Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Friday, Dec. 11

Jockey Antonio Gallardo is off and running with eight winners. Jockey Daniel Centeno is a master on the turf as shown in two wins on Wednesday. Think Inkling will be tough to beat in last but we’re never going to get the morning-line of 9-5 on this Del Mar turf winner. Would be a single for me in all horizontal wagers.

 

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Race 1: #4 Gimmedapurse (9-2) 

Trainer Jason DaCosta is 36% with horses coming off a 46 to 90-day layoff and he is 34% with jockey Fernando De La Cruz. This filly has won twice over this track in four tries and she holds the Brisnet top class rating.

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Race 4: #4 Fancy Henry (9-2)

This gelding makes his debut in the Larry Rivelli barn after racing in the Wesley Ward silks and Rivelli is 26% with horses the first time in his barn. He is also 3-for-7 with jockey Ronnie Allen Jr.

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Race 5: #4 Orcus (3-1) 

Another horse first time with trainer Larry Rivelli as owner Carolyn Wilson has obviously given him a string to run here. This colt drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and Rivelli is 29% with horses off a 90 plus day layoff.

 

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Aug. 15

FIRST RACE: 1. BELLAMY CONCERTO, 2. Carson City Five, 3. Midnight Man. LONG SHOT: Attack.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Freethinker, 2. Hiking, 3. Show Stealer. LONG SHOT: Tiz a Kiss.
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THIRD RACE: 1, Mt Veeder, 2. Beaumarchais, 3. American League. LONG SHOT: Quality Line.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. #6 Carlot Cowboy (6-1), 2. All Squared Away, 3. Broadway Nika. LONG SHOT: The Mad Hungarian.

Just throw this gelding’s last race as he has never won a wet track and that’s what he had last time in addition to be first off the layoff. The 5-year-old has won 6-of-22 on a fast dirt track and jockey Tiago Pereira rides back for trainer Bill Spawr.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Dr. Vincentstein, 2. Public Policy, 3. Justonemorthing. LONG SHOT: Rebel Rebel.
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SIXTH RACE: 1. Toowindytohaulrox, 2. Weewinnin, 3. Jules Journey. LONG SHOT: Surfcup.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Forthenineteen, 2. Plane Lucky, 3. Patriotic Diamond. LONG SHOT: Miles Sister.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. #8 Sunset Glow (best bet), 2. Rattataptap, 3. Prize Exhibit. LONG SHOT: Zipessa.

Race 8: #8 Sunset Glow (3-1) BEST BET

Just don’t think this 3-year-old filly liked the softened turf last time. Think she wants it firm and no rain is in the forecast. Trainer Wesley Ward is 27% second off the layoff and jockey Gary Stevens stays aboard.

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NINTH RACE: 1. #5 Allidoisdreamofyou (8-1), 2. Unblunted, 3. London Legacy. LONG SHOT: Whine for Wine.

This 3-year-old didn’t like the going last race at Churchill Downs and ships out here looking to cash. Trainer Ron Ellis is 36% first time with horses and this one had a good work over the track this week. Look for Fernando Perez to put this one in the race early.

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10TH RACE: 1. Sweet Promises, 2. Artisticdifference, 3. Sweetthancandy. LONG SHOT: Nashoba’s Candy.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 1 (Wanstead Gardens $14.80, seventh)

Friday’s second choice winners: 2 (Brimstoned $8.20, second’ Ticaboo $7, fifth)

Friday’s third choice winners: 0

Friday’s long shot winners: 2 (Curlin’s Fox $6.20, third; Carlos Dangerous $6.40, fourth)

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Sunday, July 19

It appears Del Mar will be on the turf today, but @Jonlindodrf reported this morning workouts on the main track were on the slow side but the sun is out.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Keezheekoni, 2. Gucci Brown, 3. Little Emma. LONG SHOT: Sweet Profit.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Summer Wine, 2. Codacious, 3. Fast Magoo. LONG SHOT: Desert Steel.

Golden Gate horses have done well at the meet so far and this one broke its maiden at first asking on the turf so there’s no telling how good she is. Good turf jockey Corey Nakatani takes the mount for trainer Bill Morey, who is 24% with horses hat won their last race.

