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The Osterman Files – The CHRB Responds

April 17th, 2014 by

In response to a recent “Osterman Files”, we received the following letter from Chuck Winner, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board:

April 4

SUBJECT: OSTERMAN FILES, THE VOICE OF REASON

Dear Mr. Osterman:

The California Horse Racing Board agrees with Mr. Phipps of the Jockey Club when he says “Enough is Enough”. The CHRB is working hard every day to establish and implement rules, regulations and procedures to protect against animal abuse, level the playing field and ensure the integrity of the sport. We are proud that California has been a leader in the effort to ensure racing integrity and protect horses and riders. Other jurisdictions have looked to California for leadership when it comes to animal and rider health and safety. Our new Executive Director, Rick Baedeker, is leading our efforts to end the time when we have to say “enough is enough”.

We were the first state with an equine medical director, provided through our relationship with the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. We moved all testing to Davis’ Maddy Laboratory which beyond question is a premier racing laboratory. We have modified many regulations to increase penalties and restrict the use of drugs and medication. We established one of the first TCO2 testing programs for thoroughbred racing and we were the first racing jurisdiction to significantly modify the claiming rule for the welfare of horses. We employ safety stewards for each track whose specific duties are to work to ensure the safety of horse and rider. We are pleased that we have seen 40% reduction in racing fatalities over the last five years from our efforts.

We are currently going through the process of adopting the national uniform medication program. The regulatory process is well underway with the objective of restricting the use of corticosteroids in California racehorses, which we have already done with anabolic steroids.

We know, however, that there is so much more that must be done. Our Board, our staff and the racing industry in California are completely invested in doing the right thing by the horse and the rider and the public and we will continue to work every day to improve and enhance our sport. In the weeks ahead, we hope to be able to announce more and more improvements toward that objective.

Sincerely,

Chuck Winner
Chairman
California Horse Racing Board.

After receipt of this appreciated letter, I tried to follow up with direct questions to Mr. Winner. This back-and-forth between myself and Mike Martin, who serves as Public Information Officer for the CHRB, was the result:

Mike, I received, and appreciated, Mr. Winner’s response regarding “The Voice of Reason”. However, with all due respect, his rather generic comments sounded a bit like more-of-the-same lip service. I have some follow-up questions I’d like to ask if Mr. Winner is willing to answer:
1. Approximately when do you see a complete adoption of the policies in the national uniform medication plan taking place in California? Will it take days, months or years to work through the bureaucracy? Is any group (owners, trainers, breeders, vets, etc.) actively fighting its adoption?
2. When (if) it’s implemented, do you foresee an increased number of actions against California trainers or, in your opinion, are we dealing with a few (if any) “bad apples”?
3. Does California employ any pro-active agents, working in covert fashion, on the backside to uncover the use of illegal drugs on horses or other animal abuse?
4. Does the CHRB have any plans to deal with the problems of “late money” significantly altering the odds on horses after the race has begun? For example, in Race 4 at GGF April 6, eventual winner Victoriously Jewel was in front at 2/1 nearing the turn when her odds suddenly dropped to 7/5. Even if the odds are ultimately accurate and were placed in a timely fashion, the public takes a dim view of such odds fluctuations once the race has begun but it happens ALL the time.
5. Is the CHRB looking into race-shape integrity, particularly at GGF? The public watches as jockeys constantly strangle their mounts while looking as if they’re working against their horses instead of with them. Early fractions in mile races are often off-the-wall slow (26-and-change, 52-and-change), times you don’t see anywhere else in the country. The Tapeta is a slow surface but it’s not that slow. Public perception is that these races are being manipulated.
6. When will the CHRB put its foot down regarding “hidden” entries in small fields where one barn is allowed to enter two horses (while often scratching one) in a five, six, seven-runner filed in order to make the race “go”, generally for a top-heavy favorite? Many of these “field fillers” are entered when the barn knows they won’t pass the vet in the morning.

