Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, July 19

Preview: Trainers Doug O’Neill and Jerry Hollendorfer, who were mediocre in 2017, dominated on opening day, winning the first seven races between them. Give their horses an extra look, especially O’Neill, who gets hot and then cools off.

Trainers to watch
PHIL D’AMATO: Tied for the Del Mar training title last summer with 18 wins and his stable has only gotten stronger since then. He is a monster on the turf with 12 wins and 11 seconds from 66 starters. This summer look for improved numbers on the dirt and with younger horses.

RICHARD BALTAS: He tied D’Amato for the crown a year ago. Surprisingly, he beat D’Amato on the grass, leading all trainer with 13 winners on the green. One area of weakness is first-time starters so stay away from them.

PETER MILLER: Last summer wasn’t the best for the Carlsbad resident who annually starts a ton of horses at the seaside oval. He had more than twice has many seconds and thirds (24 and 16) as wins (15). No doubt he wants to turn those numbers around. Don’t be afraid of horses showing San Luis Rey Downs works because he has a portion of his stable there. Miller was second in dirt wins and victories by 2-year-olds. He does a lot of damage with claimers and maiden claimers, but you often don’t get a square price.

MARK GLATT: He had a really good summer under the radar last year, finishing tied for third in the standings with Miller (15 wins) from far less starters (68). He also is sneaky on the grass with eight wins from 37 starts. Betting on all of Glatt’s starters would have produced a flat-bet profit, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

DOUG O’NEILL: It will be a race to see who starts more horses this meet: Miller or O’Neill. The O’Neill barn gets a lot of horses from J. Paul Reddam and a lot sired by Square Eddie so watch for that combination. O’Neill was tied for third in dirt wins (nine) and grass can be a weakness. However, look at turf sprints because in 2016 O’Neill did well in that category.

OTHERS: Bob Baffert has his second Triple Crown winner in four years but like American Pharoah, Justify won’t run at Del Mar. Baffert led all trainers with 12 dirt wins, with half of them coming from 2-year-olds. He is also usually strong in the sprint and handicap divisions. The best betting option is “the other Baffert.” When he has two horses in the same race, bet the one with the higher odds plus bet an exacta box of his two horses. … Jerry Hollendorfer had just five winners a year ago but he got hot during Santa Anita and might be back to his old self. Watch out for his 2-year-olds, especially the fillies, one of which (Brill) is running on opening day. … Michael McCarthy, the former Todd Pletcher assistant, is starting to get better stock after finishing last summer for third in dirt wins (nine). According to Mazur’s book, McCarthy produced a huge $73 flat-bet profit. … Simon Callaghan is another younger trainer to watch after he had seven 2-year-old winners in 2017. … Steve Miyadi is also good with 2-year-olds (four wins) and first-time starters (three of 11). … Jim Cassidy, the life-long New York Yankees fan, is 7-for-13 in turf sprints the last three years with a profit of $137, according Mazur’s book. … Tom Proctor, who trains mainly for Glen Hill Farm, is a whiz on the turf and he went 6-for-15 at 2017 meet for a flat-bet profit, but don’t expect any large prices because his horses get bet.

FIRST RACE: 1. Watch Me Burn, 2. Jellybeankristine, 3. No Thanks Erik. LONG SHOT: Lakerzwin.

SECOND RACE: 1. Gutsy Effort, 2. Welldidyougetit, 3. Latitude. LONG SHOT: June Two Four.

THIRD RACE: 1. PASTIME (best bet), 2. G Q Covergirl, 3. Painting Corners. LONG SHOT: Invested Prospect.
Let me just say this up front there is no way we are getting the 12-1 morning line on No. 8 Pastime in today’s third race. Trainer Victoria Oliver brings a small string to Del Mar almost every year from Kentucky and always seem to win at a good price, but the word is already out on social media. That being said Oliver is 4-for-11 at Del Mar with horses off a 31- to 60-day layoff like this filly and the average winning price is $20, according to Jim Mazur’s The Del Mar Handicapper 2018.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Robin’s Love, 2. Cylinders, 3. Lil Bit Dangerous. LONG SHOT: Go Smiley Go.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Memorable Election, 2. Rockaway, 3. Ivy Mike. LONG SHOT: Master Ruler.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Magic Musketier, 2. Andesh, 3. Inscom. LONG SHOT: Soltero.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. Secret Spice, 2. Moonshine Memories, 3. Show It N Moe It. LONG SHOT: Treasuring.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. Majorie E, 2. Venue, 3. Oh Pretty Woman. LONG SHOT: Unusual Gold.


