Horse racing newsletter: Justify to remain Santa Anita Derby winner
Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as Los Alamitos runs two-thirds of its three-week meeting with Thursday racing … and more full fields.
We’ll start with some news before moving on during this very light day.
--Justify will remain the winner of the 2018 Santa Anita Derby … and undefeated. The board of stewards at Santa Anita ruled that the results of the 2018 Santa Anita Derby would not be overturned as the result of a drug positive for Justify, the 13th winner of the Triple Crown. Justify has tested positive for scopolamine, a drug found in jimson weed. It was previously discovered that the horse ingested the substance through feed contamination.
Justify, along with stablemate Hoppertunity, were among seven horses representing four different barns who tested positive for the substance. Hoppertunity was also cleared by the CHRB in its ruling on Wednesday. He won the 2018 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita. Most equine medical experts believe that scopolamine is not a performance enhancing substance.
Wednesday’s ruling came after Justify had already been cleared of any penalty by the California Horse Racing Board in closed session on Aug. 23, 2018. However, Mick Ruis, owner and trainer of second-place finisher Bolt d’Oro, filed suit alleging that CHRB should not have dismissed the matter without an official complaint. Ruis filed suit against the CHRB and as part of the settlement, the CHRB agreed to file an official complaint and hold a hearing.
The Santa Anita stewards did not give Justify a sweeping endorsement, though, saying, “It is the stewards’ opinion that had this board of stewards heard the Justify and Hoppertunity complaints prior to Aug. 23, 2018, both horses would have been disqualified.”
--Some of you will remember the sight to Princess Noor being pulled up at the top of the stretch in last Saturday’s Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos. Trainer Bob Baffert was happy to report there were no breaks. But subsequent inspection turned up a soft-tissue injury in her left front leg and the 2-year-old filly was retired. She was originally bought for $1.35 million. Remember, it’s more difficult for horses to recover from soft-tissue injuries than a hairline fracture. At least that’s what the anti-synthetic people say. Princess Noor’s first mating will be to Into Mischief. She will be headed to Taylor Made Farm.
--Bodexpress, a horse who will always be remembered more for a race he ran without a rider, was also retired about a week after winning the Grade 1 Clark Stakes at Churchill Downs. The exact nature of the injury that forced his retirement was not disclosed. Bodexpress became known to the non-racing publc when he dumped jockey John Velazquez right out of the gate at the start of last year’s Preakness Stakes. He continued to run the race along with the rest of the field. Of course, regular racetrackers found nothing unusual about this happening to a pack animal. But the general public, on this nationally televised race, found it fascinating
--Rules surrounding use of the riding crop became ever so slightly more clear when the Assn. of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) announced a rule change that does not allow a jockey to strike a horse more than twice in succession without giving the horse a chance to respond. It further defined a chance to respond as three strides. However, the ARCI declined to put a maximum number of strikes for the entire race on the table. California just recently went from three strikes to two. California also has a limit of six strikes per race.
--This isn’t really news as much as it is marketing, but it’s all for a good cause and you just might want it. The very popular Santa Anita calendar will not be given out on opening day (Dec. 26) because the public won’t be allowed. But, you can buy it at santaanita.com/calendar. You can’t buy them until Friday, so don’t look for a link on the landing page until then. The cost will be $5 which will be donated to the Foothill Unity Center, after shipping. You are limited to two per household and the track is only printing 5,000 of them. Sounds like one of those win-win situations.
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Los Alamitos preview
Thursday’s card is eight races beginning at 1 p.m. The field sizes remain impressive, the races, not so much. We’re going to resist designating a feature for Thursday. All the races are claiming, except the seventh, which is a starter allowance, which is essentially an allowance designated race with claiming-level horses. The conditions are written around claiming conditions. The high purse for the day is the second, a maiden claimer for 2-year-old Cal-bred fillies going 5 ½ furlongs. There are four 5 ½ furlongs races, three at a mile and one going six furlongs.
Here are the field sizes, in order: 9, 10 (2 also eligible), 10, 10 (2 ae), 10 (1 ae), 10, 7, 10 (2 ae).
Ciaran Thornton’s LRC pick of the day
SIXTH RACE: No. 4 Impression (4-1)
Impression at 4-1 is value given this horse, in this race, should be the 9-5 favorite in my book. Trainer William Spawr and jockey Tiago Pereira won two in a row at this distance at Del Mar and lost the horse to a claim to Peter Miller for $10,000. Next out, Spawr reclaimed the horse off a third-place finish at Santa Anita for $12,500. The first work off the claim in October saw a best of the day 46 second workout. First start in two months and this trainer wins 20% off the bench and an impressive 47% in the money. Again, value does not always mean a big price, it means a better price than we should get.
