Racing! Looking at the latest poll numbers

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Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back as our horse racing newsletter looks at who others think is the best 3-year-old.

You’ve heard me rail about the East Coast bias when it comes to the perception of racing. So, it was with great interest when I saw that the first NTRA poll of top 3-year-olds came out and Good Magic, the Eclipse Award winner, was first and Bolt D’Oro was second. Magic had 24 first-place votes and Bolt had 11. That’s pretty convincing.

So, I drilled down at the votes, which you can see here. My thought was that East Coasters voted for their horses and West Coasters voted for their horses.

I was dead wrong.

There are 38 voters in the poll and using the scientific method of looking up addresses in the 2017 NTWAB membership directory and checking out names on Twitter, I found that of the three California voters, none voted for Bolt.

Two Calis, Debbie Arrington and our answer-man contributor Jon White, voted for Good Magic and Scott Hazelton, the astute TVG analyst, voted for McKinzie.

Now, it should be pointed out that this poll is not who will win the Kentucky Derby but who is currently the best 3-year-old. More on what they’ve done than what they will do. We’ll explain more very soon as we debut a feature on who will win the Derby.

Now, it does bear looking at the makeup of the voters. First, we are going to throw out five names whose location could not be found in this haphazard examination of residences.

So, of the remaining 33, 13 were from the upper East Coast (NY/NJ/NH/CT) or 39%. Kentucky had eight (including two folks with the same last name who voted exactly the same 1-10) or 24%. The largest population state in the U.S., California, has, as stated, three or 9%.

Illinois had two voters or 6% and Canada, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas each had one voter or 3% each.

Is this fair? I don’t know, you tell me.

The NTRA isn’t trying to rig the game, of that I’m sure. I’ve put together polls before and sometimes you just look for people who are willing to participate and it’s no more complicated than that. And they’ve assembled a good group, including the current NTWAB president and four past presidents. That’s some firepower.

In the end, of course, it doesn’t matter because it will be decided on the track. But polls are a great vehicle for conversation and discussion and civil arguing is a good thing. Non-betting disagreements only make the sport more relevant. Betting disagreements are often settled in two minutes or less.

Santa Anita preview

Thursday’s card has one good-news race and one bad news. It’s hard to call any of the races on the eight-race card a true feature but for a Thursday it beats most other tracks.

The good news is the seventh, a 1 1/8 mile allowance/optional claimer on the turf. The purse of $54,000 has attracted 10 entrants with three also eligibles. The rail is at 20 feet.

The bad news is a one-mile maiden special weight worth $54,000. The problem is there are only five entrants. First time the entry box has been that low. The full race card is OK for horse population, as follows: 8, 5, 6, 9, 8, 9, 10 (3 also eligible) and 9.

There are only two turf races, also a low for the year.

Golden Gate preview

Last week we added a weekend preview of the best racing coming up at Golden Gate and from the response, we think you like it. New race caller and all-around good guy Matt Dinerman is our host to previews and other musings. So, take it away, Matt.

“We’ll start with some newsworthy jockey notes. Two Northern California riders are getting close to milestone victories. Jockey William Antongeorgi III is six wins away from 1,000 career wins while Francisco Duran is three wins shy of 1,500 victories. Also, 25-year-old Ferrin Peterson will be riding her first career race Thursday in the second race. She will ride Flood Level, who is 8-1 on the morning line. Ferrin has wanted to be a jockey ever since she was a little kid. We wish her the best of luck in becoming a successful jockey.

“Northern California horseman William E. Morey is off to a white-hot start at Santa Anita with his 15-horse string. The son of the late William Morey Jr. has won with nine of his first 15 starters at Santa Anita. His biggest win came last Saturday with Rye in the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic on Cal Cup Day. Another Northern California trainer, O.J. Jauregui, completed the exacta with Camino Del Paraiso, who has competed against Golden Gate allowance and stakes competition in the majority of his races.

“Nominations close Thursday for the $50,000 California Oaks, a 1 1/16 mile race for 3-year-old fillies to be run Saturday, Feb. 10. The California Oaks is the second of 12 stakes races scheduled to be run in this meet. Expected locals to run include Aniva Bay and Divine Mercy, the first two finishers in an allowance race in Dec., and impressive maiden special weight winner Sweetsongofthenile.

“Live racing continues Thursday with our usual first post time of 12:45 PM. Golden Gate has seven races Thursday, eight on Friday and nine on Saturday and Sunday. Super Bowl Sunday will have an early first post of 11:15 a.m.

“This announcer/handicapper has family stretched across the East Coast, so I have no choice but to root for New England. My dad is a huge Patriots fan, and he may be the only racing fan/handicapper that gets more aggravated when the Patriots lose than when he loses a photo finish at the races.”

(Note: The previous paragraph is not authorized or endorsed by this newsletter. Go Eagles.)

Bob Ike’s SA play of the day

SEVENTH RACE: No. 7 The Tulip (4-1)

Mare from Paddy Gallagher barn turned in a solid effort in her U.S. debut, finishing fourth when beaten less than two lengths. She broke slowly, lagged early, saved ground into the lane and closed mostly on her own courage while acting like she will appreciate today's added distance.

Sunday Result: Concur got the all-time perfect trip, cut the corner into stretch to hit the front, then couldn't hold off the top pair late when finishing third.

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.

