Racing! Breeders’ Cup pre-entries are in


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 (here's a video) and the proprietor of (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.”

Final thought

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If you have any thoughts, you can reach me at You can also feed my ego by following me on Twitter @jcherwa

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.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Subic BayTyler Baze121Jeff Mullins3-120,000
2Peach Cove Drayden Van Dyke123Mike Puype9-520,000
3Night Time Inc Santiago Gonzalez121Martin F. Jones8-120,000
4Sekhmet's RevengeFlavien Prat118Anna Meah4-120,000
5Believe IndeedRafael Bejarano121Michael Pender5-220,000
6Bonneville FlatsAssael Espinoza113David E. Hofmans10-120,000


1 Mile. Purse: $50,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 2 year olds.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1SpeedetteKent Desormeaux122J. Keith Desormeaux5-1
2ClaudelleDrayden Van Dyke122John W. Sadler6-5
3Enaya AlrabbFlavien Prat122Doug F. O'Neill3-1
4ChoiMario Gutierrez122Ben D. A. Cecil8-1
5Calf Moon BayAssael Espinoza117Jerry Hollendorfer5-1
6NomizarRafael Bejarano122Doug F. O'Neill6-1


About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $32,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $32,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Kristi's CopilotDrayden Van Dyke121Tim Yakteen4-132,000
2Cool GreenKent Desormeaux121J. Keith Desormeaux7-232,000
3Dead EasyEfrain Hernandez121Richard Rosales15-132,000
4R Cha ChaHeriberto Figueroa118Doug F. O'Neill4-132,000
5Blackout Flavien Prat121Peter Miller5-232,000
6IncensedEvin Roman121Adam Kitchingman12-132,000
7Clear the MineTiago Pereira121Steve Knapp8-132,000
8Vending MachineAgapito Delgadillo121Jeff Mullins6-132,000


6½ Furlongs. Purse: $53,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Lookie LooJoseph Talamo123Bob Baffert3-1
2Awesome AnywhereAssael Espinoza118Jerry Hollendorfer5-2
3Street VisionMartin Pedroza123Joe Herrick6-1
4Stone HandsTyler Baze125John W. Sadler3-162,500
5Captain ScottyHeriberto Figueroa118Peter Miller5-1
6El HuerfanoFlavien Prat125Peter Miller4-162,500


7 Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1VeniceMartin Pedroza120Kristin Mulhall12-120,000
2Irish LassieDiego Sanchez120Gerard Piccioni20-120,000
3Lucky HandGeovanni Franco123Jorge Gutierrez15-120,000
4Coco Loco MamaEswan Flores120Alfredo Marquez30-120,000
5SweetenerTyler Conner120Jeff Mullins10-120,000
6Crackling BreadEdwin Maldonado120Jorge Periban3-120,000
7TrappizaRuben Fuentes123Michael Pender8-120,000
8OmertaLuis Fuentes113Genaro Vallejo30-120,000
9TerajouleChris Russell120Patrick Gallagher12-120,000
10Minister'smistressTiago Pereira120Matthew Chew15-120,000
11Come On KatHeriberto Figueroa115Richard Baltas2-120,000
12Big BaseAssael Espinoza115Jerry Hollendorfer6-120,000


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $51,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $75,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1East RandFlavien Prat121Tim Yakteen7-2
2Noivo Gary Stevens121Dan Blacker3-1
3Ultimate BangoRuben Fuentes121Blake R. Heap6-1
4Magic MusketierGeovanni Franco121Jerry Hollendorfer8-1
5Fight OnRafael Bejarano121Doug F. O'Neill6-1
6Shadow SphinxDrayden Van Dyke121Richard Baltas5-2
7Extrordinary JerryEvin Roman121Doug F. O'Neill6-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. 'The Mall Starter Handicap'. Starter Handicap. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Tizway That WayAlonso Quinonez124Val Brinkerhoff6-1
2Be a LadyBrice Blanc122Neil French4-1
3ForthenineteenBrayan Pena115Ricardo Zamora20-1
4RansomedTiago Pereira125Vann Belvoir5-2
5Princess DorianEdwin Maldonado123Herman Ackerson4-1
6DurangaFlavien Prat119Kristin Mulhall7-2
7Sly HumorKent Desormeaux124Vladimir Cerin4-1


About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Second FiddleTyler Baze120Jeff Mullins3-140,000
2GleefulyBrice Blanc120Sean McCarthy10-140,000
3Exes N OhsMartin Pedroza120Dean Greenman6-140,000
4Solar GraceBrayan Pena120Kelly Castaneda50-140,000
5Gal of the CenturyHeriberto Figueroa118Mike Puype12-140,000
6Monaco GirlEdgar Payeras115Jerry Wallace, II30-140,000
7Beyond PleasureFlavien Prat120Richard Baltas5-140,000
8Grecian FortLuis Fuentes113Antonio Garcia50-140,000
9Lucky KnickersEvin Roman123Dallas E. Keen8-540,000
10Sweet CongratsStewart Elliott120Dan Blacker6-140,000
Also Eligible
11Just KathyHeriberto Figueroa115Doug F. O'Neill15-140,000