Racing! Can’t wait for Saturday’s showdown
Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we float an idea that will never happen.
The countdown begins to Saturday, the best day of racing this year at Santa Anita. It’s not hyperbole when I say this is a fantastic card. If you love great racing with legitimate stars, this is your day.
The main event is not the storied Santa Anita Handicap but the 3-year-old Kentucky Derby prep, the San Felipe. And it has star power. Bolt D’Oro, from the barn of Mick Ruis, and McKinzie, trained by
The race was elevated even more when Good Magic, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and former No. 1 ranked, turned in a lackluster race and finished third in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream last weekend.
Since the foundation of the sport is based on gambling, this weekend offers you the third of four installments of the Kentucky Derby Futures pool. Bolt D’Oro is listed at 6-1 and McKinzie is 8-1. You can look at those like morning-line odds, but two months early.
The odds you will actually receive will be determined when the pool closes Sunday at 3 p.m. PDT. (It opens on Friday at 9 a.m., PST) So, why oh why, would anyone place their bet before seeing the San Felipe? (Or Gotham or Tampa Bay Derby, for that matter?) It’s pretty much guaranteed that neither Bolt D’Oro nor McKinzie will be close to their projected odds unless they run stride-for-stride across the finish line in a photo.
But wouldn’t it be fun if you could do it like the British bookmakers do at the track, where you get the odds given when you make the bet? It would eliminate the grumbling that goes on when your 2-1 at post, ends up 4-5 halfway through the race when all the off-track and ADW wagering is counted in the pools. Most of all, though, is it would allow some significant betting numbers because people would be trying to grab a huge overlay price on whomever goes on to win the prep.
Providing the technology is there (note to tracks: don’t hire the people who do photo finishes) it would make running a race track a lot more risky (as if there isn’t enough already). Or it could make it even more profitable.
It would create utter chaos and most betting would have to be turned over to hand-held or tablet devices. It would be like buying on Ticketmaster: “You have 60 seconds to complete this transaction.”
Sort of like a game of Uber, trying to avoid the surge pricing and getting the best deal.
It's doubtful we’ll ever see that at a track in the U.S., although that concept is what happens when you play non-pari-mutuel sports in Las Vegas. But if you were to try this experiment, wouldn’t the future pools be a good place to experiment? After all, it is kind of a sucker bet. Let’s see, how about making a bet on a horse, months in advance, before knowing if they will even run? Hmmmm.
Time to shut down that dream and take a look at the projected starting odds going into Future Pool 3.
6-1: Bolt D’Oro, all horses not listed
8-1: Audible, McKinzie, Promises Fulfilled
15-1: Free Drop Billy, Good Magic, Justify (off one race), Solomini, Strike Power
30-1: Bravazo, Catholic Boy, Flameaway, Gold Town, Instilled Regard, Magnum Moon, Mendelssohn, My Boy Jack, Sporting Chance
50-1: Combatant, Noble Indy, Vino Rosso
Santa Anita preview
It’s funny how expectations can warp your sensibilities. After Sunday’s terrible card, I was braced for the worst on Thursday. Instead, it’s a pretty robust slate of races with three on turf and decent-sized fields except in the second, where the track always puts its low-sized fields.
Granted, four of eight races, starting at 1 p.m., are for maidens, but it’s a Thursday. Cut ’em a break. Five of the races are at 1 1/16 miles. Three of the races have purses at $54,000 or greater. The turf races are the first, fifth and eighth.
Here are the field sizes, in order: 10 (1 also eligible), 5, 8, 7, 10 (1 AE), 8, 7, 10 (3 AE).
Golden Gate weekend preview
Now a look at the best racing coming up at Golden Gate. 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 kick things off with an important announcement: beginning Sunday, first post will change from 12:45 p.m. to 12:15 p.m. Also, nominations close Thursday for the $50,000 Camilla Urso Stakes for older fillies and mares. The race is a 6 furlongs and will be run on Sat., March 17.