Top choice winners: 2 (Shivermetimbers $4.60, sixth race; Brill $3.40, seventh)

Second choice winners: 1 (Super Duper Cooper $6.40, ninth)

Third choice winners: 3 (Eighty Three $10.60, third; Dichotomy $5.40, fourth; Ann Arbor Eddie $20, fifth)

Long shot winners: 1 (Jimmy Chila $7, second)

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, Oct. 13

THIRD RACE: #6 Earring (2-1)
I don’t normally like betting favorites, but the way I look at this filly is that she can be a single in the Pick 5 and a single to start off your Pick 6. Trainer Tom Proctor is one of the best with turf horses. This 4-year-old finished third to better at Saratoga. Proctor is 21% with shippers and good turf jockey Drayden Van Dyke rides like he normally does for Glen Hill Farm/Proctor.

FIFTH RACE: #8 Gogoula (20-1)
Going to take a shot with a big bomb here. Go back in the past performances and you will find this filly has run down the hills before in a minor stakes and she wasn’t disgraced. She takes a drop in class and had trouble at the start in her last. Worth a flyer.

SEVENTH RACE: #3 Popular Kid (5-1)
I’ll be honest here: I hope my friend Jeff Bloom wins with #2 Kona Dreams but he is a 3-year-old facing older and he’s been done in by speed duels in his last two races. And there is a ton of speed and pressers in this race. Therefore I was looking for a closer. I consider #9 Quality Line, but he just doesn’t seem to want two turns. Then I saw Popular Kid. Look two races back to what Kent Desormeaux did in just missing on the Del Mar turf. He took the horse back and that’s exactly what he needs to do today.

EIGHTH RACE: #1 Air On Fire (10-1)
The “other” Mandella. Trainer Richard Mandella has the morning-line favorite in Milhaud (5-2) and this first-time turfer. Air On Fire is a son of Unbridled’s Song, who gets 13% winner first time on the turf. He has a big work showing and jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over. A Mandella exacta box would seem to be in order.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Thursday, July 27

PREVIEW: Looks like another tough card and a single ticket in the Pick 6 will return more than $400,000 so better look ta Races 3-8 very carefully.

FIRST RACE: 1. Cupid’s Beau, 2. Zarqa Star, 3. Strong Values. LONG SHOT: Seal Six.

SECOND RACE: Lea’s Reward, 2. Bellasario, 3. Tenthousandreasons. LONG SHOT: My Carmela.

THIRD RACE: 1. Exclusively Ours, 2. City Storm, 3. Interrogator. LONG SHOT: Oopper Wallah.

FOURTH RACE: 1. Lucky With You, 2. Rule Number Eight, 3. Raul Rosas. LONG SHOT: Vegas Vic.

FIFTH RACE: 1. Mac McLovin, 2. Oh Man, 3. Rocky Rogue. LONG SHOT: Lucky Romano.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Golden Light, 2. Spin Me a Kiss, 3. Afewency. LONG SHOT: Moonshine Annie.

SEVENTH RACE: 1. She’s a Warior, 2. Plastered, 3. Mended. LONG SHOT: Mangita.

