June 29th, 2015 by John Scheidt
GETOFFMYBACK (June 26): Two year old colt for Mark Casse made his debut in Friday’s sixth
event, a five furlong dash on the main track. Drawing the rail slot in a full field and off at 5/1, he got
wiped out at the start as both the two and the three horse came over on him bumping him hard. He was
last and fell a good 8 lengths off the pace, which is difficult to make up at 5 furlongs. Talamo did a good
job of getting him to the outside at the top of the stretch and he put in an impressive run to get 4th and
was only beaten two at the wire. This son of Good Journey had worked well coming into his debut and
probably would have won this race with any other post position. He ran the last quarter in 24 flat which is
pretty good for a two year old at this time of year. He should get his diploma at Del Mar.
JOVITA’S TUFFY (June 27): Five year old gelding for Javier Sierra had been away from the races for
7 months and returned in Saturday’s opener, a sprint on the main track for a claiming price of $10,000.
Off at 20/1 in a 7 horse field, he broke running from the six hole to contest the early pace, made his bid
turning for home, and rallied gamely in the lane to just miss by three parts of a length to the 2/1 favorite.
He came into this race “protected” from the claim price with the CHRB ruling and his works were better
than average. He beat “open” claimers for double this price last year and seems to have come back better
than ever. He likes this dirt surface and with Del Mar having the “same” dirt mix this year, he should do
well at the seaside. Sierra can hold his own when competing in the claiming game on this circuit. Follow.
SMOOTH ROLLER (June 27): It has taken awhile for this four year old gelding for Victor Garcia to
make his debut, but it was worth the wait as he was most impressive in winning Saturday’s fifth event, a
maiden special weight at 7 furlongs on the main track. Bet down to 2/1 from a morning line of 6/1, he
relaxed nicely off the pace down the back side about six lengths from the leaders. Baze found a seam at
the top of the stretch and he burst through it, wore down the leaders, and won going away by two and a
half. They paid a $160K for this son of Hard Spun at the Keeneland yearling sale three years ago so it
will take awhile before they are “out” on him, but he looks the type that will only get better as the
furlongs get longer. Up the ladder.
WHERE WAS EDDIE (June 27): Three year old colt for Ben Cecil made his debut in Saturday’s finale
at six and a half down the hill for Cal Bred maiden special weights. In a full field of sprinters, “Eddie”
actually went off as the wagering favorite at 2/1 off a series of sharp 5 and 6 furlong drills. He went right
to the front and set all the interior fractions of 21.57 and 43.72 while having two other runners lapped on
him. He put the other speed away at the head of the lane, found another gear to open up a length, and
then was caught very late at the wire by two others to miss by a head in a blanket finish. This son of In
Excess is bred to win early and bred to run on any surface. His next start will probably be at Del Mar and
he won’t be a maiden for very long, regardless of what surface Cecil puts him on.
June 29th, 2015 by John Scheidt
Santa Anita’s long 27 week Winter/Spring, Spring/Summer meet came to an end this past weekend
with two very good 10 race programs. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah paraded between the
7th and 8th race on Saturday and all fans in attendance got a good look at this outstanding race horse.
On track attendance was up over 9000 people vs. the corresponding Gold Cup day last year,
however on track handle was actually down a tad. That means the “newbies” who came out to see
Pharoah simply watched but didn’t wager. Hopefully they liked what they saw and will be back
another day to put some dollars through the machines. The all-sources handle overall was strong and
topped last year by almost $2 million. 27 weeks of continuous racing takes it’s toll on both the main
track and the turf course, and the maintenance crew at Santa Anita did an excellent job of
maintaining both surfaces in tip top shape. For those that like to bet on favorites, chalk players were
in their glory as favorites won at a 40% clip throughout the meet, 7 points above the National
average. In the money favorites were at 74% while odds on favorites won at nearly 90% for the meet.
Rafael Bejarano once again easily won the riding title by 12 wins over Tyler Baze with Joe Talamo
third. Two other riders who had outstanding meets were Fernando Perez and top turf rider Flavian
Prat. On the trainers side, both Peter Miller and Doug O’Neill each won a race closing day and were
deadlocked at 22 wins apiece. The best turf trainer on the circuit, Phil D’Amato, had an outstanding
meet and was third with 20 victories. Other trainers with outstanding meets were Richard Baltas,
Richard Mandella and Eddie Truman.
