Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome to our horse racing newsletter as a lot has happened since we last visited.
Let’s get right to the news … and other stuff.
Hollendorfer loses in L.A. court
Hall of fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer had his request for a temporary restraining order turned down by L.A. Super Court judge Mary Strobel. If granted, it would have allowed Hollendorfer to race at Santa Anita. He lost a similar request to race at Golden Gate Fields. A San Diego court did give him a restraining order, which allowed him to run horses at Del Mar.
Drew Couto, Hollendorfer’s attorney, said he would likely file for a preliminary injunction which, if successful, allow Hollendorfer to run during Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring meet, which starts Dec. 26.
Hollendorfer was banned from all Stronach Group tracks, which include Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, after six horses—four at Santa Anita and two at Golden Gate—died under his care this year.
Hollendorfer, The Stronach Group and the California Thoroughbred Trainers have met to try and reach some sort of accord, but, so far, nothing has changed.
“You pick a circuit outside of TSG, and he’s being recruited to set up his base of operations there,” Couto said.
“After Jerry won the TRO [in San Diego] he stood in front of the press and said ‘If there is something I can do differently, I’m all ears. I’m listening and I’ll embrace. He made that same representation to Santa Anita. He said, ‘If there is something I can do differently, I will.’ So far, they have told him nothing.”
It’s still unknown if Hollendorfer will be allowed to run in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Nov. 1-2.
“The Breeders’ Cup does not comment on the status of potential 2019 world championship entries,” Breeders’ Cup spokesman Jim Gluckson said.
Emtech had previous drug positive
Emtech, the 3-year-old colt who became Santa Anita’s first racing fatality of this meeting, had tested positive for a painkiller about a month before his death.
The California Horse Racing Board fined trainer Steve Knapp $1,500 earlier this week after Emtech had about 430 ng of Phenylbutazone, a commonly used pain killer and anti-inflammatory, in his system. The CHRB eliminated its threshold of 2000 ng in the spring for race-day medication.
The test was required after the colt finished second in a race at Del Mar on Aug. 28. Emtech also raced at Los Alamitos, and won, on Sept. 14 before his fatal injury on Sept. 28.
A screening panel, set up to evaluate the fitness of horses before they race, knew about the positive for “bute” and the horse’s history.
“Dr. [Tim] Grande is the official veterinarian on the panel and an examining veterinarian,” said Dr. Rick Arthur, chief equine medical director for the CHRB. “He had interviewed Knapp and discussed Emtech’s Del Mar NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory) violation as part of standard process prior to Emtech’s race on Sept. 28.”
It was Emtech’s sixth race. He won his first race, a claimer, but it was voided when the vet found him unsound and he was put on the Veterinarian’s List. He failed a subsequent workout and was taken off the track. Six months later he was removed from the list after a five-furlong workout. Emtech ran his first three races for Simon Callaghan and last three for Knapp.
Omaha Beach to the BC Mile
Omaha Beach, the Kentucky Derby favorite until he was scratched, will be running in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Trainer Richard Mandella made the decision everyone expected.
“We put our heads together and that’s the decision,” Mandella told Ed Golden of Santa Anita.”
Omaha Beach looked very sharp when he won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 5. It was his first race in about six months, since he won the Arkansas Derby.
We would ask what the Breeders’ Cup thought of his decision but as we learned: “The Breeders’ Cup does not comment on the status of potential 2019 world championship entries.” (And, if you don’t think you’ll see that quote resurface a few times in the next few weeks, then you are not a regular reader of this newsletter.)
And in other Omaha Beach news, horseracingnation.com reported that the plan is the colt will run in the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes and Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 25 before heading to the breeding shed at Spendthrift Farm.
Where in the world is Tim Ritvo?
We doubt it will be as popular as that Carmen San Diego game, but let’s play Where in the World is Tim Ritvo?
