Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we look at Southern California representation in the Breeders’ Cup.
We’re on the verge of the Breeders’ Cup, although I can’t think anyone in Southern California can get real fired up until we learn the Dodgers eventual fate. (I know a lot of you newsletter readers live outside of Southern California, so just live with our obsession.)
Well, this Breeders’ Cup has no shortage of horses with 221 of them entered. Some are entered in more than one race and many horses will not make the final of cut of 14 starters to all but the Juvenile Turf Sprint, which can only have 12.
Of that total, 51 are foreign entries. By my count 51 is also the number of Southern California-based horses.
The Breeders’ Cup switched things up this year and moved the Juvenile, and all 2-year-old races, to Friday and moved the Distaff to Saturday.
Here’s my unofficial list of local horses eligible for every race. Some horses are listed in more than one race. Yes, I might have missed one.
Juvenile Turf Sprint: Its Gonna Hurt (trainer Brian Koriner). Outside chance: Whooping Jay (Doug O’Neill).
Juvenile Fillies Turf: Summering (Tom Proctor). Outside chance: Lady Prancealot (Richard Baltas).
Juvenile Fillies: Bellafina (Simon Callaghan), Reflect (Keith Desormeaux), Splashy Kisses (O’Neill), Vibrance (Michael McCarthy).
Juvenile Turf: King of Speed (Jeff Bonde). Outside chance: Much Better (Baffert), Flying Scotsman (Jerry Hollendorfer).
Juvenile: Dueling (Hollendorfer), Game Winner (Baffert), Gunmetal Gray (Hollendorfer).
Filly and Mare Sprint: Anonymity (Richard Mandella), Dream Tree (Baffert), Marley’s Freedom (Baffert), Miss Sunset (Bonde), Selcourt (John Sadler), Skye Diamonds (Bill Spawr). Outside chance: Mopotism (O’Neill).
Turf Sprint: Conquest Tsunami (Peter Miller), Richard’s Boy (Miller), Stormy Liberal (Miller). Outside chance: Insta Erma (Baltas), B Squared (O’Neill).
Dirt Mile: Catalina Cruiser (Sadler), City of Light (McCarthy), Giant Expectations (Peter Eurton), Isotherm (Phil D’Amato).
Filly and Mare Turf: Paved (McCarthy).
Sprint: Distinctive B (Miller), Roy H (Miller). Outside chance: B Squared (O’Neill).
Mile: Catapult (Sadker), Hunt (D’Amato), Next Shares (Baltas), Sharp Samurai (Mark Glatt).
Distaff: Abel Tasman (Baffert), La Force (Paddy Gallagher), Mopotism (O’Neill), Vale Dori (Baffert).
Turf: Outside chance: Liam the Charmer (McCarthy).
Classic: Accelerate (Sadler), Axelrod (McCarthy), City of Light (McCarthy), McKinzie (Baffert), Pavel (O’Neill), West Coast (Baffert), Outside chance: Collected (Baffert).
If you want a little different look at this, you can see the story I did for online and print. Just click here.
Santa Anita preview
It’s an eight-race card starting at 1 p.m. There are two allowance/optional claimers and four turf races. It’s a Thursday card, what more can you say?
The feature, we think, is the fourth, a 6 ½ furlong dirt allowance with a $53,000 purse. The favorite is Awesome Anywhere, at 5-2, for Hollendorfer and jockey Assael Espinoza. He was won five of 10 races this year but been running mostly in claimers. Last out, he won his only allowance race. Lookie Loo, for Baffert and Joe Talamo, and Stone Hands, for Sadler and Tyler Baze, are at 3-1.
Bob Ike’s SA play of the day
SIXTH RACE: No. 3 Ultimate Bango (6-1)
The two-turn distance is a question but this gelded sophomore from the Blake Heap barn tries hard and is sharp right now. He also drops in with 3-year-olds after facing older in his last six starts and should be forwardly placed in a race that doesn't have too much early speed (with the auxiliary rails out 30 feet).
Sunday’s result: Spa Shackalacka raced wide but had no punch through the lane is a disappointing performance.
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).
Golden Gate preview
We are back with our weekly look at the best racing going on at Golden Gate Fields. As with the last meeting, we’re delighted to have race caller and all-around good guy Matt Dinerman as our host for previews and other musings. So, take it away, Matt.
“The $75,000 Pike Place Dancer Stakes is the first of eight stakes events on the Golden Gate fall calendar and will be run this Saturday. The turf event for 2-year-old fillies attracted six entries, led by Southern California invader and stakes winner Lakerball.
