Hello, my name is John Cherwa, and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we get caught up on the Classic, stories you might have missed and stewards rulings.
Being here in Louisville, Ky., sure makes you appreciate Southern California. Thursday was the second day of rain, and the temperatures are going to be in the 40s on Friday and Saturday. But, here’s the good news, there should be no rain for the two Breeders’ Cup days.
Now, for the big headline. Four of the nine televisions in the media bunker (with no view of the track) at Churchill Downs have TVG on. If you remember, we talked about a possible thawing of relations between Churchill Downs and TVG. The Louisville folks have previously banned TVG from such things as the Kentucky Derby because TVG is an ADW in direct competition with TwinSpires, Churchill’s ADW. But now that Churchill is allowed on the big-boy TVG, not TVG2, a brighter future awaits. We hope.
Since we last talked there have been a few stories you might want to catch up on.
— We did a very entertaining roundtable with jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Laffit Pincay Jr., Drayden Van Dyke and Flavien Prat. They talked about racing past and present. You can see it here.
— And, we took a look at Kosta and Pete Hronis, owners of Accelerate and Catalina Cruiser, and they talked about how they got into racing. You can see it here.
— Finally, this is our look at Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. We examine why more horses are skipping the race. You can see it here.
I can’t be everywhere, especially if I’m going to have to get rained on, so here’s a look at some Thursday doings of the horses in the Classic. It’s courtesy of the Breeders’ Cup’s excellent notes team.
— Accelerate. He just took a one-mile jog because of the rain. “Just a matter of making sure he got the exercise in,” said trainer John Sadler. “I’m sure the track will be to his liking on Saturday.”
— Axelrod. He went for a routine gallop with exercise rider Nikki Diodoro. “He continues to do well for us and that keeps us happy and hopeful,” said trainer Mike McCarthy.
— Catholic Boy. Just a routine gallop around the sloppy track on Thursday. “At this stage, when you have horses that are numerically a couple points within each other and the way things are drawn, this is going to be a rider and trip race,” trainer Jonathan Thomas said. “I think we might look back on this race and find whoever gets the best set up and trip is probably the most likely winner.”
— Discreet Lover. He went for a two-mile clockwise jog. “He is feeling great,” said trainer Uriah St. Lewis. “He was nipping at us this morning and that is a good sign. As long as he keeps doing what he’s doing, we are happy.”
— Gunnevera. He went for what was described as a leisurely gallop around the track. “I’m so happy with my horse right now,” said trainer Antonio Sano. “Last year, it was different. The horse was good, but right now he’s doing better. He’s more mature.”
— Lone Sailor. He took a sloppy mile jog. “I think it’s easier to prepare for the Breeders’ Cup over the Derby,” said trainer Tom Amoss. “He’s had a full year and been consistent. You know he can get the mile and a quarter distance.”
— Mendelssohn. He walked once and a half times around the track and then headed back to the barn.
— Mind Your Biscuits. He went for a mile jog around the track. “I think we had to come here to prove to ourselves that we have the [Classic] in mind,” said trainer Chad Summers. “The Lukas Classic with two turns and being over the track made it a no-brainer.”
— McKinzie and West Coast. The two Bob Baffert trainees both galloped 1¼ miles on Thursday.
— Roaring Lion. He was the first European horse on the track and he did a light exercise of just trotting. “I’m very happy with Roaring Lion,” said trainer Oisin Murphy. “He moved great. He just did a little trot [Thursday] and did no serious work. He will have a canter [Friday] and then will obviously race on Saturday.”
— Thunder Snow. A day after a four-furlong breeze, he just cantered for a mile on the track. “The horse is tough,” said trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “It looks to me like he is doing really well and I have some confidence this horse will run a big race.”
— Yoshida. The Bill Mott trainee galloped a mile around the track.
We can’t wait any longer. Took us too long to get these. But, don’t worry. There were only a couple. Civility in the world of racing.
— Groom Miguel Rodriguez was suspended for failing to appear at a hearing in which he was being investigated for trespassing. On Aug. 8 and Aug. 15,
— Groom Jose Andino and groom/hot walker Julio Hernandez were each fined $200 for fighting in a Santa Anita employee parking lot. Both are temporarily banned from being in the stable area. The stewards report said the two were previously in a relationship and that Andino was in the process of getting a “restraining order” against Hernandez. Andino is currently working off the racetrack and Hernandez at Los Alamitos. The stewards asked that they stay away from each other at the racetrack.
Santa Anita preview
The Breeders’ Cup has the $2-million Juvenile Fillies and Santa Anita has the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile Fillies on Friday. First post in Arcadia is noon for the 10-race live card. Half the races are on the turf with two stakes races.
