Newsletter: Racing! Santa Anita Derby draw and other Kentucky Derby news
Hello, my name is John Cherwa, and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we get ready for Saturday’s big card at Santa Anita.
First off, Santa Anita has a 13-race card on Saturday that starts at 11:30 a.m. You don’t see a race card that big unless you are at Gulfstream or a dog track.
The ninth is the big deal, even though there are a lot of other big races, with the running of the $1-million Santa Anita Derby. You can read more about the draw. (Just click here.) The big headline from there is that Jon White, the morning-line maker, predicts that Justify will bring more betting action than Bolt d’Oro. He has Justify at 4-5 and Bolt d’Oro at 6-5. Still pretty close.
It’ll be interesting to see how Jon ranks the two horses, as well as Audible, when he provides the newsletter with his weekly rankings on Friday. Can’t wait.
No doubt this is a huge viability check for Justify. He has to finish no worse than second if he hopes to qualify for the big race. Lots more coverage coming on the Santa Anita Derby, both online and in print. We’ll link to the stories from here.
Trainer Bob Baffert all but ruled out McKinzie being ready for the Kentucky Derby. He was originally scheduled to run in the Santa Anita Derby but was pulled from the race because of a slight injury. This allowed him to enter Justify in Saturday’s race. Baffert was not going to run his two best 3-year-olds against each other before the Kentucky Derby.
“Actually, he is fine,” Baffert said about McKinzie. “The X-rays were all clean. He did something in his hock, and the nuke scan had it a little lit up in that area, so I think he jammed it. So, we’re going to wait another 10 days and re-scan him. We’re just being very cautious. Every day that he doesn’t go to the track, it’s obviously not in his favor [to go to the Kentucky Derby]. …
“I can’t see him making it because I’m going to have to back off on him. And even though he looks fine, I don’t want to do anything that jeopardizes his health. We’ll know more in probably a couple weeks. The Preakness would be a long shot, but the Derby, I just can’t see it happening.”
Locals in the Blue Grass
Saturday’s Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland will have three Southern California-based horses in the 14-horse, 170-pont prep.
Kanthaka, for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, will be breaking from the fourth spot and is 10-1 on the morning line. He was third in the San Felipe behind Bolt d’Oro and McKinzie. He has 10 Kentucky Derby points, so he’ll need at least a second to qualify. Julien Leparoux will ride.
Blended Citizen is one of two Doug O’Neill horses in the race. He’s 15-1 but with 20 Derby points, so a third would land him a spot in Louisville. He won the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway by a neck. Kyle Frey will break the colt from the seven.
Arawak, who joined O’Neill’s barn before the Jeff Ruby, has a bad post in the 14 and only four points after a third in the Jeff Ruby. Fernando de la Cruz will ride the 30-1 shot.
Good Magic, who had a disappointing third in the Fountain of Youth after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite.
Santa Anita preview
Thursday’s card is eight races starting at noon. Nothing really stands out, but there are three turf races, two of them down the hill. Five of the races are claimers, with the seventh being the feature, one mile on the turf for Cal-bred fillies and mares 3 and up. The purse is $56,000.
The field sizes, in order: 10, 7, 6, 7,10 (4 also eligible), 8, 10 (3 AE), 11. All in all, not a bad betting card.
Golden Gate weekend preview
Now a look at the best racing coming up at Golden Gate. Race caller (I think we can stop calling him new) and all-around good guy Matt Dinerman is our host to previews and other musings. So, take it away, Matt:
“We begin our racing week with a late pick 5 carryover of $40,132. The late pick 5, a 50-cent wager, will go as races 3-7 on the Thursday afternoon card. Thirty-nine horses have been entered this sequence, which averages 7.8 horses a race. Two of the five races are on the turf. Track officials predict that about $150,000 new-money will be added into the pool.
“California racing fans surely will be excited to see Paved return this weekend. The 3-year-old filly, who defeated boys in the El Camino Real Derby, makes her first since then in the Providencia Stakes on turf this Saturday at Santa Anita. Michael McCarthy trains and Drayden Van Dyke retains the mount. Also scheduled against stakes competition on Sunday is Northern California’s Noble Nick, who will be carrying the Golden Gate Fields flag in the Tokyo City Cup. Northern California conditioner Ari Herbertson trains and Bay Area resident Billy Antongeorgi III will fly down to ride.
