Horse racing newsletter: Louis Rabaut digs into Los Al results
Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as Los Alamitos has full fields … on a Thursday.
We normally count on our Kentucky correspondent Louis Rabaut, of the Horse Racing Happy Hour, for wisdom from the middle of the country. But here, he does an analysis on what we’ve got going on in our own back yard. Take it away, Louis.
Off to the races
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“There have been plenty of unusual changes to the 2020 horse racing schedule such as a September Kentucky Derby, an October Preakness, a nine-furlong Belmont Stakes, even a First Saturday in May Two Heat Arkansas Derby. But none seem to have seen the effect of COVID-19 as much as the Los Alamitos ‘Spectator-less L.A. County Fair in December’ meet because of the suspension of racing at Golden Gate Fields.
“On our podcast, The Horse Racing Happy Hour, we had the affable José Contreras on to preview the meet. During the interview, I mentioned the noticeable number of entrants to the night racing who had recently shipped from Golden Gate Fields, and I asked him if I was noticing a new trend: are the Golden Gate-based runners faring really well at Los Al, or is it just me?
“’That’s a pretty good observation, the last couple of weeks,’ he said ‘You’re right about that. If you were talking to the Los Ponies (his handle on Twitter) of 2015-16, I would be getting destroyed. … Back then, I was absolutely tossing horses making their first start under the lights at Los Al at the shorter distance. This year, the invaders from Emerald Downs, Golden Gate, I have no problem singling them, or using them, whatever it may be. The recent ones from the Golden Gate circuit … I feel like the horsemen up there have had horses ready to go and because of the current no racing situation, these horses are sharp. They’re being pointed, we want to get a race in them. They’re ready to go.’
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“Most readers of this newsletter know there’s a stark difference between the LA and LRC Los Alamitos: the daytime thoroughbred meet, and the nighttime mix of thoroughbreds and quarter horses. So, my quest became obvious: are those Golden Gate-based horses performing as well during the day as they have been at night? Where did the 56 winners the first two weeks of the meet previously race? Here are the numbers:
|Most Recent Track||Total races won||% of races won|
|SoCal (DMR, SA)||31||55%|
|1st Time Starter||6||11%|
“I think the numbers show what we would generally expect in a meeting such as this: the horses which most recently ran in Southern California, namely at Del Mar and Santa Anita, are winning a majority of the races. We would expect them to be the classiest of the groups listed, and the most numerous. Also worth noting, a first-time starter has won every race day except one.
“The other trend to be expected is Southern California horses dominating the higher-ranked races, i.e. winning all three stakes, and dominating the allowance and allowance/optional claiming company. The higher the purse, the more likely we find a winner from the Del Mar/Santa Anita circuit.
“It’s worth noting, however, that Los Alamitos likes to stagger its race types, and purses. Therefore, to structure a proper pick 5 or pick 4 ticket, the lower purse and level races are worth an examination. There were 25 races with purses of $20,000 or less, and Southern California horses won 10 of them, or 45%. Over half (GGF 9, LA 6) were won by horses either shipping from Golden Gate, or were night runners at Los Alamitos. Note that with six wins in such races, this is the totality of the Los Alamitos horses; four GGF horses also won races with purses higher than $20,000 ($48k, $42k, $32k, and $23k.).
“This coming weekend, there will be a huge number of races which fall into the ‘$20,000 or less’ category: five on Thursday and four on Friday, alone. The $1 late pick 4 this past Sunday paid $23,000; it started with an $18,000 claimer. With the meet ending Sunday, there will be a force-out of the $2 Pick Six -- perhaps a Golden Gate or Los Alamitos trainee will help us cash a big ticket.”
Louis Rabaut is a Louisville-based co-host of the Horse Racing Happy Hour podcast, alongside Megan Devine and Mike Gandolfo. New episodes release every Thursday on all major podcast platforms. Follow him on Twitter @LouisRabaut.
Sorry to report …
Penelope Rose, an unraced 2-year-old filly, became the first racing or training fatality at any Southern California daytime thoroughbred circuit in more than three months. She suffered a fractured humerus during a morning workout on Wednesday. At Santa Anita, it was the 15th death this calendar year and 16th if you go back to the start of the racing year on Dec. 26, 2019. Last year, the track reached 16 deaths by Feb. 22. If you want more, just click here.
