Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome to our horse racing newsletter as we get ready for racing to resume at Del Mar.
I’ve had long days in my life, but few longer than the 27-item California Horse Racing Board meeting at Del Mar on Thursday. It lasted 284 minutes and that doesn’t include a one-hour lunch. In the many public comment periods there were 36 speakers talking against horse racing and seven in favor of it. There were other speakers, too, who didn’t fit in either of those categories.
The meeting started with Rick Baedeker, executive director of the CHRB, announcing that an idea paper had been sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom proposing statutory changes such as making positive drug tests public within 24 hours, earmark all revenue from licenses and penalties to welfare and safety issues and greater access and transparency to veterinary records.
Other discussion points, which would not need statutory changes, include stricter veterinarian protocols, elimination of shock wave therapy, more out-of-competition testing, a review of penalty guidelines and fatality information posted on its website, which is set to launch on Jan. 1.
Clearly, making positive drugs tests public within 24 hours was in reaction to the controversy surrounding Justify’s positive test last year after the Santa Anita Derby.
Next up was the election of Dr. Greg Ferraro as chairman and Oscar Gonzales as vice-chair. That was expected. Even that procedural vote brought six speakers for public comment.
Santa Anita’s license renewal for the winter/spring meeting brought lots of discussion from the audience and was provisionally granted provided they do a couple of things such as there be no racing or training when the track is deemed unsafe (duh!), horses that have corticosteroid injections in the fetlock be off training for 10 days and racing for 30 and there are no races under $10,000 claiming.
Aidan Butler, Santa Anita boss, said currently there would still be no sprint racing down the 6½-furlong turf course.
There was much discussion about the Northern California dates with no resolution and the whip rule was tabled until the December meeting.
If you want to read more about the meeting, here’s the story I wrote for web and print. Just click here.
Bad Princess Dorian update
In one of our newsletters last week, we reported that the surgery went well for Princess Dorian, who was injured the previous weekend at Del Mar. Well, things turned bad over the weekend and she was euthanized after contracting laminitis on Monday. Because she died outside the traditional window, it will not be counted as a racing death by the CHRB. But, clearly it was.
Del Mar preview
Tom Robbins, director of racing at Del Mar, was right. It did rain at Del Mar on Thursday, but only in the morning. But they canceled racing for Thursday last week leaving Friday as the first of a three-day weekend. The eight-race card starts at 12:30. All the races were taken off the turf.
The feature is the sixth race, an allowance/optional claimer for fillies and mares 3 and up going a mile. The favorite, at 2-1, Persepolis for trainer Richard Mandella and jockey Flavien Prat. She is one-for-four lifetime and finished second last out in an allowance at Santa Anita. There are high expectations for this filly as her purchase price was $525,000.
Second favorite, at 5-2, is Carressa for John Shirreffs and Victor Espinoza. She is also one-for-four lifetime and second last out at Santa Anita. However, her purchase price was $125,000.
Here are the field sizes, in order: 6, 7, 6, 7, 8, 6, 9, 9.
Bob Ike’s Dmr pick of the day
SEVENTH RACE No. 8 Catoca (5-2)
Claimed out of her last start by Jeff Mullins, this 4-year-old filly may be able to improve on her runner-up finish at Santa Anita. She cuts back to seven furlongs, which might be an ideal distance, and switches to Flavien Prat, who figures to have her positioned perfectly with an outside stalking trip. She’s hit the board in all three dirt starts and may have wanted this surface all along.
Sunday’s result: Madame Bourbon ($4.00) rallied wide from far back to make the last run and prove to be a prompt choice when making her SoCal debut.
Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of Horsebills.com (here’s a video) and the proprietor of BobIkePicks.com (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.
“This weekend, starting Friday, there are plenty of competitive races at Golden Gate Fields, something we’ve seen throughout the meeting. Our Golden Pick Six jackpot pool has been hit five times this meet, which is only 20 days old.
“There are nine races on Friday. Leg D of the Stronach 5 wager is race three: a maiden special weight sprint for 2-year-old fillies. My top pick is Dynasty of Her Own, a daughter of Shanghai Bobby that has posted some fast works prior to her career debut. Ricky Gonzalez, known by many as a good speed rider, is aboard, which backs up the theory that this filly might be naturally quick. Ms. Ryleigh is another that shows up with some speedy morning drills for trainer Bill Delia, who is having a really solid meet.
“Our 10-race Saturday card could be one of the best of the meeting, in my opinion. The bayside track will offer a $100,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool. The Late Pick 4 drew 44 horses in the 4-race sequence, which averages 11 horses a race.
“The first leg of the Late Pick 4 sequence (race seven) attracts a full field of 12 allowance runners. Post time for the 1 1/16 race is around 3:45 p.m. The second leg (race eight), a maiden special weight on the turf, drew 10 2-year-olds, with one also-eligible. A.P. Pharoah (no. 5), a well-regarded colt sired by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, makes his career debut. The Peter Redekop owned equine was purchased for $300,000 by his current connections and will be ridden by trainer Blaine Wright’s go-to rider, Juan Hernandez. Also entered in the race is #1 Penman, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, and No. 10 American Farmer, a full sibling to stakes placed filly Blue Diva who showed some ability in his career debut. Leg 3 (race nine), a one-mile allowance on Tapeta for fillies and mares 3 and older, also drew a full field with an also-eligible. Among the leading contenders is No. 2 Blue Diva, Pacific Northwest stakes winner No. 5 Little Dancer and Southern California shipper No. 8 Noble Contessa. The last leg (race 10), lists a field of 10 $12,500 claiming sprinters on the main track.