Santa Anita Entries for Thursday, February 1.

Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 21st day of a 59-day meet.


6½ Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Soft TripModesto Linares122Vernon E. Aguayo30-120,000
2Capes Hot RocketMartin Pedroza122Vladimir Cerin5-220,000
3Awesome AnywhereEvin Roman117Robert B. Hess, Jr.9-220,000
4Lucky StaxxIgnacio Puglisi122Paul G. Aguirre8-120,000
5SawbuckJoseph Talamo122John W. Sadler3-120,000
6Tiz the TicketSantiago Gonzalez122Ruben Gomez12-120,000
7Spend ItTyler Baze122Rafael Becerra3-120,000
8Spokane EagleTyler Conner122Neil D. Drysdale8-120,000


1 Mile. Purse: $54,000. Maiden Special Weight. 4 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Momma's Baby BoyFlavien Prat122Jerry Hollendorfer8-5
2Surfside SunsetKent Desormeaux122Robert B. Hess, Jr.5-2
3AntiochJoseph Talamo122Gerard Piccioni3-1
4InsubordinationSantiago Gonzalez122G. F. Almeida10-1
5Hollywood StrikeVictor Espinoza122John A. Shirreffs3-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Madelyn's Wild MaxBrayan Pena121Genaro Vallejo4-116,000
2Next SpeakerRafael Bejarano121Jeff Bonde4-116,000
3Here and ThereRajiv Maragh121Robert N. Falcone, Jr.7-216,000
4Bear SkinnedMartin Pedroza121Jack Carava8-116,000
5AirfoilFlavien Prat121Peter Miller9-516,000
6Iron RobTiago Pereira121Mike Puype4-116,000


About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $30,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $32,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Elwood JRafael Bejarano123Jerry Hollendorfer5-132,000
2KetosTiago Pereira123John W. Sadler6-132,000
3Rate for MeTyler Baze123George Weaver5-232,000
4Green With EddieMario Gutierrez123Doug F. O'Neill6-132,000
5Los GatosMartin Pedroza123William Spawr4-132,000
6Taima the HawkDrayden Van Dyke123Vann Belvoir5-132,000
7My Man ChucklesFlavien Prat123Richard Baltas6-132,000
8Exotic GhostStewart Elliott123Mike Puype8-132,000
9At EaseBrice Blanc123Hector O. Palma15-132,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Papa TurfSantiago Gonzalez121Brian J. Koriner6-125,000
2Red Carpet CatDrayden Van Dyke121Vann Belvoir6-125,000
3Beantown BoysJoseph Talamo121John W. Sadler8-125,000
4True ValorKent Desormeaux121J. Keith Desormeaux6-125,000
5Well MeasuredEvin Roman116Jack Carava5-225,000
6Rocket HeatGeovanni Franco121Mark Glatt3-125,000
7AllaboutactionTyler Conner121Jerry Hollendorfer12-125,000
8ClassicoRafael Bejarano121Doug F. O'Neill6-125,000


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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Chay Up and AwayIgnacio Puglisi123Paul G. Aguirre12-125,000
2C. C. ZippEvin Roman118Jerry Hollendorfer5-225,000
3Reckless CharmTiago Pereira123James M. Cassidy15-125,000
4Christy JacksonTyler Baze123Kenneth D. Black8-125,000
5Tiki Bar LogicJoseph Talamo123Michael Machowsky6-125,000
6Princess DorianGeovanni Franco123Reed Saldana8-125,000
7Little NatiFranklin Ceballos116Victor L. Garcia10-125,000
8Fly Far AwayFlavien Prat123Vladimir Cerin7-225,000
9Road TestMario Gutierrez123Jack Carava4-125,000


1 1/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Proud 'n' ReadyMario Gutierrez120Michael W. McCarthy20-1
2BombilateKent Desormeaux122James M. Cassidy4-1
3Glory and PowerBrice Blanc122Paulo H. Lobo20-1
4ScandalMike Smith124Richard E. Mandella4-1
5Pantsonfire Rajiv Maragh122Richard Baltas7-2
6Sasini Rafael Bejarano122Simon Callaghan12-1
7The Tulip Drayden Van Dyke122Patrick Gallagher4-1
8Night Time Inc Santiago Gonzalez124Martin F. Jones20-1
9Pistol Packin RoseKyle Frey120Doug F. O'Neill8-1
10Antonina Geovanni Franco124Paulo H. Lobo30-1
Also Eligible
11CauseforcommotionEvin Roman117J. Eric Kruljac5-1
12Siberian Iris Flavien Prat122Richard E. Mandella4-1
13Lynne's LegacyVictor Espinoza124James M. Cassidy12-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Lady CaliforniaAustin Solis122Daniel Dunham50-150,000
2My ScarlettTyler Baze120Jorge Periban12-140,000
3Lucky LulaGeovanni Franco120J. Eric Kruljac5-240,000
4Irish LassieTiago Pereira122Gerard Piccioni10-150,000
5Proudly ElegantFranklin Ceballos115Vladimir Cerin8-150,000
6ImpecuniousJoseph Talamo122Robert B. Hess, Jr.6-550,000
7Sunset MelodyCecily Evans122Marcia Stortz15-150,000
8My ClawAlonso Quinonez122Gary Sherlock6-150,000
9Dee Way to GoEvin Roman117Jorge Periban12-150,000