill at Santa Anita. This daughter of Empire Maker should relish the extra distance in a very tough maiden grass race. Jockey Corey Nakatani, who riding the turf as well as anyone in Southern California, retains the mount.

Thursday’s top choice winners: 2 (Eddies Curl $3.60, fourth race; Miss Well Molded $5.20, seventh)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 1 (Katey Pie $6.80, eighth)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 1 (Cyclometer $5.60, second)

Thursday’s long shot winners: 2 (Full Consent $9.40, first; Graeme Crackerjack $10.80, sixth)

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Breeders' Cup, Del Mar, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Breeders’ Cup 2014: Fair Santa Anita track needed both days

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

First, let me state, I enjoyed covering almost every minute of last weekend’s Breeders’ Cup.

Put me in the category of the Breeders’ Cup should be in California every year —- whether it be Santa Anita, or maybe the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club some year down the line. I think the weather outweighs a lot of negatives.

Then, again, I understand that a historic track like Churchill Downs should also be in the rotation every three or four years. As for the East, forget about it. No more, Monmouth Park monsoons. I really don’t care if owner Mike Repole keeps his horses in Todd Pletcher’s barn in New York because The Cup won’t come back to Belmont Park.

The one negative in my mind for Santa Anita is its racing surface.

I found Santa Anita president Keith Brackpool’s comments to Ed Zieralski of the San Diego Union-Tribune to be out of touch.

“I haven’t slept in six days,” Brackpool said. “Look, we’ve been blessed with the weather. We had great fields, great races, fair races. Standing here in the paddock before the last, this is the best Breeders’ Cup I’ve seen in years.”

Keith, did u watch Friday’s races? Or even Thursday’s races? What was fair about them?

When I arrived on Thursday, it was obvious the Santa Anita track was a paved highway for inside speed. The jockeys took notice and acted accordingly.

On Friday, it was more of the same. Would the winners still have won on a fair track? Maybe, but we’ll never know.

According to at least one media report I read, BC officials were concerned and told Santa Anita officials that. The affect was immediate, as those of us who were still working after the races on late Friday afternoon saw with our own eyes. The tractors were out working the inside of the track. They didn’t stop for a reported 10 hours.

Saturday’s surface was fair to all horses, speed types and closers. The best horses won. There’s no doubt in my mind.

The problem is that handicappers, people who bet their money and make this game go round and round, didn’t know what to expect until they saw some results.

Saturday’s track should have been Thursday and Friday’s track.

Trainer Bob Baffert said a week before the event he was concerned about the surface because it changed on a “day-to-day basis.” He was right and Santa Anita needs to take measures to have a fair surface all the time and especially at Breeders’ Cup 2014.

Surfaces can’t change from day to day. That’s a recipe for injuries and deaths.

Unfortunately, BC 2013 had two horses suffer broken legs. Centralintelligence suffered one on Friday and had surgery on Sunday. Baffert’s nice 2-year-old filly Secret Compass suffered one in the Juvenile Fillies on Saturday and had to be euthanized.

Del Mar track officials and trainers have told me through the years that their biggest fears for catastrophic injuries always came at the beginning of the meet because horses were changing surfaces from Hollywood Park to the seaside oval.

Did Santa Anita’s working of the track surface overnight result in Secret Compass’ death and jockey’s John Velasquez’s injuries (he was aboard the filly and had to undergo emergency surgery to have his spleen removed)? We’ll probably never know, but it’s something to ponder.

I hope to be at BC 31 in 2014 at Santa Anita. I also hope the track is safe and fair.

Now for a little bookkeeping from last week as we got behind on posting the results of our picks:

Thursday’s top choice winners: 3 (Pasalm Sixteen $6, first race; Sinfully $7.40, third; Koast $8.40, fifth)

Thursday’s second and third choice winners: 0

Thursday’s long shot winners: 2 (Majestic City $32.40, sixth; Bright Town $18.80, eighth)


Friday’s top choice winners: 2 (Chriselliam $15.80, ninth race; Beholder $7.60, 10th)

Friday’s second choice winners: 1 (Heir of Storm $77.60, second)

Friday’s third choice winners: 1 (Pure Loyalty $10.80, first)

Friday’s fourth choice winners: 1 (Goldencents $9.60, eighth)

Friday’s long shot winners: 0


Saturday’s top choice winners: 5 (Richies Party Girl $15.60, first; Dank $5, fifth; Mizdirection $7.40, seventh; New Year’s Day $23, eighth; Mucho Macho Man $10, 12th)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 4 (Pontchatrain $6.60, third; Magician $27, ninth; Secret Circle $7, 10th; Wise Dan $3.60, 11th)

Saturday’s third choice winners: 1 (Zeewat $12, second)

Saturday’s fourth choice winners: 0

Saturday’s long shot winners: 1 (Ria Antonia $66.60, fourth)