Preview: The fields aren’t full and the card isn’t great. Hopefully we have better racing on the weekend.
Race 6 – SA
#2 Hennythelovepenny (5-2): This filly showed plenty of speed at Los Alamitos and now trainer Peter Miller cuts her back around one turn. Miller is 22% when going from a sprint to a route. Jockey Edwin Maldonado sticks around.
Race 8 – SA
#2 Spark Plug Katie (3-1): This filly drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and trainer Jeff Mullins is 35% with that move. Apprentice jockey Brayan Pena stays aboard.
Usually when the big money is on the line, you can count on the top trainers at Santa Anita to be in the winner’s circle.
Such wasn’t the case last week, which was highlighted by California Chrome’s win in the Santa Anita Derby.
The top five trainers in the overall standings were a staggering 1-for-61 last week in Arcadia. That’s right one win out of 61 starters.
Here are the ugly numbers:
Jerry Hollendorfer 0-for-13
Bob Baffert 0-for-7
John Sadler 0-for-11
Peter Miller 0-for-11
Doug O’Neill 1-for-19
Now add in the likes of Tom Proctor (1-for-4) and Mike Puype (1-for-10) for a truly stunning week.
The stars of the week were Javier Sierra, who won three races, and Jim Cassidy (despite his New York Yankees loving ways), who won two races on Sunday.
Miller is in a prolonged slump and hasn’t won a race in at least a month. Better wait until he gets a win or two to start betting him again.
On the jockey’s side, victories were pretty well spread out.
As usual Rafael Bejarano led the way with five wins from 28 mounts. However, I’d bet most people couldn’t come up with the jockey who had the second most victories on the week … that’s right, journeyman Brice Blanc had four wins from 16 mounts. Blanc is more known for winning on the grass, but he won on the dirt, too.
Otherwise, three was the magic number as Joe Talamo rebounded from a winless week to go 3-for-26 followed by Tyler Baze (28 mounts), Victor Espinoza (13), Mike Smith (14), Edwin Maldonado (18) and Gary Stevens (seven) all had three victories.
Speaking of Stevens, he announced on Twitter Tuesday that he wouldn’t be tweeting again until June and the tweet featured a photo of Bayern, who is trained by Baffert and will run in this Saturday’s Arkansas Derby. I’m not sure what that’s about because Stevens has been active on Twitter, but it sounds like he’ll stop corresponding until after the Triple Crown.
Of course, Baffert did Stevens one better as he completely deleted his Twitter account (@midnightlute) apparently on Monday. The only rumor I heard was Baffert had a horse breakdown on Sunday and might have received at least one unkind comment.
But it also appears Bob’s wife, Jill, who has never been shy on social media either has disappeared on Twitter, too. At least, I couldn’t find her handle (@jillbaffert) on Tuesday afternoon.
FIRST RACE: 1. Electric Eddie (best bet), 2. Oh Billy Billy, 3. Bodrum. LONG SHOTS: Pyrotechnics.
It’s about time this son of Square Eddie, ELECTRIC EDDIE, got back to the maiden ranks after running three straight in stakes company. Granted, he’s run well, but’s time to hit the finish line first. This newly turned 3-year-old just finished fifth, 10 lengths behind Shared Belief, who some believe is the best 2-year-old in the country. Mario Gutierrez jumps back on.
SECOND RACE: 1. Socialbug, 2. Sallyana, 3. Caraquista. LONG SHOT: Zia Zia Zia.
THIRD RACE: 1. Tasha’s Courage, 2. Senor Pegasus, 3. Soul Saver. LONG SHOT: Perfectly Legal.
FIFTH RACE: 1. One Time Only, 2. Shrilanka, 3. Laria. LONG SHOT: Kid Rollins.
SIXTH RACE: 1. In Dad’s Honor, 2. A P Pepper, 3. E Equalsmcsquared. LONG SHOT: Senza Fina.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Regally Ready, 2. My Best Brother, 3. No Silent. LONG SHOT: Bio Pro.
REGALLY READY, a 7-year-old gelding, loves this Santa Anita turf course with three wins and two thirds in five tries on it. I’m not sure this is his best distance, but he has won here at a mile before. Little surprised normal barn jockey Corey Nakatani isn’t riding here for trainer Steve Asmussen, but it’s tough to complain with the choice of Mike Smith.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Sidebar, 2. Tres Oros, 3. Teacher Teacher. LONG SHOT: Silk in Silver.
