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Racing! Some reader feedback on Del Mar and the Breeders' Cup

Hello, my name is John Cherwa, welcome back to our horse racing newsletter, and now we can start thinking about the road to the Kentucky Derby.

First, thanks to Eric “Manny” Sondheimer for returning sanity to this newsletter by filling in for me on Monday as I was traveling on Sunday.

And, the always insightful Jeff Nahill, and his spot play of the day, is leaving the newsletter after exposing us to different combinations handicappers look at. We thank him for his contribution as we got this thing off the ground. Hope to find a new handicapper soon.

Now, I think there might be one more look at Del Mar’s hosting of the Breeders’ Cup before we move on.

But I’ll turn the pulpit over to you. (Edited for space and from getting us in trouble.)

Here’s how one industry leader rated the Surf and Turf performance. Because of their current position they asked that their name not be used. (And, no, it’s not Joe Harper.)

“Del Mar really did a sensational job. Del Mar's actual attendance in two days didn't reach what Santa Anita claimed on the Saturday alone last year. More important, Del Mar's on-track handle completely skunked SA on both days. What really excites me is that this shows what can be done when people who know how to manage a track have their opportunity.

“They took some big chances by limiting attendance, by installing a completely new parking and traffic plan, building major temporary facilities, and hiring more mutuel clerks than ever before, opening the place up wide for what would be fewer in attendance. And it all worked.

“Del Mar's management, and particularly its racing department including track surface management, is far and away the best and most professional team in California, and probably the entire country. They don't get the recognition they deserve. Highly experienced, thoughtful, objective, and independent. Good to see it rewarded. What a show.”

On Sunday, I worded a criticism about the minuscule interview room and waiting around for the champagne to arrive. More accurately I should have said the waiting around for all the owners to get there was the problem. Often the owners and hangers-on kept reporters from entering the room. It happened to me twice. Well, one reader, who was working the room, took me to the woodshed.

“None had to wait any longer than it took to open one of the hundreds of bottles of Mumms. I personally greeted each and every winner and handed glasses to as many people who were in the party. Every single person on the Winners’ Champagne Terrace was personally greeted and attended to … from finding shoe bags, to locating lost cellphones and sunglasses and more.

“Please don’t write things that are not true (OK the press room was small) about jobs that may seem insignificant to you. Those of us who worked that terrace worked hard to make it a really successful and celebratory area for our happy Breeders’ Cup winners.”

One of the things that dismayed me was, after giving up on the idea that a tram would ever take me to my car, I walked almost a mile mostly in the dark to get there. Here’s a reader who expressed a similar problem.

“First, how do you run out of hot dogs and other food? This happened last year at Santa Anita as well. Crazy.

“More importantly, the delay between race 11 and 12 made walking back to one’s vehicle downright dangerous. We were parked south of the track at a little lot that required walking over the bridge. By the time we made our way down to the sidewalk going over the bridge it was full-on dark. It was scary and not well-lit. In addition, there is a small traffic circle at the end of the bridge that did a great job of moving traffic on Friday evening.

“For some reason, the powers that be decided to block off the traffic circle on Saturday, thus clogging the traffic and restricting it to one way, away from downtown Del Mar. That just made people mad, as they wanted to go back into town, so they were executing U-turns on the bridge, where all the pedestrians were walking. It would have been fine if they left the traffic circle alone as they did on Friday. More attention should have been paid to the pedestrians and the fact that it was going to get dark at the end of racing that day.

“This was a case of TV running the timing, I’m sure, but they should have planned for that contingency, at least with some temporary lighting. And let the darned traffic circle do what it is designed to do!”

Stat of the day

The changes to the withholding regulations about when you have to sign made a huge difference. In the past any ticket that paid more than 300-to-1 for the individual bet you had to sign for and have withholding taken out. Now, the rule is how much you wagered in that pool, not an individual ticket. Last year, there were 1,333 signers, this year there were 35. That’s a 97% decrease. Good news for gamblers.

News you may have missed

--Gun Runner to run in Pegasus and then go to stud at Three Chimneys Farm. Read Nicole Russo’s story in the Daily Racing Form,

--Songbird brings $9.5 milllion at the Fasig-Tipton sale. Read Alicia Wincze Hughes story in Bloodhorse.

--Stellar Winds bring $6 million at the Fasig-Tipton sale. Read Alicia Wincze Hughes story in the Bloodhorse.

Del Mar racing

It’s a pretty unremarkable race card, but that’s to be expected on non-weekend race days. First post is 12:30 p.m. for the eight races. It’s a good day for 2-year-olds as they have half the card written for them, the third, fourth, sixth and eighth. The third, fifth and seventh races are on the turf. Want a hunch pay, there is a horse called Kershaw in the five-furlong race. He’s at 4-1. Why the hunch? He’s got to win something, doesn’t he?