When last we checked in with the COO of The Stronach Group, he was in Paris along with TSG president Mike Rogers. That’s where Rogers, after somewhat blaming the media for coverage of the deaths at Santa Anita on the Ron Flatter Racing Pod (listen here), made the unfortunate comment that if you throw out the cluster of deaths, (you can just throw them out like they never happened?) Santa Anita’s numbers were “no worse than it’s been the last 10 years.” (read here)
Sorry, off topic, Ritvo and Rogers were in France “recruiting” horses for the Pegasus in January at Gulfstream Park. Guess they had already locked up Omaha Beach while stateside.
Well, to everyone’s surprise there was a national TV sighting of Ritvo on Tuesday night in the front row, slightly to the right of home plate if viewed from the pitcher’s mound, at the Nationals-Cardinals clinching game. Did I mention front row? Man, he must have hit a mandatory payout on the Rainbow 6 to get those tickets.
We look forward to the next chapter.
Who goofed, I’ve got to know?
Me, who else? On Sunday, in one of those rare feel-good moods, I made it seem as if Glendora Girl Scout Troop raised $3,300 for CARMA, the horse aftercare program. I also said Santa Anita did an almost match of another $3,000. In fact, the Girl Scouts did present a check for that amount, but they raised $300 and it totaled $3,300 after Santa Anita’s contribution. But, if the Girl Scouts did not get the ball rolling, the extra $3,000 would have not come, perhaps. So, let’s give all the credit to the Girl Scouts, and no credit to me for my inability to read a news release correctly.
Santa Anita preview
The three-day racing week starts on Friday with eight races starting at 1 p.m. There are two turf races and I think you can declare that Santa Anita is protecting its turf course like a mother bear protects her cubs, no doubt saving it for the Breeders’ Cup. Let’s look at what the rail on the turf course has been set at:
Thursday, Oct. 10—30 feet
Friday, Oct. 11—30 feet
Saturday, Oct. 12—20 feet
Sunday,Oct. 13—10 feet
Monday, Oct. 14—30 feet
Friday, Oct. 18—30 feet
When the rail is at 30 feet, it’s almost as if there are two turf courses. Now, with all that said, if I were Santa Anita I would do the exact same thing. You want that turf course to sparkle when the Breeders’ Cup comes to town.
OK, back to Friday. The feature is the sixth race, 5 ½ furlong allowance/optional claimer on the turf for 3-year-olds running for a $51,000 purse. The favorite, at 9-5, is Carnivorous for trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Abel Cedillo, who picks up the ride from the suspended Mario Gutierrez. He is three-for-nine this year and won two allowance races at Del Mar. He was fifth last out in an allowance.
Tiger Dad is the second favorite at 2-1 for Carla Gaines and Victor Espinoza. He was won two of four this year, including an allowance at Del Mar. He was third last out in an allowance.
Here are the field sizes, in order: 5, 6, 7, 8, 7, 7, 7, 8.
Ciaran Thornton’s SA pick of the day
RACE ONE: No. 1 Mongolian Legend (4-1)
Mongolian Legend is 4-1 and I am hoping for higher but we have won so much betting on Enebish Ganbat/Abel Cedillo on these Mongolian horses that this still represents good value. Racing protected Friday we see a sharp workout for this race and we have a major jockey upgrade as well. Top speed in the race and best late pace this is a very tempting value play single against some mediocre favorites. This horse should be the favorite which is why its my value play Friday.
Monday’s result: Asaro broke nicely and tracked in 3rd place and looked ready to make a move going into the turn but something happened and the horse pulled back and was eased to last place.
Ciaran Thornton is the handicapper for Californiapick4.com, which offers daily full card picks, longshots of the day, best bets of the day.