Did you expect a journalist not to pick this horse? Seriously, this 4-year-old filly SIDEBAR ran a good race against straight maidens at Del Mar and now drops back in with maiden claimers. Trainer Bill Spawr puts blinkers on and he’s 50% first-time blinkers and 43% with blinkers on and 38% with maiden claimers. That’s good enough for me.
Second, jockey Tyler Baze returns to the saddle after a suspension for substance abuse. Let’s hope he has his act together in his personal life and on the track.
Lots of scratches early.
FIRST RACE: 1. Rebelution (SCRATCHED), 2. Sunland Vintage, 3. Glad’s Gals. LONG SHOT: Lethal Miss.
SECOND RACE: 1. Govenor Charlie (SCRATCHED), 2. Little Jerry, 3. Fury Kapcori. LONG SHOT: Safety Belt.
THIRD RACE: 1. Joe Carl, 2. Go to the Pulpit, 3. Cook Inlet. LONG SHOT: Romeo Royale.
FOURTH RACE: 1. Right on Schedule, 2. Tommy’s Kid, 3. Atticus Scouts. LONG SHOT: Robertino.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Setsuko, 2. Say Ow, 3. Ever Rider. LONG SHOT: Scorpion Warrior.
SIXTH RACE: 1. Perfecta, 2. Smart N Dreamy, 3. Boller Bomb. LONG SHOT: Ricspretentiousgal.
Interesting jockey switch here on PERFECTA, a daughter of Pleasantly Perfect. Joe Talamo has ridden three of the last four times, not necessarily with great success, so trainer Richard Mandella goes to the red hot Gary Stevens. They are a 40% proposition the last year so why try to fight it.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Betty Bing Bing, 2. Very Thankful, 3. Glorious Rebecca. LONG SHOT: Exclusive Girl.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Rever de Vous, 2. Full Ransom, 3. Sushi Empire. LONG SHOT: Saintly Joan.
NINTH RACE: 1. Apache Ambush, 2. Second Proposal, 3. Goyan. LONG SHOT: Grand Humor.
FIRST RACE: 1. Made to Worship (best bet), 2. Shakeitupbetty, 3. Cause Ur My babe. LONG SHOT: Wired for Fun.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is no slouch when it comes to winning with first-timers (25 percent) and this daughter of Ministers Wild Cat looks live with this bunch. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano will be aboard MADE TO WORSHIP.
SECOND RACE: 1. No Tricks for Jack, 2. Born Lucky, 3. Ghost N Your Heart. LONG SHOT: Amulay.
Trainer Victor Garcia is pretty good sprint to route (27%) and NO TRICKS FOR JACK has a big work over the Santa Anita dirt. This filly got bumped at the start last time and may have prevented a better effort.
THIRD RACE: 1. Modern Empire, 2. Seeking the West, 3. Scarly Charly. LONG SHOT: Perfect Set.
FOURTH RACE: 1. Black Witch, 2. Zanbo, 3. Heat du Jour. LONG SHOT: Fadeintoinfinity.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Brown Is Beige, 2. Princess Suances, 3. Acute. LONG SHOT: Rachels Belle.
SIXTH RACE: 1. Distant Image, 2. Noise of the Crowd, 3. Joeandbetty’sbaby. LONG SHOT: Blushing Martha.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Fashion Plate, 2. Star Sighting, 3. Beverly the Boss. LONG SHOT: Mum.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Moone’s My Name, 2. Gulsary, 3. Customer Base. LONG SHOT: Champagneandcaviar.
NINTH RACE: 1. Mini Candy, 2. Grammy Times Six, 3. Impeccably. LONG SHOT: Mudge (SCRATCHED)
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter
Saturday’s top choice winners: 2 (San Onofre $2.40, second race; Unbridled’s Note $5.00, eighth)
Saturday’s second choice winners: 3 (Ontology $5, sixth; Seeking the Sherif $3.80, seventh; Exotic Behavior $4.20, ninth)
Saturday’s third choice winners: 3 (Tiz Dynamic $6.40, first; Brando the Birdman $8.60, third; Enterprising $5.60, fourth)
FIRST RACE: 1. Big Wags, 2. Admission, 3. Tiz Dynamic. LONG SHOT: Ezio.
This 6-year-old, BIG WAGS, was claimed last time out by Suffolk Downs trainer Michael Catalano Jr., who is wintering Southern California. This gelding is moving up in class and stretching out. He has five lifetime wins at Santa Anita and seven wins going around two turns. Suffolk jockey Tami Piermarini, who has a 42 percent winning percentage with Catalano, will ride.