• They ran 4 graded stakes on Saturday with the Grade 1 Gold Cup highlighting the card. Hard Aces
at $17.80 slipped through on the fence to catch 8/5 favorite Catch a Flight, then had to hold off a
furious rally by Hoppertunity to prevail by a nose. The fractions were awfully fast early and set the
race up for the closers. Overall the field was fairly weak for a Grade 1 and the final time portrayed
that fact in 2:02 and change, on a track playing very fast. Shared Belief missed the race recovering
from an injury and California Chrome is on a world wide tour trying to become a grass horse. The
top 3 finishers will now aim for the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in late August. For the second time
this month, trainer John Sadler and his owners, the Hronis brothers, won an all fees paid trip to the
Breeders Cup in Keeneland October 31 with their victory. The other Grade 1 on the card was won
by a true Grade 1 horse and that was the Triple Bend stakes at 7 furlongs on the main track. The
even money favorite Masochistic toyed with this field and won easily in race horse time of 1:20.25
by three and a half lengths. Trainer Ron Ellis, who has had this horse for such a short time, has
really been able to get him to relax early. Tyler Baze never really asked him to run till the 1/8th pole
and he had plenty left in the tank. His long term goal is the Breeders Cup Sprint on October 31 but
will race once or twice at Del Mar, either the Bing Crosby on July 26 or the Pat O’Brien stakes on
August 22. Hard knocking speedster Fanticola ($10.20), took the Grade 2 Royal Heroine on
Saturday at a flat mile on the turf. She has been knocking heads with the best fillies/mares on this
circuit recently without getting a victory, but she put it all together Saturday for top turf trainer Phil
D’Amato. She also will be racing at Del Mar this Summer. Ed Moger’s classy mare, Stormy Lucy,
ran a good third in here at 10/1 after being on the sidelines for about 8 months.
• The circuit now moves to Los Alamitos for two weeks starting this Thursday. We will NOT be
doing selections for this two week meet, as we will gear up for a terrific 8 week meet at Del Mar
with opening day on Thursday, July 16. Del Mar races five days per week while it’s only 4 days the
rest of the year. We will be notifying you of the costs for Del Mar’s selections by email or a “flyer.”
• Texas Red, who won the Breeders Cup Juvenile last year at Santa Anita, had his final work over the
weekend and will ship East this week to run in the $500,000 Dwyer stakes at Belmont on the 4th of
July. Keith Desormeaux trains this 3 year old and is part owner as well. Brother Kent will have the
June 22nd, 2015 by John Scheidt
URLOVENEVERFAILS (June 19): Three year old filly for Jerry Hollendorfer made her debut in
Friday’s opener, a maiden special weight event at the tough distance of 7 furlongs on the main track. Off
at 2/1 and the second choice in the wagering off a solid set of drills, she broke with the leaders early, then
settled in off the pace about 3 lengths back. She moved to contend at the 1/4 pole, stuck her nose in front
at the 1/8th pole, but then was out gamed by the favorite late and lost by 3/4. All in all it was an excellent
debut and this Tommy Town runner won’t be a maiden much longer. Although she’s bred to be just a
sprinter, she has the look of a runner that can get two turns as well. Tab and follow.
PERDONA (June 20): Three year old filly for Peter Eurton made her second career start in Saturday’s
5th event, a maiden special weight sprint at 6.5 furlongs on the main track for fillies/mares. Off at 3/1
from a morning line of 8/1, she showed good speed from the inside but was hooked every step of the
way. With the late scratch of the one horse, she ended up on the rail on a day when it was better to be on
the outside. She ran well till the 1/8th pole, then gave it up and finished fifth beaten 6 lengths. Her debut
wasn’t any better as she had a very rough trip that day. She cost $250K at the Keeneland yearling sale
and she is cut out to be a nice filly, by the good win early sire Blame, the conqueror of Zenyatta. She just
needs a good draw and a clean trip and she should be able to get her diploma. Most of Eurton’s stock has
to be raced into shape and this one will still offer good wagering value.