Sunday’s result: Ca Dreamer ($18.00) ran a smart race just off the pace, angled out and won by an easy 1 ½ lengths.
Ciaran Thornton is the handicapper for Californiapick4.com, which offers daily full card picks, longshots of the day, best bets of the day.
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And now the star of the show, Thursday’s entries.
Los Alamitos Race Course Entries for Thursday, December 10.
Los Alamitos Race Course, Los Alamitos, California. 4th day of a 11-day meet.
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $15,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.
|1||Spectacular Storm||Ramon Guce||124||Jerry Wallace, II||20-1||8,000|
|2||Lyrically Violent||Santos Rivera||119||Bill McLean||10-1||8,000|
|3||Gallantlystreaming||Francisco Amparan||124||Samuel Nichols||30-1||8,000|
|4||Galwalksintoabar||Jessica Pyfer||115||Faith Taylor||5-1||8,000|
|5||Queen Carmelita||Javier Matias||124||Rafael DeLeon||6-1||8,000|
|6||Starza||Geovanni Franco||124||Victor M. Trujillo||5-1||8,000|
|7||Sybil's Kitty||Tyler Baze||124||Kristin Mulhall||3-1||8,000|
|8||Wine At Sunset||Efrain Hernandez||122||J. Eric Kruljac||15-1||8,000|
|9||Girona||Tiago Pereira||124||Paul G. Aguirre||2-1||8,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $32,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. State bred.
|1||Keep Your Coil||Tyler Baze||122||Anthony K. Saavedra||8-1||50,000|
|2||Winning Appeal||Alexis Centeno||115||Ed Moger, Jr.||4-1||50,000|
|3||Alysse||Tiago Pereira||122||J. Eric Kruljac||15-1||50,000|
|4||Bekele||Javier Matias||122||Rafael DeLeon||20-1||50,000|
|5||Here Comes Ralphie||Geovanni Franco||122||Gary Stute||10-1||50,000|
|6||Warrior Lady||Edwin Maldonado||122||Brendan W. Galvin||12-1||50,000|
|7||Run the Blues Away||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||122||Jonathan Wong||6-1||50,000|
|8||Streaming Tiger||Francisco Amparan||122||Jose R. Gonzalez, Jr.||8-1||50,000|
|9||Miss Rebekah||Efrain Hernandez||122||J. Eric Kruljac||8-1||50,000|
|10||Phantom Indian||Abel Cedillo||122||Isidro Tamayo||9-5||50,000|
|11||Military Princess||Edgar Payeras||122||John Cisneros||20-1||50,000|
|12||Dontmesswithtess||Heriberto Figueroa||122||Jose Hernandez, Jr.||6-1||50,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $16,000-$14,000.
|1||Diamond Blitz||Edwin Maldonado||121||Steve M. Sherman||5-1||16,000|
|2||Colosi||Geovanni Franco||124||Mark Glatt||7-2||16,000|
|3||Big Barrel||Tyler Baze||121||Anthony K. Saavedra||8-1||16,000|
|4||T Bones Trick||Juan Hernandez||121||Isidro Tamayo||8-1||16,000|
|5||Governance||Abel Cedillo||122||Jonathan Wong||5-1||16,000|
|6||Friendly Outthedor||Mario Gutierrez||121||Ed Moger, Jr.||8-1||16,000|
|7||Leatherneck||Francisco Amparan||119||Jose R. Gonzalez, Jr.||20-1||16,000|
|8||Vodka Twist||Tiago Pereira||122||Steve Knapp||8-1||16,000|
|9||Bodega||Jessica Pyfer||112||Derek Meredith||15-1||16,000|
|10||Pioneerofthestorm||Ricardo Gonzalez||124||Jonathan Wong||4-1||16,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $23,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $30,000.
|1||Molokini||Alexis Centeno||115||Richard Baltas||10-1||30,000|
|2||Smart Lola||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||122||Kristin Mulhall||20-1||30,000|
|3||Little Vicky||Tiago Pereira||122||Milton G. Pineda||15-1||30,000|
|4||Ms Big||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Steven Miyadi||5-1||30,000|
|5||Stone Cold Lady||Santos Rivera||117||Jonathan Wong||8-1||30,000|
|6||Later Days||Christian Aragon||122||Patricia Harrington||8-1||30,000|
|7||Cold Brew Kelly||Edwin Maldonado||122||Steve M. Sherman||5-1||30,000|
|8||You're All Talk||Jessica Pyfer||115||Peter Eurton||4-1||30,000|
|9||Pirates Cross||Abel Cedillo||122||Jerry Hollendorfer||7-2||30,000|
|10||Marvelous Marvella||Cesar Ortega||112||Terri Eaton||8-1||30,000|
|11||Big Hoochie Mama||Henry Lopez||115||Jerry Wallace, II||20-1||30,000|
|12||Brewed Big||Ramon Guce||122||Sergio Morfin||30-1||30,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $19,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $12,500-$10,500.