And in more disturbing news …
The Stronach Company has joined PETA in asking the North American racing industry to longer export racehorses to South Korea after a 2006 Kentucky Derby runner, Private Vow, was sent to a slaughterhouse at the end of his breeding career earlier this year. Again, if you want to know more, just click here.
The case that wouldn’t end
After the California Horse Racing Board officially dismissed the case against Justify, Mick Ruis’ LA-based attorney filed a complaint with the California Business and Professions board that would overturn the stewards’ ruling. Ruis owned and trained the second-place finisher, Bolt d’Oro. Here’s how the CHRB responded: “Pursuant to the notice requirements of the Bagley-Keene Act, the matter will be added to the agenda for the Board’s regularly scheduled January 21, 2021 meeting. At that time, the Board will consider in executive session whether it has the authority to act on your request.”
Who goofed, I’ve got to know?
It was me. In my interview with Darrel McHargue, chief steward of the California Horse Racing Board, I referred to the process of simulating hitting a horse with the riding crop as “slagging,” rather than “flagging.” I could blame it on a bad phone connection or I could just admit I didn’t know the difference. Your best bet is on the latter.
Los Alamitos daytime preview
Los Alamitos has another amazing card of nothing but full fields. There is one race with seven but every other race is 10. I even had an email from a frustrated owner who couldn’t get his horse entered because the race only had seven or so horses. Those races don’t usually make it anymore.
Thursday’s card is nine races beginning at 12:30 p.m., a half-hour earlier than a normal weekday card this meeting. It’s not a great card with eight of the nine being claimers and the ninth being a maiden special. All of which brings us to the feature, a maiden special for 2-year-old Cal-bred fillies going 5 ½ furlongs. The favorite, at 8-5, is Squared Shady for trainer Jeff Bonde and jockey Edwin Maldonado. She has one second and two thirds in four races. Her last two races were on the turf.
Coco’s Joy is the second favorite at 5-2 for Eric Kruljac and Drayden Van Dyke. She’s only run once, a fifth at Del Mar. Five of the 10 starters are going for the first time. Post is around 4:28 p.m.
Here are the field sizes, in order: 10 (1 also eligible), 10 (2 ae), 10 (2 ae), 10 (2 ae), 10, 10 (1 ae), 10 (1 ae), 7, 10 (2 ae).
Ciaran Thornton’s LRC pick of the day
SIXTH RACE: No. 7 Sizzling Jamie (8-1)
Sizzling Jamie ships down from Golden Gate for trainer Isidro Tamayo who is winning 27% at the meet, 32% first off the claim, and 23% shipping. Point is this trainer is on fire and his in-the-money percentages hover over 55%. He puts Jessica Pyfer and her big weight break onboard while jumping the horse in class. Money run value play at 8-1.
Sunday’s result: Rossman blasted to the front and ran a 22-second quarter-mile but at the top of the Los Alamitos runway ran out of steam.
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 17.
Los Alamitos Race Course, Los Alamitos, California. 8th day of a 11-day meet.
1 Mile. Purse: $13,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $6,250.
|1||Magic Mosco||Jessica Pyfer||112||Jeffrey Metz||4-1||6,250|
|2||Hot Socks||Santos Rivera||114||Steven Miyadi||6-1||6,250|
|3||Devil's Teeth||Francisco Amparan||121||Alberto Amparan||20-1||6,250|
|4||Tyler's Tek||Abel Cedillo||121||Jonathan Wong||4-1||6,250|
|5||Tequila Blanco||Javier Matias||121||Steven Miyadi||12-1||6,250|
|6||Hey Sequoia||Emily Ellingwood||111||Quinn Howey||8-1||6,250|
|7||Write Me a Song||Edwin Maldonado||121||George Papaprodromou||2-1||6,250|
|8||Remembertobreathe||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||121||Robert Baze||20-1||6,250|
|9||Muhney Line||Heriberto Figueroa||121||Leanna L. Ekstrom||30-1||6,250|
|10||Incredible Luck||Ricardo Gonzalez||121||Isidro Tamayo||6-1||6,250|
|11||Unstoppable Guy||Edgar Payeras||119||Marcia Stortz||15-1||6,250|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $23,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $30,000-$28,000. State bred.
