Horse racing newsletter: Who won’t we see next year?

Horses take off from the starting gate at Del Mar.
(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome to our horse racing newsletter as we get try and get over our Breeders’ Cup hangover and wonder when everyone can see racing live again.

Horse racing is a week removed from its big week, excitement should be high and everyone should be looking forward to next year and seeing these stars in action. Right?

Let’s see how this works on the big race, the $6 million Classic. (In order of finish.)

1. Authentic. This guy is only 3. Surely, we’ll get to see him as a 4-year-old, for the good of the sport. Nope. He’s going to stand stud at Spendthrift for $75,000 a shot.

2. Improbable. Got to see him as a 4-year-old. How about at 5, please? Nope. He’s going to stand at WinStar for $40,000 a pop.


3. Global Campaign. Another 4-year-old. Is there a chance at seeing him in the top divisions after only 10 lifetime races. Nope. He’s going to stand stud at WinStar for $12,500 a pop. (There were hints he might go once more in the Pegasus, but that doesn’t seem likely now.)

4. Tacitus. He’s a 4-year-old that has run 15 lifetime races. Trainer Bill Mott seems to think he’ll be back for another year. And he’s owned by a breeder, Juddmonte Farm.

5. Maximum Security. Well, he’s certainly been in the news. He won 10 of 14 lifetime races. Will we see him as a 5-year-old? Nope. He’s going to stand stud at Ashford for $20,000 a pop.

6. Tiz the Law. This Belmont winner, obviously 3-years-old, will run next year for Sackatoga Stable.

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7. Title Ready. He’s 5 headed to 6. That’s not a bad time to retire, but he’s never won a stakes race, graded or otherwise. He’s sticking around.

8. By My Standards. This 4-year-old is likely not done. In fact, he’s a possible for the Clark at Churchill Downs later this month.

9. Tom d’Etat. He’s 7 headed to 8. The Benson family kept him around longer than most. He’s getting a well-deserved day job at WinStar for $17,500 a pop.

10. Higher Power. He’s 5 headed to 6. He deserves to take it easy and you can always count on the Hronis brothers to do what’s best by the horse and for the industry. He’ll be standing stud at Darby Dan for $10,000 a pop.

OK, so what did we learn? More than half the Classic field won’t be back, including the top name in the game, Authentic. The way it looks, is the business model revolves around getting a horse to the breeding shed because that’s where the money is. No surprise there. Should the sport be called horse racing or horse breeding? Clearly, one is more important than the other at the top levels.

Forgive me for shaking my head when I hear about groups such as, which sold microshares in Authentic, talk about the joy and wonderfulness of horse ownership and getting to be part of the overall experience. It started to sell shares in Authentic in June and then people got to watch their horse for, let’s see, one, two, three, yes, four races. But pretty darn big races.

In complete fairness, the site only had a 12.5% share in Authentic and likely had almost no say on what would happen to the colt. In the post-race interviews, Michael Behrens, who heads the syndicate group, said: “We’d like to keep it going, don’t get me wrong.”

Well, I’m guessing most of the 5,314 shareholders would probably like to keep it going, too, rather than wait by their mailbox (or online bank account) to get their .001% share each time the horse breeds. Is retiring a horse after four races really in the spirit of what’s being sold, even if it may be more financially lucrative?

And the “I’ve got a bridge to sell you moment” belongs to Ned Toffey, general manager at Spendthrift. “We just felt there wasn’t a lot more to accomplish for a Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner,” he said. How about a second Classic? Or a chance to be considered one of the greatest horses of all time? Or is it that the risk-reward was just too high? Good thing the Lakers and Dodgers don’t have that same attitude.

Let’s face it, if racing is to survive, it needs help. It needs more fans. Racing needs stars. Is this the best way to accomplish it?

Wow, I think I’ve blown my question-mark budget for the month.

Who goofed, I’ve got to know?

It was me and a pretty big goof. On Monday, when doing the recap of the Betty Grable Stakes at Del Mar, I was looking at the wrong chart. I got the winner right but the other horses were wrong. So, the official order was 1. Mo See Cal; 2. Warren’s Showtime; 3. Just Grazed Me.