Start the Show is the 3-1 favorite in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies for 2-year-olds going seven furlongs. She’s won two of three races, but all at Delaware Park. She switches to the Richard Baltas barn and picks up
Give Me a Hint is the 7-2 second choice along with Mucho Unusual. Give Me a Hint has won both her races by a combined 15¾ lengths. Mucho Unusual won her maiden special by 8¼ lengths. Post time is around 4:20 p.m.
There is a minor stakes, the $70,000 Lure Stakes for horses 3 and up going a mile on the turf. Alert Bay is the 7-2 morning-line choice. He ships down from Golden Gate, where he won his last race on the turf. He is 15 of 35 lifetime and 9 of 19 on the turf. Post time is about 3:50 p.m.
Bob Ike’s SA play of the day
SEVENTH RACE: No. 3 Secretary at War (6-1)
After an impressive win versus second-level allowance runners in his SoCal debut, this 4-year-old colt from the Richard Baltas stable regressed after pulling hard early when sent 10 furlongs versus Grade 2 company. Shortening back up to a mile, look for him to return to top form today at a square price.
Sunday’s result: North County Guy ($6.60) dominated his opposition in winning the sixth race by more than five lengths.
Bob Ike is a partner/vice president of Horsebills.com (here's a video) and the proprietor of BobIkePicks.com (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).
Golden Gate weekend 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.
“First, plenty of folks have asked about jockey Irving Orozco, who was unseated from his mount in the third race on Saturday. Irving is resting comfortably at Highland Hospital in Oakland and is on his way to a full recovery.
“Since the spill, Orozco has undergone two surgeries to repair abdominal injuries sustained, but is alert and communicating with hospital staff, family and other visitors. The doctors are very pleased with his progress and optimistic he will continue to improve in the coming days and weeks. I visited him at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday and, although a somber environment, there was also plenty of optimism in the air.
“Irving will be out for an extended period, but he and his family are very thankful for all of the support and well wishes. Of course, we extend our very best to Irving and his loved ones during this recovery process and look forward to seeing him in the winner’s circle again soon.
“On a more upbeat note, the Breeders’ Cup is finally here. Golden Gate will have post times of 12:09 p.m on Friday and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday to accommodate racing fans. Ninde races on the program Friday, with 10 more on Saturday. The last race on Friday is terrific. There is a full field of 12 allowance runners sprinting six furlongs. Race 5 is the last leg of the $1 Stronach 5 wager: a field of nine is signed on.
“Southern California shipper Lakerball won the first stake of the meet on Saturday, the $75,000 Pike Place Dancer. Lakerball, trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Alonso Quinonez, stalked the pace before quickly opening up on her rivals down the stretch. She hit the wire 5 lengths ahead of runner-up Brahm’s Command.
“Earlier in the month, Lakerball pulled off a 33-1 upset in the Surfer Girl Stakes, a prep at Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). In fact, Lady Prancealot and Summering, the second- and third-place finishers in the Surfer Girl, are bound for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf this Friday. Clearly, Lakerball has some talent.
“Lastly, my Breeders’ Cup Classic pick: West Coast.
“Back to you, John.”
Los Alamitos weekend preview
This weekly segment is in the hands of Orlando Gutierrez, marketing and media maven at Los Al. So, the floor is yours, Orlando.
“All gates at Los Alamitos will open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday and at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday for full card simulcast wagering on the Breeders’ Cup. Los Alamitos stakes winners Accelerate, McKinzie and West Coast are among the headliners in the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday.
“The weekend’s richest quarter-horse race at Los Alamitos is the Grade 1, $976,750 Golden State Million Futurity at 400 yards on Sunday night. Favorite Motion is the horse to beat after posting the fastest qualifying time during the trials on Oct. 21.
“Cruz Mendez will ride Favorite Motion from post seven for trainer Jose Flores.
“The most impressive runner on trial night was the filly Flash and Roll, who won her heat by two lengths under all-time leading quarter-horse jockey G.R. Carter. The First Moonflash filly has won three of four career starts with her only loss coming in the $1-million Ruidoso Futurity on June 10. Wicked Affair and Jess Macho Corona, the second- and third-place finishers, respectively, in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity are among the other top contenders in the Golden State final.”
Ed Burgart’s LA play of the day
FOURTH RACE: No. 7 Favorite Class (4-1)
Since Class Stopper, the 5-2 morning-line favorite looks vulnerable due to her many past slow starts, Favorite Class looks dangerous on the class drop while drawing a favorable post near the outside. In her last outing, Favorite Class was bumped off stride at intervals early and faded to sixth at the $12,500 claiming level. She is usually quick from the gate and jockey Rodrigo Aceves and trainer Jorge Farias are a solid combo.