“Congratulations to jockey Juan Hernandez, who won five races on Sunday. Juan, who has finished atop the jockey standings at four meets since the retirement of Russell Baze in 2015, is only three wins shy of leading rider Abel Cedillo in the jockey standings. It was also Juan’s 26th birthday on Wednesday.
“Four racing days [Thursday-Sunday] once again this week. There is a great card Thursday with seven races, all competitive with good field sizes. I would have to say it’s the best Thursday card since the meet started in December.
“The feature is the fourth race, a second-level allowance for older colts and geldings going one mile. We can expect a couple of the horses entered to run back in the San Francisco Mile on March 31. Among the top contenders in this ‘Mile prep are 2015 San Francisco Mile winner G. G. Ryder, 2017 El Camino Real Derby victor Zakaroff, stakes performer Grecian Fire and talented geldings Sixes and Dano’s Dream.”
Bob Ike’s SA play of the day
FOURTH RACE: No. 3 Two Thirty Five (7-2)
Tagged by top trainer Richard Baltas nearly two months ago and getting a confident class boost to be protected in this starter allowance spot off a string of solid works, we get the feeling 'Five is very live in this spot under hustling bug boy Franklin Ceballos. He has been showing speed in sprints, so expect him to try to wire this field in his first try around two turns.
Sunday Result: Vasilika (7-1) ran well but came up a neck short when finishing second in the 9th race.
Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of Horsebills.com (here’s a video) and the proprietor of BobIkePicks.com (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).
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And now the star of the show, Thursday’s entries.
Santa Anita Entries for Thursday, March 8.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 41st day of a 59-day meet.
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $29,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000.
|2||Black Storm||124||Lloyd C. Wicker||20-1||40,000|
|3||Kopitar||Evin Roman||121||John W. Sadler||7-2||50,000|
|4||Anziyan Cat||Brice Blanc||126||Javier Jose Sierra||50-1||50,000|
|5||Big Bad Gary||Santiago Gonzalez||120||Ruben Gomez||12-1||50,000|
|6||Cats Blame||Joseph Talamo||126||Mike Puype||5-1||50,000|
|7||Papa Gulf||124||John W. Sadler||8-1||40,000|
|8||Impression||126||Richard E. Mandella||8-5||50,000|
|9||Hoover Tower||Kent Desormeaux||126||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||6-1||50,000|
|10||Street to Indy||Tyler Baze||126||Thomas Ray Bell, II||12-1||50,000|
|11||You'll Be Lucky||Drayden Van Dyke||124||Vann Belvoir||30-1||40,000|
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $54,000. Maiden Special Weight. 3 year olds.
|1||Core Beliefs||Mike Smith||122||Peter Eurton||5-2|
|2||Draft Pick||Rafael Bejarano||122||Peter Eurton||7-2|
|3||Regulate||Joseph Talamo||122||Bob Baffert||3-1|
|4||Longden||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Bob Baffert||9-5|
|5||American All Star||Tyler Baze||122||Simon Callaghan||5-1|
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Second Gear||Franklin Ceballos||117||Sal Gonzalez||3-1||20,000|
|2||Warren's Fandango||Tyler Baze||122||Jorge ||4-1||20,000|
|3||Tequila Blanco||Saul Arias||122||Philip D'Amato||6-1||20,000|
|4||Western Warrior||Ruben Fuentes||122||Blake R. Heap||20-1||20,000|
|5||Beloved Holiday||Tiago Pereira||122||Edward R. Freeman||10-1||20,000|
|6||Perfection Tale||Edwin Maldonado||122||Howard L. Zucker||7-2||20,000|
|7||Spend It||Geovanni Franco||122||Rafael Becerra||5-1||20,000|
|8||Sawbuck||Joseph Talamo||122||John W. Sadler||9-2||20,000|
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $30,000. Starter Allowance. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Kaleidoscope Kid||Evin Roman||113||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||15-1|
|2||Arch Prince||Alonso Quinonez||124||Val Brinkerhoff||10-1|
|3||Two Thirty Five||Franklin Ceballos||119||Richard Baltas||7-2|
|4||Super Duper Cooper||124||Michael W. McCarthy||5-2|
|5||Old School Ike||Tyler Baze||118||5-1|
|6||Spokane Eagle||Tyler Conner||124||Neil D. Drysdale||7-2|
|7||Trustworthy||Joseph Talamo||124||Clifford W. Sise, Jr.||3-1|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $58,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.
