Racing! Del Mar in the homestretch

Omaha Beach during a workout earlier this year.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we catch up on some odds and ends.

Omaha Beach switches races

Omaha Beach, the Kentucky Derby favorite until having to scratch with a throat issue, is no longer pointed toward the Awesome Again at Santa Anita but the Ack Ack Stakes at Churchill Downs. It’s the same day, Saturday, Sept. 28.

The news, first reported by Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form, is still at the “looking seriously” stage according to trainer Richard Mandella.

The difference is the Awesome Again is 1 1/8 miles while the Ack Ack is a one-turn mile. Both races are for older horses.


“A mile and an eighth is a little more than I want to do first time out,” Mandella told Privman. “A one-turn mile is a nice way to bring him back.”

Here’s Jay’s full story. Just click here.

Improbable to BC Mile

And speaking of stories that Privman has broken this week, he reports that Improbable, the easy winner of Sunday’s Shared Belief at Del Mar, may be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.

“We’ll wait a week and the decide what to do,” Bob Baffert told Privman. He indicated he will talk it over with Elliott Walden, the chief executive at WinStar, which is the majority owner of the horse.

Improbable looked pretty good on Sunday and would be pointed away from the Classic, where McKinzie is likely to be Baffert’s top horse. Improbable is just 3-years-old.

You can read Jay’s full story. Just click here.


New Los Al TB caller

Chris Griffin is the new thoroughbred announcer at Los Alamitos for the upcoming meeting. Michael Wrona will take over both the thoroughbred and quarter-horse race calling at the end of the year.

Bobby Neuman was the former thoroughbred caller and everyone thought heir-apparent to the Ed Burgart night-time role when he retires at the end the year. But the hiring of Wrona scuttled those plans.

Griffin will also replace Burgart this week when the legend goes on vacation. He was also the caller at Sam Houston Park and did several California fair meetings include Ferndale, Pleasanton, Sacramento and Fresno.

The L.A. County Fair meeting, which starts next Friday, will be three-days a week (Fri-Sun) the first two weeks and four days (Thu-Sun) the last week.

Who goofed, I’ve got to know?


While trying to correct that the Travers was not a win-and-your-in Breeders’ Cup race, we mistakenly tied it to the fact it was restricted to 3-year-olds. Well, the Haskell is a 3-year-old race that is a win-and-your-in Breeders’ Cup race. So, being restricted is not a criterion. So, we’ll just say the Travers is not a win-and-your-in race and leave it at that.

Del Mar preview

The last Wednesday card of the meeting has eight races starting at 2 p.m. There are turf races and one stakes and one allowance.

The feature is the $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes for Cal-bred 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs. The favorite, at 4-5, hasn’t had a misstep for trainer Peter Miller, who is witching to jockey Flavien Prat.

He has won all three of his starts by margins of 6 ¼, 9 ¼ and 8 lengths.

The second favorite, at a distant 5-1, is Been Studying Her for Jerry Hollendorfer and Mike Smith. He’s only raced once and won a maiden special by a nose at Sacramento.

Here are the field sizes, in order: 7, 9, 9, 10 (1 also eligible), 8 (2 ae), 10, 9, 12 (1 ae).

Bob Ike’s Dmr pick of the day

FIFTH RACE: No. 5 Queen of the Track (5-1)

Taking a little shot in this starter allowance race going 5 furlongs on turf with cutback runner Queen of the Track. The Jeff Bonde trainee faded going long but is in the third race of her form cycle and should appreciate the return to sprinting. The morning line favorites will be formidable but this one offers some value for a trainer-jockey combo that is having a solid meet.


Sunday’s result: Day by Day stalked from the outside while getting the right trip but tired badly when the real running began.

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

Final thought

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

Del Mar Entries for Wednesday, August 28.

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; $2 Pick 6 last 6 races; $1 Place Pick All; $1 Super High Five last race. Trifecta needs 4 betting interests; Superfecta needs 6. 30th day of a 36-day meet.


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $40,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $32,000-$28,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1JugglesMario Gutierrez120Doug F. O'Neill5-232,000
2The CreepRuben Fuentes120Ryan Hanson8-132,000
3Of Good ReportFlavien Prat120Doug F. O'Neill2-132,000
4Red ClemTiago Pereira120Steve M. Sherman4-132,000
5Grab the MunnyJorge Velez113John W. Sadler10-128,000
6Royal InsiderEvin Roman118Jack Carava10-128,000
7Tikkun OlamGeovanni Franco120J. Eric Kruljac5-132,000


1 Mile. Purse: $25,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Alta KyJorge Velez115John W. Sadler8-1
2Baby IceAssael Espinoza124Robert B. Hess, Jr.6-1
3Kennedie SkyRuben Fuentes124Rafael DeLeon20-1
4Love of Art Rafael Bejarano124Jeffrey Metz10-1
5Road TestJ.C. Diaz, Jr.117Dean Pederson3-1
6Tiz ToffeeAgapito Delgadillo124Jonathan Wong4-1
7Majestic DivaTiago Pereira124David Bernstein5-1
8Check SixAbel Cedillo124Jerry Hollendorfer5-1
9ButtieMartin Garcia124Reed Saldana6-1