THIRD RACE: 1. Light Striker, 2. Dublin Dancer, 3. Toomanytomatoes. LONG SHOT: Sheza Eyeopener.
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FOURTH RACE: 1. War Destiny, 2. Inexcess Again, 3. Disco Boy. LONG SHOT: Juansagain.
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FIFTH RACE: 1. Native Treasure, 2. Dead Easy, 3. Husband’s Folly. LONG SHOT: Unusual Taste.

Jockey James Graham is trying his hand at Del Mar this summer after riding in the Midwest. He’s good on the turf and jumps on this North California shipper for trainer Ed Moger Jr. This son of Tribal Rule likes to be forwardly place so should be in from the bell.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. DREAMY (best bet), 2. Pretty n Cool, 3. C. C. Zipp. LONG SHOT: Albeit.
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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Top Fortitude, 2. Cherubim, 3. Yiannis. LONG SHOT: Snuggley Bear.
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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Sunset Glow, 2. Pammy Whammy, 3. Her Emmynency. LONG SHOT: Paulina’s Love.

This 3-year-old filly was chasing Lady Eli, the undefeated turfer, two races in a row and then lost to Celestine in her last race, which has proven to be a key race. Trainer Wesley Ward ships West and jockey Gary Stevens is more than happy to take the ride on the speedster.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Ultimate Luck, 2. Superboot, 3. Big Hat Charlie. LONG SHOT: Rebel Rebel.
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10TH RACE: 1. Poythress, 2. Second Summer, 3. Air Pocket. LONG SHOT: Box Score.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 2 (Rockin Bayou $8.20, third race; Sweet Mz. Poppet $7.80, fifth)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 0

Saturday’s third choice winners: 1 (Go Long $7.20, seventh)

Saturday’s long shot winners: 2 (Gas Total $4.20, eighth; Dr. Fager’s Gal $5.60, ninth)

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Gulfstream Park, Horse racing, Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos (plus Gulfstream) opinions for Friday, July 10

Race 5: #5 Lazy Daisy May (12-1)

Trainer Molly Pearson Usually puts her horses in the right spots. This filly is dropping to her lowest level ever on this circuit and comes out of a Turf paradise race that has produced three winners. Jockey Scott Stevens (33% with Pearson) rides the 4-year-old back.

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Race 7: #11 Cornbread Red (4-1)

This colt must draw into the race, but if he does watch out. The 3-year-old is coming out of a key race and trainer Phil D’Amato is having a great 2015. D’Amato is 35% with horses coming off a layoff of more than 180 days and this son of Grazen won over the track in December.

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GULFSTREAM PARK

Race 6: #7 Bottle Walk (7-2)

Trainer Wesley Ward is a master with first-time starters (26% debuting maiden claimers) and this is a daughter of Tale of the Cat, who gets 16% first-time starters. Apprentice John Cruz has won 2 of his last 4 races for Ward.

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Race 9: #9 Senshi (5-1)

This son of Pulpit is making his turf debut and the sire is 10% with those kind. Trainer Joe Catanese is 23% third off the layoff and this gelding looks to be on the improve and crying out for two turns. Apprentice Harry Hernandez rides and a five-pound weight break.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Pimlico, Triple Crown

Pimlico Race Course opinions for Saturday, May 16

The Pimlico is here and I’m not going to try to re-invent the wheel. I still think the West Coast horses are the best so here are my picks:

#8 Firing Line (4-1)

#1 American Pharoah (4-5)

#2 Dortmund (7-2)

#5 Tale of Verve (30-1)

Comment: I’m sticking with Firing Line and hope jockey Gary Stevens can get him to switch leads down the lane this time.

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Here are some other races on the card:

Race 1: #7 Mafia Muscle Man (turf only) (6-1)

Trainer Larry Rivelli is based in Chicago, yet he picks this spot for this 2-year-old to make his debut. He also owns the colt and the sire Lewis Michael is 15% with first-time turfers. Rivelli is 27% with first-timers and gets Javier Casellano to ride. Play an exacta box with #8 FINNEGAN (6-5), who is supposed to be trainer Wesley Ward’s next big Ascot thing.

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Race 3: #10 Chiropractor (7-2)

Trainer Tom Proctor is going to have a barn on the East Coast based near Pimlico and starts this Kitten’s Joy first-timer on the turf, where the sire is 17% first-time turf. One of Proctor’s West Coast jockeys, Drayden Van Dyke, rides, but they have been cold lately.

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Race 6: #2 Hooligan (4-1)

Trainer Wesley Ward is almost an automatic play in a 5-furlong turf sprint and here he gets jockey John Velazquez aboard (22% together).

