Hello, my name is John Cherwa, welcome back to our horse racing newsletter and here’s hoping everyone has the best of Thanksgiving with family, friends and a special place in my heart for those who spend it with people they don’t know but need help.
As a special holiday favor, I asked all of you to tell us what you are thankful for. The response was overwhelming. I couldn’t use them all, and some of them were similar. I had to edit them down too.
The most common response was being thankful for the horses. Who can disagree with that? Some of you were even thankful for this newsletter, and those of you will have your subscription extended by one month for free. Yes, we spare no expense.
So here are some of the responses:
--The magnificent horses that give us our sport.
--The veterinary surgeons whose increasing knowledge and skills are saving the lives of more injured and sick horses.
--Owners who interact with the public, whose joy at their good fortune shows in their faces when their horse wins, and who keep their stars connected to the public even after retirement.
--All who so generously share their knowledge about the sport.
--Safe tracks, grooms, valets, trainers, owners and trackmen who work so hard to keep these stupendous animals sound.
--AA meetings at the Winners’ Foundation on Tuesday at Santa Anita that have kept people sober for many, many years.
--Twenty-five years of information and entertainment from Roger Stein.
--Trainer Javier Sierra because he truly cares about all his horses.
--The fact horse racing still has class. The horses, unlike today sports stars, can't talk and the horses don't act like fools in public.
--That owners are starting to realize that their 3-year-olds are even better at 4, and dare say it, at 5. It's great to see them run.
--Reformed IRS regulations and the improvements Chris Kay and NYRA have put into the Belmont Festival weekend.
--So many aftercare programs. Maybe they have all been there all along but with social media their presence is known more and more.
--Free parking and admission in the infield at Santa Anita.
--That Art Sherman and Jack Van Berg are still training horses. They are real horsemen.
--That both Santa Anita and Del Mar are finally getting serious about addressing the chronically short fields that have really diminished the quality of local racing in recent years.
--That one of the very best jockeys to ever ride, Patrick Valenzuela, is still alive and hopefully figuring out a way to enjoy his life for many years to come.
--TVG bringing horse racing into living rooms.
--The increased attention to OTTBs, especially in California.
--Longtime employees who you can count as friends at Del Mar. This is a truly wonderful group of people.
--They are enforcing the three-whip rule at Del Mar.
--Michael Wrona got the job as voice of Santa Anita.
--The wonderful friends you meet along the way connected to racing.
--Kentucky, the horse capital of the world.
--Speakers, a beautiful 3-year-old filly, that got one subscriber to the winner’s circle at Del Mar this year.
--Steve Byk, the DRF Players Podcast, and all of the websites devoted to horse racing that keep players in the game and up-to-date with what is happening in the world of horse racing.
--California Chrome and his story, his heart and his beauty.
--Syndicates which allow you to get into the game with a small investment and a manageable monthly. And the trainers who are willing to cater to the little guys by letting them participate in these syndicates without huge management fees.
--Wanting to still learn to be a better handicapper, and definitely a better bettor. And an insatiable knowledge of racing that one never seems to get enough of.
--You can still watch Mike Smith, in his 50s, ride like he was 20 something. Still great after all these years.
--Dec. 26, opening day at Santa Anita. It’s one of the best traditions in thoroughbred racing and one people always look forward to.
--Color-coded saddle cloths. OK, these have been around for some time, but it's still great to be able to know where the 6 horse or the 10 horse is in the race, unlike the old days where you had to memorize the silks.
--That for 25-plus years, we continue to be able to enjoy Trevor Denman's superb race calls.
--The Stronach Group's innovative "ship and stay" program. Let's hope it works.
And finally, I want to add my personal thanks to the Los Angeles Times for supporting this venture. Sports editor Angel Rodriguez, whose idea it was to create this; Houston Mitchell, the sports newsletter editor who brought this puppy to fruition and continues to nurture it daily, and Jon Schleuss, the graphics and data specialist (and former regular at Oaklawn), who figured out how to make all this data available to everyone.
Thanks again to all of you who sent emails. So, I think that’s enough kindness for this newsletter. I’m coming back with a rant for Friday.
Del Mar racing
First thing to remember is that Del Mar has a special 11 a.m. post, so all of you in the vicinity who are sent on a Thanksgiving errand and are gone for two hours can claim you drove all the way to San Diego and back and couldn’t find a grocery store open.