|1||Sugary||Juan Hernandez||121||Martin F. Jones||7-2||12,500|
|2||Our Bold Princess||Alexis Centeno||114||Eduardo L. Rich||20-1||12,500|
|3||Gratzie||Mario Gutierrez||121||Manuel Badilla||4-1||12,500|
|4||Paige Runner||Edwin Maldonado||121||Lorenzo Ruiz||5-1||10,500|
|5||Hot On the Trail||Geovanni Franco||121||Gary Stute||20-1||12,500|
|6||Destiny's Journey||Abel Cedillo||119||Steve Knapp||5-1||12,500|
|7||Posh Holly||Tyler Baze||121||Steve M. Sherman||4-1||12,500|
|8||Lexington Grace||Jessica Pyfer||114||Reed Saldana||8-1||12,500|
|9||Avalon Ride||Edgar Payeras||118||Marcia Stortz||30-1||10,500|
|10||Reds Sacred Appeal||Tiago Pereira||121||Walther Solis||15-1||12,500|
|11||Lady Brexit||Ricardo Gonzalez||124||Jonathan Wong||6-1||12,500|
1 Mile. Purse: $19,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $12,500-$10,500.
|1||Upo||Ricardo Gonzalez||124||Isidro Tamayo||6-1||12,500|
|2||Tobacco Road||Edwin Maldonado||121||Paul G. Aguirre||6-1||12,500|
|3||Uber Star||Tyler Baze||121||Ruby Thomas||12-1||12,500|
|4||Implicitly||Santos Rivera||116||Tim McCanna||10-1||12,500|
|5||Impression||Tiago Pereira||121||William Spawr||4-1||12,500|
|6||Seau||Geovanni Franco||121||Quinn Howey||3-1||12,500|
|7||Cimpl Man||Abel Cedillo||121||Jonathan Wong||4-1||12,500|
|8||Remembertobreathe||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||121||Robert Baze||30-1||10,500|
|9||Contagion||Ruben Fuentes||121||Andrew Lerner||20-1||12,500|
|10||Jan's Reserve||Alexis Centeno||114||Rosemary Trela||6-1||12,500|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $26,000. Starter Allowance. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Heartfullofstars||Tyler Baze||124||Edwin Alvarez||5-2|
|2||Self Taught||Tiago Pereira||122||Steve Knapp||5-1|
|3||Camby||Geovanni Franco||124||Charles S. Treece||8-1|
|4||Emerald Magic||Santos Rivera||119||Bill McLean||10-1|
|5||Italiano||Jessica Pyfer||117||Vann Belvoir||7-2|
|6||Shane Zain||Alexis Centeno||117||Richard Baltas||4-1|
|7||Littlebitamedal||Juan Hernandez||124||Art Sherman||4-1|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $23,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $30,000.
|1||Little Mischief||Eswan Flores||122||Daniel Dunham||12-1||30,000|
|2||Autism Can Do||Ricardo Gonzalez||122||Jonathan Wong||4-1||30,000|
|3||Grey Point||Heriberto Figueroa||122||Jeffrey Metz||20-1||30,000|
|4||Mr. Artistic||Geovanni Franco||122||O. J. Jauregui||7-2||30,000|
|5||Hot Pursuit||Tyler Baze||122||Kristin Mulhall||3-1||30,000|
|6||Our Hy Roller||Efrain Hernandez||122||Robert Baze||20-1||30,000|
|7||Lili's Boy||Edwin Maldonado||122||Hector O. Palma||8-1||30,000|
|8||Light My Tiger||Brandon Boulanger||122||Jesus Nunez||20-1||30,000|
|9||Santiago's Wish||Javier Matias||122||Sal Gonzalez||15-1||30,000|
|10||Meetmeincali||Abel Cedillo||122||Isidro Tamayo||7-2||30,000|
|11||Dryspell||Santos Rivera||117||John W. Sadler||10-1||30,000|
|12||Walking With Dino||Alexis Centeno||117||Bill McLean||3-1||30,000|
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