The seventh race is the featured allowance race. A field of seven sent a mile on the turf. It’s a very even field with Batteground State at 3-1, Winemenow at 7-2 and Speakers and Ms Wakaya are at 4-1.

Los Alamitos preview

Last week we foreshadowed trainer Jaime Gomez going for two in a row in big stakes, well now we’re up to three. On Oct. 29 he won the Wild West Futurity with Moonie Blues and then last Saturday with J Fire Up in the Golden State Million Futurity. Now he’s looking at the $956,600 Los Alamitos Super Derby with LD Is Back, the fastest qualifier for the 400-yard race.

LD Is Back was 0 for 8 as a 2-year-old but this year the gelding has won three of five starts.

“We found that he had a bone chip during his freshman year,” Gomez told Orlando Gutierrez of Los Al. “We had surgery to care of it and he’s come back a new horse. We’re excited about his chances on Sunday.”

Ed Burgart LA spot play

SIXTH RACE: No. Galaxy Czech (7-2)

This 2-year-old filly earned a strong 91 Trackmaster speed figure in last sharp victory over prior $10,000 winner Puritan while only making third career start. High-percentage trainer Valentin Zamudio shows confidence with a one level class hike while second leading rider Cesar DeAlba stays aboard.

Final thought

Still looking to jump the circulation of this newsletter. Can’t beat the price. If you like it, tell someone. If you don’t like it, then you’re probably not reading this. Either way, send to a friend and just have them click here and sign up. Remember, it’s free, and all we need is your email, nothing more.

Any thoughts, drop me an email at my new address johnacherwa@gmail.com (don’t worry because there is not an LA Times in it, I’m still here) or feed my ego by following me on Twitter @jcherwa

And now the star of the show, Friday’s entries.

Del Mar Entries for Friday, November 10.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, California. $2 Win, Place and Show; $1 Exacta, $2 Quinella, 50-cent Trifecta, $2 Rolling Double, 50-cent rolling Pick 3; 10-cent Superfecta; 50-cent Pick 4 last 4 races; 50-cent Players Pick 5 first 5 races; $2 Pick 6 last 6 races; $1 Place Pick All; $1 Super High Five last race. Trifecta needs 4 betting interests; Superfecta needs 6. 6th day of a 16-day meet.

FIRST RACE.

6 Furlongs. Purse: $19,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $12,500-$10,500.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Where's the D Maria Falgione 108 Michael Machowsky 5-1 10,500
2 Tuscany Beauty Mario Gutierrez 120 Antonio Garcia 3-1 12,500
3 Sweetwater Gal Evin Roman 115 John W. Sadler 5-2 12,500
4 Dragon Flower Sasha Risenhoover 120 Derek Meredith 8-1 12,500
5 Papercoversrock Joseph Talamo 120 Kristin Mulhall 4-1 12,500
6 Public House Tyler Baze 120 Kristin Mulhall 5-1 12,500
7 Nazareth Stewart Elliott 118 Gary Sherlock 10-1 10,500

SECOND RACE.

6 Furlongs. Purse: $17,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Our Bright Star Maria Falgione 115 G. F. Almeida 20-1 20,000
2 Ramona Lover Austin Solis 115 J. Eric Kruljac 3-1 20,000
3 Ransomed Juan Ochoa 124 Sal Gonzalez 4-1 20,000
4 Radio Chatter Brayan Pena 124 Richard Baltas 5-1 20,000
5 Miss Napper Tandy Tiago Pereira 124 Samuel Nichols 5-1 20,000
6 Sonnet's Joy Warren Ebow 124 Kenneth E. Nettles 30-1 20,000
7 Shady Love Danielle Sorese 112 Anthony K. Saavedra 12-1 20,000
8 Yalla Ruben Fuentes 115 Alfredo Marquez 12-1 20,000
9 Bona Fide Image Martin Pedroza 122 William Spawr 5-2 20,000

THIRD RACE.

5 Furlongs Turf. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Street Zombie Corey Nakatani 120 Michael Pender 8-1
2 Kershaw Victor Espinoza 120 Peter Miller 4-1
3 Showstone Flavien Prat 120 Dan Blacker 12-1
4 Jimmy Chila Mario Gutierrez 120 Doug F. O'Neill 3-1
5 Big Hunk Drayden Van Dyke 120 Michael W. McCarthy 20-1
6 Afleet Ascent Rafael Bejarano 120 Jerry Hollendorfer 5-2
7 Beer Tap Tyler Baze 120 Philip D'Amato 6-1
8 El Asesino Brice Blanc 120 Mick Ruis 20-1
9 Lombo Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 120 Michael Pender 20-1

FOURTH RACE.