“Lakerball, to be ridden by Alonso Quinonez for the first time, comes off a 33-1 upset in the Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita. The O’Neill trainee is the only stakes winner in the field and the only Southern California entrant in the race. Tomlin leads the quintet of local runners. Trained by Steve Specht, Tomlin comes into the Pike Place Dancer fresh off a dominant allowance win on Sept. 7. This will be her first try on the lawn while also making her two-turn debut. Here is the full field:
“Race 6: 2018 Pike Place Dancer Stakes (post time: 3:15 p.m.)
“#1 Gorgeous In Grey: Jockey Irving Orozco, trainer Ed Moger Jr.
“#2 Tomlin: Jockey Frank Alvarado, trainer Specht.
“#3 Sneaky Dianne: Jockey Abel Cedillo, trainer Jonathan Wong.
“#4 Stealthediamonds: Jockey Juan Hernandez, trainer Hollendorfer.
“#5 Brahms Command: Jockey Francisco Duran, trainer Greg James.
“#6 Lakerball: Jockey Quinonez, trainer O’Neill.
“Golden Gate Fields welcomes two new jockeys to the circuit: Jose Valdivia Jr. and Javier Matias. Valdivia is no stranger to racing fans across the country. The Panamanian-born rider has won more than 1,800 races in his 24-year career, which began in 1994, and has won a pair of prestigious races that catch the eye: the 2001 Breeders Cup Mile with Val Royal and the 2011 Belmont Stakes atop 23-1 upsetter Ruler On Ice. This summer, Valdivia was the leading rider at Arlington Park, winning 112 races from 394 mounts (which equates to a 28% win percentage.) Matias has been a mainstay at Emerald Downs and Portland Meadows for the past decade. The veteran jockey rode Barkley to a prestigious win in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs earlier this summer and has been a “big money” rider in the Pacific Northwest for a number of years. With more than 1,100 career wins, Matias is looking forward to the challenge of joining the Northern California jockey colony.
“Race five on Friday is the last leg of the $1 Stronach 5 wager this weekend. A field of 10 2-year-old maiden special weight runners set to contest one mile on the tapeta. My top pick is #4 Luck Is My Name, a full sibling to 2015 Santa Anita Derby runner-up and talented Baffert trainee One Lucky Dane. He ran third last time out, which was his career debut, and should love going longer. 8-1 on the morning line … worth a shot. For more insight on the race, you can check out XBTV’s Stronach 5 Wager show! Post time for the fifth race is 2:53 p.m.”
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Listen to the latest edition of our new sports podcast “Arrive Early, Leave Late,” with insights on the World Series, LeBron James and the NFL.
And now the star of the show, Thursday’s entries.
Santa Anita Entries for Thursday, October 25.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 16th day of a 22-day meet.
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $26,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Subic Bay||Tyler Baze||121||Jeff Mullins||3-1||20,000|
|2||Peach Cove||Drayden Van Dyke||123||Mike Puype||9-5||20,000|
|3||Night Time Inc||Santiago Gonzalez||121||Martin F. Jones||8-1||20,000|
|4||Sekhmet's Revenge||Flavien Prat||118||Anna Meah||4-1||20,000|
|5||Believe Indeed||Rafael Bejarano||121||Michael Pender||5-2||20,000|
|6||Bonneville Flats||Assael Espinoza||113||David E. Hofmans||10-1||20,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $50,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 2 year olds.
|1||Speedette||Kent Desormeaux||122||J. Keith Desormeaux||5-1|
|2||Claudelle||Drayden Van Dyke||122||John W. Sadler||6-5|
|3||Enaya Alrabb||Flavien Prat||122||Doug F. O'Neill||3-1|
|4||Choi||Mario Gutierrez||122||Ben D. A. Cecil||8-1|
|5||Calf Moon Bay||Assael Espinoza||117||Jerry Hollendorfer||5-1|
|6||Nomizar||Rafael Bejarano||122||Doug F. O'Neill||6-1|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $32,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $32,000.
|1||Kristi's Copilot||Drayden Van Dyke||121||Tim Yakteen||4-1||32,000|
|2||Cool Green||Kent Desormeaux||121||J. Keith Desormeaux||7-2||32,000|
|3||Dead Easy||Efrain Hernandez||121||Richard Rosales||15-1||32,000|
|4||R Cha Cha||Heriberto Figueroa||118||Doug F. O'Neill||4-1||32,000|
|5||Blackout||Flavien Prat||121||Peter Miller||5-2||32,000|
|6||Incensed||Evin Roman||121||Adam Kitchingman||12-1||32,000|
|7||Clear the Mine||Tiago Pereira||121||Steve Knapp||8-1||32,000|
|8||Vending Machine||Agapito Delgadillo||121||Jeff Mullins||6-1||32,000|
6½ Furlongs. Purse: $53,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.