SOUL DRIVER (June 20): Three year old colt for Jeff Mullins had been off for 3 months and tried the
Singletary stakes on Saturday at a flat mile on the lawn for 3 year olds. Off at 7/2 in a full 12 horse field,
he relaxed nicely down the back side a good 10 lengths off a fairly quick pace. He took the overland
route on the far turn and with a quick turn of foot, exploded to the lead and opened up quickly under
Gary Stevens. He won easily by 5 and was geared down the final sixteenth. This race sets him up nicely
for the 3 year old series down at Del Mar with the Oceanside stakes on Opening Day, the La Jolla
Handicap on August 9, and then the Del Mar Derby on Sept. 6, all 3 races for 3 year olds on the grass.
This one likes the turf and when he gets a clean trip, he’s an awfully nice colt.
MADAME AAMOURA (June 21): Three year old filly for Bob Baffert made her 11th start Sunday in
an attempt to break her maiden and it was to no avail. However, after a brief freshening, she ran a much
better race and she looks like the diploma could be in sight. Off at 11/1 in an 8 horse field at a mile on the
lawn for maiden special weights, she broke running and was amongst the leaders into the clubhouse turn,
although she was 4 wide. She picked up the tempo considerably at the half mile pole and quickly opened
up 3 on the field. The winner caught her at the 1/8th pole but she dug in down the lane and was beaten
2.5 lengths at the wire finishing third. All in all, it was an improved performance and she may be sitting
on a win at Del Mar. Baffert, who has lousy stats on the turf, figures to keep her on the grass and she may
be able to win at nice odds. She has been 11/1, 9/1, 15/1, and 11/1 in her last 4 starts.
June 22nd, 2015 by John Scheidt
With just one week to go in the long Santa Anita meet, which started way back on December 26,
both the turf course and the main track continue to play fair, and continue to hold up very well. They
“aerated” the turf course once again Sunday morning as warmer weather continues to tighten up the
course. The temp has been above 90 in the afternoons for most of this past week. They are also
using the course quite a bit as they continue to card 4 turf races per day.
• The only graded stakes over the weekend was won by the 2/5 favorite Stellar Wind, but she didn’t
win like a 2/5 choice as she was life and death to prevail over Tara’s Tango, a Turfdom Best Bet at
9/2. “Tango” stuck her nose in front at the sixteenth pole and for a second it looked like she would
win, but “Stellar” showed her class and got up by a whisker right at the wire. Both fillies are going
for the big money later on this summer, as both are pointing for the $1 million Cotillion stakes in
Pennsylvania at Parx Racing. The companion stakes race on the Saturday program was called the
Singletary stakes for 3 year olds at a mile on the grass, named for the former Breeders Cup winner.
Soul Driver, with Gary Stevens up, rallied from well off the pace and was an easy winner at $9.20
for trainer Jeff Mullins. He will be pointed for the 3 year old series at Del Mar starting with the
Oceanside stakes on Opening Day, July 16. He made our HTW list off this impressive performance.
• As mentioned earlier, this will be the final week of racing at the Great Race Place. We will be taking
two weeks off as the circuit moves to Los Alamitos the following Thursday, but will be all geared
up for the opening of Del Mar on July 16. Santa Anita will end with a flourish this week with 4
graded stakes on Saturday headed up by the Grade 1 Gold Cup at a mile and a quarter on the main
track. They have 9 confirmed for this race as of Monday morning and the field will be headed up by
Catch a Flight, who just won the Grade 2 Californian. Other contenders will be Moreno, 2nd in the
Santa Anita Handicap to Shared Belief, Motown Men, who recently won the Tiznow stakes,
Majestic City, coming off a win in the Grade 3 Lone Star Handicap, Finnegans Wake, a graded
stakes winner on the turf, and salty runners such as Hard Aces and Big Cazanova. Baffert is on the
fence with Grade 1 winner Hoppertunity. Also on tap will be the Grade 1 Triple Bend stakes at 7
furlongs for older runners. That field will include Masochistic, Wild Dude, Sahara Sky, Appealing
Tale, and San Onofre among others. Older fillies/mares will be in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine at a
mile on the turf, and that field will include Blingismything, Birdlover, Alexis Tangier, Famous Alice,
Fanticola, and Queen of the Sand. That may be the best wagering race of them all. The Grade 3
Senorita stakes rounds out the stakes program. On closing day, Sunday, they will have the San Juan
Capistrano at mile and three quarters on the grass for older runners. Ashleyluvssugar would be the
favorite in this race, but instead is heading East to Monmouth Park for the Grade 1 United Nations
worth a half million dollars on July 5. Gary Stevens will keep the mount and travel with her.
