Racing! Happy Fourth of July


Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we give you a chance to win a book that will help you evaluate seven-furlong races. The holiday spirit abounds.

Welcome back to Thursdays. We haven’t had a Thursday newsletter since April 4. Once Golden Gate Field gets going again, this will be the home of its weekend preview, just like in the past.

Sorry to be a nag, but even though the Fourth is always a fun day, it’s also a day that can be unsettling to your animals, be it a horse, dog, cat or whatever. In short, it’s always best to have someone home during the fireworks. If you can’t, you might consider having a radio or even a television on so that it can overwhelm the noise of sudden fireworks.

I don’t have a horse, but I do have a 10-pound rescue mutt, who will be inches from me whenever the fireworks start in our neighborhood. It’s the day that more dogs run away than any other because they are scared of the noise. Please, don’t let that be you.

Think of how you would feel if you got scared and wound up in a place you didn’t know and had no verbal way of communicating. So, make sure the collar and tags are on and the chip has the right address. You should do that anyway. OK, I’m done.

Del Mar safety

Del Mar, which at first was unsure if it would follow the Santa Anita safety protocols, did their best James Holzhauer impression by pushing their palms forward as if to say, “all in.”

We’ll be talking in the coming weeks about the pressure the track is under to not be safe but safer than it has ever been.

Forgive the laziness, but I’ve cut and pasted the protocols, with notes where appropriate.

Here are the measures:

--Entry Review Panel: All horses entered to race at Del Mar will be reviewed by a five-person panel consisting of: CHRB Equine Medical Director, Dr. Rick Arthur; two CHRB veterinarians, Dr. William Farmer and Dr. Timothy Grande; CHRB Chief Steward, Darrel McHargue and CHRB Safety Steward, Luis Jauregui. The panel will provide additional review of horses’ medical, training and racing history. The panel will recommend to the stewards that any horse that it deems unfit for competition be declared from racing. (Cherwa note: What isn’t made clear is the process has changed and that the review will occur after the entry draw, which is different than what they did at Santa Anita and Los Alamitos.)

--Medication Reform: Del Mar is adopting additional reforms modeled after the International Federation Horseracing Association (IFHA) requirements. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories), that were allowed previously up to 24 hours in advance of a race, will be restricted to 48 hours before either a race or workout. The time period that allowed therapeutic usage of corticosteroids in joint treatment has been extended from the previous length of three days before a race to 14 days and horses will not be allowed to start until after the 14-day window.

--Increases in out-of-competition testing: Random testing will be instituted for any horses stabled at Del Mar, including horses readying for -- or having just completed -- morning workouts. (Cherwa note: A little short on details, but things were headed this way even before the Santa Anita crisis. Been talked about forever.)

--Enhanced stable security: Working in conjunction with the investigative staff of the CHRB, an enhanced stable security team will monitor all aspects of the stable area to ensure that rules are properly followed. (Cherwa note: I’ve got to say, I’ve been doing this four years and I’ve been shocked how easily I’ve been able to gain access to stable areas. Until the Santa Anita crisis, it seems as if all you needed was a wave to the guards and you’re in, although things are decidedly more difficult now. At Del Mar, you can walk through the gate to the barns as easily as you can cross the border into Mexico. At Los Alamitos, I felt I could saddle a horse and work one without being bothered.)

--Additional veterinary protocols for morning training: Veterinarians will be stationed at elevated observation points at the facility to oversee morning workouts and will have the ability – through communication with outriders – to remove horses from the racetrack and have them undergo a follow-up examination for soundness. (Cherwa note: Excellent.)

--Prohibit the use of the riding crop during morning workouts: Exercise riders and jockeys will be prohibited from using a riding crop to encourage their horses during morning workouts. Del Mar will continue to work with the CHRB and the Jockey’s Guild on additional guidelines for riding crop use.

--Stakeholder Advisory Committee: DMTC has created a stakeholder advisory committee represented by trainers, veterinarians, jockeys, racing surfaces maintenance personnel and management that will meet regularly to discuss safety practices, operations and track surfaces. (Cherwa note: Works if you haven’t already made the decision before inviting in the stakeholders.)