|1||Carelesswitdatruth||Eswan Flores||122||James M. Cassidy||12-1||30,000|
|2||Torquay||Javier Matias||122||Jose Bautista||12-1||30,000|
|3||Mojo Mama||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||122||Jere Brinkerhoff||10-1||30,000|
|4||She Loves Karaoke||Edwin Maldonado||122||Adam Kitchingman||6-1||30,000|
|5||A J Rock||Geovanni Franco||120||Reed Saldana||10-1||28,000|
|6||Wild Arch||Tyler Baze||120||Anthony K. Saavedra||10-1||28,000|
|7||Stylish in Red||Tiago Pereira||122||Martin Valenzuela, III||2-1||30,000|
|8||Please Me||Santos Rivera||117||Victor M. Trujillo||15-1||30,000|
|9||Queen Stormborn||Ruben Fuentes||122||George Papaprodromou||9-2||30,000|
|10||Ya Beauty||Abel Cedillo||122||Peter Miller||5-1||30,000|
|11||Kiss of Congrats||Tiago Pereira||122||Rene Amescua||10-1||30,000|
|12||Bandon Colleen||Ramon Guce||120||Michael Lenzini||30-1||28,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $32,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. State bred.
|1||The Henrietta||Francisco Amparan||119||Duff Shidaker||30-1||50,000|
|2||Lil Ricardo||Jessica Pyfer||115||Peter Eurton||6-1||50,000|
|3||Catbernay||Tiago Pereira||122||Daniel Dunham||8-1||50,000|
|4||Mancuso At the Mic||Heriberto Figueroa||122||Jose Hernandez, Jr.||30-1||50,000|
|5||Cojo||Edwin Maldonado||122||Jeff Bonde||3-1||50,000|
|6||Just a Command||Drayden Van Dyke||122||J. Eric Kruljac||8-1||50,000|
|7||Big Discount||Juan Hernandez||122||Art Sherman||4-1||50,000|
|8||Brananx||Santos Rivera||117||Andy Mathis||7-2||50,000|
|9||Royal Dude||Alexis Centeno||115||Blake R. Heap||12-1||50,000|
|10||Fleet Roy||Eswan Flores||122||Hector O. Palma||10-1||50,000|
|11||Chief Jackson||Ruben Fuentes||122||Jeff Bonde||6-1||50,000|
|12||Stone's River||Alexis Centeno||115||Craig Anthony Lewis||5-2||50,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $15,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $8,000.
|1||Apache Pass||Jessica Pyfer||117||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||4-1||8,000|
