Racing! CHRB ready to tackle Golden Gate issue

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we wonder when, of if, we’ll see Justify run again.

The top news is the injury to Justify. Is it a big deal? Too early to tell. Trainer Bob Baffert called it a filling in his left front hoof. You can read the story here. What was interesting is that he had the same injury more than a week ago and nothing was said. But this time, when it came back, the connections issued a news release. That could mean they think it is more serious.

It's been whispered around the horse racing community that Justify’s remaining race schedule this year could be very thin and that was before this. I think it’s fair to assume that if Justify does not get a race under him before the Breeders’ Cup Classic that he won’t run in the Classic, although no one has said that.

If he doesn’t race again, and we’re not saying that, he would be the only Triple Crown winner never to lose. But, then again, no Triple Crown winner has ever run as few as six races.

The shortest career currently is American Pharoah with 11 races, which is more an indication of how racing has evolved through the years than anything else.

Here are the numbers for other Triple Crown winners:

Gallant Fox, 17

Seattle Slew, 17

Secretariat, 21

Count Fleet, 21 (last race was the Belmont)

Omaha, 22

Whirlaway, 22

War Admiral, 26

Affirmed, 29

Sir Barton, 31

Assault, 42

Citation, 45

CHRB v Golden Gate

The California Horse Racing Board will have its monthly meeting starting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Los Alamitos. Now, the meeting goes into its usual closed session for about an hour before the people are allowed to go through the agenda. If you want to listen, here is where you can find the audiocast because, as we’ve said before, here in 2018, video is too difficult a concept for the CHRB to offer, unless you have a phone or tablet.

OK, this meeting is all about if Golden Gate has fulfilled all its contractual obligations with the brick and mortar Northern California satellite sites. The Stronach Group has filed suit saying it doesn’t need to do that. But with the court system only slightly slower than the stewards evaluating a tight photo finish, it’s unlikely there will be any final resolution any time soon. What’s at stake is if the CHRB will give Golden Gate its license to race starting Aug. 23.

If you want to see the agenda, just look here. The one we care about is No. 5. If you want to see the packet distributed, just look here. Warning: there is no staff recommendation on what to do.

The guess here is that some accommodation will be reached. We just don’t see Golden Gate not racing this fall. It may appear that Golden Gate will blink first, but they are doing the long play on this. They will get something out of this, if not now then later. The CHRB also can’t afford to send those dates to the fair sites or even leave them empty. Just not going to happen. But, California racing has been known to surprise you with a lack of common sense. So, stay tuned.

Los Alamitos thoroughbred preview

Not a lot to say about Thursday’s eight-race card starting at 1 p.m. There are no five-horse fields so that’s a good thing. Seven of the eight races are claiming with purses between $14,000 and $21,000. The feature is the seventh, a one mile optional claimer for horses 3 and up, going for $45,000.

The favorite, at 5-2, is Ike, a winner of one of four and a third place in an allowance last out at Santa Anita. Baffert is the trainer and Drayden Van Dye the jockey. Canadian Game is the second choice at 7-2. Owner Paul Reddam, paid $375,000 for him, so there are expectations more than breaking his maiden in his eighth start. That was his last out at Santa Anita. Doug O’Neill is the trainer with Mario Gutierrez the jockey.

Here are the field sizes, in order: 6, 6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 7, 9.

Jose Contreras LRC pick of the day

SECOND RACE: No. 4 Ajac (8-1)

He broke well, chased the leader, made a strong middle move hugging the rail and just missed by a long neck vs. a sharp winner who was posting his second consecutive win. I expect plenty of speed from his inside rival Justamitch and Ajac should be following close behind getting a good trip. I think he will have a big enough lead to hold off the late closers at this five-furlong distance.

Sunday’s result: Tuscany Beauty led going into the stretch but lost a tough duel and was caught and lost by a neck.

Jose Contreras is an excellent handicapper and well known on social media and familiar to racing fans watching on TVG. You can follow him on twitter at @losponies or check him out at his website.

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.

Los Alamitos Race Course Entries for Thursday, July 12.

Los Alamitos Race Course, Los Alamitos, California. 9th day of a 12-day meet.


