Racing! More changes at CHRB

Horses round the first turn in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 2.
(Joe Scarnici / Getty Images)

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we cautiously move into the second week at Del Mar.

The California Horse Racing Board continues to make news with Wednesday’s announcement of the resignation of vice-chair Madeline Auerbach. At one time the presumptive chairman of the regulatory body, her time on the board grew short after Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wanted to pull back from those board members who have conflicts of interests. For more, just click here.

As an owner and breeder, Auerbach could have been constantly questioned about conflicts just in the course of her running her business. One misstep was when she had a business relationship over a horse with Tim Ritvo, the chief operating officer of the Stronach Group. If you’ve forgotten, just click here for the story.

Her announcement comes on the heels of executive director Rick Baedeker confirming to the Los Angeles Times that he is retiring soon and that Friday was assistant executive director Jacqueline Wagner’s last day. Phil Laird, former staff counsel for the CHRB, is considered the front-runner for the job according to two sources familiar with the process.


Fred Maas has said that he doesn’t want to be reappointed when his term expires at the beginning of the year.

It’s not known who the governor might have in mind for the appointments. But there is a small social media campaign for Oscar de la Torre, who has been an activist for the backstretch workers.

Next Thursday’s meeting at Del Mar should be full of drama as Santa Anita’s license will come up. (It will be granted but who knows how much public comment will call for the track to be closed.) And, the whip rule will be ruled on. The guess here is that the whip (i.e. riding crop) will be allowed but only for limited use. Perhaps something like the European rule where the arm can not go above the shoulder or an even more limited where the hands have to remain holding the reins while using the whip.

As soon as CHRB releases its packet of information, we should know more about the whip proposal. Maybe.


How would you vote?

America’s Best Racing has a fun little poll with a lot of different categories to vote on. It’s called the Fan Choice Awards and you can access it by just clicking here. It goes on for one more week and it automatically enters you in a contest where you can win a trip to the 2020 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland. That also comes with a $10,000 win bet in the Classic. What do you have to lose? It’s free to vote.

Del Mar preview

The second week of this already troubled meeting starts on Thursday with eight races beginning at 12:30 p.m. Four of the races are on the turf and there are two allowance/optional claimers. The feature is the seventh, a six-furlong race for horses 3 and up, running for a purse of $58,000.


The favorite, at 9-5, is Threefiveindia for trainer Peter Miller and jockey Abel Cedillo. He’s won five-of-21 lifetime and one of six this year. His last six races have been in Southern California but his first 15 races have been on the East Coast and Kentucky. He won his last race, an allowance, on the first day of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

Awesome Anywhere is the second favorite at 2-1 for Jerry Hollendorfer (remember, he can race at Del Mar) and Drayden Van Dyke. He’s won an impressive six of 13 but hasn’t run since Jan. 19 when he was fourth in the Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita. On Sept 16 of last year he won a claimer at Golden Gate and then followed with two allowance wins at Santa Anita. Post is around 3:30 p.m.

Here are field sizes, in order: 6, 5, 7, 7, 6, 10, 5, 12.

Bob Ike’s Dmr pick of the day


SEVENTH RACE: No. 3 Threefiveindia (9-5)

Won’t be a price to brag about in this short field of five but the Peter Miller-trained gelding made a very slow racetrack look lightning fast in his comeback win. Sat behind leaders, slipped through along the rail, then completely dominated softer foes to win off by seven lengths. The quick turnaround might be a positive as he steps way up to try to win his second straight for the new connections.

Sunday’s Result: Red Livy (7-2) set the pace inside as expected but wasn’t able to clear off at any point and faded when the real running began. She’s now 0-for-6 over the Del Mar turf, so this is clearly not her favorite course.

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


Golden Gate weekend preview

Here’s 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.

“With our special Veterans Day card this past Monday, Golden Gate Fields resumes live racing Friday and runs through Sunday with a first post of 12:45 p.m. every day.

“The feature race this week is the seventh on Saturday with the Oakland Stakes for horses 3 and up going six furlongs on the Tapeta. The likely favorite is Oiseau de Guerre, who has won three straight races on the main track. The son of War Front clearly has an affinity for the Tapeta, which is probably why Southern California based trainer Michael McCarthy continues to ship him here to race. Another interesting contender is 3-year-old Baja Sur, coming off a much better than looked runner up finish in a stake at Fresno last month for trainer Blaine Wright. The Smiling Tiger gelding was sensational at Emerald Downs the past couple years with a four-for-four. He had dominant, open length wins, but finished three-quarters behind Fashionably Fast at Fresno. That said, he had an undesirable trip from the rail last time and really put up a great battle to finish as close as he did.


“Smokey Image is also a contender. The Carla Gaines trainee has poor recent form but returns to Northern California for the first time in four years. As a 2-year-old, he began his career for trainer Greg James and won a pair of stakes races on the Northern California fair circuit.”“A couple of allowance races are sprinkled on the Saturday overnight that blend in nicely with the Oakland. Race six is a first-level allowance for tour routers to kick off the Late Pick 4. Race five, a straight allowance for fillies and mares, is the first leg of the Late Pick 5. Entered is Tomlin, winner of the Golden Gate Debutante last year. She makes her first start since June. The daughter of Distorted Humor ran third in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes behind Bellafina in January and was third in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes on Black Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico last May.“The fourth leg of the Stronach 5 wager on Friday is the third at Golden Gate. A field of nine go one mile. I lean toward #8 Leadville (4-1 ML) as my top pick, stretching back out to a route after two one-turn races. I feel he is at his best going two turns and he drops in class for this race, which I think will help. This is a very competitive race and you could go a number of different directions.“To end our portion, we wish jockey Kyle Frey the best of luck in his future endeavors. He moved to Pennsylvania on Tuesday and will begin riding at Parx Racecourse full time in the next week or two. After Monday’s races, Frey was sixth in the Golden Gate jockey standings with 11 wins.”