• In the jockey colony, both Rafael Bejarano and Gary Stevens changed agents this past week.
Stevens was understandable as he was sharing the same agent with Tyler Baze, and Baze seemed to
be getting the better mounts, but Bejarano’s departure from Joe Ferrer is a bit more puzzling.
Bejarano continues to dominate all the meets he rides in and Ferrer has always been an excellent
agent. Tora Yamaguchi is the new agent for Bejarano. Steven’s agent will now be Ron Ebanks, who
has been out of racing for the last 3 years.
• Everybody is trying to lure Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to their race track for his next
few starts. Del Mar is “exploring” the possibility of a $5million bonus if he runs in the Pacific
Classic on August 22. If he does, he will have to face older horses. My guess is that he goes East and
stays with 3 year olds for his next two starts, the Haskell at Monmouth August 2 and then the
Travers at Saratoga on August 29. The colt’s owner, Ahmed Zayat, lives in New Jersey.
June 15th, 2015 by John Scheidt
LONG HOT SUMMER (June 12): Three year old filly for Phil D’Amato went back to the turf for her
5th career start in a first allowance condition race down the hill for three year old fillies. Off as the heavy
wagering choice, she made short work of this field winning off by 4 under a hand ride. Talamo never
asked her until the 1/8th pole, then she opened up quickly on the field. She has never tried two turns but
this daughter of Street Boss should be able to get at least a mile. As long as D’Amato keeps her on the
grass, this Cal bred is ready for stakes competition. There is nothing for her until Del Mar, but she should
have a profitable long, hot summer!!
WONDERFUL LIE (June 13): Four year old filly for Dan Blacker had been away from the races for 11
months, and tried the first condition allowance for Cal breds in Saturday’s opener at a flat mile on the
main track. Off as the wagering favorite in a short field of five, she broke sharply from the rail to contest
the lead into the clubhouse turn. She then let a speed horse open up by five on the back side, content to
lay second. She caught the leader turning for home and looked liked a winner at the 1/16th pole, but got
caught very late in the race and had to settle for second. This was her sixth career start and she has only
missed the board once. She can go short or long, turf or dirt, and was stakes placed as a three year old.
She looks like she has returned to the races better than ever and knocking out this first condition should
just be a formality. Blacker has a pretty small barn and this filly just may be his star performer.
PICA (June 14): Five year old mare for Peter Miller tried the down hill turf course on Sunday for a
$40,000 claiming tag for older fillies/mares. Bet down from a morning line of 6/1 to 2/1, she engaged in
a pace duel right from the start but rated kindly on the outside through moderate fractions down the hill
under Tyler Baze. She was put to a drive after the dirt cross over and held off all the late runners in a
rather “game” performance to prevail by a neck at the wire. This was just her second start on the grass
and she has run very well in both starts, although not really bred for the surface. She should fit very
nicely in those 5 furlong dashes they have at Del Mar on the lawn. She has a nice combination of speed
and stamina and her career record now stands with 4 wins and 4 seconds from just 13 starts. She was
claimed in this race by the red hot Eddie Truman.
DR. FAGER’S GAL (June 14): Three year old filly for Jerry Hollendorfer, who was bred in New York,
tried the first allowance condition sprinting on the main track for fillies/mares 3 and up on Sunday. Off at
13/1 in a full field, she ran quite well although beaten by six lengths. She broke alertly from the outside,
settled in 6th about 6 lengths back, moved to contend at the top of the lane, but was no match for the
stakes placed favorite, and settled for a distant second. It was 2.5 lengths further back to the third horse.
The time was very fast as the winner finished up six and a half in 1:15.15 and they ran 3/4 in 1:08.65.