Del Mar Preview

Del Mar starts its racing week with a nine-race card starting at 12:30 p.m. Five of the races are on the turf. It’s a pretty mediocre offering with just one allowance/optional claimer. The feature is 1 1/16 miles on the turf for horses 3 and up. Cali Caliente is the 3-1 favorite for trainer Eric Kruljac and jockey Juan Hernandez. He has won three-of-six races and three of the last four, two of those allowance races. Two of his wins have come at Del Mar. Murad Khan is second choice at 7-2 for Doug O’Neill and Ricardo Gonzalez. This 7-year-old gelding has won eight-of-29 lifetime races hasn’t won since Feb. 23 of this year. He was fourth last out in the Lure Stakes. Post is around 3:33 p.m.

Here are the field sizes, in order: 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 8, 10, 12 (1 also eligible), 10 (1 ae).

Bob Ike’s DM pick of the day

SEVENTH RACE: No. 6 Salvator Mundi (5-1)

Improving gelding from the Phil D'Amato stable chased and tired when facing much better in a Grade 2 race going 10 furlongs but drops back in with allowance company and is better at this 1 1/16 miles distance. He isn’t real fast early but might be forwardly placed in this field and have a chance to get first run on likely pacesetter Cali Caliente. He likes Del Mar, retains Umberto Rispoli and has a healthy work tab since his last start on Sept. 26.

Sunday’s result: P R Radio Star (8-1) sat behind the pacesetters early, got first run on the leader at top of the stretch, made lead at 1/8-pole, then couldn’t hold off the impressive winner through the final 100 yards but gamely held second.

Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of (here’s a video) and the proprietor of (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).

Ciaran Thornton’s DM pick

NINTH RACE: No. 4 C Falls (6-1)

C Falls tries turf for the first time today for trainer Shelby Ruis who is 1-1-1 from four starts at the meet. The small stable of Ruis, who also owns the horse, is winning 19% on the year. The only horse racing protected from a claim today, C Falls makes the first start since November of last year. There are sharp workouts leading into today. Horses over 5-1 have won this race 9 times from 21 races. 6-1 is a great value if we can get it.

Sunday’s result: He’s the Reason broke nicely and settled into second place before fading badly going into the turn to finish last, a very surprisingly bad outcome.

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

Golden Gate weekend preview

Here’s our weekly look at the best racing going on at Golden Gate Fields. 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 seventh race on Saturday is the marquee race of the week: the Golden Nugget Stakes at six furlongs on Tapeta for 2-year-olds. The one to beat is Exhalting, who has a three-race win streak. He most recently won an allowance three weeks ago and, three weeks earlier, won a starter allowance at low odds. He broke his maiden on Sept. 26, meaning he will be making his fourth start in just seven weeks for leading trainer Jonathan Wong.

“There are a number of impressive maiden winners in the Golden Nugget. Mischievous Path, an eye-catching eight-length maiden winner for trainer Greg James on Oct. 4, is one that will likely get bet. Mischievous Path is a son of California stallion Curlin to Mischief, a royally bred son of Curlin who is a half sibling to Grade I winners Into Mischief, Beholder and Mendelssohn.

“Run Snappy, a Runhappy colt trained by John Sadler, draws the inside post position for his first career start over a synthetic surface. He was purchased for $230,000 as a yearling and is a half sibling to Grade 3 winner Heavenhasmynikki and stakes winners Dougs Buddy and Floral Sky. Ben Wade, in the meantime, is a Nick Alexander California-homebred trained by Steve Miyadi who comes off a three-quarter length maiden win at Golden Gate and draws post position two. Longshots Coriscan and Mando complete the field.

“The third race on Friday is extremely competitive. Why is it noteworthy? Because it’s the last leg of the Stronach 5. In Stronach 5 tickets, I would spread. The seventh also catches the eye; a first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and upward. Last year’s stakes winner Our Silver Oak has not been able to win this year but has been close and likely to get bet again. Ready for a Fight has shown a strong affinity for the Tapeta but tries routing for the first time while recent maiden winner Railsplitter tries winners for the first time. Those are your main contenders in the field of eight.