“Some jockey news: Kyle Frey and David C. Lopez have moved to Parx while Kevin Orozco began riding at Turf Paradise. Golden Gate Fields is picking up an intriguing new rider Saturday in Luis R. Reyes, who ships his tack to the Golden State from New York. The 24-year-old native of Puerto Rico is a graduate of the respected Escuela Vocacional Hipica jockey school. Other highly rated riders to graduate from the school include John Velazquez, Manny Franco, Jose Ortiz and his brother Irad. Reyes picked up seven mounts on Saturday and will have more on Sunday. Best of luck Luis!”
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.
“Los Alamitos Race Course will unveil its new a 7,000 square foot sports bar and wagering room on Friday at 5:00 p.m. with free admission and appetizers. The live racing program will start at 7 p.m.
“The Lounge will feature 65 large screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, up to 11 horse-racing wagering machines, a private patio facing the finish line and more. The Lounge is located on the ground level of the building with direct access to the main parking lot area. For longtime racing fans familiar to the track, the new room replaces the old Post & Paddock room between the grandstand and clubhouse buildings. Daily admission will be $5.
“On Saturday, a field of 10 fillies and mares will be in the Grade 3, $50,000 Las Damas Handicap at 400 yards with seven of them being local stakes winners. Thermonuclear Energy is the big star of the field after winning the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap and the $40,000 Matron Stakes earlier this year. She also ran second in the Las Damas last year, but did win it by 1 1/2 lengths in 2017. Owned by Parsons Family Limited Partnership and trained by Chris O’Dell, the 6-year-old mare by Walk Thru Fire will enter with a career record of 11 wins in 29 starts. Six of those have come in stakes races. Mario Hurtado’s Love To Reason BR outdueled Thermonuclear Energy to win the 2018 Las Damas. She also won last year’s Blane Schvaneveldt Handicap. Conquering Marie, winner of the Grade 2 Golden State Derby, is among the other top fillies entered.
Sunday’s card will feature a full night of trials to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity at 400 yards. Ed Burke Million Futurity winner Flokie and Golden State Million Futurity winner Runforyourlife, PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Sass Go Blue and Ed Burke runner-up Dreams Divine will headline the trials. Other top names include futurity finalists Cattail Cove, Budderlicous, Kiss Thru Fire, Lebowski, Mental Error and Nomadic. The horses with the 10 fastest times will advance to the Two Million final on Sunday, Dec. 15.
“The field to the Champion of Champions became a lot clearer last Sunday night after the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials. Hotstepper, the 2018 AQHA champion 3-year-old, millionaire He Looks Hot, and 2018 PCQHRA Horse of the Year Jesstacartel all earned berths to Champion of Champions via the trials. They will join Grade 1 winners BH Lisas Boy, Flash And Roll, Tequila Sangria, Zoomin For Spuds, Katies Easy Moves, and Political Attraction as horses with provisional berths to the race. Early indications are that SF Hot Pass will bypass the Champion of Champions, which would lead to Mi Amor Secreto taking over his starting spot in the $600,000 race.”
Ed Burgart’s LA pick of the day
SIXTH RACE: No. 4 All Prettied Up (2-1)
Filly has been much improved in last two starts and was fourth in a very ‘live race’ Oct. 11 when runnerup Cata Boy and third-place finisher Trippys Royal Foose since won maiden and maiden $20,000 races respectively. Filly was sharp prior second vs. winner dropping down from an All-American Futurity trial and now draws between two foes who have lacked early quickness.
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Now, the star of the show, Friday’s entries.
Del Mar Entries for Friday, November 22.
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. 8th day of a 15-day meet.
1 Mile. Purse: $17,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.
|1||Miracle March||Tyler Baze||120||John W. Sadler||2-1||8,000|
|2||Autumn Day||Heriberto Figueroa||120||Steven Miyadi||5-1||8,000|
|3||Rmanie's Grey Suit||Evin Roman||118||Samuel Nichols||12-1||7,000|
|4||For Him||Mario Gutierrez||120||Steve Knapp||5-1||8,000|
|5||Short of Ez||Assael Espinoza||120||Anna Meah||3-1||8,000|
|6||Puriano||Joseph Talamo||120||George Papaprodromou||5-2||8,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $33,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $80,000-$70,000.