Golden Gate weekend preview
We resume our weekly look at the best racing going on at Golden Gate Fields. As with the last meeting, 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 Golden Gate Fields Fall Meet began Thursday with seven races. The fall meet runs 36 racing days this year and concludes on Sunday, Dec. 15. We’ve got eight additional races Friday, 10 more on Saturday and another 10 on Sunday. First post each day is 12:45 p.m. with three exceptions: Thanksgiving (11:15 a.m.), Breeders Cup Friday (12:05 p.m.) and Breeders Cup Saturday (11:40 a.m.).
“We have nine stakes races during the nine-week season. The feature race of the meeting is Nov. 30: the Grade 3, $100,000 Berkeley Handicap for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles. The Joseph T. Grace Stakes on turf for 3-year-olds and up, has been added and will be run for the first time on Nov. 2. Four of the nine-stakes races are for 2-year-olds: the Pike Place Dancer (Oct. 26) for fillies on turf, the Golden Nugget (Nov. 9), the Golden Gate Debutante (Nov. 29) for fillies and the Gold Rush Stakes (Dec. 7). The best sprinters in Northern California will meet on Nov. 16 in the Oakland Stakes while fillies and mares go on closing weekend in the Dec. 14 Bear Fan Stakes and the Dec. 15 Miss America Stakes on grass.
“Race three on Friday goes as Leg D of the $100,000 guaranteed Stronach 5 wager. A field of 10 maiden $25,000 claimers are race six furlongs. The morning-line favorite is No. 10 Cajun Bettor (5-2), who cuts back in distance and gets to sprinting after a poor effort going two-turns on the turf. He has run well at this level before and figures to be a major player if he can duplicate his best effort. My top pick is a mild price on the morning line, 6-1 shot Columbian Crusader, who makes his second career start after a five-length loss against maiden special weight company.
“A few interesting races on Saturday: a 12-horse maiden special weight for California bred 2-year-old fillies (race eighth) and a duo of allowance races: one for 2-year-olds (race six) and the other for older fillies and mares routing on the turf (race nine). The former race is a possible springboard for the Golden Nugget Stakes. Summer meet leading trainer Jonathan Wong has the likely favorite in Nov. 6 No Longer Silent, coming into this race fresh off a terrific effort on closing week of the summer meet. Maiden special weight winner No. 5 Foreign Protocol and undefeated No. 4 Little John are two other contenders.
“The Sunday program features a full field of California-bred maiden special weight 2-year-olds in race nine and a pair of allowance races (six and eight) on the turf. The eighth race has a field of 10 routing and one of the probable favorites is Give Me The Lute, claimed out of Del Mar by trainer Andy Mathis for $80,000. He makes his first start for Mathis.”
Los Alamitos weekend preview
It’s time to turn things over to marketing and meda guru Orlando Gutierrez, who will tell us about the upcoming weekend at Los Alamitos. Orlando, the floor is yours.
“It’s a big weekend of quarter-horse racing with the trials to the Grade 1, $1,009,650 Los Alamitos Super Derby scheduled for Saturday night and the trials to the Grade 1, $1,072,850 Golden State Million Futurity on Sunday evening.
“Racing begins with an eight-race card on Friday with first post at 7 p.m. It will feature the return of jockey Oscar Peinado, who has been out nearly 15 months with neck and back injuries. Peinado will ride Famous Foose in the seventh race. At the time of his injury in July, 2018, Peinado was among the leading riders, having won 25 quarter-horse races and the winners of over $303,000 during the meet. In his career, Peinado has 258 winners from 2,397 mounts.
“Grade 1 stakes winners Flash And Roll, Powerful Favorite and Tequila Sangria will be among the 33 sophomores that will race in Saturday’s trials to the $1 million Super Derby. The 400-yard trials are races five through eight. The horses with the 10 fastest times will advance to the Super Derby on Nov. 10. First post for the eight-race card is 6:05 p.m.