RESPONSE FROM MIKE MARTEN:
“Tim, these are all good questions. The Board will be addressing some of these matters in the weeks ahead and will be issuing news releases to report action taken. The Board might not address every issue you’ve raised, and in at least one case, the Board cannot comment, as the Board does not reveal security measures to uncover possible animal abuse or the use of illegal drugs on horses. But you will get answers to some of your questions and more besides.”

Last week, the CHRB did make a move to enact stringent penalties for riders found using a buzzer during racing or workouts. Unfortunately, you’ve got to catch ‘em before you can punish them. Currently, there are no cases pending in this area.

The Claim Box April 11 – by Rod Young Turfdom

April 15th, 2014 by

DIVINE WAY $16,000 Diodoro Lopez C
Got the job done as the 4/5 favorite, but this was an awfully weak field of horses all staggering to the
wire. This is a negative barn switch as well.
DISTILLERY $75,000 Puype Greiner C
Won nicely with a good trip and a good ride. He now goes to a low-level Nor Cal trainer and will try
the turf course at GGF with all of his conditions available.
J KAT $75,000 Dollase Papaprodromou C
Had the lead very late in this dash down the hill but couldn’t hold it and was passed late by two horses.
He is now 0/5 in his career. Although he likes the turf, he is probably going to need easier horses in
order to graduate.
THE CLAIM BOX @ SANTA ANITA PARK April 13, 2014
BY ROD YOUNG, TURFDOM
QUEEN OF THE HILL $8000 Powell O’Neill B+
Won easily by 5 widening lengths, but she was drifting out in the lane. The Queen is well worth $8000
and a good, late-running sprinter that can win on the raise.
PRIME ISSUE $20,000 Diodoro Fernandez C
This was his third consecutive 2nd place finish and all have been by close margins. Rather than not
having the will to win, it’s just being unlucky since he was dead game all the way down the lane today.
This is a negative barn switch.
OILISBLACKGOLD $62,500 Dollase Diodoro C
Had been off for 9 months. He made his comeback Sunday in this 2nd allowance condition with an
optional claiming tag at a mile on the main. He made a big sweeping move at the 1/4 pole to reach
contention, but then hung in the lane, and was beaten 7 lengths in a race he needed. But he is only 3/29
lifetime and has already burned this condition, so he must run for a tag or in a stakes. That’s not a lot of
options for this kind of money.
All comments made by the writer are subjective by nature and in no way reflect upon the
opinions of Today’s Racing Digest.