|1||Mulholland Highway||Flavien Prat||122||Neil D. Drysdale||7-2||80,000|
|2||Handsome Michael||Edwin Maldonado||122||George Papaprodromou||8-1||80,000|
|3||The Stiff||Abel Cedillo||122||Michael W. McCarthy||5-2||80,000|
|4||Jamason||Rafael Bejarano||120||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||8-1||70,000|
|5||Best Chance||Tyler Baze||122||John W. Sadler||5-1||80,000|
|6||Bamboozler||Tiago Pereira||122||Tim Yakteen||8-1||80,000|
|7||Kadesh||Geovanni Franco||122||Ryan Hanson||15-1||80,000|
|8||Big Hoof Dynamite||Brice Blanc||122||Jay Nehf||20-1||80,000|
|9||Blues Rapper||Drayden Van Dyke||120||Carla Gaines||9-2||70,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 2 year olds.
|1||Rare Find||Abel Cedillo||122||Richard E. Mandella||3-1|
|2||Last First Kiss||J.C. Diaz, Jr.||117||Gary Mandella||15-1|
|3||Cosmic Cowgirl||Heriberto Figueroa||122||Richard Baltas||5-2|
|4||Storie Blue||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Bob Baffert||8-1|
|5||Go Big Blue Nation||Rafael Bejarano||122||Jeff Bonde||10-1|
|6||Saralin||Flavien Prat||122||Simon Callaghan||6-5|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $30,000. Starter Optional Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000.
|1||Delp||Diego Sanchez||120||J. Keith Desormeaux||6-1|
|2||Fly the Sky||J.C. Diaz, Jr.||115||Steven Miyadi||3-1|
|3||Gorky Park||Rafael Bejarano||120||J. Keith Desormeaux||8-1|
|4||Mainframe Judy||Joseph Talamo||120||Peter Miller||8-1|
|5||Go Time||Abel Cedillo||120||Peter Miller||7-2|
|6||Commander||Tiago Pereira||123||Philip D'Amato||5-2||50,000|
|7||Govenor Cinch||Drayden Van Dyke||120||Tim Yakteen||5-1|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. State bred.
|1||Isla's Toy||Heriberto Figueroa||120||Charles S. Treece||20-1||50,000|
|2||Baltimore Beecho||Tyler Baze||120||Jorge Periban||10-1||50,000|
|3||Carnelian Hero||Rafael Bejarano||120||Jeff Bonde||7-5||50,000|
|4||Papa Tony||Tiago Pereira||120||George Papaprodromou||4-1||50,000|
|5||Beyond Precher||Eswan Flores||120||Jorge Periban||20-1||50,000|
|6||Extractor||Abel Cedillo||120||Brian J. Koriner||3-1||50,000|
|7||Radio Tim||Joseph Talamo||120||Gary Sherlock||15-1||50,000|
|8||Slewbury Park||J.C. Diaz, Jr.||112||Edward R. Freeman||5-1||50,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $53,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Kookie Gal||Abel Cedillo||118||Peter Miller||7-2|
|2||Meso||Tyler Baze||118||John W. Sadler||6-1|
|3||Persepolis||Flavien Prat||120||Richard E. Mandella||2-1|
|4||Cyrielle||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Mike Puype||5-1|
|5||Kynance||Geovanni Franco||120||Manuel Badilla||6-1||40,000|
|6||Carressa||Victor Espinoza||118||John A. Shirreffs||5-2|
7 Furlongs. Purse: $30,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Sheza Factor||Victor Espinoza||121||Vann Belvoir||8-1|
|2||Velvet Queen||Rafael Bejarano||122||Richard Baltas||8-1|
|3||Claudelle||J.C. Diaz, Jr.||117||John W. Sadler||7-2|
|4||Dearborn||Drayden Van Dyke||121||Jeff Bonde||5-1|
|5||Whoa Nessie||Abel Cedillo||124||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||8-1|
|6||So Gucci||Evin Roman||122||Doug F. O'Neill||12-1|
|7||Mongolian Empire||Mario Gutierrez||124||Enebish Ganbat||8-1|
|8||Catoca||Flavien Prat||124||Jeff Mullins||5-2|
|9||Incredibly Lucky||Tiago Pereira||121||William Spawr||8-1|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 2 year olds. State bred.
|1||Nocherylikemychery||Edgar Payeras||120||Mike Harrington||10-1|
|2||Big Time Grammy||Flavien Prat||120||Tim Yakteen||3-1|
|3||California Kook||Assael Espinoza||120||Peter Miller||8-1|
|4||Lakaya||Rafael Bejarano||120||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||9-2|
|5||Ride Sally Ride||Tyler Baze||120||Jack Carava||8-1|
|6||Phoenix Tears||Edwin Maldonado||120||Daniel Dunham||20-1|
|7||Creer||J.C. Diaz, Jr.||115||David E. Hofmans||8-1|
|8||Via Alpina||Joseph Talamo||120||Craig Dollase||6-1|
|9||Mamas Got Cash||Ignacio Puglisi||120||Joe Herrick||30-1|
|10||Sassyserb||Abel Cedillo||120||Anna Meah||7-2|
|11||Too Much Smoke||Evin Roman||120||Peter Miller||20-1|
|12||Slew's Screen Star||Drayden Van Dyke||120||Daniel Dunham||7-2|
|13||Kissable U||Mario Gutierrez||120||Doug F. O'Neill||10-1|