Racing! You won’t believe what’s on Peter Eurton’s bucket list

Hello, my name is John Cherwa, and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as I apologize for one of those clickbait headlines that are so annoying.

Hope everyone had a nice few days respite from local racing and are adjusting to the new year. And how many times have you written “2017” instead of “2018” when you have to date something?

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Q & A with a racing notable about everything but racing. So, let’s go to the well and pull out one I did last year, but never published, with one of racing’s true nice guys — Peter Eurton.

I remember how excited all the other trainers were for him when he won his first Breeders’ Cup race in 2016 with Champagne Room. He’s one of the most liked guys on the backstretch. So, take it away Peter.

What is your favorite TV show that you are currently watching?

We probably watch “Seinfeld” almost every night, even though I’ve seen every single episode three of four times.

If you weren’t a trainer what would you be?

That’s a very good question. I’d probably still be galloping horses. That what I started doing. In ’79 through ’81, I was a jockey. I started galloping horses for my stepfather, Steve Ippolito. I started training in ’85. I’ve been doing it for 32 years. To be honest, I have no idea what I would be doing.

What’s your favorite all-time movie?

A movie I’ve seen a zillion times, it would be “Groundhog Day.” I just like to have a few laughs and just be able to zone out. Having a good laugh is never a bad thing.

If you could have lunch or dinner with anyone living or dead, who would that be?

Probably my father. (Wayne Eurton)

What’s No. 1 on your bucket list?

Probably just continue what I’m doing to continue training horses for a real long time. There’s nothing in the world I want to go see as far as travel. Or maybe, but don’t tell Britney this, to have a grandkid. That’s probably one of the top things. (Note to readers: Remember, we’re not supposed to tell TVG personality Britney Eurton. Shhhh.)

What’s your favorite food?

A great hamburger. In-N-Out is pretty darn good. I just had one of the best hambugers I’ve ever had in my life at Pamplemousse [in San Diego].

What’s your favorite type of music?

I love rock. I love ‘70s music, I could listen to that all day long. I’m just learning to like the new rock ‘n’ roll because it’s got a good jump to it. The voices on these kids is amazing.

In the news

Here’s some thing you might have missed since we last talked.

--The Eclipse nominees will be announced at 9 a.m. PST on Friday. They will be shown live on TVG. If you miss that, we’ll have those names for you on as soon as I can type them up.

--Aqueduct is canceling races through the weekend because of the bitter cold that has beset the East. Laurel is canceling Friday and doing a wait and see on the weekend. They are rescheduling Friday’s card to Monday. Turfway Park canceled Thursday, unclear about Friday.

--Bolt D’Oro resumes training after pulling a muscle. Brad Free of the Daily Racing Form has all the info. (just click here)

--Elizabeth Talamo, daughter of trainer Ron Ellis and wife of jockey Joe Talamo, comes to the defense of her father in an impassioned Twitter post. Read the post and comments in the Paulick Report. (just click here)

Santa Anita stats

Santa Anita is off to a good start with a 16% increase in all-source handle and a 9% on-track handle. The on-track handle would seem to be more significant as the off-track may have been higher because of the cancellation of racing opportunities on the East Coast because of weather. Nonetheless, it’s a great start to the meet. The track also reports an average field size of 9.36 horses a race. Generally speaking, my bets are usually on the .36th of a horse.

Santa Anita preview

Another interesting weekend with two good stakes on Saturday and one on Sunday, which means the Friday card is pretty pedestrian. And it lives up to that. Six of the eight races on Friday are claiming and there are only two turf races. Both those races are set at 30 feet, so that leads to smaller fields. Both races have also eligibles.

The feature is the seventh race, 6½ furlongs down the hill for fillies and mares 4 years and up. The favorite at 7/2 is Sneakers, which is owned by one of our regular newsletter readers Jeff Prupis. Best of luck to all owners, trainers, jockeys and bettors. Oh, and the tracks too. We like everybody.

Bob Ike’s SA play of the day

FIRST RACE: Exacta Box 1-5 (Lady Ninja and Sly Humor)

With a vulnerable morning line favorite to play against, I equally like two horses in here, so let's make an exacta box. From the rail, Lady Ninja (7-2) comes off an even third from the inside post at Los Al vs. a field of stronger older runners. Sly Humor (3-1) has been second in two straight, moves outside off the fence and has a good record over this track.