6½ Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Starter Optional Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Sugaratsundown Tiago Pereira 120 Antonio Garcia 15-1 50,000
2 Mis Viola Mario Gutierrez 120 Doug F. O'Neill 6-1
3 Fracas Drayden Van Dyke 120 Simon Callaghan 5-2
4 Innyminniemineymoe Rafael Bejarano 120 Vann Belvoir 10-1
5 Boss Move Tyler Baze 120 Michael W. McCarthy 3-1 50,000
6 Hold That Smile Martin Pedroza 120 Simon Callaghan 6-1
7 Moonlight Mystique Stewart Elliott 123 Art Sherman 10-1 50,000
8 Cute Knows Cute Evin Roman 115 Peter Miller 4-1 50,000

FIFTH RACE.

1 1/16 Mile Turf. Purse: $29,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Well Caught Joseph Talamo 120 Ronald W. Ellis 10-1 25,000
2 Kennedie Sky Brice Blanc 120 Rafael DeLeon 6-1 25,000
3 Little Bit Lovely Santiago Gonzalez 120 Adam Kitchingman 9-2 25,000
4 Joyable Sasha Risenhoover 118 Dallas E. Keen 20-1 22,500
5 Gogoula Edwin Maldonado 118 George Papaprodromou 20-1 25,000
6 Rosie My Rosie Martin Pedroza 122 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 5-1 25,000
7 Miss Boom Boom Flavien Prat 120 Jerry Hollendorfer 3-1 25,000
8 Speak Up Sailor Evin Roman 115 Ronald W. Ellis 4-1 25,000
9 Jennyway U Want It Drayden Van Dyke 120 Mike Puype 5-1 25,000
10 Del Mar Ann Corey Nakatani 120 Richard Baltas 5-1 25,000

SIXTH RACE.

1 Mile. Purse: $25,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $40,000-$35,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Indignationtyme Sasha Risenhoover 120 Walther Solis 20-1 35,000
2 Shook Evin Roman 115 Philip D'Amato 4-1 35,000
3 Baytown Juliet Brayan Pena 122 Kenneth E. Nettles 20-1 40,000
4 She's a Gambler Saul Arias 120 Vann Belvoir 20-1 35,000
5 Taylorealswift Juan Ochoa 120 Richard Baltas 5-1 35,000
6 Spiritualist Flavien Prat 122 Mark Glatt 5-2 40,000
7 Millie Joel Austin Solis 115 Anthony K. Saavedra 8-1 40,000
8 Tiz Wonderfully Victor Espinoza 122 James M. Cassidy 3-1 40,000
9 Lets Light the Way Stewart Elliott 120 Ronald L. McAnally 20-1 35,000
10 Sudden Light Tiago Pereira 122 James M. Cassidy 8-1 40,000

SEVENTH RACE.

1 Mile Turf. Purse: $53,000. Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Scathing Santiago Gonzalez 122 Adam Kitchingman 12-1
2 Mizzen Glory Tyler Baze 122 Philip D'Amato 5-1
3 Speakers Drayden Van Dyke 120 Patrick Gallagher 4-1
4 Ms Wakaya Rafael Bejarano 120 Steven Miyadi 4-1
5 Lady Espionage Corey Nakatani 120 Michele Dollase 9-2
6 Winemenow Joseph Talamo 122 Mike Puype 7-2
7 Battleground State Flavien Prat 120 Neil D. Drysdale 3-1

EIGHTH RACE.

5½ Furlongs. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $32,000-$28,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Take Charge Gal Drayden Van Dyke 120 John W. Sadler 5-1 32,000
2 Mariana's Girl Brayan Pena 120 Hector O. Palma 20-1 32,000
3 Tapitha Bonita Juan Ochoa 120 Sal Gonzalez 20-1 32,000
4 Venice Martin Pedroza 120 Kristin Mulhall 7-2 32,000
5 Empress Songbird Felipe Martinez 120 Mike Harrington 15-1 32,000
6 Justabean Brandon Boulanger 120 Robert A. Bean 30-1 32,000
7 Halo Girl Saul Arias 120 Manuel Calvario 15-1 32,000
8 Callie Mesa Tyler Baze 120 Tim Yakteen 6-1 32,000
9 Wild Edie Kent Desormeaux 120 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 9-2 32,000
10 La Chepis Ruben Fuentes 113 Victor L. Garcia 5-1 32,000
11 Spacerika Edwin Maldonado 120 Salvador Orozco 12-1 32,000
12 Bless the Cause Stewart Elliott 120 Mike Harrington 6-1 32,000
Also Eligible
13 Wicked Sunset Santiago Gonzalez 120 Marcia Stortz 10-1 32,000
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