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.
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?
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.
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 Horsebills.com (here’s a video) and the proprietor of BobIkePicks.com (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).
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 email@example.com 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.
|1||Bea's Boy||Heriberto Figueroa||115||Steven Miyadi||8-1||50,000|
|2||Shanghai Fantasy||Corey Nakatani||119||Vann Belvoir||6-5||50,000|
|3||Irish Terrier||Franklin Ceballos||115||Steven Miyadi||4-1||40,000|
|4||Temple View||Octavio Vergara, Jr.||122||Val Brinkerhoff||10-1||50,000|
|5||Baby Frankie||Kent Desormeaux||122||J. Keith Desormeaux||5-2||50,000|
|6||Zip's Secret||Stewart Elliott||119||Vann Belvoir||6-1||50,000|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $10,000.
|1||Tiz Love||Edgar Payeras||116||Patricia Harrington||8-1||10,000|
|2||Matriculate||Stewart Elliott||123||William Spawr||2-1||10,000|
|3||Here and There||Kyle Frey||123||Jeffrey Metz||15-1||10,000|
|4||Rocket Fuel||Martin Pedroza||123||David Jacobson||5-2||10,000|
|5||True Valor||Martin Garcia||123||Steven Miyadi||3-1||10,000|
|6||Van Lingle Mungo||Tyler Conner||123||John F. Martin||3-1||10,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Royal Rebel||Matt Garcia||125||J. Buenaventura Vargas||20-1||20,000|
|2||Tiz the Ticket||Brayan Pena||125||Ruben Gomez||30-1||20,000|
|3||Vegas Itch||Edwin Maldonado||125||George Papaprodromou||6-5||20,000|
|4||Supreme Giant||Franklin Ceballos||125||Sal Gonzalez||12-1||20,000|
|5||Hard Arch||Asa Espinoza||118||Vladimir Cerin||3-1||20,000|
|6||Chiksika||Tiago Pereira||125||Kathy Walsh||2-1||20,000|
|7||Herkimer Storm||Edgar Payeras||118||Charles S. Treece||8-1||20,000|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000. State bred.
|1||Morgan S.||Drayden Van Dyke||123||Dan L. Hendricks||9-5|| |
|2||Smiling Angelo||Joseph Talamo||118||Philip D'Amato||8-5|| |
|3||Brickhouse||Brayan Pena||123||Hector O. Palma||12-1|| |
|4||Fire to the Wire||Israel Ocampo||123||Brian J. Koriner||7-2|| |
|5||Trickonomics||Kyle Frey||123||Jeff Bonde||6-1|| |
|6||Shades of Victory||Tyler Baze||123||Reed Saldana||8-1|| |
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $25,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Frankie Machine||Asa Espinoza||113||Scott Hansen||8-1||40,000|
|2||It's Alexus||Mario Gutierrez||115||Doug F. O'Neill||6-1||40,000|
|3||Sun And Shadow ||Kyle Frey||120||Dan Blacker||4-1||40,000|
|4||War Link||Tiago Pereira||120||Vann Belvoir||50-1||40,000|
|5||Ivy Mike||Martin Garcia||120||David E. Hofmans||8-1||40,000|
|6||Upo||Flavien Prat||120||Peter Miller||3-1||40,000|
|7||Conquest Smartee||Heriberto Figueroa||118||John W. Sadler||9-5||40,000|
|8||Harliss||Alonso Quinonez||125||Val Brinkerhoff||8-1||40,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $16,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $12,500.
|1||Shackalov||Joseph Talamo||120||Gary Sherlock||6-1||12,500|
|2||Miracle March||Heriberto Figueroa||118||John W. Sadler||2-1||12,500|
|3||Taco Tuesday||Franklin Ceballos||120||Nestor M. Capitaine||12-1||12,500|
|4||Informality||Israel Ocampo||125||J. Keith Desormeaux||6-1||12,500|
|5||Wise Curlin||Martin Pedroza||125||Peter Eurton||5-2||12,500|
|6||Moonman||Saul Arias||125||J. Keith Desormeaux||5-2||12,500|
|7||States Hero||Alonso Quinonez||125||Antonio Garcia||20-1||12,500|
1 Mile. Purse: $58,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.
|1||River Echo ||Flavien Prat||123||Peter Miller||6-1||62,500|
|2||Ferguson||Tyler Baze||123||Martin F. Jones||6-1|| |
|3||Point Piper||Mario Gutierrez||125||Jerry Hollendorfer||8-1||62,500|
|4||Little Scotty||Asa Espinoza||116||Vladimir Cerin||5-2|| |
|5||Sorry Erik||Kent Desormeaux||123||J. Keith Desormeaux||9-2|| |
|6||Clear the Mine||Edwin Maldonado||123||Vladimir Cerin||4-1||62,500|
|7||Home Run Kitten||Kyle Frey||125||Doug F. O'Neill||9-2||62,500|
|8||Magic Mark||Martin Garcia||125||Ronald W. Ellis||3-1||62,500|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $25,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Bob's Bad Boy||Stewart Elliott||125||Mike Harrington||6-1||40,000|
|2||Big Bad Gary||Martin Pedroza||120||Ruben Gomez||6-1||40,000|
|3||Courtship||Flavien Prat||120||Carla Gaines||8-1||40,000|
|4||Great Commission||Diego Sanchez||120||Javier Jose Sierra||50-1||40,000|
|5||Chaaa||Franklin Ceballos||115||Brian J. Koriner||6-1||40,000|
|6||Pastorelli||Rafael Bejarano||120||Richard Baltas||4-1||40,000|
|7||Camps Bay||Tyler Baze||120||John W. Sadler||8-5||40,000|
|8||Silver Fury||Asa Espinoza||113||Blake R. Heap||5-1||40,000|