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Race 9: #1 Bocaouva (8-1), #8 Watsdachances (6-1), #9 Token of Love (5-1).

One of the toughest races on the card, BOCAOUVA had a ton of trouble in her last race and drawing the No. 1 hole here is no bargain. Will use all three in all vertical bets.

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Race 10: #7 Gimme Da Lute (3-1)

Trainer Bob Baffert is an amazing 39% with horses going sprint-route-sprint and that’s what this 3-year-old does after finishing third to Competitive Edge in the Pat Day Mile on Derby Day.

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Race 12: #10 Manchurian High (turf only) (15-1)

Jockey Gary Stevens doesn’t need to ride every race so he must have gotten a good story on this gelding to ride for little-known trainer Lilli Kurtinecz. The 7-year-old has won twice over this Pimlico turf course and will be charging down the lane. He also comes out of a key race with three next out winners. This is one of tougher races on the card so go for a price.

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Churchill Downs, Horse racing

Churchill Downs opinions for Friday, May 1

Race 2: #11 Vouch for Kitten (8-1)

Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey like to go to the winner’s circle during Derby week and this 3-year-old filly makes her debut for trainer Wesley Ward and jockey Joel Rosario. Offspring of Kitten’s Joy are 17% first time turf.

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Race 4: #5 Counterfactual (9-2)

This 3-year-old filly had a ton of trouble in her debut at the Fair Grounds. Trainer Tom Amoss has good numbers in all areas and makes a key jockey switch to James Graham as they are 28% together.

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Race 9: #10 Power Alert (5-1)

The favorite in the Shakertown at Keeneland tired in second race off the layoff for trainer Brian Lynch, who is 26% in turf sprints. There is a ton of speed in here so we think jockey Julien Leparoux will come from off the pace and nail them at the wire. The sire Alert is 32% on the turf.

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Race 12: #4 Lunar Gaze (8-1)

Trainer Tom Amoss and jockey James Graham are looking to have a big Oaks Day. This filly pressed the pace in her debut, but had to wait at the quarter pole and lost all chance. Amoss is 31% with second-time starters.

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Jeff Nahill’s Kentucky Oaks top four

#4 Eskenformoney

#12 Stellar Wind

#1 Forever Unbridled

#10 Oceanwave

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Feb. 13

FIRST RACE: 1. Tiz Jolie, 2. Empowering Force. 3. Litigation Road. LONG SHOT: Afleet in Time.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Grammy Times Six, 2. Belle of the Fleet, 3. Warren’s Dixi Bell. LONG SHOT: Quay Factor.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Twinkle Toes, 2. Powerful Girl, 3. Zippinaroundtown. LONG SHOT: So Golden.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Rprettyboyfloyd, 2. Sammy Mandeville, 3. Thesheetsguy. LONG SHOT: Motown Men.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Temple Keys (best bet), 2. Jens de Ville, 3. McHeat. LONG SHOT: Upbeat Tempo.

We’ve always liked this colt, TEMPLE KEYS (4-1), all along and his sire, Temple City. The 3-year-old pressed the pace last time against open maiden and drops in with Cal-breds here. Also Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith takes the mount.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Global Stage, 2. Persuasive Paul, 3. Carlot Cowboy. LONG SHOT: Muchos Besos.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Skylander, 2. Guggenheim 3. Corinthian’s Song. LONG SHOT: Bernster.

This 5-year-old just missed in his debut down the hill and the winner came back to take another race. Mike Smith stays aboard for trainer Wesley Ward, who uses Blake Heap to stable all of his horses on the West Coast and Ward owns this gelding, too. SKYLANDER (3-1) was flattered on Thursday when Tosheen won the last race on Thursday making it a key race.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Ritzy Tags, 2. Oleanderpolarbear, 3. Back Street Cat. LONG SHOT: Big Wave Betty.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Thursday’s top choice winners: 4 (Room for Me $5.20, first race; City State $7.60, third; Toomanytomatoes $9.40, fourth; Rocket Heat $5.20, sixth)

Thursday’s second choice winners: 3 (Holy Lute $3.80, second; Nicegirlsfnishlast $6.80, fifth; Wasted At Midnight $12.40, seventh)

Thursday’s third choice winners: 0

Thursday’s long shot winners: 0

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, Jan. 3

Race 3: #5 Tiz Sardonic Joe (7-2)

This 6-year-old horse has been facing tougher in Kentucky and New York and resurfaces at Tampa, where trainer Wesley Ward has good numbers when he ships in.