Horses to Watch April 15 – by Rod Young Turfdom

April 15th, 2014 by

BRANDON’S PRINCESS (April 11): Four year old filly for George Papaprodromou was given a
confident class hike in Friday’s third race for older fillies and mares sprinting on the main track for a
claiming price of $25,000 non winners twice. Off at 6/1 in this 10 horse field, and coming off a good
second at the $12,500 level, she broke running and laid second throughout in this 5.5 furlong affair. She
wasn’t quite as quick as the outside horse who crossed over and made the lead on a speed favoring track
where the inside was “golden” down the lane. But she chased throughout, almost got to the leader at the
1/8th pole, but couldn’t overcome the strong bias and settled for second, beaten 2 lengths at the wire.
However this was just her second start of 2014 and she is a different filly this year with now two strong
back to back efforts. This barn knows she’s going good now, hence the move up in class today. Her next
start will be her third off the layoff, generally a horse’s best race, and this one is sitting on a victory. Trust
the Papaprodromou barn to find the right spot.
D’YA KNOWWHATIMEAN (April 11): Three year old filly for Peter Miller tried the 75K Santa
Paula stakes on Friday at 6 1/2 furlongs on the main and ran a bang up second against an extremely
strong inside speed bias. Off at 12/1 in a full field of 3 year old fillies, “Know” broke running and laid
4th down the back side, got shuffled back some at the 3/8 pole, came again at the 1/4 pole, reached
contention at the top of the lane and finished courageously on the worst part of the track to get second
beaten two lengths. The winner, off at 42/1, wired the field from the good inside. This one still has the
first allowance condition available and Miller will probably go to that race next time out. They tried her
long and she just ran evenly. She’s a late running sprinter through and through and just needs a “fair” race
track for her best. Tab and follow.
LLANDUDNO (April 12): Four year old filly for John Sadler raced above her conditions on Saturday
and tried the Grade 3 Las Cienegas stakes for older fillies/mares at 6.5 furlongs down the hill. Off at
11/1, she broke well, laid 5th down the hill, but was 10 lengths back. The leaders were flying and she
found her best stride within the 1/8th pole and finished strongly to just miss winning the race by a head.
This was her fifth race down the hill and she has two wins, a second, and a third, so you know she likes
the trip. She still has the second allowance condition available so the barn has plenty of options. She has
the perfect style for this layout and should be able to get in the Winner’s Circle in the very near future.
GOVENOR CHARLIE ( April 13): Four year old colt for Bob Baffert made his second start of the
year in this second condition allowance race Sunday on the main track at a flat mile. Off at 2/1 and the
second choice in the wagering, he was sent hard from the gate under Mike Smith to make the lead, but so
were others and he got caught 5 wide into the first turn and lost lots of ground. He rallied on the back
side to make up that ground and was sent hard again by Smith to make the lead at the half mile pole. He
kept this lead into the lane but went wide at the top of the stretch and opened up the rail for the winner.
At this point he had exhausted so much energy I was surprised he had as much left in the lane as he did.
He finished second beaten two lengths by the favorite and it was six lengths back to the third horse. He is
a Grade 3 winner as a 3 year old and still has this allowance condition available. No matter where Baffert
places him next time out, he’s a winner, whether it’s this condition or a stakes race of some sort. Tab and
follow.

New and Notes April 15 – by Rod Young Turfdom

April 15th, 2014 by

First of all, there are only two days left in the Winter/Spring schedule for Santa Anita, which means
they will race Saturday and Sunday ONLY this week. No racing Thursday or Friday. The following
week they will kick off the Spring/Summer meet for 9 weeks starting on Friday which will run
through June 29. Golden Gate up in Nor Cal will race 3 days this week, Friday, Saturday, and
Sunday.
• There was a very strong inside speed bias on the main track last week on both Thursday/Friday,
then it disappeared over the weekend. Tactical speed was still important Saturday but less so on
Sunday. I think they dug up the track some prior to the weekend to get out of the strong bias
situation and the fast times that the surface was promoting. The turf course played pretty fair most of
the week, but more horses are being able to win on the front end, both long and short, than earlier in
the meet.
• There were 4 Graded stakes over the weekend and all 4 had close, exciting finishes. The only Grade
2 was the Potrero Grande for older sprinters on the main track and Big Macher, the former claimer,
held off Wild Dude by a scant nose. “The Dude” had dead aim on Macher through the lane, but the
winner was dead game once he made the lead. The winner paid $6.20. Tribal Spy (25.60) took the
Grade 3 Las Cienegas on Saturday for older fillies/mares at 6.5 furlongs down the hill. The pace was
awfully fast early with Biorhythm and Sky High Gal setting blazing fractions and setting it up for the
late runners. There were two Grade 3′s on Sunday with Ed Moger’s new acquisition, Stormy Lucy,
winning the Santa Barbara at 10 furlongs on the turf for older fillies/mares, and then John Sadler’s
Sweet Swap winning the San Simeon down the hill for older runners. Both winners went off as the
post time favorites. There are no Graded stakes on tap this weekend but 2 time Eclipse award winner
Beholder, will make her 2014 debut in Sunday’s 75K Santa Lucia stakes. She is prepping for a
$1,000,000 race in New York in late May.
• Bob Baffert’s six million dollar horse Game On Dude, worked six furlongs in 1:11 flat on Saturday
and galloped out 7 furlongs in 1:25 flat in his final work for this Saturday’s $1.5 million Charles
Town Classic in West Virginia, where he is the defending champ. Clubhouse Ride and Imperative
will also represent Southern California in this race for the big money.
• Santa Anita will return to offering the “rolling daily doubles” throughout their programs starting on
April 25, the beginning of the Spring/Summer meet. The decision to just have 3 doubles in their
program, even with the reduced takeout from 23% to 18%, was a bad decision which didn’t work out.
The good news is that all doubles will still keep the low takeout of just 18%. Santa Anita does offer
the lowest takeout in the Country for Win, Place, and Show wagering, each and every day of just
15.43%.
• Two jockeys who struggled getting mounts on this circuit are moving their tacks elsewhere. Chantal
Sutherland is heading to Woodbine in Canada to ride, where she has won riding titles in the past.
Orlando Mojica is returning to Indiana Downs where he will be able to ride on a regular basis.