“Fager” looks good enough to win this first condition sprinting and this was just her 4th career start. She
may surface at Los Al in 3 to 4 weeks or they may wait for Del Mar. Either way she looks like a “soon”
June 15th, 2015 by John Scheidt
The main track played “fair” for the first three days last week, but inside speed was pretty dominant
on Sunday, enough to call it a “speed biased” track. In fact the feature race winner went wire to wire
from the inside to post an $89 upset and trigger a pick six c/o into Thursday’s card of $113,444. The
turf course played fair last week but the times continue to be very slow as they continue to “aerate”
the course. They are running 4 turf races per day in an attempt to keep the fields as full as possible.
This is a tough time of year for the racing secretary, as some trainers/owners are holding their stock
for the Del Mar meet, which opens on July 16.
• They only had five show up for the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on Saturday but it was still a good race.
Winning Prize added blinkers for the first time and along with Midnight Storm, they set a pretty fast
pace. Bejarano, who won four on the day, bided his time in last place with Talco, then swept to the
lead in early stretch and prevailed by a half length over “Storm.” Talco was a nice overlay and paid
$28.20 and both he and “Storm” will meet again at Del Mar in the Grade 1 Eddie Read stakes on
July 18, this time at a mile and an eighth. Bal a Bali, who actually went off as the favorite,
“bounced” off his good win in the American Handicap and was not a factor. The win by Talco gives
him and his owners a free ticket into the Breeders Cup Mile at Keeneland on October 31. The cofeature
Saturday was not much of a wagering race but it was a chance to see a champion perform, as
Beholder easily got the money at one to five. She won for the 12th time in 17 starts and is now 10
for 11 at Santa Anita. She won by a length and a half over Warren’s Veneda, but it could have been
five lengths if Stevens ever asked her to run. Mandella didn’t have the two time Eclipse award
winner fully cranked for this race but he promised he would for her next start, the Clement Hirsch
stakes at Del Mar on August 1. Her goal is the Breeders Cup Distaff at Keeneland in late October.
“Veneda” ran as good as she can, but the Cal bred just isn’t in the same league as Beholder, and not
• John Sadler’s Stellar Wind, who had a miserable trip in the Kentucky Oaks, heads the field for this
Saturday’s Grade 2 Summertime Oaks at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track for three year old
fillies. She worked 3/4 this past week in 1:11.60 and looks primed for a top effort. “Triple Crown
Winner” Victor Espinoza has the mount. Tara’s Tango and Fantastic Style will probably be the
major competition. Also on Saturday, three year old colts and geldings will run a flat mile on the
grass in the $75k Singletary stakes. On Sunday, two year olds will be in the limelight with the boys
running in the $125k Santa Anita Juvenile and the girls in the $125k Landaluce stakes. Both races
will be at five and a half furlongs on the main track.
• The jockey race was close for awhile, but Bejarano won six over the weekend and now has an 11
win edge over Tyler Baze at 39 to 28. Joe Talamo is a distant third with 23. The “money” rider at the
meet has been Fernando Perez, who is in 4th with 22 wins, most of them all at double digit mutuels.
The trainer race is much tighter. Doug O’Neill leads with 18 wins, but just one behind are both
Richard Baltas and Peter Miller, both with 17. Top turf trainer Phil D’Amato has 15.
• If you are an owner or a trainer and you enter in a six furlong race at Santa Anita, you “cringe” when
you see the overnights and you are drawn on the rail. Since March 20, that post position at 6
furlongs is 0/38. It’s better at six and a half and five and a half, but at six, it’s the kiss of death.
Favorites win at about 33% on a national average, but they are doing much better than that at this
meet. Overall they are winning at a 39% clip with not much difference between the turf and the
June 8th, 2015 by John Scheidt
MAHEE (June 5): Three year old grey filly for Kristin Mulhall finally displayed some talent to justify
her $370,000 purchase price in Friday’s second, a mile race on the main for maiden special weights. Off
at 14/1 and the longest shot on the board in just a five horse field, she went right to the front from the two
hole, set moderate fractions throughout, opened up two lengths at the 1/4 pole, but got run down by the
heavy 1/2 favorite in the lane. She was only beaten a length at the wire and it was five back to the third
horse. This Kentucky bred daughter can sprint or go two turns and she looks like she is about ready to get
her diploma. She is bred in the purple and Mulhall should find a field she can beat in the very near future.