SECOND RACE: 1. San Onofre, 2. Topper’s Ghost, 3. Life a Riley. LONG SHOT: Memphis.
THIRD RACE: 1. Rocked Twice, 2. Charisma Code, 3. Brando the Birdman. LONG SHOT: Oh Brother Go.
FOURTH RACE: 1. Craftsman, 2. Royal banker, 3. Enterprsing. LONG SHOT: Noble Metal.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Gameboy Luke, 2. Pimpernel, 3. Indian Smoke. LONG SHOT: Garen.
SIXTH RACE: 1. Kozani, 2. Ontology, 3. Number Five. LONG SHOT: Miraglo.
There is no doubt (No. 1) Ontology will be tough to beat after running in six straight stakes races and now returning to the maiden ranks, but this 2-year-old colt KOZANI turned in a great third place effort in his maiden effort. Jockey Corey Nakatani chose this horse over two others in the race so that’s a big plus.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Three Vases, 2. Seeking the Sherif, 3. Tribal Smoke. LONG SHOT: Whilly Pink.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Unbridled’s Note, 2. Handsome Mike, 3. Chips All In. LONG SHOT: Ain’t No Other.
NINTH RACE: 1. Red Barris, 2. Exotic Behavior, 3. Miraculous Mindy. LONG SHOT: Reflective Glory.
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter
Friday’s top choice winners: 3 (Pretzel Logic $5.20, second race; Cool Samurai $5.80, third; Kathleen Rose $3, seventh)
I almost made the prediction on the opening day picks that there would be a Pick 6 carryover going into this Friday card because of the great stakes races, but I didn’t, and there is.
There won’t be a carryover into Saturday. There just are enough quality races or horses running so tread lightly and wait for Saturday and Sunday.
FIRST RACE: 1. For the People, 2. The Mothership, 3. I’m No Patsy. LONG SHOT: Winninginfashion.
SECOND RACE: 1. Pretzel Logic, 2. Chila Ali (SCRATCHED), 3. Tribal Rain. LONG SHOT: Citizen Jane.
THIRD RACE: 1. Cool Samurai (best bet), 2. The Admiral, 3. Icy Ride. LONG SHOT: Rough Passage.
The 2-year-old gelding COOL SAMURAI might have won his debut at Belmont had it not gotten checked in the stretch. Makes first start on West Coast for trainer John Shirreffs and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will take this one two turns for the first time.
FIFTH RACE: 1. Van Dien Avenue, 2. Velvet Mesquite, 3. Sae John’s Spirit. LONG SHOT: Hot and Pleasing.
VAN DIEN AVENUE, a 3-year-old filly, actually broke her maiden at Del Mar, but she was disqualified from the purse money so she has been running against winners. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens rides for trainer Neil French and when a big time rider shows up for a small time trainer look out.
SIXTH RACE: 1. Street Icon, 2. Chitu, 3. Beach Hut. LONG SHOT: Benny Time.
This Jerry Hollendorfer trainee SWEET LULU was up against it in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & mare Sprint. With the No. 12 post, she was forced to send to try and save some ground. She ended up fifth in a tough race. She is back with 3-year-olds today and she will likely send, but at least it is from the rail this time. Jockey Rafael Bejarano regains the mount. He won with her in the first two races of her career.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. No Jet Lag, 2. Tom’s Tribute, 3. Gervinho. LONG SHOT: Procurement.
There are no Wise Dans in this race like there were in the Breeders’ Cup Mile when this son of Johar, NO JET LAG, finished sixth. He’s back with 3-year-olds here and Joel Rosario takes over in the saddle. A return to that Oct. 5 race at Santa Anita makes him awful tough here.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Zee Bros, 2. Central Banker, 3. Demonic. LONG SHOT: Bakken.
NINTH RACE: 1. Confisio, 2. Magna Warrior, 3. New Order. LONG SHOT: Toomuchinformation.
Woodman’s Luck and Corey Nakatani won the finale at Hollywood Park as the Inglewood oval hosted its last race card on Sunday, Dec. 22, before closing the doors for good. The city of Inglewood has approved plans to demolish the “track of lakes and flowers”, and build nearly 3,000 homes on the 238-acre site along with retail outlets, offices, and a park. BENOIT PHOTO
A few quotes courtesy of the Hollywood Park publicity department following the final race at the historic track on Sunday:
Jockey Corey Nakatani on winning the final race on Woodman’s Luck:
“Well, I made history. I won the last race and got the last set of days (he received a three-day suspension from the stewards earlier Sunday) at Hollywood Park. Kind of bittersweet. That was really emotional. It’s hard to really say that much. This has always been such a great place to be. After winning a bunch of races here, it’s hard to see it go. It’s pretty sad.”