The Osterman Files – The “C.C.” Dossier

April 9th, 2014 by

Now that California Chrome has established himself as the best the West Coast has to offer and been installed as the likely favorite for this year’s Kentucky Derby, it seems a good time to shuffle through his overall history to see what we can see…….
THE PEDIGREE – Horses bred in California aren’t supposed to win the Kentucky Derby. It first happened in 1922 with Morvich and didn’t happen again until Swaps scored in 1955. Decidedly, in 1962, was the last and that was more than a half-century ago. That’s a grand total of three Cal-breds going back to 1875.
It isn’t likely Martin Perry and Steve Coburn were thinking “Derby” when they plunked down $2,500 to breed the mare Love The Chase to Lucky Pulpit a few years back but this game can be full of surprises. Now, they’re sitting on a gold mine.
THE TWO-YEAR-OLD CAMPAIGN – California Chrome started his career early when he debuted going 4-1/2 furlongs in April at Hollywood Park. Second that day at 6/1 in a state-bred event, he followed it up with a 6/5 maiden success by daylight three weeks later. His stakes debut outside the Cal-bred-bred ranks was not good as he burned out early before fading off the board behind fast-finishing Kobe’s Back. He did win the Graduation Stakes at DMR at a nice price (nearly 7/1) before again failing in “open” company when sixth in the Grade I DMR Futurity (5/1). Two months later, California Chrome blew the start in the Golden State Juvenile and was a non factor. Certainly there was nothing in 2013 to suggest the colt would become “one of the ones” in 2014.
THE THREE-YEAR-OLD CAMPAIGN – Although officially still two, the “real” California Chrome showed up in the King Glorious Stakes on the final-final day at Hollywood Park to blitz the competition from off the pace at seven panels. Nothing has come close to him since as he won the Cal Cup Derby, the San Felipe and the Santa Anita Derby by big margins with the latter two graded successes proving he was more than just a good Cal-bred.
THE STYLE – California Chrome still has some doubters, even in California. They point to the speed-biased surfaces the colt ran over in both the San Felipe and the Santa Anita Derby which certainly didn’t hurt his chances any as he vanquished Derby wannabees like Midnight Hawk, Kristo, Hoppertunity and Candy Boy. There is a certain validity in what they say but there is nothing in California Chrome’s record to suggest he’s a “need-to-lead” frontrunner who will be unable to adjust under more difficult pace conditions. Half of his six career victories have come from just off the pace when he blew by the leaders into the lane with the ease of a horse that possesses “gears”. Anyway, early speed is not a bad thing on Derby Day for a horse that can relax when asked and “go” when asked. The main thing on the first Saturday in May is to be professional while putting all the noise, hoopla and 19 other horses outside the box. As good as he is, California Chrome is not good enough to go “mental” and win. No horse is. No one, of course, will know how he’s going to respond until it happens.
THE CONNECTIONS – Everybody loves Art (Sherman, that is). Now 77, the former jockey started training a modest string of horses in the late 1970s in the Bay Area and was hardly an instant success. In fact, he never attracted much, if any, attention until number-one son Steve became his assistant in NoCal in the early 1990s. All off a sudden, the Sherman barn was winning races in bunches and Art expanded with a SoCal string handled by number-two son Alan. Success down there has been more sporadic. Let’s be honest, the kids do most of the work with Art serving as the patriarch in more of P.R. capacity. There’s nothing at all wrong with that and, as far as California Chrome is concerned, none of it matters. Art will be a popular story going into the Derby because of his age, his personality and his ties to Swaps as a member of the team that took that Cal-bred to Churchill Downs so long ago. It’s all OK by me. I’d sure be happier to see Art Sherman beaming in the winner’s circle on Derby Day rather than a Todd Pletcher or a Bob Baffert.
Many forget that Victor Espinoza won a Derby when he guided War Emblem to a front-running upset with a flawless ride in 2002. He’ll be under the microscope a lot more in 2014 but it’s hard to fault any jock that has ridden a horse four times and won them all by a combined 24+ lengths.
None of this makes California Chrome “a lock” to win a month from now. Many a pro-tem Derby favorite hasn’t even made it to the gate recently with every step having the potential to be a bad step. Every germ swirling out there has the potential to cause a cough and a scratch. Besides, he’ll be a big underlay against 19 rivals but, for the moment, it’s a big-time “go”. Then, it will be up to the horse.

