Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we start the Santa Anita spring meeting.
A lot to get to, so let’s start with the poll results.
Jon White’s popular Kentucky Derby Top 10 is here in its usual Friday spot. Lots of changes, lots to talk about about, so Jon, take it away.
“Justify, who was ranked No. 1 on my Kentucky Derby Top 10 last week, now is widely recognized as the Kentucky Derby favorite following his sparkling victory in Saturday's $1-million
“When betting in Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future pool closed last Sunday, Justify was the 3-1 favorite, with Mendelssohn the 5-1 second choice. Justify currently is the 5-2 Kentucky Derby favorite at the Wynn Race Book in Las Vegas.
“Meanwhile, trainer Chad Brown was all smiles after Good Magic, who took last year's
“In New York last Saturday, Vino Rosso became yet another Todd Pletcher-trained 3 year old to earn sufficient points to assure a spot in the Kentucky Derby field by winning the $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct by three lengths. Pletcher also will be represented in the May 5 Kentucky Derby by
“Magnum Moon is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $1-million Arkansas Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race that has attracted a field of nine. As the final big race in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, the Arkansas Derby offers 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers.
“Two other Arkansas Derby contenders are Solomini and Quip. Southern California-based Solomini, who hails from the powerful Baffert barn, finished second in Oaklawn's Rebel in his only 2018 start and ran second in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Quip, conditioned by Rodolphe Brisset, won the Tampa Bay Derby in his lone 2018 start so far.
“Saturday's $200,000 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland has 20-8-4-2 Kentucky Derby points up for grabs. The 5-2 morning-line favorite is Southern California-based My Boy Jack, winner of Oaklawn's Southwest Stakes in February and third in the Louisiana Derby last month.
“Also entered in the Lexington is SoCal-based Greyvitos, who will be making his first start since he won the Springboard Mile at Remington Park in Oklahoma last Dec. 17. Prior to the Springboard Mile, Greyvitos was one of the horses evacuated from San Luis Rey Downs, when a devastating fire engulfed the training facility on Dec. 7. After Greyvitos' victory at Remington, he underwent surgery for the removal of bone chips in a knee, the reason he has not raced this year prior to the Lexington Stakes. Greyvitos gained attention last fall at Del Mar when he won the Bob Hope Stakes in a 19-1 upset as a maiden."
Here are this week's rankings:
1. Justify (1)
2. Mendelssohn (3)
3. Bolt d'Oro (2)
4. Audible (4)
5. Magnum Moon (5)
6. Good Magic (6)
7. Vino Rosso (NR)
8. Solomini (7)
9. Enticed (9)
10. Quip (8)
Note: Last week's ranking in parentheses
Santa Anita preview
The spring meeting starts on Friday with an eight-race card starting at noon. There’s nothing to get real excited about, although the two best races are restricted for Cal-breds, both going down the 6 ½-furlong hillside course.
The third race, worth $54,000, is a state-restricted maiden special weight for fillies and mares 3 and up. The eighth race, worth a little more at $56,000, is an allowance/optional claimer for state breds 3 and up. There is one more turf race on the card, the fifth, a claimer also down the hill.
Here are the field sizes, in order: 6, 7, 8, 7, 8, 10, 7, 10.
Bob Ike’s SA play of the day
EIGHTH RACE: No. 6 All of a Sudden (4-1)
Sidelined since October, this filly by Grazen makes her first start for new trainer Phil D'Amato off a solid series of works. She has never run on grass before but has turf in her pedigree and might be able to stay close to what figures to be a modest early pace. Main threats look like favorite Promnesia and comebacker Halo Darlin.
Sunday Result: Dia de Pago was apparently rusty off the bench because he never picked up his feet in sixth 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).
Final jockey standings
The Santa Anita winter meeting ended on Sunday with the spring meeting starting on Friday. Here are a couple of final standings.
Jockey, Starts, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Win%, $%, Purses
Evin Roman, 321, 46, 50, 52, 14, 46, $1,678,114
Flavien Prat, 238, 45, 47, 33, 19, 53, $2,558,691
Drayden Van Dyke, 180, 38, 23, 22, 21, 46, $2,304,504
Tyler Baze, 299, 35, 48, 43, 12, 42, $2,406,474
Kent Desormeaux, 167, 34, 18, 22, 20, 44, $1,760,816
Joseph Talamo, 223, 33, 26, 34, 15, 42, $1,572,904
Geovanni Franco, 186, 28, 24, 24, 15, 41, $1,358,762
Tyler Conner, 142, 20, 10, 18, 14, 34, $664,809
Stewart Elliott, 175, 19, 16, 16, 11, 29, $741,557
Tiago Josue Pereira, 179, 17, 26, 23, 9, 37, $829,945
Franklin Ceballos, 80, 13, 11, 12, 16, 45, $316,626
Santiago Gonzalez, 114, 11, 7, 14, 10, 28, $385,591
Alonso Quinonez, 101, 10, 11, 5, 10, 26, $330,575
Martin Pedroza, 102, 8, 11, 15, 8, 33, $351,453
Final trainer standings
Trainer Starts, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Win%, $%, Purses
Bob Baffert, 116, 37, 19, 14, 32, 60, $2,798,258
Peter Miller, 143, 30, 33, 19, 21, 57, $1,611,009
Richard Baltas, 177, 30, 27, 19, 17, 43, $1,645,277
Philip D'Amato, 142, 21, 26, 20, 15, 47, $1,800,550
Vladimir Cerin, 76, 19, 14, 7, 25, 53, $544,815
John Sadler, 136, 17, 17, 21, 13, 40, $1,570,028
Mark Glatt, 91, 13, 13, 13, 14, 43, $587,120
William Morey, 40, 11, 3, 12, 28, 65, $464,483
Robert Hess, Jr., 75, 10, 11, 7, 13, 37, $367,931
Keith Desormeaux, 49, 10, 7, 9, 20, 53, $357,684
Steven Miyadi, 77, 9, 16, 10, 12, 45, $477,320
Jeff Mullins, 67, 9, 9, 9, 13, 40, $749,620
Hector Palma, 53, 9, 8, 6, 17, 43, $332,965
Mike Puype, 64, 9, 6, 8, 14, 36, $444,971
Richard Mandella, 73, 8, 13, 12, 11, 45, $622,875
Michael Machowsky, 53, 8, 9, 5, 15, 42, $242,505
Michael W. McCarthy, 50, 8, 6, 9, 16, 46, $734,970
Neil Drysdale, 43, 8, 4, 8, 19, 47, $419,230
Golden Gate weekend preview
Now a look at the best racing coming up at Golden Gate. Race caller and all-around good guy Matt Dinerman is our host to previews and other musings. So, take it away Matt.
“Live racing continues on Friday, with first post time at 12:15 p.m. This week and next, Golden Gate will offer three-day race weeks (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), mimicking Santa Anita’s schedule.
“For Friday’s card, we have a carryover in the $0.20 Golden Pick 6 wager of $11,345. It starts with race two. We also have a $1 rolling Super High Five of $23,144 heading into the seventh race. The Golden Gate has a rolling Super High Five in every race in which there are seven or more starters.
“The feature on Friday is the sixth race, a fun allowance on the turf for older fillies and mares. Featured in the race is stakes placed Coachwhip and stakes performers Turkish Tabby and Dreamarcher, both trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.
“A big congratulations goes out to trainer Holly Evans. Last week, Evans won with three of her trainees, all of whom went off at double digit odds (13-1, 16-1 and 34-1). The trio of victories came within 24 hours. Two of her three winners (Sing In The Wind and Ride Into The Sky) broke their maidens while the third (Back Sheared Anvil) won a $3,200 claimer in his first start since March of last year.
“Evans also reported that her stable star, multiple stakes winner Fast and Foxy, has been retired and was recently bred to California stallion Idiot Proof. Fast and Foxy won 16 times all at Golden Gate and made more than $514,000 in career earnings. Notable wins for Fast and Foxy came in last year’s Camilla Urso stakes and both the 2016 and 2017 Bear Fan Stakes.
“Finally, best of luck to Golden Gate jockeys Rocco Bowen, Lucas Gutierrez, Aaron Gryder, Kevin Orozco and Edgar Velasco. Bowen, Gutierrez, Orozco and Velasco will ride at the Emerald Downs spring/summer meet while Gryder will be riding under contract for owner/trainer Glen Todd at Hastings Racecourse in British Columbia.”
Los Alamitos weekend preview
This weekly segment is in the hands of Orlando Gutierrez, marketing and media maven at Los Al. So, the floor is yours, Orlando.
“Jockey Cesar De Alba begins the racing week at Los Alamitos one win shy of 1,000 career quarter-horse victories. De Alba, the leading quarter-horse jockey at Los Alamitos in 2016, will have a chance to reach the mark on Friday with four mounts on the eight-race card.
“De Alba’s first chance comes in the fifth race aboard Bookofmatches at 5-2 morning-line odds. He’ll also ride the 7-2 shot Unnleashed in the sixth, the 4-1 shot Capitol Grille in the seventh, and Im Rocket Man, at 6-1, in the eighth. De Alba rode the multiple champion Moonist to 21 victories including Grade 1 wins in the Los Alamitos Invitational Championship and Los Alamitos Winter Championship plus a track record of four derbies victories in 2014.
“The 2-year-old season is now in full effect at Los Alamitos with races 5 and 7 each featuring nine juvenile fillies and race eight having eight colts and geldings. All three races are 300 yards. Steve McIntyre and Marin Jones’ Cole Man 47 is one of the 2-year-olds to watch in the eighth race on Friday night.
“’We foal shared in the breeding of this horse,’ trainer Paul Jones said. ‘I had the breeding to the stallion Stel Corona and it’s Steve’s mare. Stel Corona crosses well with mares by Royal Quick Dash. It’s a similar breeding that we used with [millionaire champion] Foose.’
“There are two races for 2-year-olds on Saturday night with filly Wicked Affair among the promising runners in action. Trained by Terry Knight, the One Sweet Jess filly will start in the sixth race.
“After two runaway allowance wins at Los Alamitos, Big Champion is the 125 pound co-high weight when he makes his stakes debut when he faces seven others in the $20,000 Wheatland Handicap at 870 yards. Ed Allred’s Bound To Bet, winner of the Truly A Pleasure Handicap at 870 yards last year, has also been assigned 125 pounds. The Snowbound gelding enters this race following a 4 ¾ length win in March.”
Ed Burgart’s LA play of the day
SIXTH RACE: No. 6 Fire The Senator (5-2)
Since her troubled eight-place outing as the favorite vs. tougher field in last start 13 weeks ago, she has been privately purchased and her new trainer Valentin Zamudio does exceptionally well with first-out acquisitions. In a very good solo 12.2 gate drill three months ago, she broke super and reached out with a nice stride under a hand ride when allowed to drift inward. She was competitive vs. much better fields last summer.
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And now the star of the show, Friday’s entries.
Santa Anita Entries for Friday, April 13.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 1st day of a 42-day meet.
1 Mile. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $6,250.
|1||Harrovian||Cesar Franco||114||Dennis Givens||20-1||6,250|
|2||Southern Freedom||Geovanni Franco||121||David Jacobson||4-1||6,250|
|3||Orejas||Franklin Ceballos||116||Richard Baltas||9-5||6,250|
|4||Hackleton||Edwin Maldonado||121||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||8-1||6,250|
|5||Roman Tizzy||Evin Roman||121||Vladimir Cerin||2-1||6,250|
|6||Awe||Tyler Baze||121||Sean McCarthy||3-1||6,250|
1 Mile. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $30,000.
|1||Ministertomyheart||Evin Roman||122||Steven Miyadi||3-1||30,000|
|2||Write Me a Song||Tyler Baze||122||Sean McCarthy||2-1||30,000|
|3||I'm Amore||Alex Jimenez||122||Anthony DeMarco||20-1||30,000|
|4||Sharp Ruler||Stewart Elliott||122||Mike Harrington||20-1||30,000|
|5||When Jesus Walked||Franklin Ceballos||117||Jose Antonio Moreno||30-1||30,000|
|6||Tre||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Vann Belvoir||6-1||30,000|
|7||Dare to Enter||Kent Desormeaux||122||Michael Pender||6-5||30,000|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $54,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. State bred.
|1||Bad and Bougie||Joseph Talamo||120||Michael Machowsky||5-1|
|2||Paprika||Julien Couton||120||Leonard Powell||5-2|
|3||Full Court||Franklin Ceballos||115||Jorge Gutierrez||15-1|
|4||I Adore You||Brayan Pena||120||Anthony K. Saavedra||20-1|
|5||Whoa Nessie||Mario Gutierrez||120||Doug F. O'Neill||3-1|
|6||Bella Sierra||Evin Roman||126||Javier Jose Sierra||6-1|
|7||Pulpacheeks||Edwin Maldonado||120||Peter Eurton||4-1|
|8||And Counting||Tyler Baze||120||Kenneth D. Black||6-1|
1 Mile. Purse: $29,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.
|1||Time for Cioppino||Kyle Frey||122||Gary Sherlock||7-2||25,000|
|2||Kaleidoscope Kid||Evin Roman||122||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||3-1||25,000|
|3||Studly Perfection||Franklin Ceballos||117||Richard Baltas||4-1||25,000|
|4||Lipster||Alonso Quinonez||122||Jorge Periban||5-1||25,000|
|5||Mac McLovin||Tyler Baze||122||Jorge Periban||8-1||25,000|
|6||Elevated Knight||Tiago Pereira||122||Philip D'Amato||4-1||25,000|
|7||Shackalov||Joseph Talamo||122||Gary Sherlock||6-1||25,000|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $33,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||An Eddie Surprise||Mario Gutierrez||120||Doug F. O'Neill||8-1||40,000|
|2||Zero Zee||Tyler Baze||126||Philip D'Amato||3-1||40,000|
|3||Dr. Ann||Diego Sanchez||120||Doug F. O'Neill||8-1||40,000|
|4||Neon Gypsy||Kent Desormeaux||120||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||6-1||40,000|
|5||Goseecal||Edwin Maldonado||126||Vladimir Cerin||6-1||40,000|
|6||Midnight Lilly||Geovanni Franco||126||Hector O. Palma||20-1||40,000|
|7||Cynthiana||Alonso Quinonez||126||Richard Baltas||5-2||40,000|
|8||Looking At Thelake||Evin Roman||126||John W. Sadler||4-1||40,000|
5 Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Biscotti Gal||Brayan Pena||126||Jorge Gutierrez||10-1||20,000|
|2||Lake Shore Lady||Matt Garcia||126||Lance Hellum||50-1||20,000|
|3||Tengs Wonder||Asa Espinoza||113||Vann Belvoir||15-1||20,000|
|4||Heather's Wish||Diego Sanchez||120||Caesar F. Dominguez||20-1||20,000|
|5||Tengas Best Girl||Franklin Ceballos||121||Jeff Mullins||5-1||20,000|
|6||Blame the Weather||Edwin Maldonado||126||Jeff Bonde||2-1||20,000|
|7||Topaz Time||Kyle Frey||126||Matthew Chew||4-1||20,000|
|8||Creative Spark||Tiago Pereira||120||Daniel Dunham||12-1||20,000|
|9||Dee Way to Go||Evin Roman||120||Jorge Periban||3-1||20,000|
|10||Spacerika||Ruben Fuentes||120||Salvador Orozco||12-1||20,000|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $16,000.
|1||Cinnamon Twist||Joseph Talamo||122||Simon Callaghan||5-2||16,000|
|2||Condi||Tyler Baze||122||John W. Sadler||9-2||16,000|
|3||Mama's Kid||Asa Espinoza||115||Sal Gonzalez||15-1||16,000|
|4||All Net||Geovanni Franco||122||David Jacobson||4-1||16,000|
|5||Innyminniemineymoe||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Vann Belvoir||7-2||16,000|
|6||Estherfourfourteen||Franklin Ceballos||117||Steven Miyadi||6-1||16,000|
|7||Cow Dog||Evin Roman||122||Steven Miyadi||4-1||16,000|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000. State bred.
|1||Li'l Grazen||Drayden Van Dyke||124||Eddie Truman||15-1|
|2||Easydoes It Please||Franklin Ceballos||113||Steven Miyadi||15-1|
|3||Ashley's Charms||Alonso Quinonez||124||Peter Eurton||10-1|
|4||Wonderful Lie||Geovanni Franco||126||Ryan Hanson||5-1||16,000|
|5||Silverspun Pickup||Martin Pedroza||118||Michael Machowsky||8-1|
|6||All of a Sudden||Joseph Talamo||124||Philip D'Amato||4-1|
|7||Halo Darlin||Stewart Elliott||124||Mike Puype||9-2|
|8||Promnesia||Kent Desormeaux||124||Martin F. Jones||3-1|
|9||Queen Bee to You||Evin Roman||124||Michael Pender||8-1|
|10||Lady Espionage||Tyler Baze||124||Michele Dollase||15-1|