|1||Pantsonfire||Rajiv Maragh||122||Richard Baltas||3-1|
|2||Fizzy Friday||Flavien Prat||120||Philip D'Amato||7-2|
|3||Cordiality||Tyler Baze||120||Mark Glatt||6-1|
|4||Pricedtoperfection||Tiago Pereira||122||James M. Cassidy||5-1|
|5||Shazara||Rafael Bejarano||122||Gary Sherlock||10-1|
|6||Starlite Style||Evin Roman||119||Hector O. Palma||20-1|
|7||Beautiful Becca||Mario Gutierrez||120||12-1|
|8||Nodiac||Geovanni Franco||120||Philip D'Amato||10-1|
|9||Just a Little Hope||Drayden Van Dyke||120||Dan L. Hendricks||8-1|
|10||Do the Dance||Kyle Frey||124||Gary Sherlock||8-1||62,500|
|11||Citizen Kitty||Geovanni Franco||124||Jeffrey Metz||12-1||62,500|
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Is Trevor Clever||Asa Espinoza||112||Peter Miller||7-2||20,000|
|2||Lighthouse Point||Rajiv Maragh||122||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||8-1||20,000|
|3||Vegas Itch||Brayan Pena||122||George Papaprodromou||5-1||20,000|
|4||Path of Exile||Ignacio Puglisi||122||Michael W. McCarthy||4-1||20,000|
|5||Royal Rebel||Tiago Pereira||122||J. Buenaventura Vargas||30-1||20,000|
|6||Wise Curlin||Martin Pedroza||122||Peter Eurton||8-1||20,000|
|7||Lucky Staxx||Ruben Fuentes||122||Paul G. Aguirre||3-1||20,000|
|8||Defense Minister||Evin Roman||117||Jerry Hollendorfer||4-1||20,000|
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000. State bred.
|1||Drouillard||Geovanni Franco||122||Jonathan Wong||4-1|
|2||Rolls Royce Deal||Juan Ochoa||120||Gus Headley||6-1|
|3||Plain Wrap||Asa Espinoza||112||Javier Jose Sierra||12-1|
|4||Preacher Roe||Stewart Elliott||124||Mike Puype||3-1||16,000|
|5||Trapalanda||Rafael Bejarano||120||Doug F. O'Neill||8-1|
|6||Desert General||Tyler Baze||120||Sean McCarthy||7-2|
|7||Popular Kid||Kent Desormeaux||124||J. Keith Desormeaux||5-2||16,000|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $23,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $25,000.
|1||Wicked Old Fashion||Ruben Fuentes||123||Edward R. Freeman||6-1||25,000|
|2||Duranga||Flavien Prat||123||Jerry Hollendorfer||7-2||25,000|
|3||Tizno's Dilemma||Tyler Baze||123||Sean McCarthy||10-1||25,000|
|4||Empress Rules||Felipe Martinez||123||Cheryl Lankford||12-1||25,000|
|5||Road Test||Mario Gutierrez||123||Jack Carava||9-2||25,000|
|6||So Golden||Victor Espinoza||123||James M. Cassidy||6-1||25,000|
|7||Hotsy Dotsy||Evin Roman||118||Hector O. Palma||8-1||25,000|
|8||Subic Bay||Asa Espinoza||113||Jeff Mullins||4-1||25,000|
|9||Christy Jackson||Cesar Franco||116||Kenneth D. Black||15-1||25,000|
|10||Pirate Flag||Stewart Elliott||123||Clifford W. Sise, Jr.||12-1||25,000|
|11||Agent Nine T Nine||Tiago Pereira||123||Dan Blacker||5-1||25,000|
|12||Carrie||Cesar Franco||116||Charles R. Stutts||20-1||25,000|
|13||Oh Scatty Oh||Franklin Ceballos||118||Steven Miyadi||15-1||25,000|
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