The Claim Box April 4-6 – by Rod Young Turfdom

April 7th, 2014 by

DRESS CODE $25,000 Diodoro Puype C
He just ran big at a mile but didn’t do much today as the co-favorite, going 7/8 and finishing off the
board. Code is 8-years-old now and not sure there is much left in the tank.
FIRST STRIKE $25,000 Kitchingman Lewis C
First Strike likes it wet and needs pace in which to run, but he got neither here, hence was a well
beaten 3rd. He does have an explosive late kick at times but the pace has to fall apart in front of him.
LOS BAMBINOS $25,000 Fernandez Baltas B
This looks like a decent claim for the money, as he ran a strong 2nd at 5/1. He is 5 for 14 in his career,
and can win short or long. This is a positive barn switch.
BART THE BARRISTER $30,000 Hendricks Velasquez C+
Didn’t run too badly, coming in 3rd as the co-favorite in the race. This was just his third career start
and he should be able to get his diploma at this level.
BIG WAGS $8000 Catalano Spawr B
A re-claim by Spawr, he never kicked it in today and finished a distant 6th. However, Spawr won
many races with Wags in 2013, and most at higher levels. This is the type of horse where this barn
excels.
FIT TO RULE $8000 Glatt Owens BWon
like he was supposed to as the 6/5 choice. Glatt knew he was going to lose him as Rule had just
won for double this claim price four weeks earlier. He probably has a “hole” in him but may be good
for one or two more races.
TUCKERS POINT $8000 Miyadi Greenamn C
Tucker’s Point had trouble early this race and like Big Wags, he never kicked it in and was well beaten.
He’s just an $8000 horse and sort of a plodder, but he does manage to pay his way.
THE CLAIM BOX @ SANTA ANITA PARK April 5, 2014
BY ROD YOUNG, TURFDOM
EXPLAIN $40,000 Sadler O’Neill B
Ran on for 4th but was facing a speed favoring track and the winner went wire to wire. He likes this
track and is worth the money.
KERRILYNN $25,000 Puype Cerin B+
Went wire to wire down the hill today, which is not easy to do. She is now 2/2 on the turf and has been
1st or 2nd in 9 of 11 career trips to the post. Good claim, she’s all race horse.
CREDITCARDROULETTE $25,000 Kitchingman Treece C
This late-running sprinter was asked for speed and did awfully well to hold onto 3rd at 14/1. However
that isn’t her style since she likes to sit and make one run. Perhaps the new connections will make a
rider switch next time out.
INDYGO F M A $25,000 Drysdale Ward C
Was flying late – as she usually does – but ran out of turf today and finished 4th, but only beaten two
lengths at the wire. She was claimed by an Eastern trainer and Eastern owners, safe to say she’s
heading East.
JOEANDBETTY’SBABY $25,000 Belvoir Cerin C+
Cerin nabbed two in this race but this one disappointed, finishing 5th as the 3/1 favorite. All 3 of her
career wins have come down the hill but she gets terribly far back early, as she did today. Worth 25K
though.
THE CLAIM BOX @ SANTA ANITA PARK April 6, 2014
BY ROD YOUNG, TURFDOM
TWELVE FOLDS $20,000 Machowsky Mulhall B+
Five-year-old mare blew away this field after setting fast early fractions over a speed favoring surface.
This was just her second start off a 7-month layoff, and she will get better. She can win right back on
the raise for 25 or 32. Mulhall is winless at the meet but she is long overdue for a picture.
ATTA BOY PETE $32,000 Hollendorfer Carava D
Atta Boy Pete ran unbelievably poor today to finish dead last at 4/1 in a race where he figured to show
early speed but did not. Never a good sign. He may have some health issues and might need some time
off. Needless to say, a negative barn switch.
MY MONET $40,000 Chew Papaprodromou C
Debut runner for Matt Chew broke alertly today and wired this field, courtesy of the speed bias. She
had signaled her readiness with a quick gate drill of 58.6 just 9 days earlier. Monet will probably return
in a starter race (now) but the water gets much deeper.
All comments made by the writer are subjective by nature and in no way reflect upon the
opinions of Today’s Racing Digest.