1 Mile. Purse: $15,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $20,000-$18,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Solar CoronaBrayan Pena122Jose Hernandez, Jr.2-118,000
2WhatyouciswhatugetAlonso Quinonez118Jerry Wallace, II10-118,000
3Curlina CurlinaHeriberto Figueroa117Mike Harrington8-120,000
4Izzys ExpressMartin Pedroza124Mike Puype6-120,000
5JicamaIsrael Ocampo122Manuel Landeros4-118,000
6Bad and BougieJoseph Talamo118Michael Machowsky8-518,000


5 Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1I'll Wrap It UpSantiago Gonzalez124Steven Miyadi7-58,000
2TemplarTiago Pereira124Lorenzo Ruiz4-18,000
3JustamitchJuan Sanchez124Salvador Naranjo10-18,000
4AjacKellie McDaid117Angela Maria Aquino8-18,000
5Tiz LoveChristian Aragon124Patricia Harrington7-28,000
6Stoneys Mr CruiserEdgar Payeras119Kelly Castaneda4-18,000


1 Mile. Purse: $15,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $20,000-$18,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Becomes a QueenMario Gutierrez120Peter Eurton4-120,000
2Majestic DesignAsa Espinoza115Richard Baltas7-518,000
3Copper CowgirlKellie McDaid113Patricia Harrington5-120,000
4Yolanda's StoneEdgar Orozco118Kelly Castaneda15-118,000
5Gray DivaStewart Elliott120Art Sherman7-220,000
6QuizletEdgar Payeras113Richard Rosales4-118,000


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $8,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1CheeseKellie McDaid117Angela Maria Aquino8-18,000
2Sharp HolidayJuan Sanchez124Jesus Nunez5-28,000
3Coco SmoochesCesar Franco117Kelly Castaneda5-18,000
4Callie MesaEdgar Orozco120Santos R. Perez10-18,000
5La GalyTiago Pereira124Jaime H. Gomez2-18,000
6Briartic GalEdgar Payeras119Reed Saldana5-28,000


5½ Furlongs.. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Champagne HoneyHeriberto Figueroa113Blake R. Heap5-250,000
2Hailey RacheleTiago Pereira124Sam J. Scolamieri2-150,000
3Miss Blue by YouOmar Santos120Jesus Nunez15-150,000
4Magnolia's HopeJoseph Talamo120Michael Machowsky5-150,000
5DislitleaglecanflyMario Gutierrez120Peter Eurton4-150,000
6Spectacular StormRuben Fuentes120Jorge Gutierrez8-150,000
7Don't PassSantiago Gonzalez118Martin F. Jones8-145,000


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1CroissantMario Gutierrez120Doug F. O'Neill3-18,000
2Reverend AlAsa Espinoza117Blake R. Heap3-18,000
3On the RocksTyler Conner122Michael Machowsky5-17,000
4Hidden CrookBarrington Harvey124Angela Maria Aquino20-18,000
5Liberty JackHeriberto Figueroa117Peter Miller5-28,000
6BrickhouseMartin Garcia124Hector O. Palma5-18,000
7Fandarel DancerKellie McDaid115Louis A. Bradvica30-17,000
8Taco TuesdayAlonso Quinonez124Jerry Wallace, II15-18,000


1 Mile. Purse: $45,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Senator RobertBrayan Pena121Robert B. Hess, Jr.6-140,000
2Avanti BelloEvin Roman121Doug F. O'Neill4-140,000
3Canadian GameMario Gutierrez120Doug F. O'Neill7-2
4Upper RoomJoseph Talamo121Peter Eurton12-1
5TrapalandaAlonso Quinonez124Reed Saldana5-1
6AquilaMartin Pedroza117Simon Callaghan9-2
7IkeDrayden Van Dyke117Bob Baffert5-2


6 Furlongs. Purse: $15,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1KelseybelleAsa Espinoza117Andy Mathis7-220,000
2PeachyDiego Sanchez120George Papaprodromou15-120,000
3Mariana's GirlEdgar Payeras115Hector O. Palma8-120,000
4Stella SweeperIsrael Ocampo124Oscar L. Garcia20-120,000
5Grecian FortRuben Fuentes120Antonio Garcia30-120,000
6Mischievious LassTyler Conner120Mark Glatt3-120,000
7Veiled HeatFranklin Ceballos124Nestor M. Capitaine4-120,000
8No Wine UntastedMartin Pedroza120J. Eric Kruljac4-120,000
9Miss KitaenBrayan Pena120Peter Eurton5-120,000