“Of course, it is going to be a big day throughout the country, with monster cards and final derby prep races at Aqueduct, Keeneland and Santa Anita. Golden Gate Fields offers a 10-race program on Saturday, one more race than usual.
“A big shoutout goes to Flamboyant, who was terrific last week in the San Francisco Mile when defeating Berkeley Handicap winner Editore and local longshot Many Roses in a thrilling stretch run. Flamboyant, a 7-year-old trained by Paddy Gallagher and ridden by Julien Couton, became racing’s newest millionaire with last week’s Grade 3 victory. Congratulations to Flamboyant and his connections.”
Bob Ike SA pick of the day
FIRST RACE: No. 10 Boy Howdy (7-2)
Class dropper from the sharp Bill Spawr barn dueled vs. much stronger last time and understandably gave way. He is fast early, drawn well outside and wins races but he is trying turf for the first time in his 12-race career, so that is a question mark.
Sunday Result: Bartlett Hall raced wide on the far turn but didn't offer much stretch punch and wound up fourth in the ninth 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, April 5.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 57th day of a 59-day meet.
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $29,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.
|1||Kochees||Mario Gutierrez||120||Jonathan Wong||4-1||22,500|
|2||Banze No Oeste||Tiago Pereira||122||Steve Knapp||5-1||25,000|
|3||Pick One||Kellie McDaid||113||Daniel Azcarate||50-1||22,500|
|4||True Valor||Flavien Prat||122||J. Keith Desormeaux||12-1||25,000|
|5||Coastline||Kent Desormeaux||122||Jack Carava||3-1||25,000|
|6||Reign On||Diego Sanchez||122||Doug F. O'Neill||6-1||25,000|
|7||Rate for Me||Evin Roman||122||Adam Kitchingman||6-1||25,000|
|8||Red Wine and Dine||Ruben Fuentes||122||Rafael DeLeon||20-1||25,000|
|9||Bourque||Juan Ochoa||122||Mick Ruis||20-1||25,000|
|10||Boy Howdy||Martin Pedroza||122||William Spawr||7-2||25,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Lookingforthewire||Diego Sanchez||122||Sal Gonzalez||30-1||20,000|
|2||Yalla||Martin Pedroza||122||Alfredo Marquez||7-5||20,000|
|3||Sonnet's Joy||Barrington Harvey||122||Kenneth E. Nettles||15-1||20,000|
|4||Madera Jubilee||Edgar Orozco||122||Louis A. Bradvica||12-1||20,000|
|5||Magicalchic||Edgar Payeras||115||Louis A. Bradvica||8-1||20,000|
|6||Radio Chatter||Ruben Fuentes||122||Melissa Saldana||7-2||20,000|
|7||Veiled Heat||Asa Espinoza||112||Nestor M. Capitaine||8-5||20,000|
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000.
|1||Here and There||Tyler Baze||121||Jeffrey Metz||3-1||16,000|
|2||City Steel||Joseph Talamo||121||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||2-1||16,000|
|3||I'll Wrap It Up||Edwin Maldonado||121||Steven Miyadi||5-2||16,000|
|4||Roaring Rule||Brayan Pena||121||John F. Martin||6-1||16,000|
|5||Shackleford Banks||Kyle Frey||121||Jerry Hollendorfer||6-1||16,000|
|6||Sanavi||Tiago Pereira||121||Anthony K. Saavedra||6-1||16,000|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $30,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Donut Girl||Geovanni Franco||118||Hector O. Palma||5-2|
|2||Royal Astronomer||Joseph Talamo||124||John E. Cortez||10-1|
|3||An Eddie Surprise||Mario Gutierrez||120||Doug F. O'Neill||8-1|
|4||Tiny Tina||Stewart Elliott||118||Richard Baltas||2-1|
|5||Mixed Emotions||Victor Espinoza||118||J. Eric Kruljac||5-1|
|6||Avail||Tiago Pereira||118||Brian J. Koriner||5-2|
|7||Baytown Juliet||Barrington Harvey||118||Kenneth E. Nettles||30-1|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $29,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000.