Horses to Watch April 8 – by Rod Young Turfdom

April 7th, 2014 by

THEATRE STAR (April 4): Four year old filly for Tom Proctor and the Glen Hill Farm made her first
start in California in Friday’s 6th race, a second allowance condition at 9 furlongs on the grass. Leaving
the gate as the 9/5 favorite and on a 3 race win streak in Florida, she made the running early and chased
the pacesetter under a hard hold until the 1/4 pole. Stevens never asked her to run until the top of the lane
and she won quite easily by a length, and he never used the whip once. This filly has a big future on this
circuit and she will be in a stakes race next time out. She still has a tremendous amount of upside as this
was just her fifth career start. Be sure and put this one in your stable mail as she will be very “live” next
time to the post.
POSHSKY (April 5): Four year old gelding who is now in the Peter Miller barn, just got gelded and it
sure made a difference. After a two month freshening, he surfaced in Saturday’s second at a flat mile on
the main for the first condition allowance for Cal Breds. Off at 7/1 in a full field, he loped along in fifth
about 4 lengths off the pace down the back side, made a huge swooping move at the 1/4 pole to reach
contention, and battled gamely down the lane to be beaten just 3/4 of a length. Getting gelded and
switching barns has made a difference here as the winner went wire to wire and for the most part, this
was a speed favoring track. They have tried him on the grass before with little success but he is a
different animal now. He can win this condition for Miller in the very near future, grass or dirt.
ACT (April 5): Three year old colt for the awfully strong John Sadler barn, made just his third career
start in Saturday’s 4th, and first on the turf, for maiden special weights down the hill. Off at 7/1 in a full
field of 12, he made the running early and grabbed the lead just as they hit the downhill section. He
opened up two under Talamo with pretty fast fractions for the interior part of this race. He held together
well in the lane until the last 100 yards and got gobbled up late and was beaten two at the wire. He’s bred
for the grass being by War Front and they paid $310,000 for him at Keeneland. The grass is what he
wants and he can go long as well should they stretch him out. This one is sitting on a victory and still
may be a bit of a price. Tab and follow.
TWELVE FOLDS ( April 6): Five year old mare for Mike Machowsky tried the first condition
allowance race with an optional claiming price of $20,000 for Cal Breds on Sunday, and blew away the
field. Off at 9/2 in just a five horse field, and making her second start off of 7 months of down time, she
was hustled to the lead with fast early fractions of 21.25 and 43.97. The track was playing extra fast and
speed was dominant and she kept right on chugging down the lane to win by 5. She didn’t close the door
with a fast last quarter as 26 flat is nothing to get excited about, but the bias carried her home.
Nonetheless, this race tightened her up a bit more and she can win for 25 or 32 on the raise. She was
claimed in this race by the Mulhall barn and though they are 0/38 at the meet, they are long overdue to
win a race. As long as they keep this one in claiming company and don’t try “open” allowance foes, she is
still “live” next trip to the post.