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Now, the star of the show, Friday’s entries.
Santa Anita Entries for Friday, Nov. 2.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 20th day of a 22-day meet.
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $51,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Adorned||Juan Hernandez||123||Blaine D. Wright||10-1|
|2||Icy Street||Rafael Bejarano||123||John W. Sadler||4-1|
|3||Fabozzi||Tiago Pereira||125||Mark Glatt||4-1||40,000|
|4||Cimpl Man||Kent Desormeaux||125||Vladimir Cerin||5-2||40,000|
|5||Dreams of Valor||Edwin Maldonado||123||Craig Dollase||8-1|
|6||Avalanche||Assael Espinoza||118||John W. Sadler||7-2|
|7||Red King||Geovanni Franco||121||Vladimir Cerin||12-1|
5 Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Mi Pajarito||Heriberto Figueroa||115||Jorge Periban||12-1||20,000|
|2||Social Etiquette||Assael Espinoza||115||Dan Blacker||7-2||20,000|
|3||Grey Tsunami||Diego Sanchez||120||Martine Bellocq||50-1||20,000|
|4||One Upper||Alex Jimenez||120||Ryan Hanson||3-1||20,000|
|5||Cali Eagle||Luis Fuentes||113||Michael Pender||20-1||20,000|
|6||Desired Edge||Tiago Pereira||120||Jeff Mullins||5-2||20,000|
|7||Dislitleaglecanfly||Angel Cruz||120||Peter Eurton||8-1||20,000|
|8||Charming Alexis||Martin Pedroza||120||Jack Carava||6-1||20,000|
|9||Z Z Tiger||Ruben Fuentes||120||Jeff Bonde||5-1||20,000|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $26,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.
|1||Tink's Twirl||Edwin Maldonado||125||Philip D'Amato||5-2||25,000|
|2||Pulpitinthesky||Tiago Pereira||122||Mark Glatt||8-1||25,000|
|3||Halo Darlin||Stewart Elliott||125||Mike Puype||3-1||25,000|
|4||Asem||Felipe Martinez||120||Kelly Castaneda||20-1||22,500|
|5||Ashley's Charms||Rafael Bejarano||125||Peter Eurton||12-1||25,000|
|6||Don'teatmycookies||Saul Arias||122||J. Keith Desormeaux||6-1||25,000|
|7||No Wine Untasted||Martin Pedroza||120||J. Eric Kruljac||5-1||22,500|
|8||My Audubon||Geovanni Franco||123||Steven Miyadi||10-1||22,500|
|9||Spectacular Move||Martin Garcia||120||Steven Miyadi||6-1||22,500|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $30,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000. State bred.
|1||La Sabalera||Assael Espinoza||117||Vann Belvoir||8-1||50,000|
|2||Gracie Belle||Diego Sanchez||122||Walther Solis||7-2||50,000|
|3||Superhotamolly||Heriberto Figueroa||115||J. Eric Kruljac||3-1||40,000|
|4||Imminent||Martin Pedroza||120||Kristin Mulhall||4-1||40,000|
|5||Reds Sacred Appeal||Brayan Pena||122||Walther Solis||8-1||50,000|
|6||Athleisure||Tyler Conner||122||Val Brinkerhoff||8-1||50,000|
|7||Blew by You||Luis Fuentes||115||Daniel Dunham||30-1||50,000|
|8||Spicy Curry||Angel Cruz||120||Vladimir Cerin||6-1||40,000|
|9||Derby Royalty||Edwin Maldonado||122||Ruben Gomez||8-1||50,000|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $25,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $25,000.