1 3/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $64,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Real Master Brice Blanc121Thomas Ray Bell, II10-1
2Big BuzzFlavien Prat121Steve M. Sherman3-1
3Mr. MagicoVictor Espinoza121Leonard Powell20-140,000
4Ward 'n JerryDrayden Van Dyke124Mike Puype8-140,000
5Red KingAaron Gryder121Philip D'Amato7-2
6UnapologeticGeovanni Franco124William Spawr5-240,000
7Morse CodeEdwin Maldonado124Richard Baltas5-140,000
8Mongolian EmpireJ.C. Diaz, Jr.109Enebish Ganbat20-1
9HardbootMario Gutierrez124Michele Dollase15-1


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $32,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Fire DiamondsJoseph Talamo120Tim Yakteen6-150,000
2CaleseRafael Bejarano120Robert B. Hess, Jr.7-250,000
3Smiling to ExcessEdwin Maldonado120Paul G. Aguirre3-150,000
4Way too SweetAaron Gryder120Mike Puype5-150,000
5Phoenix TearsTiago Pereira120Daniel Dunham12-150,000
6My BalabustaAssael Espinoza120Steve Knapp20-150,000
7Slew's Screen StarMartin Garcia120Daniel Dunham12-150,000
8It's a RiddleAbel Cedillo120Robert B. Hess, Jr.6-150,000
9Arouse N GoJorge Velez115Jeff Bonde6-150,000
10ChieftessDiego Sanchez120J. Keith Desormeaux10-150,000
Also Eligible
11Coil and StrikeRuben Fuentes120Jonathan Wong5-150,000


5 Furlongs Turf. Purse: $36,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1JaccatFlavien Prat124Leonard Powell5-2
2So GucciRafael Bejarano120Doug F. O'Neill12-1
3Dunbow RoadJoseph Talamo120Tim Yakteen8-1
4Point Hope Drayden Van Dyke122Ronald W. Ellis2-1
5Queen of the TrackRuben Fuentes118Jeff Bonde5-1
6CoiletteMario Gutierrez118Jorge Periban8-1
7Sheza FactorEvin Roman122Vann Belvoir12-1
8Miss Lady AnnAbel Cedillo118Jack Carava6-1
Also Eligible
9Champagne HoneyJ.C. Diaz, Jr.117Blake R. Heap15-1
10Flying to the LineNorberto Arroyo, Jr.120Peter Miller3-1


1 Mile. Purse: $61,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1DelpEdwin Maldonado120J. Keith Desormeaux20-1
2Express TrainMike Smith120John A. Shirreffs5-2
3Flash of PromiseEvin Roman120J. Keith Desormeaux20-1
4Witch's VowTiago Pereira120Hector O. Palma10-1
5Palace PrinceDrayden Van Dyke120Jerry Hollendorfer7-2
6Include the TaxJ.C. Diaz, Jr.113Michael W. McCarthy20-1
7Dean MartiniFlavien Prat120Peter Miller3-1
8Shooters ShootJoseph Talamo120Peter Eurton5-1
9Can'tbetemallAbel Cedillo120Anna Meah15-1
10RailsplitterRafael Bejarano120Doug F. O'Neill8-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $100,000. 'Generous Portion Stakes'. Fillies. 2 year olds. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Wise RachelJoseph Talamo120Quinn Howey6-1
2VeganMario Gutierrez120Doug F. O'Neill20-1
3Roses for LauraGeovanni Franco120Gary Sherlock30-1
4Unchain Her HeartEdwin Maldonado120Brian J. Koriner10-1
5Bulletproof OneFlavien Prat122Peter Miller4-5
6I Want OneAbel Cedillo120Andrew Lerner20-1
7Smiling ShirleeNorberto Arroyo, Jr.120Jeff Bonde8-1
8Been Studying HerMike Smith120Jerry Hollendorfer5-1
9Cholula LipsRafael Bejarano120Mike Harrington8-1


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Noble GirlFerrin Peterson113Joshua M. Litt30-120,000
2Girls Got TrackAaron Gryder120Mike Puype6-120,000
3Malibu MinxEvin Roman123Bobby Wayne Grayson20-120,000
4Writing in the SkyEdgar Payeras120Jorge Gutierrez20-120,000
5La DolfinaRuben Fuentes120Dean Greenman6-120,000
6Ramoncita LightAlonso Quinonez120Lloyd C. Wicker20-120,000
7RedhotnreadytowedAssael Espinoza120Steve Knapp20-120,000
8DarpaEswan Flores123John W. Sadler7-220,000
9Sidepocket ChargerMartin Garcia123Philip D'Amato9-220,000
10TrapaniTiago Pereira120David E. Hofmans8-120,000
11TandaliciousJorge Velez118Philip D'Amato3-120,000
12ProbableIgnacio Puglisi120Matthew Chew15-120,000
Also Eligible
13Thought I'dmissyouGeovanni Franco120J. Eric Kruljac6-120,000