|2||Well Done Sally||Abel Cedillo||122||Jonathan Wong||7-2||8,000|
|3||Ever Vigilant||Alexis Centeno||117||Andrew Lerner||5-1||8,000|
|4||Billy K||Emily Ellingwood||112||Ryan Hanson||10-1||8,000|
|5||Glitter Gulch||Henry Lopez||117||Jesus J. Uranga||10-1||8,000|
|6||Charming Life||Santos Rivera||119||Sally Rivera||20-1||8,000|
|7||Brite Tan||Edgar Payeras||122||Marcia Stortz||30-1||8,000|
|8||Deltary||Ricardo Gonzalez||122||Andy Mathis||4-1||8,000|
|9||Real Good Deal||Heriberto Figueroa||124||Leonard Powell||3-1||8,000|
|10||Goddess Aphrodite||Cesar Ortega||117||Jesus Mendoza||30-1||8,000|
|11||Dairy Kid||Fernandez Rojas||124||Robert J. Lucas||20-1||8,000|
|12||Pasito||Ruben Fuentes||124||Steve Knapp||5-2||8,000|
5 Furlongs. Purse: $13,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $6,250.
|1||Tiger Mom||Edgar Payeras||124||Lorenzo Ruiz||6-1||6,250|
|2||Brilliant Bird||Jessica Pyfer||117||John F. Martin||7-2||6,250|
|3||Lady Chrome||Santos Rivera||119||Jesus Ramos||15-1||6,250|
|4||Cioppino Pasadino||Ramon Guce||124||Jesus J. Uranga||8-1||6,250|
|5||Give Me a Hint||Geovanni Franco||124||Peter Miller||6-1||6,250|
|6||Hit It Twice||Ruben Fuentes||124||Jose R. Gonzalez, Jr.||12-1||6,250|
|7||Luv Is All U Need||Cesar Ortega||117||Angela Maria Aquino||30-1||6,250|
|8||Purdue||Edwin Maldonado||124||Eddie Truman||5-2||6,250|
|9||Come On Kat||Francisco Orduna-Rojas||124||Jose Antonio Flores||15-1||6,250|
|10||Just Classy||Tyler Baze||122||Monty R. Meier||9-2||6,250|
1 Mile. Purse: $16,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.
|1||Most Determined||Mario Gutierrez||124||Bill McLean||12-1||8,000|
|2||Black Storm||Tyler Baze||121||Jeff Mullins||4-1||8,000|
|3||Debt Monger||Edgar Payeras||122||Marcia Stortz||8-1||8,000|
|4||More Honor||Edwin Maldonado||119||Hector O. Palma||20-1||7,000|
|5||Fabozzi||Juan Hernandez||124||Mark Glatt||7-2||8,000|
|6||Lifeline||Tiago Pereira||124||Leobardo Rivera||10-1||8,000|
|7||Sizzling Jamie||Jessica Pyfer||114||Isidro Tamayo||8-1||8,000|
|8||Buster Douglas||Geovanni Franco||124||Milton G. Pineda||5-1||8,000|
|9||R Cha Cha||Ruben Fuentes||121||George Papaprodromou||6-1||8,000|
|10||Implicitly||Santos Rivera||119||Tim McCanna||6-1||8,000|
|11||Aotearoa||Abel Cedillo||124||Jonathan Wong||8-1||8,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $12,500-$10,500.
|1||Bella Figura||Santos Rivera||119||Alfredo P. Marquez||7-2||12,500|
|2||Unchain Her Heart||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||119||Steve M. Sherman||6-1||12,500|
|3||Lucky Stepper||Ricardo Gonzalez||124||Jonathan Wong||5-1||12,500|
|4||Sapphire Silk||Edgar Payeras||120||Jorge Periban||20-1||10,500|
|5||Wine At Sunset||Geovanni Franco||117||J. Eric Kruljac||15-1||10,500|
|6||Kayda||Alexis Centeno||115||Ruby Thomas||12-1||12,500|
|7||Realrealgood||Francisco Amparan||121||Alberto Amparan||6-1||12,500|
|8||Info's Treasure||Jessica Pyfer||115||Ian Kruljac||4-1||10,500|
|9||Heart River||Heriberto Figueroa||119||Jeffrey Metz||6-1||12,500|
|10||Reds Tribal Heart||Tiago Pereira||117||Walther Solis||8-1||10,500|
|11||Red Bunting||Juan Hernandez||124||Isidro Tamayo||9-2||12,500|
5 Furlongs. Purse: $26,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.
|1||Sequentially||Geovanni Franco||124||John F. Martin||5-1||25,000|
|2||Mr. Lovejoy||Tiago Pereira||124||Brian J. Koriner||4-1||25,000|
|3||Blackout||Flavien Prat||122||Peter Miller||3-1||22,500|
|4||Flip the Coin Jan||Alexis Centeno||117||Alfredo P. Marquez||8-1||25,000|
|5||Captain Scotty||Ricardo Gonzalez||124||Peter Miller||5-2||25,000|
|6||Oil Can Knight||Edwin Maldonado||124||Steve Knapp||6-1||25,000|
|7||Sweet River Baines||Tyler Baze||124||Tim McCanna||8-1||25,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $42,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 2 year olds. State bred.
|1||Swift Nonni||Edgar Payeras||122||Marcia Stortz||10-1|
|2||Squared Shady||Edwin Maldonado||122||Jeff Bonde||8-5|
|3||Always for Money||Santos Rivera||117||Andy Mathis||10-1|
|4||Sircat Nelly||Juan Hernandez||122||John W. Sadler||8-1|
|5||Chieftess Aine||Cerapio Figueroa||122||Ruby Thomas||20-1|
|6||Jeanne B||Brandon Boulanger||122||Charles R. Stutts||20-1|
|7||Coco's Joy||Drayden Van Dyke||122||J. Eric Kruljac||5-2|
|8||Ten the Smart Way||Ricardo Gonzalez||122||Andy Mathis||8-1|
|9||Zu Zu Flynn||Ruben Fuentes||122||Steven Miyadi||12-1|
|10||Amazen Grazen||Geovanni Franco||122||Ed Moger, Jr.||12-1|
|11||Military Princess||Edgar Payeras||122||John Cisneros||30-1|
|12||Complete Control||Abel Cedillo||122||Edward R. Freeman||5-2|
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