Tab and follow.
MISS DOUBLE D’ORO (June 5): Three year old filly for Neil Drysdale tried the first allowance
condition on Friday for three year old fillies at a flat mile on the grass. Off at 7/2 in a full field, she was
last as they passed the wire the first time and was still last at the half mile pole. She quickened on the
outside at the 1/4 pole, had a full head of steam at the top of the lane, though six wide, and looked like a
winner at the sixteenth pole, yet the leader had something left and she came up a length short. The inner
rails were out 24 feet and that’s probably what got her beat today. This was just her 4th career start and
first time with Lasix, so she still has loads of upside. The veteran Drysdale will find a winning spot soon
for this exciting stretch runner.
MR. PUCCI (June 6): Three year old colt for Jerry Hollendorfer ran in his second career start in
Saturday’s 3rd event, a maiden special weight sprint at 6 furlongs, and he ran too good to lose. Bejarano
kept this son of Mailbu Moon just off the early pace down the back side, went to the lead turning for
home, then was engaged by the winner from the outside, and battled him nose and nose the entire length
of the stretch. “Pucci” came up a nose short at the wire and it was 6 lengths back to the third horse. They
stopped the clock in a fast 1:08.75 for six furlongs and both horses including the winner, Look Twice,
have a nice future. “Pucci” won’t pay anything in his next start, but he will make a nice “single” in some
type of exotic wagering. He is bred to go long as well should the “Dorf” choose to go that way.
THE GOMPER (June 6): Three year old colt for Jerry Hollendorfer, who has only had this colt for
about 7 weeks, tried the turf for the first time in his career on Saturday, a mile test for the first allowance
condition. Off at 4/1 in a full field, he settled in sixth down the back side about 5 lengths off the pace.
He never really got rolling until they hit the 1/8th pole, then finished with a flourish once he got to the
outside. He missed by a length but it was a very good race for the son of the talented sire Sky Mesa. This
colt figures to stay on the turf for the Dorf and should have no problem knocking out this condition. He
was always cut out to be a nice horse and he has been beaten by some nice ones, Dortmund, Kentuckian,
and Prospect Park. A winner very soon. Tab and follow.
June 8th, 2015 by John Scheidt
The main track played fair once again this past week. The turf course is also playing “fair” but the
times are very slow and they may have aerated the course once again, as there hasn’t been any rain.
Both tracks have held up very well with a long meet that started way back on December 26 and still
has 3 weeks to go with closing day set for June 28. Then they will race two weeks at Los Alamitos
followed by 8 weeks of terrific racing at Del Mar, with opening day set for Thursday July 16. Then
three more weeks of racing at Los Alamitos before they return to the Great Race Place for their
• Of course the big news of the day is Santa Anita based American Pharoah sweeping all 3 Triple
Crown races, the first horse to accomplish this feat in 37 years since the great Affirmed. “Pharoah”
has to be considered a “great” horse now, as he won in convincing fashion seven consecutive races
on six different tracks, the last five in a 12 week period. It seems like he had “perfect” trips in all 3
Triple Crown races, which he did, but that’s just a testament to his speed, and his ability to be placed
in the right spot at the right time. And remember, this year’s 3 year old crop was one of the strongest
in many years, yet he still dominated in all of his races. Plus he was the only runner to contest all
three Triple Crown events. It’s not often you will see a runner run 12 furlongs in a race and his final
quarter is just about as fast as the first quarter (24.32 vs. 24.06) but Secretariat does come to mind.
Although I don’t consider Victor Espinoza one of the top riders in the Country, he always had his
horse properly placed throughout the series, and he has now won five of the last six Triple Crown
races. The good news is that we will most likely see “Pharoah” run again. Although he is set to retire
at the end of the year, there’s an excellent chance he will try the Breeders Cup Classic vs. older on
the first weekend of November. And in between may come the Travers in New York, or the Pacific
Classic at Del Mar, or the Goodwood at Santa Anita. His trainer, Bob Baffert, love him or hate him,
has done an excellent job of keeping him in top shape through a very tough campaign.