|1||California Breeze||Geovanni Franco||126||Philip D'Amato||4-1||50,000|
|2||Biscotti Gal||Alonso Quinonez||126||Jorge Gutierrez||20-1||50,000|
|3||Foxtail||Tyler Baze||126||John W. Sadler||6-1||50,000|
|4||Himmah||Flavien Prat||120||Mark Glatt||7-2||50,000|
|5||Western Mongolia||Stewart Elliott||126||Enebish Ganbat||20-1||50,000|
|6||Tanda's Joy||Drayden Van Dyke||126||Mike Puype||10-1||50,000|
|7||Gia Lula||Tyler Conner||120||Mark Glatt||8-1||50,000|
|8||Diva La Mousse||Evin Roman||126||Bob Baffert||2-1||50,000|
|9||Sea Glass||Rajiv Maragh||120||Ian Kruljac||15-1||50,000|
|10||Izzys Express||Joseph Talamo||126||Mike Puype||12-1||50,000|
|11||Eurasia||Edwin Maldonado||120||Dan Blacker||20-1||50,000|
|12||Topaz Time||Kyle Frey||124||Matthew Chew||20-1||40,000|
|13||On a Toot||Barrington Harvey||124||Kenneth E. Nettles||50-1||40,000|
|14||Trophy Bridle||Tyler Conner||120||Patrick Gallagher||8-1||50,000|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $16,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $8,000.
|1||My Project Girl||Christian Aragon||121||LaTorre III Jose L. De||12-1||8,000|
|2||Tiz Deliteful||Tyler Baze||121||Jeffrey Metz||6-1||8,000|
|3||Where's the D||Efrain Hernandez||123||Rosemary Trela||4-1||8,000|
|4||Tuscany Beauty||Tyler Conner||121||Jack Carava||12-1||8,000|
|5||Pomp and Party||Evin Roman||121||Philip D'Amato||3-1||8,000|
|6||Foxy Fresh||Asa Espinoza||111||James M. Cassidy||5-2||8,000|
|7||Rockantharos||Brayan Pena||121||Antonio Garcia||8-1||8,000|
|8||Jill Madden||Martin Pedroza||121||Matthew Chew||5-1||8,000|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $56,000. Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. State bred.
|1||Speakers||Drayden Van Dyke||126||Patrick Gallagher||5-1|
|2||My Aunt Tillie||Corey Nakatani||124||Mike Puype||4-1|
|3||Mizzen Glory||Evin Roman||124||Ed Moger, Jr.||12-1|
|4||Lostintranzlation||Geovanni Franco||126||Richard Baltas||7-2|
|5||Dreamy Gal||Tyler Baze||124||Jeff Mullins||5-1|
|6||Streak of Luck||Kyle Frey||118||Matthew Chew||10-1|
|7||Batiquitos||Martin Pedroza||124||William Spawr||8-1|
|8||Almost Reality||Flavien Prat||126||Neil D. Drysdale||20-1|
|9||X S Gold||Kent Desormeaux||120||James M. Cassidy||5-1|
|10||Inland Empire||Mike Smith||120||Peter Eurton||12-1|
|11||Sugaratsundown||Matt Garcia||118||Antonio Garcia||50-1|
|12||Princess Dorian||Geovanni Franco||124||Reed Saldana||20-1|
|13||Silverspun Pickup||Martin Pedroza||118||Michael Machowsky||15-1|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $54,000. Maiden Special Weight. 3 year olds and up. State bred.
|1||Seattle Encounter||Geovanni Franco||120||Ian Kruljac||12-1|
|2||Perfect Wager||Tyler Baze||120||Jeff Mullins||4-1|
|3||Going Away Party||Tom Lefranc||113||Bruce Headley||20-1|
|4||Leroy||Flavien Prat||126||Philip A. Oviedo||7-2|
|5||Nova||Ruben Fuentes||120||Rafael DeLeon||12-1|
|6||Poco Diablo||Stewart Elliott||126||Mike Harrington||6-1|
|7||Flynn||Evin Roman||120||Steven Miyadi||5-1|
|8||Soul Owner||Drayden Van Dyke||120||Vann Belvoir||8-1|
|9||Cayate||Rajiv Maragh||126||Kristin Mulhall||5-1|
|10||Powerful Thirst||Tiago Pereira||120||Andrew Lerner||6-1|
|11||Advantageous||Alonso Quinonez||120||Bruce Headley||20-1|
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