Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we see how the whip issue is dealt with at the CHRB meeting.
The big news on Thursday will probably not be the racing at Los Alamitos but the California Horse Racing Board meeting that precedes it. Most of the stuff is procedural, as usual, and there are only 12 items before public comment.
But, it’s item 12 that should bring the most interest: “12. Discussion and action by the Board regarding the proposed addition of CHRB Rule 1688, Use of Riding Crop.”
Talk about an undersell, like: “12. Violation of Nuclear Treaty 1234, foreign country launches missile at U.S. coast.”
Here’s what I think you can expect on Thursday. I don’t believe either of the proposed new rules will be passed, but they will be discussed. The Board wants to get it right the first time and, I believe, is open to other ideas and proposals.
And, of course, any action that changes the proposed rules will have to go through the 45-day public comment period. So, whatever happens probably wouldn’t happen until March at the very earliest.
One thing that is making the rounds is to look at the experiment at Woodbine, where jockeys can’t use the whip in an overhand way but can use it underhanded. This might be the compromise position, or at least a start on the way to reform. It could receive some traction because it’s both restrictive and also gives the jockey a tool at their disposal.
The Jockey Guild is also a player in this and it has a proposal. It sent out a news release on Wednesday with a copy of a letter sent to the CHRB and proposed changes to the ARCI guidelines.
Here are the changes that seem most interesting, such as eliminating the “three-strike rule” and replacing it with a full-race rule. Here’s an excerpt:
“D) Limiting the use of the riding crop in the forehand (up) position to 7 times throughout the race on the shoulder and/or hind quarters; and
“(E) The rider may tap the horse on the shoulder or hind quarters, as long as the crop is utilized in the backhand (down) position, as necessary.”
In addition, jockeys would be limited to raising the crop to the helmet and there would be post-race inspection of the horse by a veterinarian after the race.
So, how this shakes out will be interesting to watch. As I normally do, I try to not take a position on a story I have to report on, although I have violated that a time or two. So, that’s what I’m doing here and leaving the opinion to you.
The job of the CHRB is a tough one. It has to come up with a proposal that satisfies both Sacramento and the entities it must regulate. Again, this is a slow process, so I wouldn’t expect more than another proposal, hopefully one that satisfies everyone, to come out of Thursday’s meeting.
Also interesting will be the report by Rick Baedeker, the executive director. Most of us want to know about the status of the long-awaited report on the Santa Anita deaths, which was promised in December. The logical release date would be between the end of Los Alamitos and the start of Santa Anita. But, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it was also postponed.
The common theme here is things are better when aligned with others. The CHRB rule on riding crops works best if aligned with the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, The Jockey Guild and anyone else who has a dog in the hunt. The CHRB investigation would be best if aligned with the investigation being done by the L.A. County district attorney’s office.
There does seem to be one no-brainer, and one that probably should not require public discussion. “No. 11. Public hearing and action by the Board regarding the proposed addition of CHRB rule 1867.1, use of Bisphosphonates Prohibited, to prohibit the administration of bisphosphonates to any horse within a CHRB inclosure.”
Don’t know about bisphosphonates? Give this a read by clicking here.
Los Alamitos daytime preview
You don’t see a card like Thursday’s at Los Alamitos very often. There are eight races, starting at 1 p.m., and seven of them are 5 ½ furlongs and the other is five furlongs. Six (really seven, because a starter allowance has claiming horses) are some form of claiming races. The other is an allowance/optional claimer for Cal-bred fillies and mares going 5 ½ furlongs. (Of course.) And that’s what we’ll call the feature.
Time for Suzzie is the 7-2 favorite for trainer Vladimir Cerin and jockey J.C. Diaz, Jr. She has won four of 10 this year, all claiming wins, so this would normally be a bit of a step up, but since it’s against all Cal-breds, it should mitigate the competition.
Sunrise Royal, at 4-1, is the second favorite in this nine-horse race and runs for Eric Kruljac and Effrain Hernandez. She has won one of six this year but has been running at the allowance level, She won last out at Del Mar.
Here are the field sizes, in order: 6, 7, 7, 8, 6, 7, 9, 9.
Ciaran Thornton’s Lrc picks of the day
RACE THREE: No. 7 Leedslimit (12-1)
I could play it safe today but that is not the value-players way! Jockey Edgar Payera has hit with a couple of price horse so far at the meet. This mostly nighttime jockey has a 12-1 value play today in Leedslimit for trainer Lin Melton. Trainer is 25% in claiming races and this jockey is one for one for him. These $8k claimers tend to bring chaos so let’s chase it on this horse who was a winner last out at a great price and comes to this race with a sharp work in tow.
