Racing! New horse racing newsletter is off and running, featuring entries and results

Racing! New horse racing newsletter is off and running, featuring entries and results
Michael Wrona ((Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times))

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome to the very first edition of our horse racing newsletter, which we so cleverly call “Racing!”

A tip of the hat to Santa Anita race caller Michael Wrona, whose signature opening call is now a promotion for this newsletter. He’s not starting a race; he’s saying sign up and tell your friends. Thanks, Michael. (Note: Legally I’ve got to say Wrona is not really endorsing this newsletter. In fact, I’m not even sure he’s signed up.)

So I bet you’re wondering what possessed the Los Angeles Times to start this newsletter, especially after the print edition dropped the entries and results earlier this year.

First of all, the entries and results are back in our print edition. And all of you helped reverse the decision by contacting either the sports department or our (but think of her as your) readers rep, Deirdre Edgar.

So why get the newsletter? Well, we’ll go much farther than any other publication, with full charts and trip comments. Before you ask, the newsletter is not going to replace what we do in print.

So, here’s how this happened. When the entries and results were first removed from the newspaper, Sports Editor Angel Rodriguez believed the horse racing community needed to be served in some way. So we got together with Jon Schleuss, one of our data journalists, Houston Mitchell, our sports newsletter editor, and Scott Sandell, the newspaper’s newsletter editor, and made a plan.

And now, months later, we’re birthing this baby.

(Notice I put one of those blue things on each of their names in case you want to click on them and email thanks, especially Angel, because he’s my boss, and Deirdre, because she listened and carried your message forward.)

Now, we’ll need your help to shape this thing. So send along ideas and thoughts. It may look entirely different in a day, week or month. I’m sure Thomas Edison (no known email) didn’t get the light bulb right the first time.

For now, we’ll try to pull together the best of local racing with small recaps and previews, but the real star of this endeavor will be the entries and results.

I’ll be your tour guide most of the time, although Eric Sondheimer will also contribute his years of racing knowledge and days of knowledge of being a horse owner. (More on that in days to come.)

This is end of my second year on this beat, but I’ve been a fan of the sport forever. I’m not an expert in handicapping, so we’ll leave that to you.

Just so you know the prism through which I view the sport, here are 10 things I think about horse racing:

1. Santa Anita is the most picturesque — and my favorite — racetrack in America. We’ll be watching to see if Tim Ritvo, a pretty smart guy, can fix it.

2. I hate the drive to Del Mar — a lot. And the backup off I-5. And parking on big days. But the climate is great.

3. Ed Burgart is the Vin Scully, Chick Hearn and Bob Miller of quarter-horse racing. The best in his sport — ever.

4. I have no desire to ever ride or own a thoroughbred.

5. Larry Collmus is a good announcer, but our guys — Trevor Denman, Frank Mirahmadi and Michael Wrona — are all better. Listening NBC?

6. Bob Baffert and Mike Smith make up the best trainer-jockey combination in recent memory. And both are exceedingly generous with their time to promote the sport.

7. I hate covering the Kentucky Derby. Too big, too pretentious and then there is the near windowless media bunker.

8. I love covering the Preakness, although I know Pimlico may fall apart because of age and lack of upkeep. Hope I’m not there that day.

9. Any horse, on any day, no matter how good, can be beat. Horses, just like newsletter hosts, have bad days.

10. Bridge jumpers aren’t very smart (see item 9).

Interview with Ritvo

Had a chance to talk to Santa Anita boss Ritvo. You shouldn’t expect big changes until the winter meet, but he did declare war on trainers who use Santa Anita just as a training track, and if field sizes don’t improve, three-day-a-week racing is a very real possibility. For more on Ritvo’s thoughts, check out the story here.

Eddie D. Stakes highlights SA card

Today’s opening day card at Santa Anita has nine races, three of them on the turf — the first, seventh and ninth. Ritvo says he’s going to run more turf races because fans like them and they attract fuller fields.

For example, the first has 10 horses in a maiden claimer; the seventh has 10 fillies and mares in an allowance optional claimer and the feature in the ninth is called the Eddie D. Stakes, about 6 ½ furlongs down the hill, with 11 currently entered. Last year, the Eddie D had so many entries, they ran it in two divisions.