“In jockey news, Alex Cruz and Assael Espinoza recently shipped their tack to Golden Gate Fields. A native of Puerto Rico, 27-year-old Cruz won the recently concluded 2020 Emerald Downs meet riding title with 72 wins from 38 racing days. Cruz also won the most races of any jockey last year at Turf Paradise. He won at least one race every day in the last 25 days at Emerald and closed out the meet with a five-win day. Assael, the 20-year-old nephew of Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza, was born and raised just miles from Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia. Espinoza had a fine apprentice season and rode for top Southern California trainers including Bob Baffert, Peter Miller and Sadler during his stay in Southern California. After a brief stint as a journeyman at Santa Anita, Espinoza moved north.”

Los Alamitos weekend preview

Los Alamitos is the only track in California racing at night. So, let’s turn things over to marketing and media guru Orlando Gutierrez, who will tell us about things going on at Los Alamitos. Orlando, the floor is yours.

“Six races around the turn, including an all thoroughbred early Pick 4, will kick off racing on Friday night at Los Alamitos. First post is 6:05 p.m. The program also has two races at 1,000 yards and an $18,000 allowance event closing out the late Pick 4.

“There will be some new faces at Los Alamitos as Northwest trainer Robert Baze will start a couple of horses on Friday. Baze is a longtime accomplished horseman at tracks such as Emerald Downs, Portland Meadows and more. He has won more than 600 races and his starters have earned more than $5.4 million. His top earnings runner has been Grinder Sparksaglo with $282,110.

“A winner of 21 stakes races. Baze will send out Goboldly in the opening race on Friday. The New York-bred gelding has finished in the money in six straight races and will debut here with top jockey Francisco Orduna Rojas. Baze will also saddle the five-time career winner Trust And Liberty in the third and four-time winner Don’tbeshywillie in the fourth.

“Later, Baze will saddle Remembertobreathe, a 14-time career winner of more than $230,000. He arrives after winning his two most recent starts at Emerald Downs.

“Saturday’s eigh-race program will be headed by the $25,000 Corona Chick Handicap at 400 yards for 2-year-olds. Abel Reyes’ homebred filly La Reina Del Sur 1 will headline the Corona Chick, after taking a four-month layoff. She beat male runners in her last start when winning the $25,000 Freshman Stakes on July 25. She beat a field that included eventual PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Monopolist. It was also trainer Sally Rivera’s first stakes win.

“’I’ve trained mostly thoroughbreds but had an 870 quarter horse who set a track record at Santa Rosa,” said Rivera, who has been working with horses for 40 years. ‘I’ve always had really good owners. I do it more for fun now.’

“She is certainly having a lot of fun training La Reina Del Sur 1 right now.

“A pair of Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials are on Sunday night to determine the final presumptive berths to the $600,000 Champion of Champions. At least two presumptive berths will be up for grabs with more possible berths opening on the weeks before the Dec. 12 final. Among the 14 horses in the trials, the outstanding 7-year-old gelding Zoomin For Spuds will be under the spotlight trying to qualify to the Champion of Champions for a record tying fifth straight year. Refrigerator and Jess You And I are the only horses with five Champion of Champions appearances. The trials will also feature Jesstacartel, the runner-up in the 2018 Champion of Champions, Ruidoso Derby winner Hotsempting, Heritage Place Derby winner Inaugurator, and Spencer Childers Championship winner Bail Czech.

“Tell Cartel won the richest running in the 67-year history of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby last Sunday night with as good of an effort as the colt has posted on the way to becoming a three-time derby winner this year. Aided by a 20 mph tail wind, Tell Cartel won the 400-yard race in :19.324, the third fastest in Super Derby history. The effort also earned Tell Cartel a presumptive berth to the Champion of Champions.”

Chris Wade’s Friday LA pick

FOURTH RACE: No. 2 Fort Lewis Rivers (4-1)

He has won his last two starts and did it very easy as our selection in this space 19 nights ago for the hot barn of trainer Robert J. Lucas (29% win ratio). With a competitive figure for this event and a sharp racing form, we will push this 8-year-old steadily to break near the lead and give this solid field a run for all the money at a much better price this night for a solid jockey/trainer (29%) combo that has proven capable to pop with a price.

