Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Friday, March 25

Preview: Interesting card, especially with Ziconic, Zenyatta’s son, running in the fourth race. As the 2-1 favorite, I’ll pass on him in his first start around two turns.
Race 1 – SA
#1 Dissension (3-1): Just missed going down the hill and stretches out here. Trainer Victor Garcia is 3-for-9 going sprint to route and 35% sprint-sprint-route and he gets leading rider Rafael Bejarano to take over.
Race 3 – SA
#5 Pulmarack (5-1): This gelding has been in the money two of three times on this track and the Jerry Hollendorfer barn is starting to heat up. Hollendorfer is 26% with two sprints to a route plus Rafael Bejarano jumps on this one too.
Race 8 – SA
#1 Mr. Sexy (3-1) (turf only): Trainer George Papaprodromou is having a career and has been trying to get this horse down the hill two races in a row that have come off. The 6-year-old has won twice over this course and the early speed could be the play with that man Rafael Bejarano aboard. 
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Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, Feb. 20

Preview: Interesting card with the highly anticipated debut of Ziconic, a son of Zenayata, set to run in what looks like a tough maiden race in the third.


Race 2: #4 Decisive Triumph (turf only) (8-1) 

Trainer Graham Motion doesn’t have a win at the meet yet, but he’s too good not to score eventually. This son of Kitten’s Joy should love this distance and surface. Motion adds Lasix and he’s 23% first time he does that plus he adds leading jockey Rafael Bejarano.


Race 3: #2 Fast Munny (6-1)

This is the race with Zenyatta’s son, Ziconic, plus two horses trained by Bob Baffert and one trained by Jerry Hollendorfer so this could turn out to be a key race. We’re going with the son of Munnings and trained by Craig Dollase, who is 26% with first-time starters. I know the connections are high on this 3-year-old colt, but like I said it’s a tough heat. Flavien Prat rides and he’s 2-for-4 with Dollase.


Race 7: #9 I’m Zonin (8-1) 

This gelding is in the money 60% (3 for 5) at this distance. Trainer Richard Baltas is 30% going sprint-route-sprint meaning that this 4-year-old should have plenty of stamina. Veteran jockey Stewart Elliott gets the mount.



Race 11 (Grade II Risen Star Stakes: 1.#4 Bistraya (15-1), 2. #10 Airoforce (5-2), 3. #13 Candy My Boy (15-1), 4. #6 Gun Runner (6-1). LONG SHOT: #7 Its All Relevent (15-1).

It’s time for the 50-point races on the Kentucky Derby trail so a win in any of these races pretty much gets you in the starting gate on the first Saturday of May. We’re going with an upset here as Bistraya ships in off a maiden victory in Southern California. Jockey Edwin Maldonado comes along for the ride. Candy My Boy is interesting but that post is a killer.

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Horse racing

Del Mar loving life

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DEL MAR —- It’s good to be the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, especially on Saturday.

Bettors wager a record $761,679.80 in the low takeout Pick 5, $337,895.94 in the Pick 6 and $822,781.34 in the Pick 4.

Overall, Del Mar was up $1.6 million in total betting handle over day No. 9 of the meet in 2012. Total handle today was $17 million and it was $15.4 million a year ago.

Wow. Looks like no cares if there is an inside speed bias —- and there still is on after two weeks of the meet.

On the track, Kettle Corn ($9.20) beat the favored Paynter in the featured San Diego Handicap.

Paynter, one of Bob Baffert’s big horses who almost died a year ago, was not disgraced in defeat, losing by a half-length in his second race of his comeback.

Baffert said on Twitter: “PAYNTER ran a great race. He should move forward after that. They ran fast.”

Jockey Rafael Bejarano seemed to have a different opinion.

“He never seemed comfortable out there. I felt like I had plenty of horse, but he just wasn’t liking what he was doing. He was right there on the turn, but he didn’t have enough at the end.”

For a second race back, it looked pretty good, especially when you consider Kettle Corn just missed the track record at 1 1/16th mile on the Polytrack. Kettle Corn ran a 1:41.83 and the record set by Zenyatta is 1:41.48.

The other stakes race of the day, the Fleet Treat, was a highlight for another reason.

There was a $200,000 show bet made at Santa Anita into Del Mar’s pool on 7-10 favorite Doinghardtimeagain.

There was plenty of cheering when Doinghardtimeagain finished fourth, missing third place by a neck.

It triggered huge show prices of $8.40, $25.40 and $26.60.

Some people in the press box were very happy to take the money and run.