“Scott Bryant’s AQHA champion filly Flash And Roll will be in the opening trial in race five. She’ll face Heritage Place Derby winner Apollitical Pence and PCQHRA Breeders Derby third-place finisher Transcend. Flash And Roll, Apollitical Pence, and Transcend were in last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, one of four races that Flash And Roll won during her undefeated 2018 campaign at Los Alamitos. Flash And Roll was named the overall AQHA 2-year-old champion and the champion 2-year-old filly.
“The second Super Derby trial will see Tequila Sangria, who defeated aged mares to win the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap on Sept. 22, facing top 3-year-old geldings Chocolatito, the runner-up in the Breeders Derby on Oct. 4, and Favorite Motion, the third-place finisher in the Golden State Derby on Aug. 18. The third trial is a wide open event led by Lethal Lil, third in last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and winner of the $100,000 Mr Jess Perry Stakes at Ruidoso Downs.
“The final trial is likely between two of the best 3-year-olds in the nation. Powerful Favorite is six for six this year, including wins in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby, Grade 3 El Primero Del Año Derby, and Governor’s Cup Derby. Jess Macho Corona arrives at Los Alamitos after running second in the All-American Derby.
“A total of 72 quarter horses are in the nine trials to the Golden State Million Futurity on Sunday night. The hopefuls include Geothermal, the runner-up in the Ed Burke Million Futurity on June 23, and Runforyourlife and Cattail Cove, the second- and third-place finishers in the Governor’s Cup Futurity on July 27. The Golden State Million final is set for November 3.
“Rewinding to Sunday night, BH Lisas Boy won his 11th career stakes race at Los Alamitos after outdueling 2018 champion aged stallion Tarzanito in the $125,000 Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship. The win gave BH Lisas Boy a berth to the Dec. 14, $600,000 Champion of Champions, which is the only Grade 1 race for older horses that the 7-year-old gelding has not won at Los Alamitos.”
Ed Burgart’s LA pick of the day
SIXTH RACE: No. 1 Roxy Runs (5-2)
Filly has improved with each of her three starts and galloped out well in last third-place try vs. winner dropping down from a maiden $10,000 claimer. La Vita Dolce, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, is very quick from the gate but is winless in eight tries and doesn’t finish a race as strong as she starts.
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Now, the star of the show, Friday’s entries.
Santa Anita Entries for Friday, October 18.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 13th day of a 23-day meet.
1 Mile. Purse: $50,000. Maiden Special Weight. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Mongolian Legend||Abel Cedillo||122||Enebish Ganbat||4-1|
|2||Jefe||Edwin Maldonado||122||J. Keith Desormeaux||10-1|
|3||Music to My Ears||Aaron Gryder||122||Brian J. Koriner||2-1|
|4||Noble Pursuit||Jorge Velez||120||John W. Sadler||8-5|
|5||Salah||Tiago Pereira||122||Eoin G. Harty||3-1|
1 Mile. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $30,000.
|1||Gorky Park||Rafael Bejarano||122||J. Keith Desormeaux||2-1||30,000|
|2||Yha Yha||Jorge Velez||117||Russell G. Childs||8-1||30,000|
|3||Color War||Edwin Maldonado||122||Art Sherman||8-5||30,000|
|4||Golden Victory||Ruben Fuentes||122||Victor L. Garcia||5-1||30,000|
|5||Beyond Precher||Eswan Flores||122||Jorge Periban||6-1||30,000|
|6||K P Backtothewall||Tyler Baze||122||Jeff Mullins||5-1||30,000|
6½ Furlongs. Purse: $36,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Posterize||Geovanni Franco||124||Ian Kruljac||4-1||40,000|
|2||Rickey B||Ruben Fuentes||122||Mark Rheinford||10-1||40,000|
|3||Savagery||Abel Cedillo||122||Peter Miller||5-2||40,000|
|4||Union Ride||Eswan Flores||122||Hector O. Palma||4-1||40,000|
|5||Alvaaro||Martin Garcia||122||Doug F. O'Neill||10-1||40,000|
|6||Principe Carlo||Tiago Pereira||124||Marcelo Polanco||2-1||40,000|
|7||Toothless Wonder||Rafael Bejarano||122||Anna Meah||10-1||40,000|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000.