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Race 10: #5 I’m a Big Hitter (6-1)

This 3-year-old gelding makes his turf debut after pressing the pace in his debut at Gulfstream West. He takes a drop in class and goes two turns for the first time. Maybe that was the plan all along for trainer Kathleen O’Connell, who keeps leading jockey Antonio Gallardo aboard.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita selections for Friday, Oct. 31 UPDATED (Breeders’ Cup Day 1)

FIRST RACE: Allowance/optional claiming

  1. #11 Intoxicating Move (8-1)
  2. #7 Night Song (3-1)
  3. #8 Hide My Heart (4-1)
  4. #5 Starry Skies (6-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #3 Blingismything

Intoxicating Move has been in the money 6-of-8 times on the downhill turf course with two wins. She just missed last time and gets a preferred outside post. Night Song makes her U.S. debut for trainer Simon Callaghan. She has been away from the races for a year, but Callaghan is 27% with long layoffs and Jamie Spencer, from across the pond, rides and she is coming out of a key race (three next out winners).

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SECOND RACE: Grade II Las Vegas Marathon

  1. #7 Sky Kingdom (5-1)
  2. #9 Cary Street (10-1)
  3. #3 Irish Surf (4-1)
  4. #6 Mystery Train (4-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #8 Volkonsky

Sky Kingdom could just be the start of a big weekend for trainer Bob Baffert. This 5-year-old horse has been off form but he loves these marathon distances. He has three wins from six tries at Santa Anita and could be ready for a big effort. Mystery Train is the real mystery here after showing high speed in the Pacific Classic and Awesome Again. Maybe he wanted to go this far all along.

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THIRD RACE: Golden State Juvenile Fillies

  1. #4 My Fiona (2-1)
  2. #6 Joylicious (12-1) SCRATCHED New pick: #9 Tatum’s Gold
  3. #7 Ashley’s Sassy (3-1)
  4. #1 Stormy Adieu (9-2)

My Fiona has done little wrong in Cal-bred company, having never been off the board in four lifetime starts. Southern California leading jockey Rafael Bejarano takes over for the daughter of Ghostzapper. We might get a clue how the Santa Anita oval is playing in this 7-furlong event. Joylicious just broke her maiden in Northern California and could be the upsetter.

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FOURTH RACE: Grade II Twilight Derby

  1. #8 Flamboyant (6-1)
  2. #11 Ring Weekend (3-1)
  3. #10 Long On Value (6-1)
  4. #5 Patriots Rule (12-1)

This race is wide open and any of the 12 horses could win it, especially since the favorite, Ring Weekend, is parked in an outside post. Flamboyant didn’t like Del Mar’s grass, but showed an affinity for the Santa Anita course in winning his U.S. debut in April. Word on the street is that he has been training well for this spot and jockey Joel Rosario keeps the mount.

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FIFTH RACE: Damascus Stakes

  1. #3 Chitu (4-1)
  2. #2 Midnight Hawk (7-2)
  3. #12 Unbridled’s Note (8-1)
  4. #11 Bahamian Squall (4-1)

Trainer Bob Baffert could legitimately hit the trifecta here as in addition to the top two horses he has Declassify (6-1) in the race, too. Chitu and Midnight Hawk were on the Kentucky Derby trail this spring but only Chitu got there (finishing ninth to California Chrome). Both horses have been training well for their return with Midnight Hawk slightly better, however, Chitu beat him twice this spring so we’ll stick with that.

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SIXTH RACE: Juvenile Turf

1. #2 Daddy D T (15-1)

2. #14 Danny Boy (20-1)

3. #5 Hootenanny (3-1)

4. #7 War Envoy (9-2)

Trainer John Sadler experimented last time by putting this 2-year-old Daddy D T on the dirt. Big mistake. This ridgling is a turf horse, scoring a stakes win over the green stuff at Del Mar. Jockey Corey Nakatani is reunited with the horse, who should get a nice inside run from the No. 2 hole.

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SEVENTH RACE: DIRT MILE

1. #8 Fed Biz (7-2)

2. #1 Goldencents (6-5)

3. #6 Golden Ticket (15-1)

4. #2 Carve (15-1)

Fed Biz just lost to Shared Belief, who will be the odds-on favorite in Saturday’s BC Classic. The Bob Baffert-trainee can either press the pace or come from off of it. Goldencents is the defending champ and will be tough in this spot.