The highlight is the sixth race (about 1:30), the Grade 3 $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap. It’s 1 3/8 miles on the turf, not a distance you traditionally see unless you’ve watched the first race, which is the same distance and surface. There are four turf races (first, third, sixth and eighth) on the eight-race card.
It’s a good long weekend to be at Del Mar with eight graded stakes races: one, one, three and three.
The RCH is for fillies and mares 3 and up and has a whopping 14-horse field. It looks like a decent betting race with no big favorite. Responsibleforlove, for veteran Neil Drysdale, is the 7-2 favorite. She won her only race at Del Mar this year and is four for 11 lifetime. Joe Talamo gets the ride.
Evo Campo, the second favorite at 4-1, beat Responsibleforlove at the slightly longer Santa Barbara at Santa Anita this year. Evo Campo, trained by Paddy Gallagher and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, has won five of 12 on the turf but has never won at Del Mar.
The shipper to watch out for is Lottie, who is running for Graham Motion and will have Flavien Prat aboard. She is listed at 9-2.
Bob Ike’s DM play of the day
EIGHTH RACE: No. 9 Achira (7-2)
In a full field of maiden fillies going on turf, I will go with second-time starter Achira. The John Shirreffs trainee tipped her hand first time, closing strongly to finish third after a slow start in a race that has produced two (and almost three) next-out winners. The main worry could be Euro import Chalky.
Sunday result: Got off the schneid when Edwards Going Left ($6.80) held on determinedly to win the Cary Grant Stakes.
Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of Horsebills.com and the proprietor of BobIkePicks.com (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).
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.
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And now the star of the show, Thursday’s entries.
Del Mar Entries for Thursday, November 23.
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. 13th day of a 16-day meet.
1 3/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $53,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Scandal||Mike Smith||121||Richard E. Mandella||6-1|
|2||You're A Goat||Flavien Prat||124||Dan Blacker||5-2|
|3||November Tale||Drayden Van Dyke||119||Patrick Gallagher||6-1|
|4||Shazara||Tyler Baze||121||Gary Sherlock||8-1|
|5||Antonina||Brice Blanc||124||Paulo H. Lobo||8-1|
|6||Bombilate||Gary Stevens||121||James M. Cassidy||3-1|
|7||Wishful Winking||Kyle Frey||121||Mike Puype||20-1|
|8||Hacktivism||Corey Nakatani||124||Ben D. A. Cecil||10-1|
|9||Causeforcommotion||Evin Roman||114||J. Eric Kruljac||10-1|
6½ Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000.
|1||Pure Sugar||Stewart Elliott||120||Mike Puype||15-1||50,000|
|2||Line Drive||Flavien Prat||120||Doug F. O'Neill||7-2||50,000|
|3||Condi||Tyler Baze||120||John W. Sadler||2-1||50,000|
|4||My Rose of Savanna||Kyle Frey||120||Richard Baltas||15-1||50,000|
|5||Krissys Manicure||Rafael Bejarano||120||Richard Baltas||5-2||50,000|
|6||Silversonic||Evin Roman||115||Peter Eurton||12-1||50,000|
|7||Sauce On Side||Kent Desormeaux||120||Peter Miller||3-1||50,000|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $55,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.
|1||Holiday Stone||Flavien Prat||118||George Weaver||6-1|
|2||Caribou Club||Drayden Van Dyke||118||Thomas F. Proctor||7-2|
|3||Feldini||Tyler Baze||120||Scott Hansen||12-1|
|4||Kencumin||Rafael Bejarano||120||Peter Eurton||4-1|
|5||Troublewithatee||Kent Desormeaux||120||Philip D'Amato||6-1|
|6||Gio's Calling||Joseph Talamo||120||Brian A. Lynch||5-1|
|7||Twentytwentyvision||Evin Roman||115||Richard E. Mandella||10-1||62,500|
|8||A Red Tie Day||Corey Nakatani||120||Richard Baltas||3-1||62,500|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $50,000. State bred.
|1||Insubordination||Tyler Baze||124||Kenneth D. Black||5-1||50,000|
|2||Black Storm||Tiago Pereira||122||Lloyd C. Wicker||12-1||50,000|
|3||Thankful Every Day||Evin Roman||117||Eddie Truman||5-1||50,000|
|4||Quick Finish||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Dan Blacker||3-1||50,000|
|5||Scientifically||Felipe Martinez||122||James F. Sayler||20-1||50,000|
|6||Catfish Hunter||Edwin Maldonado||122||Steven Miyadi||5-2||50,000|
|7||Sea's Journey||Stewart Elliott||122||Mike Puype||4-1||50,000|
|8||Dream On Brother||Ignacio Puglisi||122||Paul G. Aguirre||10-1||50,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds.