EIGHTH RACE: 1. TWEETING (BEST BET), 2. Tiz Bailee, 3. Tiz My Love. LONG SHOT: Pantsonfire.
We hit with a Glen Hill Farm grass horse on Wednesday and we’re looking for another here. This 3-year-old filly is running at her sixth different track and she is dropping from the straight maiden ranks to a maiden claimer for the first time. Gary Stevens rides for trainer Tom Proctor, who is 36% with the MSW-MC move. The daughter of Uncle Mo has a good work locally and could be a decent price.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, Feb. 4

Preview: At the starting of the race wee, trainer Tom Proctor was tearing it up on the turf with 8 wins from 16 starters. Derek Ryan has 4 grass wins followed by Jamie Ness, Robert Smith and Arnaud Delacour with 3 wins each. On the other end of the spectrum, Peter Wasiluk is 0-for-14, Anthony Rini is 0-for-12, William Bradley 1-for-15, Christophe Clement 1-for-13 and David Hinsley 1-for-13. Keep it in mind.

Race 3: #4 Divine Change (5-2): This filly has been running on the grass and facing better, but trainer Dale Bennett wants her maiden broken so he drops her to her lowest level ever and tries 7 furlongs on the dirt. Bennett is 30% going route to sprint and he’s 47% with jockey Pablo Morales at the meet.

Race 7: #6 Great Harbour Cay (8-1): Trainer Jamie Ness and jockey Edwin Gonzalez have been tearing it up, winning 40% of their entries at the meet. At this morning-line this is too good to pass up. Ness is 22% second off the layoff.

Race 8: #10 Tether to Reality (5-1): Joan Scott is a good trainer. She got this gelding to the finish line first in his debut at 5 years old. He is bred to run long and Harlan’s Holiday gets 13% first time winners on the grass.

Race 10: #1 Celebrity Warrior (10-1): Leading jockey Daniel Centeno takes the mount on this class dropped for trainer Derek Ryan, who is 25% with horses the first time in his care.

Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions on Wednesday, April 6

Preview: There is no rain the forecast until Thursday so the grass should be good dot go on the card, which is starting to notice a lack of entries with three races with just 7 entries and one race with 6. Leading jockey Antonio Gallardo might be breaking out of a slump with a few wins over the weekend.


Race 3 – Tam

#7 Saturday Storms (5-1): This mare comes out of key race where three horses have come back to win plus jockey Scott Spieth and Aldana Gonzalez continue to be a good combo. Gonzalez has been 25% when dropping a horse in class in the past here.


Race 6 – Tam

#2 Spider John (6-1): This colt is owned and trained by Tom Proctor and there is a key jockey change here as he gets Ronnie Allen Jr. to ride. They are a 31% combo at the meet and there is a good work showing.


Race 7 – Tam

#2 In a Momentsnotice (9-2): Trainer Anna Lee has started just nine horses at the meet with this mare being that one winner. Jockey Antonio Gallardo was aboard for it and Lee is 25% when taking a horse from a route to a sprint.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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

Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Sunday, Feb. 21

Preview: Not a bad card. The smallest field is in the first with just seven horses. Trainer Tom Proctor has won 3 of his last 9 starters while his usual jockey Brian Pedroza is 3 for his last 10 starts. Big long shots on Friday’s card. Let’s hope it continues.


Race 1: #6 Misty Steps (15-1)

 Trainer Anthony Granitz has done well here in the last in dirt route races. This filly is trying two turns for the first time in a long time, but Granitz is 14% going sprint to route. This 4-year-old has Brisnet’s best late pace rating.


Race 6: #2 Glencoe Girl (turf only) (12-1) 

Trainer Graham Motion tried to get this filly on the turf first time out but it was taken off and she still finished third on the dirt. The race is under her belt and now Motion adds Lasix and he’s 23% first time Lasix. The sire Giant’s Causeway is 9% first time turf.


Race 7: #4 Jersey Blue Giant (6-1) 

This gelding has won 5 of 7 on the main tack here. Trainer Joe Woodard is 25% third off the layoff and jockey Angel Serpa keeps the mount.


Race 8: #6 Captain Kitten (turf only) (12-1)

This 3-year-old broke his maiden at first asking on the turf at Delaware Park. Trainer Steve Epley Jr. brings him down for his first start of 2016 and he is 27% with horses off a 90-plus day layoff and he gets good turf jockey Daniel Centeno.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter