Racing! Coming Saturday: All-time Triple Crown rankings

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we start wall-to-wall Triple Crown coverage.

Very exciting news from now until the Belmont Stakes. First, Jon White is back, this time with his Belmont Stakes rankings, certainly a work in progress as everyone tries to figure out who’s running in it. That will start this week in its usual Friday slot. I’m beginning to worry what Friday mornings will be like for you folks when you don’t have Jon’s wisdom and punditry to start your day. Leaving it up to me to find things is a dicey proposition.

But that’s not all.

Now that Triple Crown talk is at a fever pitch, I’ve assembled a blue-ribbon panel extraordinaire that includes veteran horse racing experts, journalists and even a couple of racing secretaries to rank the Triple Crown winners from No. 12 to No. 1. We’ll start the countdown on Saturday and go every newsletter day up to the Belmont Stakes when we reveal 1-2. (Once you know No. 2, you know No. 1, kind of like those Miss Universe pageants not hosted by Steve Harvey—forgot already? (just click here.)

And, forgot who the Triple Crown winners are?

Sir Barton (1919)

Gallant Fox (1930)

Omaha (1935)

War Admiral (1937)

Whirlaway (1941)

Count Fleet (1943)

Assault (1946)

Citation (1948)

Secretariat (1973)

Seattle Slew (1977)

Affirmed (1978)

American Pharoah (2015)

Interest in Belmont

By nature, horse racing fans are data driven. So, we’ve found this site run by Vivid Seats, which is mostly about selling sports and concert tickets. But they are pretty data driven, too, and come up with some stats that are interesting even if you have no intention of going to an event.

So, here’s a taste of what Stephen Spiewak, one of their digital bigshots, came up with. And, of course, what we’re measuring is the secondary market.

--Belmont ticket prices are up 61% since last year. Makes sense since last year there was no Triple Crown in play.

--Prices are also higher than 2015, during the same time period, when Pharoah was running. Counterintuitive, I think, because there isn’t the drama of no Triple Crown in more than 30 years. Or, maybe people didn’t think it was possible.

--More people from out of state buy than people from New York. Again, that makes sense because New Yorkers buy on the primary market.

Anyway, want to know more about the research and see some graphs just click here.

Santa Anita preview

The goal for Santa Anita this week is saving the turf course over a five-day racing schedule. The reason it’s a five-day week is because of Monday’s Memorial Day card. It will be offset by no Thursday card. After Memorial Day there is no racing until Friday.

So, that’s possibly the reason there are only two turf races on Thursday, both down the hill, and the rail is set at 30 feet. Not a big purse day, either. With one worth $16,000, two at $18,000, one at $25,000 and another at $29,000. The remaining two races are $58,000 and $56,000.

The field sizes are just hanging on. Here they are, in order: 6, 6, 7, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8.

The feature is probably the seventh, a one-mile allowance/optional claimer for horses 3 and up.

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.

“Golden Gate Fields offers five racing days this week, with our usual Thursday-Sunday cards and special holiday racing on Memorial Day. The feature race this week is the $100,000 Grade 3 All American Stakes for colts and geldings 3-year-olds and upward. The majority of the field will be local horses, with the possibles including stakes winners Force, My Friend Emma and Grecian Fire. Also possible are graded stakes-placed runners Many Roses and More Power To Him and recent allowance winner Taima the Hawk.

“Our feature on Friday is worth paying attention to: a 5-furlong allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up on the turf. The second choice on the morning line is multiple stakes winner Daz Lin Dawn, making her first start in 2018 while also debuting for new trainer Blaine Wright. Daz Lin Dawn won seven stakes at Hastings Racecourse in British Columbia last year and has won nine of 11 lifetime starts. Also in the race are recent allowance winners Claudia Mae, Laynee, Rebarules Again and Spring Heat. There’s also 3-year-old filly Divine Mercy (a half sibling to Grade 1 stakes-placed mare Arethusa), stakes winner Ismelucky shipping up North for trainer Jeff Bonde and the stakes-placed mare Snow Cloud from the James Cassidy barn.

“We’ve got two carryovers heading into Thursday. The $0.20 Golden Pick Six jackpot pool has climbed to $20,139 while $3,200 has been carried over into the Rolling Super High 5 pool for race four on Thursday. In order for there to be rolling Super High Five wagering the race must have seven or more starters.

“As a reminder, the Late Pick 5 pool will be guaranteed at $50,000 this Sunday and every Sunday until the end of the meet, June 10. Have a great week.”

Bob Ike SA pick of the day

FIFTH RACE Exacta/Trifecta Box 1-3-6

I will box three horses that are all trying turf for the first time today as I am trying to beat the morning-line favorite. #1 Frankie Machine (8-1) has been away since September but comes back as a gelding and may take to the lawn; #3 Sun and Shadow (4-1) makes his first start in this country for a trainer that does well with imports and also comes back as a gelding while getting Lasix; and #6 Upo (3-1) drops in for a tag, switches to Prat and hails from a barn that does exceptionally well with downhill turf horses.

Sunday’s result: Camino Del Paraiso raced wide from the far outside post but went one-paced all the way around.

Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of (here’s a video) 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, May 24.

Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 23rd day of a 42-day meet.


4½ Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Bea's BoyHeriberto Figueroa115Steven Miyadi8-150,000
2Shanghai FantasyCorey Nakatani119Vann Belvoir6-550,000
3Irish TerrierFranklin Ceballos115Steven Miyadi4-140,000
4Temple ViewOctavio Vergara, Jr.122Val Brinkerhoff10-150,000
5Baby FrankieKent Desormeaux122J. Keith Desormeaux5-250,000
6Zip's SecretStewart Elliott119Vann Belvoir6-150,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $10,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Tiz LoveEdgar Payeras116Patricia Harrington8-110,000
2MatriculateStewart Elliott123William Spawr2-110,000
3Here and ThereKyle Frey123Jeffrey Metz15-110,000
4Rocket FuelMartin Pedroza123David Jacobson5-210,000
5True ValorMartin Garcia123Steven Miyadi3-110,000
6Van Lingle MungoTyler Conner123John F. Martin3-110,000


1 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Royal RebelMatt Garcia125J. Buenaventura Vargas20-120,000
2Tiz the TicketBrayan Pena125Ruben Gomez30-120,000
3Vegas ItchEdwin Maldonado125George Papaprodromou6-520,000
4Supreme GiantFranklin Ceballos125Sal Gonzalez12-120,000
5Hard ArchAsa Espinoza118Vladimir Cerin3-120,000
6ChiksikaTiago Pereira125Kathy Walsh2-120,000
7Herkimer StormEdgar Payeras118Charles S. Treece8-120,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Morgan S.Drayden Van Dyke123Dan L. Hendricks9-5
2Smiling AngeloJoseph Talamo118Philip D'Amato8-5
3BrickhouseBrayan Pena123Hector O. Palma12-1
4Fire to the WireIsrael Ocampo123Brian J. Koriner7-2
5TrickonomicsKyle Frey123Jeff Bonde6-1
6Shades of VictoryTyler Baze123Reed Saldana8-1


About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $25,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Frankie MachineAsa Espinoza113Scott Hansen8-140,000
2It's AlexusMario Gutierrez115Doug F. O'Neill6-140,000
3Sun And Shadow Kyle Frey120Dan Blacker4-140,000
4War LinkTiago Pereira120Vann Belvoir50-140,000
5Ivy MikeMartin Garcia120David E. Hofmans8-140,000
6UpoFlavien Prat120Peter Miller3-140,000
7Conquest SmarteeHeriberto Figueroa118John W. Sadler9-540,000
8HarlissAlonso Quinonez125Val Brinkerhoff8-140,000


1 Mile. Purse: $16,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $12,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1ShackalovJoseph Talamo120Gary Sherlock6-112,500
2Miracle MarchHeriberto Figueroa118John W. Sadler2-112,500
3Taco TuesdayFranklin Ceballos120Nestor M. Capitaine12-112,500
4InformalityIsrael Ocampo125J. Keith Desormeaux6-112,500
5Wise CurlinMartin Pedroza125Peter Eurton5-212,500
6MoonmanSaul Arias125J. Keith Desormeaux5-212,500
7States HeroAlonso Quinonez125Antonio Garcia20-112,500


1 Mile. Purse: $58,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1River Echo Flavien Prat123Peter Miller6-162,500
2FergusonTyler Baze123Martin F. Jones6-1
3Point PiperMario Gutierrez125Jerry Hollendorfer8-162,500
4Little ScottyAsa Espinoza116Vladimir Cerin5-2
5Sorry ErikKent Desormeaux123J. Keith Desormeaux9-2
6Clear the MineEdwin Maldonado123Vladimir Cerin4-162,500
7Home Run KittenKyle Frey125Doug F. O'Neill9-262,500
8Magic MarkMartin Garcia125Ronald W. Ellis3-162,500


About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $25,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Bob's Bad BoyStewart Elliott125Mike Harrington6-140,000
2Big Bad GaryMartin Pedroza120Ruben Gomez6-140,000
3CourtshipFlavien Prat120Carla Gaines8-140,000
4Great CommissionDiego Sanchez120Javier Jose Sierra50-140,000
5ChaaaFranklin Ceballos115Brian J. Koriner6-140,000
6PastorelliRafael Bejarano120Richard Baltas4-140,000
7Camps BayTyler Baze120John W. Sadler8-540,000
8Silver FuryAsa Espinoza113Blake R. Heap5-140,000