A final thought

I love getting new readers of this newsletter, and you certainly can’t beat the price. If you like it, tell someone. If you don’t like it, you’re probably not reading this.

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Any thoughts, you can reach me at You can also feed my ego by following me on Twitter @jcherwa.

Now, the star of the show, Friday’s entries.

Del Mar Entries for Friday, November 13.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, California. $2 Win, Place and Show; $1 Exacta, $2 Quinella, 50-cent Trifecta, $2 Rolling Double, 50-cent rolling Pick 3; 10-cent Superfecta; 50-cent Pick 4 last 4 races; 50-cent Players Pick 5 first 5 races; 50-cent Pick 6 last 6 races; $1 Place Pick All; $1 Super High Five last race. Trifecta needs 4 betting interests; Superfecta needs 6. 6th day of a 15-day meet.


5 Furlongs Turf. Purse: $57,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Lance the LegendEdwin Maldonado120Jeff Bonde6-1
2Enough NonsenseAlexis Centeno113Doug F. O'Neill10-1
3Gator ShiningRicardo Gonzalez120Richard Baltas9-5
4Sai Con Umberto Rispoli120Richard Baltas8-1
5Gregory's PrideJuan Hernandez120Philip D'Amato8-1
6Chasing FameFlavien Prat120Doug F. O'Neill5-2
7Whidbey PrinceTiago Pereira120Frank Lucarelli20-1
8Mac Daddy TooAbel Cedillo120Doug F. O'Neill5-1


1 Mile. Purse: $21,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $16,000-$14,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Invincibella Juan Hernandez124Hector O. Palma5-216,000
2La Rosa DriveJ.C. Diaz, Jr.122David E. Hofmans6-116,000
3Summer LoveJessica Pyfer112Philip D'Amato7-216,000
4RealrealgoodAlexis Centeno117Alberto Amparan20-116,000
5Sapphire SilkAbel Cedillo122Jorge Periban5-116,000
6Heart RiverHeriberto Figueroa122Jeffrey Metz20-116,000
7SamandahTyler Baze124George Papaprodromou4-116,000
8PasitoRicardo Gonzalez124Steve Knapp4-116,000


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $57,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1LakayaEdwin Maldonado122Robert B. Hess, Jr.8-1
2Phoenix TearsAlexis Centeno115Daniel Dunham30-1
3Slew SouthFlavien Prat124Neil French7-2
4Jan Jan CanUmberto Rispoli124Mike Puype4-1
5Forever FreeHeriberto Figueroa122Anthony K. Saavedra20-1
6Buy Wave BuyTyler Baze124Alexis Barba20-1
7EnvyAbel Cedillo124Anthony K. Saavedra7-2
8Rose's CrystalJuan Hernandez122Carla Gaines9-5
9Keep DancingJose Valdivia, Jr.122Michael S. Wilson12-1


1 Mile. Purse: $20,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Princess TaleUmberto Rispoli122Mark Glatt3-120,000
2MoreavinoHeriberto Figueroa124Gary Mandella12-120,000
3Adrienne's ProgenyAlexis Centeno115Jorge Periban20-120,000
4Gotta Be LuckyJessica Pyfer114Carla Gaines5-120,000
5Midnight JamboreeTiago Pereira124William Spawr3-120,000
6With a WhisperEdwin Maldonado122J. Keith Desormeaux15-120,000
7Nicole GraceAbel Cedillo122Peter Eurton15-120,000
8Into VictoryJuan Hernandez122Robert B. Hess, Jr.5-220,000
9Slew's Screen StarJ.C. Diaz, Jr.122Daniel Dunham8-120,000


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $33,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1LakerballMike Smith120Doug F. O'Neill4-125,000
2Peach TimeHeriberto Figueroa120Ryan Bratcher12-125,000
3Seaside DancerFlavien Prat118Peter Miller5-122,500
4SugaryDrayden Van Dyke118Martin F. Jones7-222,500
5Lucky PeridotJ.C. Diaz, Jr.120Peter Miller5-125,000
6QuinnieJuan Hernandez120Vladimir Cerin6-125,000
7Miss Flawless Jose Valdivia, Jr.120Javier Jose Sierra15-125,000
8HurleyUmberto Rispoli120Eddie Truman4-125,000
9Lexington Grace Edwin Maldonado120Reed Saldana12-125,000