The Times did a story on the mystery of the downhill course earlier this year. If you haven’t read it, it might be worth a look here. Eddie Delahoussaye gives tips on how to win the race. (Hint: It’s cutting the corner.)

Om, running for Dan Hendricks, is the morning-line favorite at 8-5, having hit the board 15 out of 18 times, 14 of those races on turf. But he hasn’t won in eight starts, mostly at a mile, since Dec. 26, 2015. But a lot of seconds and thirds. He’s 3-3-1 over the Santa Anita turf. Most impressive was second by a nose in the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint last November. (Watch here.)

Om is switching up riders from Gary Stevens to Drayden Van Dyke. He’s in the four.

Tribalist is the second favorite at 4-1, including four wins in a row, the last three at five furlongs. Blake Heap is the trainer and Victor Espinoza is aboard. Guns Loaded for Doug O’Neill and Rafael Bejarano is at 6-1.

Races 1-6 are all claimers, three of them for maidens. The seventh is the aforementioned allowance optional claimer and the eighth is a maiden special weight.

There are 76 horses entered, or an average of 8.44 a race. Not a bad start.

Last thought

Before I get out of here, if you know someone who might enjoy this little resource, forward it to them and have them click here and sign up. Remember, it’s free, and all we need is your email, nothing more.

Also, no need to worry: It’s doubtful this newsletter will ever be this long again.

Any thoughts, just drop me an email at or feed my ego by following me on Twitter @jcherwa.

Now, the star of the show, Friday’s entries. (If the entries look strange on your phone, take a look on a tablet or desktop for a more traditional view.)

Santa Anita Entries for Friday, September 29.

Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 1st day of a 19-day meet.


1 1/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Brilliant Light Santiago Gonzalez 125 James M. Cassidy 15-1 50,000
2 Insubordination Tyler Baze 125 Kenneth D. Black 7-2 50,000
3 Kinematico Flavien Prat 122 Mike Puype 4-1 50,000
4 Odyssey Explorer Brayan Pena 122 Hector O. Palma 12-1 50,000
5 Sirari Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 122 Jr. Clifford W. Sise, 10-1 50,000
6 Warren's Fandango Rafael Bejarano 122 Jorge Gutierrez 5-1 50,000
7 Kinsale Warrior Evin Roman 117 Peter Eurton 15-1 50,000
8 Perfection Tale Manuel Chaves 125 Howard L. Zucker 30-1 50,000
9 Amazon Cry Tiago Pereira 122 Philip D'Amato 3-1 50,000
10 Bacoli Israel Ocampo 122 Mick Ruis 6-1 50,000


1 Mile. Purse: $21,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $16,000-$14,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Over Achiever Rafael Bejarano 123 William E. Morey 5-2 16,000
2 Freddies Dream Evin Roman 118 Jeff Mullins 8-5 16,000
3 Image of Joplin Austin Solis 116 Mick Ruis 3-1 16,000
4 Seal Six Israel Ocampo 121 Michael Machowsky 6-1 14,000
5 Saint Dermot Santiago Gonzalez 123 Mark Glatt 4-1 16,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $16,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Golden Atlantic Sasha Risenhoover 125 Gary Stute 4-1 8,000
2 Royal F J Martin Pedroza 123 Jack Carava 7-2 8,000
3 G. A. Betting Brayan Pena 123 Hector O. Palma 6-1 8,000
4 Changing Karma Brandon Boulanger 121 Steve Knapp 20-1 7,000
5 Rough Passage Gallyn Mitchell 123 Thomas J. Bazley 12-1 8,000
6 Heir of Storm Austin Solis 116 Mick Ruis 5-2 8,000
7 Airfoil Evin Roman 118 Mark Glatt 2-1 8,000


1 Mile. Purse: $25,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $40,000-$35,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 John and Montan Stewart Elliott 122 Ronald W. Ellis 10-1 40,000
2 Latitude Martin Pedroza 125 Dan L. Hendricks 6-1 40,000
3 Divisor Santiago Gonzalez 122 Philip D'Amato 9-2 40,000
4 Inhibition Victor Espinoza 125 James M. Cassidy 6-1 40,000
5 Fregosi Drayden Van Dyke 122 Leonard Powell 4-1 40,000
6 Super Duper Cooper Tyler Baze 122 Michael W. McCarthy 3-1 40,000
7 Conqueror Flavien Prat 125 Vladimir Cerin 5-2 40,000