Free offer (if you are fast enough)

One great thing about this newsletter is that it’s free and that it also offers you opportunities to get other free stuff. In this case, a limited opportunity, at a cornucopia (I bet you thought that word could only be used at Thanksgiving) of statistics in a specific race type.

I’ve come across a publication called “7f Sire Rankings.” It basically looks at the most prolific sires at 7 to 7 ½ furlongs. There are about 7,000 races of research. Now, it’s not a beach read or move as quickly as a James Patterson novel, it’s mostly stats and more stats. If you are a stat nerd you’ll be spellbound. It’s put together by a guy who calls himself The Maiden Man, who in real life is John Boal. He lives in Burbank.

Here’s the deal. The first seven people who email him, STARTING AT 9 AM PACIFIC (that’s noon if you are on the East Coast), he’ll send you a free copy. If you email early you are only getting one step closer to carpal tunnel syndrome, nothing else.

Now, I hope this works better than checking in at Southwest. I hit the button right to the second and always end up 42nd, or something like that. OK, here’s where you email,

Now, if you get shut out, you can still order a copy by sending $28.95 to: The Maiden Man, 150 S. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, CA, 91502. John donates $3 from every purchase to CARMA.

Good luck.

Los Alamitos thoroughbred preview

The July 4 card at Los Alamitos is nine-races long and starts at 1 p.m. Six of the races are for maidens. There is one allowance/optional claimer, which we will call our feature. It’s the seventh race, one mile for fillies and mares going for a purse of $45,000. It has a small field of five.

The favorite, at 2-1, is Catoca for trainer Anna Meah and jockey Edwin Maldonado. She is one for 14 lifetime and has run four allowance races this year, finishing 5-3-3-9. She ran the first nine races in the U.K., so she could be looking for a little payback on this national U.S. holiday. (C’mon, you know I’m just kidding.)

The second favorite is Pacific Strike, for Peter Eurton and Aaron Gryder. She hasn’t raced since Nov. 16 at Del Mar, where she finished eighth in an allowance. She has been working weekly at Los Alamitos graduating from three furlongs to six, so she should be fit.

Here are the field sizes, in order: 6, 5, 6, 7, 6, 8, 5, 10, 11.

Ciaran Thornton’s LRC pick of the day

RACE EIGHT: No. 5 Saints Paynter (8-1)

Saints Paynter is another horse from trainer Andrew Lerner that races protected on Thursday. We have done very well with his protected allowance race horses in the last few weeks. Moves from turf to dirt for the second career race and Lerner is winning 33% doing this with a flat-bet profit. Dropping in class and racing protected, we also have a sharp work. These are the works I look for as the horse is not risked so the work is legit. An 8-1 morning line is a fantastic value and with two Bob Baffert horses racing we could get an even better price.

Sunday’s result: Soul Owner was bet to 9-5 favorite shortly before the start in a sign of optimism. The horse broke third and tracked the leaders into the turn. Looked like a sure winner briefly but was unable to hold on and finished second. Hunting for value continues to give us some nice results.

Ciaran Thornton is the handicapper for, which offers daily full card picks, longshots of the day, best bets of the day.

Final thought

Always 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.

If you have any thoughts, you can reach me at You can also 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 4.

Los Alamitos Race Course, Los Alamitos, California. 3rd day of a 10-day meet.


1 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $40,000-$35,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Unbroken StarJoseph Talamo124Ronald W. Ellis4-140,000
2PassingEdwin Maldonado120J. Keith Desormeaux2-140,000
3DrinkMartin Pedroza118David E. Hofmans9-535,000
4Fait AccompliTiago Pereira120Marsha D. Schwizer15-140,000
5Super ClassicIgnacio Puglisi122Ruben Gomez10-135,000
6King CharlieJorge Velez113Gary Stute7-240,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $40,000. Maiden Special Weight. 3 year olds and up. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Atomic CandyJorge Velez113Peter Miller5-2
2JetovatorMario Gutierrez120Peter Eurton9-5
3Young HendrickMartin Garcia124Philip D'Amato8-5
4Tiger On Your SixBarrington Harvey120Michael A. Curtis5-1
5NorthrndancrsghostOctavio Vergara, Jr.124Santos R. Perez15-1