6½ Furlongs. Purse: $20,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Majestic DivaJessica Pyfer113Reed Saldana15-18,000
2Mama's KidAlexis Centeno115Sal Gonzalez7-28,000
3Hit It TwiceEswan Flores122Jose R. Gonzalez, Jr.6-18,000
4ZillindaEdwin Maldonado120Bruce Headley12-18,000
5SenoradiabloTiago Pereira120Manuel Ortiz, Sr.8-18,000
6Give Me a HintRicardo Gonzalez120Peter Miller5-28,000
7Just GraceAbel Cedillo120Robert B. Hess, Jr.7-28,000
8Super KlausJ.C. Diaz, Jr.120Victor L. Garcia8-18,000
9Sybil's KittyTyler Baze120Kristin Mulhall12-18,000


1 1/16 Mile Turf. Purse: $61,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Murad Khan Ricardo Gonzalez121Doug F. O'Neill7-262,500
2Barristan The Bold Edwin Maldonado121Mark Glatt6-1
3TartiniTyler Baze121Mark Glatt15-1
4Cali CalienteJuan Hernandez125J. Eric Kruljac3-1
5Gray MagicianFlavien Prat121Peter Miller6-1
6Salvator MundiUmberto Rispoli123Philip D'Amato5-1
7Untamed DomainTiago Pereira121John W. Sadler10-1
8Musawaat Jose Valdivia, Jr.121Mike Puype20-1
9Kazan Drayden Van Dyke121Javier Jose Sierra20-1
10Cleopatra's StrikeAbel Cedillo121Philip D'Amato6-162,500


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $23,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $32,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Ruthies RacerFlavien Prat120Peter Miller6-132,000
2Bingos SystemEdwin Maldonado120Robert B. Hess, Jr.12-132,000
3Gemstone GalTiago Pereira120Dean Pederson12-132,000
4Daring CatTyler Baze120Alfredo P. Marquez12-132,000
5As RequiredUmberto Rispoli120John W. Sadler5-232,000
6Smart LolaJose Valdivia, Jr.120Kristin Mulhall20-132,000
7Lady MoHeriberto Figueroa120Ruben Gomez30-132,000
8I'm the Boss of MeRicardo Gonzalez120Peter Miller3-132,000
9Paint Me AgainAlexis Centeno113Sal Gonzalez20-132,000
10Best LadyJ.C. Diaz, Jr.120Rafael DeLeon20-132,000
11You're All TalkAbel Cedillo120Peter Eurton6-132,000
12Tequila DivaJuan Hernandez120Jeff Bonde8-132,000
Also Eligible
13Brewed BigEswan Flores120Sergio Morfin30-132,000
14Pirates CrossAbel Cedillo120Jerry Hollendorfer8-132,000


1 1/16 Mile Turf. Purse: $31,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1RecreateTiago Pereira122Samuel Nichols30-150,000
2Canadian LuckGeovanni Franco124James M. Cassidy10-150,000
3My IndyHeriberto Figueroa124Samuel Nichols8-150,000
4C FallsJuan Hernandez124Shelbe Ruis5-1
5Capo MafiosoFlavien Prat122Richard Baltas3-150,000
6MeadwayAlexis Centeno113John E. Cortez30-140,000
7K P D DayVictor Espinoza122Alfredo P. Marquez6-150,000
8TemboUmberto Rispoli122Michael W. McCarthy5-150,000
9Drasario Ricardo Gonzalez122Richard Baltas4-150,000
10Full DrawEdwin Maldonado120Reed Saldana8-140,000
Also Eligible
11River NorthAlexis Centeno111Jeffrey Metz30-140,000
12Western SmokeEdwin Maldonado122Craig Dollase8-150,000
13Most SandisfactoryTyler Baze118Doug F. O'Neill4-140,000