Jockey Rafael Bejarano on winning the final riding title:
“It feels great to win the last title. It means a lot to me. When I came back to the winner’s circle, I could hear everyone cheering and I was just so happy.”
Trainer Vladimir Cerin on winning the final race:
“I almost would have taken a four-horse dead heat there and let everyone have a piece of the last race. When they were coming down the stretch, all I could think of is how sad that it was over. I didn’t think he could win from where he was. Nakatani has given us some fantastic rides this meet. I think this is the second photo finish he’s won for us like this. Tama County (a winner Nov. 17) was also owned by (David and Holly Wilson) and he had no chance, like this horse, at the sixteenth pole, but won it. Oddly enough, Gary Stevens won a race for me here on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24, 2000) on a horse named Jingle Bell Hop and that was the last race on the card. It’s almost hard to enjoy the win when you think this is the last race at this race track. When I started training here, I think it took me a year to win my first race and to have it end like this just seems surreal.”
Kudos to Hollywood Park track announcer Vic Stauffer for his final race call in Inglewood. It was great.
“That’s a wrap.”
Saturday’s top choice winners: 3 (Katie’s Garden $5, fourth race; Sensationalize $16, seventh; Swiss Lake Yodeler $3.80, 10th)
Saturday’s second choice winners: 0
Saturday’s third choice winners: 0
Saturday’s long shot winners: 3 (Christopher Street $13, first; Courtside $18.60, second; Anniversary Kitty $14, 11th)
Sunday’s top choice winners: 3 (Handsome Dennis $11.20, fourth race; Moon Ride $4.40, sixth; Koukla $5.60, eighth)
Sunday’s second choice winners: 3 (Maxx the Giant $11.60, first; Woodlandsway $6, second; Califoornia Chrome $6.40, 10th)
Sunday’s third choice winners: 0
Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Jet Blue Girl $5.40, fifth)
Remember everything has to be paid out Sunday, the final day ever at Hollywood Park. Big carryover in the Pick Sux. Good luck.
FIRST RACE: 1. Aqua Revelation, 2. Maxx the Giant, 3. Wicked Finance. LONG SHOT: Apostle Paul.
SECOND RACE: 1. Warren’s Assassin, 2. Woodlandsway, 3. Hugger of Trees. LONG SHOT: Sky Angel.
THIRD RACE: 1. Highly Rated, 2. Love Tale, 3. Prettypriceygirl. LONG SHOT: Warren’s Internet.
FOURTH RACE: 1. Handsome Dennis, 2. Boss of Me, 3. Wistfullee Mine. LONG SHOT: Captain Salt.
FIFTH RACE: 1. One Magical Girl, 2. Mia Isabel, 3. Warren’s Judy. LONG SHOT: Jet Blue Girl.
Jockey Kayla Stra has had a great Hollywood Park meet with limited opportunities and she scored on a bomber again on Friday. Here she picks up the mount on this 4-year-old filly ONE MAGICAL GIRL, trained by Northern California-based John Martin. However, this filly has won before at Hollywood Park and looks to do it again for a 28% winning trainer.
SIXTH RACE: 1. Moon Ride (best bet), 2. Miss Go Free, 3. Frannie’sspirttoo. LONG SHOT: Red Red Door.
Rafael Bejarano is trying to win another riding title and figures to be riding with zeal on the final day at Hollywood Park. Trainer Mike Puype puts blinkers on and drops this 3-year-old filly MOON RIDE to her lowest level ever looking to break her maiden.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Dixieland Blues, 2. Major Magic, 3. Gal has to Like It. LONG SHOT: Relentless Heat.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Koukla, 2. Zensational Beauty, 3. Steal the Lute. LONG SHOT: Mia Luccia.
NINTH RACE: 1. Pulpit Express, 2. Full Instinct, 3. Wings of Majave. LONG SHOT: Volkonsky.
TENTH RACE: 1. Alpine Luck, 2. Pray Hard, 3. Aotearoa. LONG SHOT: California Chrome.
ELEVENTH RACE: 1. Danderek, 2. Depreciable, 3. Poshsky. LONG SHOT: Tommy Danzigger.