• They ran two stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday and we had both winners on top at Turfdom with
Gaga A capturing the Pleasantly Perfect stakes at $15.80 and Gimme Da Lute winning the Grade 3
Affirmed stakes at $9.20 for that man Baffert again. Gaga A was an overlay in the wagering as she
was 3/1 on the morning line but easily got the money with a “heady” ride by Tyler Baze. She is
headed to Chicago for her next start in the Modesty Handicap on July 11 at Arlington Park.
“Gimme” had to fight tooth and nail with the heavy 2/5 favorite Prospect Park down the lane, but he
prevailed in his normal “game” fashion. His next start will be tougher as he will face Kentuckian in
the Los Al Derby on the 4th of July at Los Alamitos for $350,000.
• This Saturday’s major event is the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on the turf and they have a strong lineup
headed by Mandella’s Bal a Bali, who was so impressive in winning the American Handicap back on
May 9. Front runner Midnight Storm, who won the Del Mar Derby last year will also be in the
lineup, along with the hard trying Talco and Winning Prize. Also on Saturday we will get to see the
match up between champion Beholder and Warren’s Veneda in the Grade 3 Adoration stakes at a
mile and a sixteenth on the main track. Mandella, who trains Beholder, could very well win both
stakes races on the card.
• Trainer Art Sherman, who did such a fantastic job with California Chrome last year, will be honored
by the Thoroughbred Owners group of California as their Man of the Year, as the recipient of the Ed
Friendly Industry award given out annually. He will be presented with the award at Del Mar on
August 15. Sherman, who is now 78 years young, hopes to get Chrome back at Los Alamitos in 3 or
4 weeks. He is slated to run on June 17 in the Prince of Wales stakes in England and is listed at 12/1
by the “British bookies.”
June 1st, 2015 by John Scheidt
SCREAMING SKYLAR (May 30): Three year old filly for Peter Miller tried older horses for the first
time in her career on Saturday, when entered for the first allowance condition at a flat mile on the turf.
Off at 4/1 and breaking from the rail, she figured to be on or very close to the pace, but after breaking
alertly, Espinoza decided to take her off the pace and this tactic worked quite well. She was about 5
lengths back at the half mile pole and running in 4th place. Victor made his move at the 1/4 pole and she
reached the leaders quickly, but had a very tough time putting away the favorite in the lane. She
prevailed right at the wire and got up to win by a head. This was the first time she was taken off the pace
and the rating tactics will suit her fine in future races. She is improving by leaps and bounds, has really
taken to the turf, and should be able to handle the second condition as well. They thought enough of her
to start her in a Grade 2 the race before against Spanish Queen. She’s in good hands with Miller.
DESERT DYNAMO (May 30): Three year old colt for Jerry Hollendorfer, who just got this colt from
Jeff Bonde, tried the first allowance condition for 3 year olds at a flat mile on Saturday. Off at 22/1 in a 7
horse field, he was sent early to duel on a hot pace through fractions of 22.23 and 45.57 for the half. With
those kind of fractions, it looked like the speed was all done by the top of the lane, but “Dynamo” found
another gear at the 1/8th pole and cruised away to a 4 length victory. It was a visual impressive
performance and after three sprints, it seems this one has found his hole card in the two turn game. Up
FRITZ JOHANSEN (May 30): Three year old gelding for Mark Glatt made his first start in 8 months
in Saturday’s finale, a sprint down the hill for maiden special weights, 3 and up Cal breds. Off at 12/1
and breaking from the disadvantageous rail slot, he showed early speed and was near the pace throughout
in a full field of runners. He was sent through on the inside on the dirt crossover and finished gamely
down on the rail for a good third beaten about 3 lengths. This was just his third career start and he was
gelded during his time away. It was a very good performance all things considered, and this son of
Unusual Heat should earn his diploma in the near future. They should be able to get one more race in him
before the meets ends in late June. Tab and follow.
APPEALING TALE (May 31): Five year old gelding for Peter Miller tried the third allowance
condition on Sunday at a flat mile on the main track. Off at 7/1 in a six horse field, he showed good
speed right from the start and pressed the pace down the back side. He put the leader away turning for
home and found another gear to win off by 4 at the wire. He now has 4 career wins and they have all
been at a flat mile at this track. He is graded stakes placed twice already this year and this race sets him
up nicely to return to stakes competition. There is nothing for him here the rest of the meet so Miller will
probably just sit on him for an early stakes engagement at Del Mar, maybe the San Diego Handicap. He
has a good combination of speed and stamina and a mile and a sixteenth is probably his limit. Follow.