5 Furlongs. Purse: $13,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $8,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Moon JuiceEswan Flores124Philip A. Oviedo9-58,000
2Night At the OperaJose Leon119Jorge Periban5-28,000
3Mr BingleyModesto Linares120Vernon E. Aguayo20-18,000
4Big Bad BenRamon Guce124Charles S. Treece10-18,000
5Sonic BoyEdgar Payeras124Robert J. Lucas10-18,000
6Handsome JohnEvin Roman120Robert B. Hess, Jr.8-58,000


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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Dunbow RoadJoseph Talamo120Tim Yakteen8-150,000
2Flying FlirtBrayan Pena120Oscar Heredia8-150,000
3Leading IndicatorAssael Espinoza120Dean Pederson7-250,000
4Flying to the LineGeovanni Franco120Peter Miller6-550,000
5Spanish ChannelEdgar Payeras120Jesus Mendoza5-150,000
6Second AvenueEdwin Maldonado120Paul G. Aguirre5-150,000
7PetronillaJ.C. Diaz, Jr.113Robert A. Bean20-150,000


5 Furlongs. Purse: $40,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Bluegrass FaithGeovanni Franco122Peter Miller3-1
2Mainframe JudyJose Leon117Peter Miller8-1
3Hot SocksJ.C. Diaz, Jr.115Steven Miyadi4-1
4Pour On the ColeFlavien Prat122Michael W. McCarthy5-2
5Shez a GrinderEvin Roman119Robert O. Allen20-1
6Fly the SkyJorge Velez115Steven Miyadi9-5


7 Furlongs. Purse: $17,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $12,500-$10,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1War UnionBrayan Pena122Andy Mathis6-110,000
2GryffindorEdgar Payeras124Richard Rosales8-112,500
3Nations HopeRamon Guce120Jack Carava12-112,500
4AlfareedTiago Pereira124Jeff Bonde5-212,500
5Captain N. BarronHeriberto Figueroa124Craig Anthony Lewis8-112,500
6Drill TimeEvin Roman120Vann Belvoir5-112,500
7SergioMario Gutierrez124Shelbe Ruis9-212,500
8Lucky PatrickJorge Velez117Marcelo Polanco7-212,500


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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Qafilah Geovanni Franco121Manuel Badilla4-140,000
2CharmingslewJoseph Talamo121Neil French7-240,000
3CatocaEdwin Maldonado121Anna Meah2-1
4WatheeqaTiago Pereira124James M. Cassidy7-2
5Pacific StrikeAaron Gryder121Peter Eurton5-2


6 Furlongs. Purse: $40,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Full EclipseJ.C. Diaz, Jr.113John E. Cortez15-1
2Shocking FastMartin Garcia120Bob Baffert5-2
3Kohala CoastEvin Roman120Martin F. Jones20-1
4Busy PaynterAaron Gryder120Brian J. Koriner5-1
5Saints PaynterTiago Pereira120Andrew Lerner8-1
6AmataraAgapito Delgadillo120Richard Baltas12-1
7Noble GirlMartin Pedroza120Joshua M. Litt20-1
8RaneemJoseph Talamo120Bob Baffert2-1
9Lady WedadEdwin Maldonado120Anna Meah20-1
10CherishedRafael Bejarano120Eoin G. Harty6-1


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

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Mighty ElijahTiago Pereira124Daniel Dunham4-120,000
2SiculoGeovanni Franco120Peter Miller3-120,000
3Love and HoldJohnny Allen120Oscar Heredia20-120,000
4Lorelei's WarriorJorge Velez120Kelly Castaneda20-120,000
5Golden ImageEvin Roman120Daniel Dunham7-220,000
6Muscle HeadAssael Espinoza120Mike Puype20-120,000
7Irish BalladEdgar Payeras124Ruben Gomez10-120,000
8R B EyeJ.C. Diaz, Jr.113Vann Belvoir6-120,000
9WindingVinnie Bednar120Art Sherman6-120,000
10Alfonso CBrayan Pena120Lorenzo Ruiz10-120,000
11Baja WarriorSalvador Iniguez120Leitha M. Brady30-120,000