News and Notes April 8 – by Rod Young Turfdom

April 7th, 2014 by

Early speed was the name of the game at Santa Anita on the main track this past week for the second
consecutive week. The times were fast, the track is hard, as is the turf course, and early speed was
winning 80% of the races. Occasionally a closer won a race, but only because the fractions were
ridiculously fast early in the race, and even then it was tough to close. The inside was also better
than the outside. The time for the Derby on Saturday was a minute and 47.52 seconds, the second
fastest in the 77 year history of that race. The turf course is also hard and fast, but closers dominate
the two turn races when the rails are in, and the course plays fair when the rails are out 24 feet or
more. On Sunday, Tom’s Tribute won the Thunder Road stakes at a flat mile in 1:31.78 which tied
the track record set by Wise Dan, a two time Horse of the Year. Now “Tribute” is a nice miler, but
he’ll never be confused with someone like Wise Dan.
• On another picture perfect day at the Great Race Place, the fans turned out in force on Derby Day
with 35,241 patrons going through the turnstiles. They wagered over $4 million on track and over
$22.5 million was wagered on the Santa Anita card throughout the Country. The late pick 4, just a 50
cent wager, had a pool of over $995,000. And they were not disappointed, as the fan favorite, “blue
collar” California Chrome, was the easiest of winners of the Derby in near record time. “Chrome”
earned a Beyer speed rating of 107, just one point below his 108 in the San Felipe on Big Cap Day.
Those are the two highest Beyers in the Country for a 3 year old and he will undoubtedly be the post
time favorite in the Kentucky Derby on May 3. However, to be truthful about it, both ratings are
speed biased, and he’s not going to catch that type of track on Derby Day. At 2/1 or 5/2 at post time
in the Derby, he is a bet against, as his running style and his pedigree are not what you want to see at
Churchill Downs the first Saturday in May. But for now, he is the “King” of West Coast racing. He
is 4/4 since Victor Espinoza has climbed aboard, he has won his 4 races by over 24 cumulative
lengths, and Espinoza never hit him once on Saturday, as he saved plenty in the tank for the next go
around. For all the connections and 77 year old trainer Art Sherman, it’s going to be a “fun” ride.
Baffert’s Hoppertunity ran well for second and has plenty of points for the Derby and will be headed
to Louisville as well. Candy Boy got beat 8 lengths, had to lay closer earlier than he wanted, and was
never a threat. With just 30 overall points for the Derby, he is on the bubble for getting in the race.
His trainer, John Sadler, blamed the biased race track, but “Candy” was laying well throughout the
race, and really had no excuses. He was just outrun by the “California Comet”.
• Fashion Plate, under Gary Stevens, won the other Grade 1 on Saturday, but it was also bias aided, as
he had the perfect trip, going wire to wire from the good inside. The runner up, Ria Antonio, actually
ran the better race, and both are now headed for the Kentucky Oaks on May 2. “Antonio” needed this
race, only got beat a length racing against the bias, and she is the one to beat in Kentucky.
• Bob Baffert’s Bayern worked a quick 7 furlongs on Saturday in 1:23.80 under Gary Stevens and will
run in the Arkansas Derby this Saturday. Stevens has the mount. Baffert should have 3 Kentucky
Derby starters if all goes well, Hoppertunity, Midnight Hawk, and Bayern, if he runs well this
Saturday.
• Stormy Lucy heads the field for this Sunday’s Santa Barbara Handicap, a Grade 3 for older fillies
and mares at 10 furlongs on the grass. She was sold privately after her last race, a win in the Grade 2
Santa Ana stakes, for $550k to Steve Moger. His brother Ed, will be the new trainer. Leading rider
Rafael Bejarano retains the mount.