|1||Lookie Loo||Joseph Talamo||123||Bob Baffert||3-1|
|2||Awesome Anywhere||Assael Espinoza||118||Jerry Hollendorfer||5-2|
|3||Street Vision||Martin Pedroza||123||Joe Herrick||6-1|
|4||Stone Hands||Tyler Baze||125||John W. Sadler||3-1||62,500|
|5||Captain Scotty||Heriberto Figueroa||118||Peter Miller||5-1|
|6||El Huerfano||Flavien Prat||125||Peter Miller||4-1||62,500|
7 Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Venice||Martin Pedroza||120||Kristin Mulhall||12-1||20,000|
|2||Irish Lassie||Diego Sanchez||120||Gerard Piccioni||20-1||20,000|
|3||Lucky Hand||Geovanni Franco||123||Jorge Gutierrez||15-1||20,000|
|4||Coco Loco Mama||Eswan Flores||120||Alfredo Marquez||30-1||20,000|
|5||Sweetener||Tyler Conner||120||Jeff Mullins||10-1||20,000|
|6||Crackling Bread||Edwin Maldonado||120||Jorge Periban||3-1||20,000|
|7||Trappiza||Ruben Fuentes||123||Michael Pender||8-1||20,000|
|8||Omerta||Luis Fuentes||113||Genaro Vallejo||30-1||20,000|
|9||Terajoule||Chris Russell||120||Patrick Gallagher||12-1||20,000|
|10||Minister'smistress||Tiago Pereira||120||Matthew Chew||15-1||20,000|
|11||Come On Kat||Heriberto Figueroa||115||Richard Baltas||2-1||20,000|
|12||Big Base||Assael Espinoza||115||Jerry Hollendorfer||6-1||20,000|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $51,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $75,000.
|1||East Rand||Flavien Prat||121||Tim Yakteen||7-2|
|2||Noivo||Gary Stevens||121||Dan Blacker||3-1|
|3||Ultimate Bango||Ruben Fuentes||121||Blake R. Heap||6-1|
|4||Magic Musketier||Geovanni Franco||121||Jerry Hollendorfer||8-1|
|5||Fight On||Rafael Bejarano||121||Doug F. O'Neill||6-1|
|6||Shadow Sphinx||Drayden Van Dyke||121||Richard Baltas||5-2|
|7||Extrordinary Jerry||Evin Roman||121||Doug F. O'Neill||6-1|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. 'The Mall Starter Handicap'. Starter Handicap. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Tizway That Way||Alonso Quinonez||124||Val Brinkerhoff||6-1|
|2||Be a Lady||Brice Blanc||122||Neil French||4-1|
|3||Forthenineteen||Brayan Pena||115||Ricardo Zamora||20-1|
|4||Ransomed||Tiago Pereira||125||Vann Belvoir||5-2|
|5||Princess Dorian||Edwin Maldonado||123||Herman Ackerson||4-1|
|6||Duranga||Flavien Prat||119||Kristin Mulhall||7-2|
|7||Sly Humor||Kent Desormeaux||124||Vladimir Cerin||4-1|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Second Fiddle||Tyler Baze||120||Jeff Mullins||3-1||40,000|
|2||Gleefuly||Brice Blanc||120||Sean McCarthy||10-1||40,000|
|3||Exes N Ohs||Martin Pedroza||120||Dean Greenman||6-1||40,000|
|4||Solar Grace||Brayan Pena||120||Kelly Castaneda||50-1||40,000|
|5||Gal of the Century||Heriberto Figueroa||118||Mike Puype||12-1||40,000|
|6||Monaco Girl||Edgar Payeras||115||Jerry Wallace, II||30-1||40,000|
|7||Beyond Pleasure||Flavien Prat||120||Richard Baltas||5-1||40,000|
|8||Grecian Fort||Luis Fuentes||113||Antonio Garcia||50-1||40,000|
|9||Lucky Knickers||Evin Roman||123||Dallas E. Keen||8-5||40,000|
|10||Sweet Congrats||Stewart Elliott||120||Dan Blacker||6-1||40,000|
|11||Just Kathy||Heriberto Figueroa||115||Doug F. O'Neill||15-1||40,000|