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EIGHTH RACE: JUVENILE FILLIES TURF

1. #3 Sunset Glow (7-2)

2. #14 Qualify (5-1)

3. #4 Lady Eli (6-1)

4. #6 Sivoliere (12-1)

Sunset Glow has done well in Europe and then came over to win the Del Mar Debutante, but trainer Wesley Ward thinks she is best on turf and who are we to argue. Qualify, an import from Europe, has a tough post but is quality. Sivoliere is jockey Gary Stevens’ first start back from knee replacement surgery.

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NINTH RACE: DISTAFF

1. #10 Untapable (5-2)

2. #2 Tiz Midnight (10-1)

3. #11 Close Hatches (3-1)

4. #8 Valiant Emilia (20-1)

Untapable will be everyone’s Pick Six single and with good reason. She has been training lights out and with Beholder out of the race Untapable will be less than 2-1. Love the way Tiz Midnight is coming up to the race for Bob Baffert and it’s tough to figure out Close Hatches’ last race.

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10TH RACE: Allowance optional claiming

  1. #11 Whine for Wine (8-1)
  2. #2 Day of Fury (6-1)
  3. #7 Jimmy Bouncer (9-2)
  4. #5 Test Ride (12-1)

How wide open is this race? Jimmy Bouncer is the morning-line favorite at 9-2. Whine for Win is one of our tophorses, coming out of a race with four next out winners. Day of Fury just broke his maiden for trainer Bob Baffert and has been training well for his initial try against winners. Jockey Gary Stevens, he of the knee replacements, takes the mount.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Updated Santa Anita/Breeders’ Cup picks for Saturday, Nov. 2

Call it what you will, but watch the first few dirt races on Saturday to see if the speed bias continues on Santa Anita’s main track.

FIRST RACE: 1. Richies Party Girl, 2. Love in the Desert, 3. Mr. Cactus, 4. Jedi Mind Trick. LONG SHOT: Test Ride.

Just throw out RICHIES PARTY GIRL’s last race at Keeneland because she want no part of two turns. She returns to a turf sprint here down the hill. Trainer Wesley Ward thought enough of her to send her to France in August and she finished a strong fourth in Grade III company.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Flashback, 2. Anillo, 3. Zeewat. LONG SHOT: Tour Guide.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Purim’s Dancer, 2. Pontchatrain, 3. Sky High Gal, 4. Judy In Disguise. LONG SHOT: Ultrasonic.

ULTRASONIC IS SCRATCHED.

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BREEDERS’ CUP RACES START HERE

FOURTH RACE: 1. Concave, 2. Secret Compass, 3. Artemis Agrotera, 4. Sweet Reason. LONG SHOT: Ria Antonia.

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies is a tough spot for this 2-year-old filly CONCAVE, but she is a daughter of Colonel John and we love Colonel John’s offspring on the stretchout. She has been away since finishing third in the Del Mar Debutante on Aug. 31, but it appears she has been working quite nicely for trainer Doug O’Neill. She has been given time to fill out and we think she will relish the two turns on the dirt.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Dank, 2. Tiz Flirtatious, 3. Romantica, 4. Laughing. LONG SHOT: Qushchi.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Sweet Lulu, 2. Teddy’s Promise, 3. Book Review, 4. Dance to Bristol. LONG SHOT: Ismene.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. MIZDIRECTION (BEST BET), 2. Reneesgotzip, 3. Unbridled’s Note, 4. Capo Bastone. LONG SHOT: Havelock.

CARACORTADO IS SCRATCHED.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. New Year’s Day, 2. Tap It Rich, 3. Mexikoma, 4. Havana. LONG SHOT: Diamond Bachelor.

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NINTH RACE: 1. The Fugue, 2. Magician, 3. Indy Point, 4. Little Mike. LONG SHOT: Real Solution.

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TENTH RACE: 1. Private Zone, 2. Secret Circle, 3. Fast Bullet, 4. Laugh Track. LONG SHOT: Gentleman’s Bet.

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ELEVENTH RACE: 1. Olympic Glory, 2. Wise Dane, 3. Za Approval, 4. No Jet Lag. LONG SHOT: Silentio.

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TWELVETH RACE: 1. Mucho Mach Man, 2. Game On Dude, 3. Fort Larned, 4. Will Take Charge. LONG SHOT: Moreno.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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