Sunday’s result: Heywoods Beach went off at 18-1 and stalked well but lacked the necessary kick to hit the board.
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
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.
“Last week, Golden Gate Fields officials announced that the late Pick 4 pools this Saturday and Sunday will be a guaranteed $100,000. There is an early post time of 11:45 a.m. both days. On Sunday, there are mandatory payouts of the 20-cent Golden Pick Six, the Rolling Super High Five and the early and late Pick 5’s. First post on Thursday and Friday remains 12:45 p.m.
“Race three on Friday is Leg D of the Stronach 5 wager. A field of 10 will sprint five furlongs in a maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies. My top pick is Anatolia from the Blaine Wright barn. She is a filly by Pioneerof (cq) The Nile who has some sharp works in the mornings and gets Blaine’s go-to rider, Juan Hernandez.
“Don’t Unzip Me is also interesting: the daughter of Honor Code is out of the stakes winning turf sprint dam Unzip Me, who won four Grade 3 races in a 25-race career while earning more than $959,000. Don’t Unzip Me was purchased for $130,000 as a yearling by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and is currently conditioned by Jonathan Wong. Unlike the aforementioned, Lady Crocker has racing experience and makes her second lifetime start for trainer Reid France. The daughter of Curlin is out of the Grade 2-winning turf route mare Foxysox and could improve with a race under her belt. She is a full sibling to Santa Anita stakes winner Curlin’s Fox.
“There are two stakes this weekend: $75,000 Bear Fan Stakes for Cal-bred fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs on Saturday, and the $50,000 Miss America Stakes for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on Sunday. Although the Miss America is scheduled for turf, there is a chance the race will moved to the Tapeta given the wet weather over the past week and projected into Friday. The forecasts calls for a sunny sky on Saturday and Sunday. The Bear Fan drew a field of seven, led by Southern California shippers Lippy (trained by Doug O’Neill) and Apache Princess (Keith Desormeaux).
“With four more race days at this meet, it would take a miracle for Hernandez to drop to second or lower in the jockey standings. The 27-year-old journeyman holds an 18-win lead (50 wins) over veteran Frank Alvarado. Jonathan Wong has the most wins of any trainer at the current meeting with 24 victories. Isidro Tamayo is five wins behind in second and looks like the main danger to dethrone Wong, who has won the past five training titles.
“Have a great holiday break, folks, and we’ll see you back for opening day of the winter/spring meet on Dec. 26. A special thanks goes out to all of our dedicated customers who are supporting our product, and to this newsletter and its readers for allowing us to be a part of this piece every week.”
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Now, the star of the show, Thursday’s entries.
Los Alamitos Race Course Entries for Thursday, December 12.
Los Alamitos Race Course, Los Alamitos, California. 4th day of a 8-day meet.
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $17,000. Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $12,500-$10,500.
|1||Forty Six Carats||Tiago Pereira||120||Martin F. Jones||5-1||12,500|
|2||All Tea All Shade||Tyler Baze||120||Jorge Periban||6-1||12,500|
|3||Gas Can||Heriberto Figueroa||120||Andrew Lerner||4-1||12,500|
|4||Coilette||Mario Gutierrez||122||Jorge Rosales||7-2||12,500|
|5||Staythirstymyamigo||Jorge Velez||115||Edward R. Freeman||3-1||12,500|
|6||So Gucci||Evin Roman||120||Doug F. O'Neill||5-2||12,500|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000.
|1||Enemy Runner||Jorge Velez||117||John W. Sadler||9-5||50,000|
|2||Leatherneck||Heriberto Figueroa||122||Jeff Bonde||15-1||50,000|
|3||Megameister||J.C. Diaz, Jr.||117||Bob Baffert||5-1||50,000|
|4||Promise Nothing||Ruben Fuentes||118||Rafael Becerra||6-1||40,000|
|5||Shootin Money||Tiago Pereira||122||Philip A. Oviedo||9-2||50,000|
|6||Benny Chang||Abel Cedillo||122||Peter Miller||7-2||50,000|
|7||Mr. Nasty||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||122||Richard Baltas||5-1||50,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $8,000.