Sunday result: Buck Duane finished second in the first race.

Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of and the proprietor of (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).

Los Alamitos weekend preview

I’ve decided to leave this weekly segment in the hands of Orlando Gutierrez, marketing and media maven at Los Al. So, take it away, Orlando.

“The weekend at Los Alamitos will be highlighted by the first of 12 Grade 1 races at Los Alamitos in 2018, the $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap for mares on Sunday night at 400 yards. All the big names in this Quarter Horse division have entered the Charger Bar led by defending champion Jess Good Reason, who has also been assigned high weight of 126 pounds. In addition to winning the Charger Bar a year ago, Jess Good Reason was second in the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap for fillies and mares in the summer and was fourth in the $750,000 Champion of Champions on December 16. Spackman Racing’s Time For Jess, who beat Jess Good Reason in the Mildred Vessels, and Las Damas Handicap winner Thermonuclear Energy have also been assigned 124 pounds.

“Friday night has five of eight races with fields of eight or more. The final two races will feature 10-horse fields. First post is 7 p.m. The seventh race, with a field of 10, will be headed by 2016 Kindergarten Futurity finalist Stel A Wish, who recently broke his maiden against $10,000 maiden claimers in his last start. Frozen Icon is another one to watch in the seventh. The son of Texas Icon has hit the board in nine of 11 career starts and has done well at Los Alamitos — he qualified to last year’s Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes. Trained by Matt Fales, Frozen Icon was second in a couple of futurities at Turf Paradise last year and third in the Desert Classic Derby also at Turf Paradise in his most recent outing.

“Ruidoso Downs also announced its Hall of Fame inductees for 2018 with Los Alamitos represented by trainer Jaime Gomez, jockey Cody Jensen, and multiple Grade 1 One Famous Eagle. Gomez has won every major race at Los Al, including a pair of Los Alamitos Two Million Futurities and a Champion of Champions. Jensen won three straight Los Alamitos Invitational Championships with Catchmeinyourdreams, while One Famous Eagle won the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Super Derby.”

Ed Burgart L.A. play of the day

FIFTH RACE: No. 1 Boxcar Willi (7-2)

He was a victim of bad luck in his last start when taking a step back as the gate opened while coming away extremely slow. He still showed interest to finish fifth and is usually quick from the gate. Leading jockey Jesus Ayala stays aboard for high-percentage trainer Lindolfo Diaz.

Final thought

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Any thoughts, drop me an email at or follow me on Twitter @jcherwa

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

Santa Anita Entries for Friday, January 5.

Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 6th day of a 59-day meet.


6 Furlongs. Purse: $43,000. Claiming. Fillies. 4 year olds. Claiming Prices $50,000-$45,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Lady NinjaDrayden Van Dyke121Michael W. McCarthy7-250,000
2Go On MaryFlavien Prat121Doug F. O'Neill7-250,000
3Moon KittyEvin Roman114Peter Miller2-145,000
4Adios CaliTiago Pereira119Steve Knapp15-145,000
5Sly HumorKent Desormeaux121Vladimir Cerin3-150,000
6You're LateKyle Frey121Jeff Bonde15-150,000
7VaiTyler Baze121Mark Glatt6-150,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $54,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 3 year olds.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1CowboytakemeawayTyler Conner122Jerry Hollendorfer15-1
2MojganKyle Frey122Richard Baltas6-1
3Fool's ParadiseMario Gutierrez122Ben D. A. Cecil10-1
4EmboldenedJoseph Talamo122Bob Baffert5-2
5Sensible ThoughtsRafael Bejarano122Richard Baltas6-1
6We All Have DreamsFlavien Prat122Michael W. McCarthy5-1
7HottalabambaDrayden Van Dyke122Bob Baffert7-5