|1||Shootin Money||Tiago Pereira||122||Philip A. Oviedo||4-1||50,000|
|2||Promise Nothing||Jorge Velez||117||Shelbe Ruis||8-1||50,000|
|3||Doctrinaire||Donnie Meche||122||J. Keith Desormeaux||12-1||50,000|
|4||Itsthattime||Ruben Fuentes||122||Jeff Bonde||6-1||50,000|
|5||Fun Coupons||Aaron Gryder||122||Brian J. Koriner||7-2||50,000|
|6||Three Footer||Abel Cedillo||122||Doug F. O'Neill||9-5||50,000|
|7||Royal Suspect||Joseph Talamo||122||Mark Glatt||5-1||50,000|
|8||Matson||Geovanni Franco||122||George Papaprodromou||30-1||50,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. State bred.
|1||Secret Square||Jorge Velez||117||John W. Sadler||2-1||50,000|
|2||Chieftess||Diego Sanchez||122||J. Keith Desormeaux||4-1||50,000|
|3||Aurora Night||Tiago Pereira||122||Rafael Becerra||10-1||50,000|
|4||Hay Belles||Heriberto Figueroa||122||Russell G. Childs||20-1||50,000|
|5||Nikkileaks||Abel Cedillo||122||Mark Glatt||5-2||50,000|
|6||For My Brother||Martin Garcia||122||Juan Carlos Lopez||10-1||50,000|
|7||Win Often||Assael Espinoza||122||Dean Pederson||3-1||50,000|
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $51,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $80,000.
|1||Tap the Wire||Martin Garcia||124||Daniel Dunham||15-1|
|2||You Must Chill||Assael Espinoza||122||George Papaprodromou||20-1|
|3||Carnivorous||Abel Cedillo||124||Doug F. O'Neill||9-5||80,000|
|4||One Flew South||Evin Roman||124||Doug F. O'Neill||10-1|
|5||City Rage||Flavien Prat||124||Mark Glatt||3-1|
|6||Seven Scents||Jorge Velez||119||Craig Anthony Lewis||5-1||80,000|
|7||Tiger Dad||Victor Espinoza||124||Carla Gaines||2-1|
1 Mile. Purse: $30,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $35,000.
|1||Super Klaus||Ruben Fuentes||122||Victor L. Garcia||8-1||35,000|
|2||Tiz Wonderfully||Victor Espinoza||124||James M. Cassidy||12-1|
|3||Eternal Endeavour||J.C. Diaz, Jr.||117||Leonard Powell||2-1||35,000|
|4||Catoca||Edwin Maldonado||124||Anna Meah||5-2||35,000|
|5||Mongolian Empire||Abel Cedillo||124||Enebish Ganbat||7-2||35,000|
|6||Cimarron||Tiago Pereira||122||George Papaprodromou||8-1||35,000|
|7||Cyrielle||Flavien Prat||124||Mike Puype||5-1||35,000|
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $29,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $25,000.
|1||Drift Away||Flavien Prat||123||Andrew Lerner||4-1||25,000|
|2||No Wine Untasted||Ruben Fuentes||123||J. Eric Kruljac||7-2||25,000|
|3||Sapphire Kid||Tyler Baze||123||Matthew Chew||8-1||25,000|
|4||Miss Flawless||Brice Blanc||120||Peter Eurton||10-1||25,000|
|5||Swirling||Jorge Velez||118||John W. Sadler||3-1||25,000|
|6||Gia Lula||Assael Espinoza||123||Mark Glatt||8-1||25,000|
|7||Bako Sweets||Agapito Delgadillo||123||Blake R. Heap||5-1||25,000|
|8||Donut Girl||Eswan Flores||123||Hector O. Palma||6-1||25,000|