|1||San Giorgio||Jorge Velez||117||Marcia Stortz||6-1||8,000|
|2||According to Buddy||Eswan Flores||124||Hector O. Palma||5-2||8,000|
|3||Seahawk Wave||Assael Espinoza||124||Ronald W. Ellis||9-5||8,000|
|4||Onthewingsofadream||Evin Roman||124||Vann Belvoir||12-1||8,000|
|5||It's Just Bob||Johnny Allen||124||Daniel Azcarate||6-1||8,000|
|6||Satori||Tiago Pereira||124||Martin F. Jones||4-1||8,000|
|7||Leedslimit||Edgar Payeras||122||Lin Melton||12-1||8,000|
5 Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $8,000.
|1||Warm It Up||Eswan Flores||124||Vernon E. Aguayo||20-1||8,000|
|2||Last Dance Bella||Ramon Guce||122||Charles S. Treece||8-1||8,000|
|3||Queen Carmelita||Heriberto Figueroa||122||Rafael DeLeon||5-1||8,000|
|4||Rosie's Gold||Juan Sanchez||122||Dennis Givens||5-2||8,000|
|5||At the Margin||Fernandez Rojas||122||Jairo B. Monascal||10-1||8,000|
|6||Sierra Sunrise||Ruben Fuentes||122||Jeff Bonde||2-1||8,000|
|7||Chic Clementine||Barrington Harvey||122||Salvador Naranjo||8-1||8,000|
|8||Thanks||Edgar Payeras||122||Robert J. Lucas||6-1||8,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $20,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Rattle||Ruben Fuentes||124||Reed Saldana||7-2|
|2||Chitter Chatter||Aaron Gryder||122||Brian J. Koriner||10-1|
|3||Fracas||J.C. Diaz, Jr.||119||Craig Dollase||5-1|
|4||Winsinfashion||Jorge Velez||119||Charles S. Treece||8-1|
|5||Rizzi's Honors||Joseph Talamo||124||Mark Glatt||7-5|
|6||Whoa Nessie||Abel Cedillo||124||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||5-2|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $17,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $30,000-$28,000.
|1||J C's Henrietta||Geovanni Franco||122||Gary Sherlock||15-1||30,000|
|2||Credance||Heriberto Figueroa||120||Val Brinkerhoff||6-1||28,000|
|3||Red Valor||Jorge Velez||117||Val Brinkerhoff||2-1||30,000|
|4||Shared||Edgar Payeras||120||Richard Rosales||4-1||28,000|
|5||Strong Ruler||Brice Blanc||122||Patricia Harrington||20-1||30,000|
|6||Calder Vale||Efrain Hernandez||122||Ricardo Zamora||4-1||30,000|
|7||Corrana En Limen||Tyler Baze||122||Antonio Garcia||5-2||30,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $45,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000. State bred.
|1||Bako Sweets||Agapito Delgadillo||122||Blake R. Heap||12-1||20,000|
|2||Time for Suzzie||J.C. Diaz, Jr.||115||Vladimir Cerin||7-2|
|3||D's Lovely Sophia||Eswan Flores||120||Hector O. Palma||9-2|
|4||Grinningeartoear||Abel Cedillo||120||Brian J. Koriner||5-1|
|5||Violette Szabo||Geovanni Franco||120||Philip D'Amato||8-1|
|6||Square Peggy||Edwin Maldonado||120||Eddie Truman||8-1||20,000|
|7||Christy Jackson||Tyler Baze||122||Steven Miyadi||15-1|
|8||South Boot Shirley||Joseph Talamo||122||Craig Dollase||5-1||20,000|
|9||Sunrise Royale||Efrain Hernandez||122||J. Eric Kruljac||4-1||20,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000. State bred.
|1||Shackmandu||Eswan Flores||122||Gary Sherlock||20-1||50,000|
|2||Autism Warrior||Evin Roman||122||Marcia Stortz||12-1||50,000|
|3||Extractor||Abel Cedillo||122||Brian J. Koriner||5-2||50,000|
|4||Isla's Toy||Heriberto Figueroa||122||Charles S. Treece||20-1||50,000|
|5||Sierra Melody||Ramon Guce||118||Marcia Stortz||15-1||40,000|
|6||He's a Hit||Jorge Velez||117||Jonathan Wong||2-1||50,000|
|7||I Dub Thee||Joseph Talamo||122||Gary Sherlock||7-2||50,000|
|8||Quiet Charm||Geovanni Franco||122||Carla Gaines||6-1||50,000|
|9||Wicked Blue||Edgar Payeras||118||Vernon E. Aguayo||8-1||40,000|