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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.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Where's the DMaria Falgione108Michael Machowsky5-110,500
2Tuscany BeautyMario Gutierrez120Antonio Garcia3-112,500
3Sweetwater GalEvin Roman115John W. Sadler5-212,500
4Dragon FlowerSasha Risenhoover120Derek Meredith8-112,500
5PapercoversrockJoseph Talamo120Kristin Mulhall4-112,500
6Public HouseTyler Baze120Kristin Mulhall5-112,500
7NazarethStewart Elliott118Gary Sherlock10-110,500

SECOND RACE.

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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Our Bright StarMaria Falgione115G. F. Almeida20-120,000
2Ramona LoverAustin Solis115J. Eric Kruljac3-120,000
3RansomedJuan Ochoa124Sal Gonzalez4-120,000
4Radio ChatterBrayan Pena124Richard Baltas5-120,000
5Miss Napper TandyTiago Pereira124Samuel Nichols5-120,000
6Sonnet's JoyWarren Ebow124Kenneth E. Nettles30-120,000
7Shady LoveDanielle Sorese112Anthony K. Saavedra12-120,000
8YallaRuben Fuentes115Alfredo Marquez12-120,000
9Bona Fide ImageMartin Pedroza122William Spawr5-220,000

THIRD RACE.

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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Street ZombieCorey Nakatani120Michael Pender8-1
2KershawVictor Espinoza120Peter Miller4-1
3ShowstoneFlavien Prat120Dan Blacker12-1
4Jimmy ChilaMario Gutierrez120Doug F. O'Neill3-1
5Big HunkDrayden Van Dyke120Michael W. McCarthy20-1
6Afleet AscentRafael Bejarano120Jerry Hollendorfer5-2
7Beer TapTyler Baze120Philip D'Amato6-1
8El AsesinoBrice Blanc120Mick Ruis20-1
9LomboNorberto Arroyo, Jr.120Michael Pender20-1

FOURTH RACE.

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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1SugaratsundownTiago Pereira120Antonio Garcia15-150,000
2Mis ViolaMario Gutierrez120Doug F. O'Neill6-1
3FracasDrayden Van Dyke120Simon Callaghan5-2
4InnyminniemineymoeRafael Bejarano120Vann Belvoir10-1
5Boss MoveTyler Baze120Michael W. McCarthy3-150,000
6Hold That SmileMartin Pedroza120Simon Callaghan6-1
7Moonlight MystiqueStewart Elliott123Art Sherman10-150,000
8Cute Knows CuteEvin Roman115Peter Miller4-150,000

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.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Well Caught Joseph Talamo120Ronald W. Ellis10-125,000
2Kennedie SkyBrice Blanc120Rafael DeLeon6-125,000
3Little Bit LovelySantiago Gonzalez120Adam Kitchingman9-225,000
4JoyableSasha Risenhoover118Dallas E. Keen20-122,500
5GogoulaEdwin Maldonado118George Papaprodromou20-125,000
6Rosie My RosieMartin Pedroza122Robert B. Hess, Jr.5-125,000
7Miss Boom BoomFlavien Prat120Jerry Hollendorfer3-125,000
8Speak Up SailorEvin Roman115Ronald W. Ellis4-125,000
9Jennyway U Want ItDrayden Van Dyke120Mike Puype5-125,000
10Del Mar AnnCorey Nakatani120Richard Baltas5-125,000

SIXTH RACE.

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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1IndignationtymeSasha Risenhoover120Walther Solis20-135,000
2ShookEvin Roman115Philip D'Amato4-135,000
3Baytown JulietBrayan Pena122Kenneth E. Nettles20-140,000
4She's a GamblerSaul Arias120Vann Belvoir20-135,000
5TaylorealswiftJuan Ochoa120Richard Baltas5-135,000
6SpiritualistFlavien Prat122Mark Glatt5-240,000
7Millie JoelAustin Solis115Anthony K. Saavedra8-140,000
8Tiz WonderfullyVictor Espinoza122James M. Cassidy3-140,000
9Lets Light the WayStewart Elliott120Ronald L. McAnally20-135,000
10Sudden LightTiago Pereira122James M. Cassidy8-140,000

SEVENTH RACE.

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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1ScathingSantiago Gonzalez122Adam Kitchingman12-1
2Mizzen GloryTyler Baze122Philip D'Amato5-1
3SpeakersDrayden Van Dyke120Patrick Gallagher4-1
4Ms WakayaRafael Bejarano120Steven Miyadi4-1
5Lady EspionageCorey Nakatani120Michele Dollase9-2
6WinemenowJoseph Talamo122Mike Puype7-2
7Battleground StateFlavien Prat120Neil D. Drysdale3-1

EIGHTH RACE.

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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Take Charge GalDrayden Van Dyke120John W. Sadler5-132,000
2Mariana's GirlBrayan Pena120Hector O. Palma20-132,000
3Tapitha BonitaJuan Ochoa120Sal Gonzalez20-132,000
4VeniceMartin Pedroza120Kristin Mulhall7-232,000
5Empress SongbirdFelipe Martinez120Mike Harrington15-132,000
6JustabeanBrandon Boulanger120Robert A. Bean30-132,000
7Halo GirlSaul Arias120Manuel Calvario15-132,000
8Callie MesaTyler Baze120Tim Yakteen6-132,000
9Wild EdieKent Desormeaux120Robert B. Hess, Jr.9-232,000
10La ChepisRuben Fuentes113Victor L. Garcia5-132,000
11SpacerikaEdwin Maldonado120Salvador Orozco12-132,000
12Bless the CauseStewart Elliott120Mike Harrington6-132,000
Also Eligible
13Wicked SunsetSantiago Gonzalez120Marcia Stortz10-132,000
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