Racing! Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving

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 and the proprietor of (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).

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 or feed my ego by following me on Twitter @jcherwa

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.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1ScandalMike Smith121Richard E. Mandella6-1
2You're A Goat Flavien Prat124Dan Blacker5-2
3November Tale Drayden Van Dyke119Patrick Gallagher6-1
4ShazaraTyler Baze121Gary Sherlock8-1
5Antonina Brice Blanc124Paulo H. Lobo8-1
6BombilateGary Stevens121James M. Cassidy3-1
7Wishful WinkingKyle Frey121Mike Puype20-1
8HacktivismCorey Nakatani124Ben D. A. Cecil10-1
9CauseforcommotionEvin Roman114J. Eric Kruljac10-1


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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Pure SugarStewart Elliott120Mike Puype15-150,000
2Line DriveFlavien Prat120Doug F. O'Neill7-250,000
3CondiTyler Baze120John W. Sadler2-150,000
4My Rose of SavannaKyle Frey120Richard Baltas15-150,000
5Krissys ManicureRafael Bejarano120Richard Baltas5-250,000
6SilversonicEvin Roman115Peter Eurton12-150,000
7Sauce On SideKent Desormeaux120Peter Miller3-150,000


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $55,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Holiday StoneFlavien Prat118George Weaver6-1
2Caribou ClubDrayden Van Dyke118Thomas F. Proctor7-2
3FeldiniTyler Baze120Scott Hansen12-1
4Kencumin Rafael Bejarano120Peter Eurton4-1
5TroublewithateeKent Desormeaux120Philip D'Amato6-1
6Gio's CallingJoseph Talamo120Brian A. Lynch5-1
7TwentytwentyvisionEvin Roman115Richard E. Mandella10-162,500
8A Red Tie DayCorey Nakatani120Richard Baltas3-162,500


6 Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $50,000. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1InsubordinationTyler Baze124Kenneth D. Black5-150,000
2Black StormTiago Pereira122Lloyd C. Wicker12-150,000
3Thankful Every DayEvin Roman117Eddie Truman5-150,000
4Quick FinishDrayden Van Dyke122Dan Blacker3-150,000
5ScientificallyFelipe Martinez122James F. Sayler20-150,000
6Catfish HunterEdwin Maldonado122Steven Miyadi5-250,000
7Sea's JourneyStewart Elliott122Mike Puype4-150,000
8Dream On BrotherIgnacio Puglisi122Paul G. Aguirre10-150,000


1 Mile. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Majestic EagleEvin Roman117Neil D. Drysdale10-1
2End of SpiritsMartin Pedroza122Brian A. Lynch8-1
3Longden Rafael Bejarano122Bob Baffert5-1
4ShivermetimbersMike Smith122Jerry Hollendorfer7-2
5Danny ODrayden Van Dyke122Doug F. O'Neill20-1
6PeaceFlavien Prat122Richard E. Mandella3-1
7Orbit RainBrice Blanc122Mick Ruis20-1
8He's StylishTyler Baze122Philip D'Amato5-2
9Point GuardCorey Nakatani122Richard Baltas12-1


1 3/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $100,000. 'Red Carpet Handicap'. Stakes. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Laseen Tiago Pereira117James M. Cassidy12-1
2Dynamic Mizzes KGary Stevens116Mark Glatt15-1
3Evo Campo Rafael Bejarano122Patrick Gallagher4-1
4VictressStewart Elliott116Robert Gilker30-1
5La Manta GrisKent Desormeaux114George R. Arnold, II15-1
6Kiss Me Now Brice Blanc117Paulo H. Lobo20-1
7Responsibleforlove Joseph Talamo121Neil D. Drysdale7-2
8Do the DanceTyler Baze117Gary Sherlock20-1
9EarringDrayden Van Dyke117Thomas F. Proctor6-1
10Birdie GoldMario Gutierrez117Gary Mandella15-1
11Domestic VintageKyle Frey113Neil D. Drysdale30-1
12How UnusualCorey Nakatani118Michael Pender6-1
13LottieFlavien Prat119H. Graham Motion9-2


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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Psycho DarEvin Roman116Steven Miyadi5-1
2Not YetJoseph Talamo123Robert Gilker20-1
3Neighborhood BullyDrayden Van Dyke121Tim Yakteen7-2
4Midnight RunKent Desormeaux123J. Keith Desormeaux12-1
5Royal TrumpEdwin Maldonado123Vladimir Cerin5-1
6Bob's All InKyle Frey121Matthew Chew8-1
7Treasure HunterTiago Pereira123G. F. Almeida12-1
8Royal BarTyler Baze123John W. Sadler5-1
9Warrior's LullabyMartin Pedroza123Mick Ruis5-2


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Golden KittenBrice Blanc122Dan Blacker12-1
2Queen of TroyDrayden Van Dyke122Patrick Gallagher20-1
3Chalky Corey Nakatani122Philip D'Amato4-1
4Night BloomEvin Roman117Clifford W. Sise, Jr.15-1
5PrietaFlavien Prat122Richard E. Mandella8-1
6Halo AheadRafael Bejarano122Michael Machowsky9-2
7Red ShelbyKent Desormeaux122Peter Miller15-1
8DelectableTiago Pereira124Tim Yakteen15-1
9AchiraGary Stevens122John A. Shirreffs7-2
10Deccan QueenStewart Elliott122Carla Gaines20-1
11Blossom Trail MissJoseph Talamo122Neil D. Drysdale8-1
12Lori's AttitudeTyler Baze124Carla Gaines6-1
Also Eligible
13Lovely RaquelEdwin Maldonado124Victor L. Garcia20-1
14Morning DanceSantiago Gonzalez122Philip D'Amato5-1

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