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Warrior's Lullaby Edwin Maldonado 122 Mick Ruis 7-2 50,000
2 Salsa King Evin Roman 117 Ruben Gomez 10-1 50,000
3 Colormemoney Victor Espinoza 122 Jr. Robert B. Hess, 5-2 50,000
4 American Currency Gary Stevens 122 Eddie Truman 4-1 50,000
5 Quoting Hawk Tiago Pereira 120 Michael Machowsky 8-1 40,000
6 First Ballot Brayan Pena 122 Richard Baltas 8-1 50,000
7 Haulin' Freight Mario Gutierrez 122 Doug F. O'Neill 10-1 50,000
8 Ridgefield Rocket Tyler Conner 122 Mark Glatt 8-1 50,000
9 Sandbed Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 122 Jr. Clifford W. Sise, 12-1 50,000


6½ Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Iron Alex Sasha Risenhoover 120 Dallas E. Keen 8-1 22,500
2 Pick One Tiago Pereira 120 Jack Carava 8-1 22,500
3 Mystical Image Rafael Bejarano 122 Jr. Ed Moger, 6-1 25,000
4 Red Carpet Cat Drayden Van Dyke 122 Vann Belvoir 9-2 25,000
5 Tell Me a Story Flavien Prat 122 Peter Miller 4-1 25,000
6 Cupid's Beau Stewart Elliott 120 Anthony K. Saavedra 8-1 22,500
7 Gentrified Joseph Talamo 122 John W. Sadler 3-1 25,000
8 One I'm Running To Evin Roman 115 Mark Glatt 9-2 22,500


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $51,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Ok Doll Rafael Bejarano 123 Richard Baltas 9-2
2 Salsita Evin Roman 120 Jerry Hollendorfer 7-2 40,000
3 Lindeza Tyler Conner 123 John W. Sadler 12-1
4 Mrs. Norris Flavien Prat 123 Eoin G. Harty 6-1
5 Domestic Vintage Joseph Talamo 120 Neil D. Drysdale 10-1
6 Khaleesi Austin Solis 116 Felipe N Souza 20-1
7 Lucy De Kent Desormeaux 125 Richard Baltas 5-1
8 Arethusa Israel Ocampo 123 Jeff Mullins 4-1
9 Bombilate Gary Stevens 123 James M. Cassidy 6-1
10 Hacktivism Mario Gutierrez 125 Ben D. A. Cecil 20-1


1 Mile. Purse: $50,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Major Cabbie Drayden Van Dyke 120 Dan L. Hendricks 8-1
2 Unlawful Act Victor Espinoza 120 G. F. Almeida 20-1
3 Extrordinary Jerry Rafael Bejarano 120 Doug F. O'Neill 12-1
4 Gran Fiesta Flavien Prat 120 Jerry Hollendorfer 8-1
5 Jungle Warfare Mike Smith 120 Jerry Hollendorfer 2-1
6 Xten Tyler Baze 120 Tim Yakteen 5-2
7 Holy Ghost Kent Desormeaux 120 J. Keith Desormeaux 6-1
8 Blended Citizen Tiago Pereira 120 Doug F. O'Neill 10-1
9 Canadian Game Mario Gutierrez 120 Doug F. O'Neill 8-1


About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $100,000. 'Eddie D Stakes'. 3 year olds and up.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Prize Exhibit Santiago Gonzalez 120 James M. Cassidy 10-1
2 Tribalist Victor Espinoza 121 Blake R. Heap 4-1
3 California Diamond Kent Desormeaux 118 Peter Miller 15-1
4 Om Drayden Van Dyke 121 Dan L. Hendricks 8-5
5 Rocket Heat Evin Roman 121 Vann Belvoir 8-1
6 Forever Juanito Joseph Talamo 121 Victor L. Garcia 8-1
7 Guns Loaded Rafael Bejarano 121 Doug F. O'Neill 6-1
8 Coastline Flavien Prat 121 John W. Sadler 12-1
9 Krsto Skye Brice Blanc 121 Ari Herbertson 20-1
10 Zarqa Star Martin Pedroza 121 George Papaprodromou 50-1
11 Mr. Roary Tyler Conner 121 George Papaprodromou 12-1