|1||Majestic Eagle||Evin Roman||117||Neil D. Drysdale||10-1|
|2||End of Spirits||Martin Pedroza||122||Brian A. Lynch||8-1|
|3||Longden||Rafael Bejarano||122||Bob Baffert||5-1|
|4||Shivermetimbers||Mike Smith||122||Jerry Hollendorfer||7-2|
|5||Danny O||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Doug F. O'Neill||20-1|
|6||Peace||Flavien Prat||122||Richard E. Mandella||3-1|
|7||Orbit Rain||Brice Blanc||122||Mick Ruis||20-1|
|8||He's Stylish||Tyler Baze||122||Philip D'Amato||5-2|
|9||Point Guard||Corey Nakatani||122||Richard Baltas||12-1|
1 3/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $100,000. 'Red Carpet Handicap'. Stakes. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Laseen||Tiago Pereira||117||James M. Cassidy||12-1|
|2||Dynamic Mizzes K||Gary Stevens||116||Mark Glatt||15-1|
|3||Evo Campo||Rafael Bejarano||122||Patrick Gallagher||4-1|
|4||Victress||Stewart Elliott||116||Robert Gilker||30-1|
|5||La Manta Gris||Kent Desormeaux||114||George R. Arnold, II||15-1|
|6||Kiss Me Now||Brice Blanc||117||Paulo H. Lobo||20-1|
|7||Responsibleforlove||Joseph Talamo||121||Neil D. Drysdale||7-2|
|8||Do the Dance||Tyler Baze||117||Gary Sherlock||20-1|
|9||Earring||Drayden Van Dyke||117||Thomas F. Proctor||6-1|
|10||Birdie Gold||Mario Gutierrez||117||Gary Mandella||15-1|
|11||Domestic Vintage||Kyle Frey||113||Neil D. Drysdale||30-1|
|12||How Unusual||Corey Nakatani||118||Michael Pender||6-1|
|13||Lottie||Flavien Prat||119||H. Graham Motion||9-2|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Starter Optional Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000.
|1||Psycho Dar||Evin Roman||116||Steven Miyadi||5-1|
|2||Not Yet||Joseph Talamo||123||Robert Gilker||20-1|
|3||Neighborhood Bully||Drayden Van Dyke||121||Tim Yakteen||7-2|
|4||Midnight Run||Kent Desormeaux||123||J. Keith Desormeaux||12-1|
|5||Royal Trump||Edwin Maldonado||123||Vladimir Cerin||5-1|
|6||Bob's All In||Kyle Frey||121||Matthew Chew||8-1|
|7||Treasure Hunter||Tiago Pereira||123||G. F. Almeida||12-1|
|8||Royal Bar||Tyler Baze||123||John W. Sadler||5-1|
|9||Warrior's Lullaby||Martin Pedroza||123||Mick Ruis||5-2|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Golden Kitten||Brice Blanc||122||Dan Blacker||12-1|
|2||Queen of Troy||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Patrick Gallagher||20-1|
|3||Chalky||Corey Nakatani||122||Philip D'Amato||4-1|
|4||Night Bloom||Evin Roman||117||Clifford W. Sise, Jr.||15-1|
|5||Prieta||Flavien Prat||122||Richard E. Mandella||8-1|
|6||Halo Ahead||Rafael Bejarano||122||Michael Machowsky||9-2|
|7||Red Shelby||Kent Desormeaux||122||Peter Miller||15-1|
|8||Delectable||Tiago Pereira||124||Tim Yakteen||15-1|
|9||Achira||Gary Stevens||122||John A. Shirreffs||7-2|
|10||Deccan Queen||Stewart Elliott||122||Carla Gaines||20-1|
|11||Blossom Trail Miss||Joseph Talamo||122||Neil D. Drysdale||8-1|
|12||Lori's Attitude||Tyler Baze||124||Carla Gaines||6-1|
|13||Lovely Raquel||Edwin Maldonado||124||Victor L. Garcia||20-1|
|14||Morning Dance||Santiago Gonzalez||122||Philip D'Amato||5-1|