6 Furlongs. Purse: $23,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Christy JacksonTyler Baze123Kenneth D. Black15-125,000
2TroublesomeKyle Frey123Jeff Bonde7-225,000
3Trap QueenRajiv Maragh123Michael Machowsky5-125,000
4Fly Far AwayFlavien Prat123Vladimir Cerin4-125,000
5RansomedJuan Ochoa123Sal Gonzalez8-125,000
6Princess DorianEvin Roman118Peter Eurton3-125,000
7Conquest FlattermeStewart Elliott123Vladimir Cerin6-125,000
8Foxy FreshSantiago Gonzalez123James M. Cassidy6-125,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $25,000. Maiden Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Bob's Bad BoyStewart Elliott124Mike Harrington8-140,000
2Towards the LightEvin Roman119Philip D'Amato3-140,000
3Williston DudeAlonso Quinonez124Matthew Chew4-140,000
4Capes Hot RocketMartin Pedroza124Vladimir Cerin15-140,000
5CarayTiago Pereira124Gary Stute12-140,000
6Dominant DonTyler Conner124John W. Sadler8-140,000
7SawbuckRajiv Maragh124John W. Sadler6-140,000
8ExceptiontotheruleSantiago Gonzalez124James M. Cassidy15-140,000
9Cats BlameJoseph Talamo124Victor L. Garcia5-240,000


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $38,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $100,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Chieftain's LadGeovanni Franco122Anthony DeMarco30-1100,000
2Purr CatMario Gutierrez122Neil D. Drysdale12-1100,000
3Martin RiggsRajiv Maragh122Mark Glatt9-5100,000
4Minister's GloryEvin Roman117Michael Machowsky7-2100,000
5Cosa Nostra Ignacio Puglisi122Jack Carava5-1100,000
6Holy GhostKent Desormeaux122J. Keith Desormeaux3-1100,000
7LauderdaleDrayden Van Dyke122Patrick Gallagher15-1100,000
8Studly PerfectionRafael Bejarano122Richard Baltas6-1100,000
Also Eligible
9Mo OverJoseph Talamo122Simon Callaghan7-2100,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $16,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $12,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Candy BossRajiv Maragh124John W. Sadler6-512,500
2It's Not So EasyEvin Roman119Steven Miyadi8-112,500
3Sharp HolidayLaura Werner117Victor Fernandez20-112,500
4Blissful LadyStewart Elliott124Charles S. Treece12-112,500
5Fashion FairRuben Fuentes124Sal Gonzalez30-112,500
6Todos SantosRafael Bejarano124Kelly Castaneda6-112,500
7All for CharityAlonso Quinonez124Steve Knapp15-112,500
8SingleforareasonFlavien Prat124Peter Eurton8-512,500


About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $56,000. Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Lethal LegacyGeovanni Franco121Gary Stute20-1
2Gotham DesireTiago Pereira121Ed Moger, Jr.12-1
3No ComparisonAlonso Quinonez121Kenneth D. Black6-1
4Candy RulerEvin Roman116Mark Glatt6-1
5Mizzen GloryTyler Baze121Philip D'Amato10-1
6SpeakersDrayden Van Dyke121Patrick Gallagher7-2
7Battleground StateFlavien Prat121Neil D. Drysdale4-1
8LayneeRafael Bejarano121Andy Mathis10-1
9WinemenowJoseph Talamo121Mike Puype4-1
10PromnesiaKent Desormeaux121Martin F. Jones10-1
Also Eligible
11Rolling ShadowMario Gutierrez121Neil D. Drysdale6-1
12Lady EspionageStewart Elliott121Michele Dollase8-1
13Briartic GalCorey Nakatani121Richard Baltas12-1


1 Mile. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $30,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Tisn't She LuckyBrice Blanc122David Bernstein8-130,000
2Millie JoelDrayden Van Dyke122Anthony K. Saavedra10-130,000
3Wannabe SoloCecily Evans122Derek Meredith30-130,000
4Tapitha BonitaJuan Ochoa122Sal Gonzalez12-130,000
5Cee Sam's GirlRajiv Maragh122George Papaprodromou15-130,000
6Mischievious LassTyler Conner122Jerry Hollendorfer8-530,000
7TizswiftMario Gutierrez122Jesus Mendoza20-130,000
8Wicked SunsetSantiago Gonzalez122Marcia Stortz15-130,000
9Sauce On SideEvin Roman117Peter Miller5-230,000
10SpiritualistTyler Baze122Mark Glatt5-130,000
Also Eligible
11TaylorealswiftRafael Bejarano122Richard Baltas6-130,000
12Artistic MinistryGeovanni Franco122Steven Miyadi6-130,000
13VeniceJoseph Talamo122Kristin Mulhall10-130,000