Final thought

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

Del Mar Entries for Thursday, November 14.

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. 4th day of a 15-day meet.


1 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1My S V RRuben Fuentes122Andrew Lerner4-120,000
2Goddess AphroditeJoseph Talamo122Peter Miller5-220,000
3Harper's GallopIgnacio Puglisi122Jack Carava2-120,000
4Flying FlirtFrank Johnson122Oscar Heredia20-120,000
5Magical KissTyler Baze122Richard E. Mandella4-120,000
6Lucky Brite EyeTiago Pereira122Martine Bellocq4-120,000


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $53,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $80,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Party TownTyler Baze120Val Brinkerhoff5-1
2Commander Abel Cedillo120Philip D'Amato3-180,000
3GoliadRafael Bejarano120Richard E. Mandella8-5
4Hariboux Drayden Van Dyke120Jeff Mullins9-5
5Pas de PaniqueJoseph Talamo120Mark Glatt10-180,000


1 Mile. Purse: $17,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $16,000-$14,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Cosa Nostra Agapito Delgadillo122Juan Carlos Lopez7-214,000
2Dr. BagleyTyler Baze120Jeff Mullins3-114,000
3GryffindorEdgar Payeras122Richard Rosales6-114,000
4Fast as CassRuben Fuentes124Steve Knapp5-216,000
5Lagoon MacaroonEdwin Maldonado122George Papaprodromou10-116,000
6Indy JonesMartin Garcia122Val Brinkerhoff6-116,000
7Union StationJ.C. Diaz, Jr.117Eoin G. Harty6-116,000


5 Furlongs Turf. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1CebollaJ.C. Diaz, Jr.115Bob Baffert6-1
2Too LateMario Gutierrez120Doug F. O'Neill2-1
3Zero DownMartin Garcia120Doug F. O'Neill15-1
4Speedy JusticeDrayden Van Dyke120Bob Baffert5-2
5Restoring DreamsJoseph Talamo120Ryan Hanson12-1
6Benny ChangAbel Cedillo120Peter Miller6-1
7Prince MagicianEswan Flores120Hector O. Palma3-1


6½ Furlongs. Purse: $30,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Surprise FashionRuben Fuentes120Victor L. Garcia4-125,000
2AlvaaroAbel Cedillo120Doug F. O'Neill6-125,000
3Toothless WonderTyler Baze120Anna Meah7-225,000
4PolicyJ.C. Diaz, Jr.115Michael W. McCarthy3-125,000
5Rickey BDrayden Van Dyke120Mark Rheinford5-125,000
6Oil Can KnightMartin Garcia120Doug F. O'Neill5-225,000


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $30,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Trust Fund KittyAbel Cedillo121Val Brinkerhoff7-2
2JaccatJose Valdivia, Jr.121Leonard Powell8-1
3GironaAgapito Delgadillo119Paul G. Aguirre20-1
4PersephoneGeovanni Franco119Peter Eurton4-1
5Dulverton DarlingRuben Fuentes119Andrew Lerner6-1
6SamandahMario Gutierrez119George Papaprodromou12-1
7Kittyhawk LassDrayden Van Dyke119Mike Puype3-1
8Vegas Strong BabyHeriberto Figueroa119Leonard Powell12-1
9Bella Figura Rafael Bejarano121Alfredo Marquez6-1
10Tinsel Town QueenMartin Garcia119Kristin Mulhall20-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $58,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $100,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Awesome AnywhereDrayden Van Dyke120Jerry Hollendorfer2-1
2Fight OnTyler Baze120Doug F. O'Neill4-1
3ThreefiveindiaAbel Cedillo120Peter Miller9-5
4Horse GreedyRuben Fuentes120John W. Sadler5-2100,000
5KoaHeriberto Figueroa118Jerry Hollendorfer8-1


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1If Id Told YouVictor Espinoza120Gary Mandella5-1
2Lightning FastJoseph Talamo120William Spawr9-2
3Totally TigerMartin Garcia120Andrew Lerner8-1
4Margot's BoyDrayden Van Dyke120Craig Anthony Lewis15-1
5Rocks and SaltRafael Bejarano120Carla Gaines12-1
6DescartesMario Gutierrez120Edward R. Freeman20-1
7Papa TonyTiago Pereira120George Papaprodromou20-1
8Canyon CrestRuben Fuentes120Michael W. McCarthy7-2
9Fantasy GameTyler Baze120Steven Miyadi6-1
10Tropical TerrorAbel Cedillo120James M. Cassidy3-1
Also Eligible
11One Fast BroRuben Fuentes120Shelbe Ruis4-1
12GuinesseyAssael Espinoza120Paul G. Aguirre20-1