June 1st, 2015 by John Scheidt
The main track played fair this past week. The turf course is starting to play fair once again. About
10 days ago, they aerated the course. This after getting an inch of rainfall overnight, which made the
course slow, tiring, and favoring off the pace runners. Now with warmer weather and no rain in sight,
the course is playing faster and giving speed horses a chance to be around at the finish. With 4
weeks left in the meet, they are using the course more, with 4 turf races scheduled each day on the
• They had 2 graded stakes on Saturday and Spanish Queen ($3.40) beat the Eastern invaders to take
down the Grade 1 American Oaks in just her 4th lifetime start. This Cal bred daughter of Tribal Rule
has now won a Grade 2 and a Grade 1 in just 4 career starts. She cost just $6500 for her owners and
has now won over $423,000. Her next starts will be the three year old filly races at Del Mar, the San
Clemente and the Del Mar Oaks. It pays to own a Cal Bred. In a tune up for the Gold Cup on June
27, Richard Mandella’s Catch a Flight took down the Grade 2 Californian on Saturday and returned
$6.60 to win. He won a tough battle down the lane with the good handicap horse Moreno, and
prevailed by a half length. He earned a 105 Beyer for his victory and both horses will tangle again in
the Gold Cup in 4 weeks. Gary Stevens was in the irons.
• The two principle stakes races this week will be the Crystal Water on Saturday, for male runners 3
and up at a flat mile on the grass, and the Grade 3 Affirmed for 3 year olds going a mile and a
sixteenth on Sunday on the main track. Mandella’s Forest Chatter, who has won 4 straight down the
hill, will be the favorite in the Crystal Water and trainer Richard Baltas, who remains hot as a
firecracker, will counter with Lucky J Lane. Baltas won two stakes this past weekend. Prospect Park,
4th in the Santa Anita Derby behind Dortmund, heads the field for the Affirmed. Other contenders
will be Cross the Line and Cyrus Alexander from the Hollendorfer barn, Om for Dan Hendricks, and
Gimme Da Lute for Baffert. Of course Saturday is Belmont Day, and American Pharoah will try the
daunting task of trying to sweep the Triple Crown races. Santa Anita will have an 11 race card with
a first post of 11:30 AM. For good luck, on Friday night, jockey Victor Espinoza went to an Angels
baseball game in Anaheim. The Detroit Tigers were in town so he posed for pictures with Miguel
Cabrera. The superstar outfielder won baseball’s Triple Crown in 2012 and it hadn’t been done in
baseball in 48 years. I don’t think “Pharoah” can win this Saturday in New York, although he will be
a heavy favorite in the wagering. But I would like to see him win for one main reason. So everybody
can stop talking about how difficult it is and wanting to change the current format. The format is
fine just the way it is. It’s supposed to be “tough.” We will have our selections out on Friday night
for both the Belmont and Anita’s 11 race card, but it will be late, as Friday night racing doesn’t end
till 7:30 PM.
• With 4 weeks left of racing at Santa Anita, the jockey/trainer race is very tight. Bejarano won 3 on
Sunday but Tyler Baze came right back with 2 victories and the jockey title is tied at 23 each. Joe
Talamo is a distant third with 17 wins, but it is a two horse battle all the way. The trainer standings
are even tighter. Richard Baltas won two Sunday to grab the lead with 14 wins. Doug O’Neill and
Peter Miller each have 13 and Phil D’Amato, who one day will be better than all of them, has 12
• On a rather sad note, just after dawn this past Sunday, they demolished the massive grandstands at
Hollywood Park, first erected way back in 1937. The track officially closed back in January of 2014.
The owner of the St. Louis Rams, Stan Kroenke, hopes to build a stadium on the property for an
NFL team, although none of that has been approved. My first venture to Hollywood goes back to
1967 when I watched the great Native Diver beat the 3/5 favorite Pretense in the Gold Cup. Jerry
Lambert was up and he paid $13.40 to win. I was hooked.