|1||Miss Unusual||Geovanni Franco||120||Michael Machowsky||3-1||25,000|
|2||Quinnie||Rafael Bejarano||120||Carla Gaines||5-2||25,000|
|3||Peachy||Angel Cruz||120||George Papaprodromou||10-1||25,000|
|4||Just Kathy||Assael Espinoza||115||Doug F. O'Neill||20-1||25,000|
|5||Minister'smistress||Tiago Pereira||120||Matthew Chew||30-1||25,000|
|6||Lethal Legacy||Alonso Quinonez||123||Gary Stute||12-1||25,000|
|7||Married by Now||Evin Roman||123||Matthew Chew||12-1||25,000|
|8||Lookingforthewire||Octavio Vergara, Jr.||123||Sal Gonzalez||30-1||25,000|
|9||Summer Down Now||Stewart Elliott||120||Thomas Ray Bell, II||20-1||25,000|
|10||Copper Fever||Heriberto Figueroa||118||8-5||25,000|
6½ Furlongs. Purse: $32,000. Starter Optional Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Six Pack Gal||Martin Pedroza||120||Michael Machowsky||4-1||40,000|
|2||Bam Bams Lil River||Geovanni Franco||120||4-1|
|3||All Tea All Shade||Evin Roman||120||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||10-1|
|4||Vegas Strong Baby||Assael Espinoza||115||Richard Baltas||4-1|
|5||Diosa||Franklin Ceballos||120||Michael Pender||5-2|
|6||Plan B||Angel Cruz||120||Genaro Vallejo||15-1||40,000|
|7||Secret Maneuver||Rafael Bejarano||120||J. Keith Desormeaux||3-1|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $70,000. 'Lure Stakes (R)'. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Kenjisstorm||Rafael Bejarano||121||Philip D'Amato||4-1|
|2||He Will||Kent Desormeaux||121||Jerry Hollendorfer||8-1|
|3||Secretary At War||Alonso Quinonez||121||Richard Baltas||6-1|
|4||Alert Bay||Juan Hernandez||125||Blaine D. Wright||7-2|
|5||Colonist||Geovanni Franco||121||Jerry Hollendorfer||8-1|
|6||Chicago Style||Keiber Coa||121||Thomas F. Proctor||4-1|
|7||Threefiveindia||Tiago Pereira||121||Philip D'Amato||10-1|
|8||Kencumin||Brice Blanc||121||Peter Eurton||6-1|
|9||Le Ken||Tyler Conner||121||Ronald L. McAnally||12-1|
7 Furlongs. Purse: $200,000. 'Golden State Juvenile Fillies'. Stakes. Fillies. 2 year olds. State bred.
|1||Give Me a Hint||Evin Roman||122||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||7-2|
|2||Start the Show||Rafael Bejarano||122||Richard Baltas||3-1|
|3||Dichotomy||Tyler Conner||122||Doug F. O'Neill||12-1|
|4||Naughty Tiger||Ruben Fuentes||122||Edward R. Freeman||6-1|
|5||Hotitude||Martin Pedroza||122||Kristin Mulhall||12-1|
|6||Apache Princess||Kent Desormeaux||122||J. Keith Desormeaux||12-1|
|7||Creative Instinct||Heriberto Figueroa||122||Peter Miller||4-1|
|8||Time for Suzzie||Edwin Maldonado||122||Jorge Periban||20-1|
|9||Mucho Unusual||Geovanni Franco||122||Tim Yakteen||7-2|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $12,500.
|1||Royal Seeker||Luis Fuentes||116||Marcelo Polanco||20-1||12,500|
|2||Kopitar||Evin Roman||123||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||5-1||12,500|
|3||Schulace||Alonso Quinonez||120||Val Brinkerhoff||20-1||12,500|
|4||Downside Up||Edgar Payeras||118||Patricia Harrington||6-1||12,500|
|5||Quad||Angel Cruz||120||Gary Sherlock||15-1||12,500|
|6||Spirit World||Diego Sanchez||123||Kimberly Schaffe Marrs||50-1||12,500|
|7||From the Distance||Edwin Maldonado||120||Steve Knapp||4-1||12,500|
|8||Tap Tap Boom||Ruben Fuentes||120||Ryan Kenney||15-1||12,500|
|9||Isee It in Hiseyes||Assael Espinoza||115||Rafael DeLeon||4-1||12,500|
|10||American Currency||Heriberto Figueroa||115||William E. Morey||7-2||12,500|
|11||Katzumoto||Martin Pedroza||120||Charles S. Treece||15-1||12,500|
|12||Latitude||Geovanni Franco||123||Jerry Hollendorfer||10-1||12,500|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $50,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. State bred.
|1||Envy||Heriberto Figueroa||115||Anthony K. Saavedra||8-1|
|2||Smiling Annie||Tiago Pereira||120||Mark Glatt||6-1|
|3||South Boot Shirley||Juan Hernandez||120||Doug F. O'Neill||6-1|
|4||Encountress||Stewart Elliott||120||Ian Kruljac||30-1|
|5||Into Rissa||Rafael Bejarano||120||Gary Sherlock||6-1|
|6||Zillinda||Assael Espinoza||118||Bruce Headley||8-1|
|7||Smoovie||Evin Roman||120||Doug F. O'Neill||5-1|
|8||Paprika||Kent Desormeaux||120||Leonard Powell||7-2|
|9||Drop the Mic||Geovanni Franco||120||Philip D'Amato||6-1|
|10||Awesome Amanda||Tyler Conner||120||Dan Blacker||10-1|
|11||Grandma Gertrude||Ruben Fuentes||120||Michael Pender||20-1|
|12||Irish Lassie||Diego Sanchez||120||Gerard Piccioni||30-1|
|13||Gone Skyward||Martin Garcia||120||Dean Pederson||15-1|