The Osterman Files – The Voice of Reason

April 2nd, 2014 by

In the wake of the well-publicized PETA video that emerged late last month, Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of the Jockey Club, put out a press release that should be read by everyone even remotely interested in the future of Thoroughbred racing in this country. It’s re-published here with limited editing (for space purposes) to give you that opportunity:

“Following the allegations raised by PETA, many of us in the industry are eagerly awaiting the final determination of these issues by the New York State Gaming Commission and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
“It is my hope these state bodies use all the prosecutorial powers available to determine if there is evidence of animal cruelty, medication violations – and cheating.
“Like so many others, I was upset by what I read in the New York Times and disgusted by what I saw and what was alleged in that PETA video. Any person abusing a horse or caught with an electrical device should be banned from the sport for life.
“And, as much as it pains me to see our industry denigrated in the media, there is another part of me that feels that we, as an industry, deserve every bit of that criticism because the sport’s rules and our penalties have not been effective deterrents.
“To be sure, we have seen some encouraging actions from racing commissions.
“In 2011 in New York, the regulators handed trainer Richard Dutrow a 10-year suspension on the basis of Dutrow’s conduct at racetracks in New York State and elsewhere had been ‘improper, obnoxious, unbecoming and detrimental to the best interest of racing’.
“Last year, authorities from Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico collectively issued fines and suspensions to 14 licensees totaling nearly $253,000 and carrying 213 years of suspensions for those held to have had a role in the administration of illegal drugs, such as Demorphin, to racehorses.
“These are steps in the right direction.
“Owners, trainers, veterinarians – and really anyone who makes a living in the Thoroughbred industry – need to speak up any time they witness improper and dangerous treatment of horses or dishonest activity.
“We certainly shouldn’t need an animal rights organization or a major publication to identify bad actors or their bad deeds.
“As recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners, owners, trainers and veterinarians should share and adopt a policy that any therapeutic treatment or veterinary procedure for a horse involved in racing be based upon a specific diagnosis and communicated among each party.
”And, above all, there must be respect for the horse.
“The Jockey Club continues to believe that horses should compete only when they are free from the influence of medication, and we have supported the reforms that make up the national uniform medication program that was first proposed in 2011 and encompasses controlled therapeutic medication, prohibited substances, accredited labs and penalty guidelines for multiple violations.
“By our count, however, only four of the 38 states with racing have fully implemented this program (Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia). A dozen others are in various stages of adoption but have yet to commit to a definitive date.
“While there is no doubt that some of those shown in the PETA video deserve condemnation for their actions and their attitudes, representatives of states that have not adopted the national uniform medication program should also share blame for the current state of affairs. Their inaction feeds the negative perceptions of our sport and lends credence to the charge that we are incapable of broad-based reform.
“For every small step forward, we take two giant steps backward while prospective fans, owners, television networks, sponsors, elected officials or animal rights advocates read and see media reports that convey inhumane treatment of our athletes and a lack of integrity in our sport.
“Enough is enough.
“The horse deserves better. Owners and trainers deserve better. And, in a sport based on the integrity of the competition, the fans who wager their hard-earned money deserve better.
“The time to draw that proverbial line in the sand is rapidly approaching.
“If the major racing states do not implement these reforms, the Jockey Club will reach out to federal lawmakers who have previously proposed federal legislation for our industry and to others who support this approach. We will aggressively seek rapid implementation, including steps leading toward the elimination of all race-day medications.
“With the safety of our horses, the integrity of competition and the general perception of our sport at risk, we cannot afford to wait any longer.
“Enough is enough.”

Ogden Mills Phipps and The Jockey Club get it and California would be wise to get on board before it’s all too late. None of this is about PETA. It’s about horse racing.

The Claim Box Mar 28-30 – by Rod Young Turfdom

April 1st, 2014 by

Mullins Chew C
Didn’t fire as the 6/5 favorite and missed the board. This 6-year-old likes the turf and is probably worth
the money. This is a negative barn switch.
TIMELESS INDY $25,000 Harty Glatt D
Invader from Florida ran dead last and is now winless in 5 starts on the grass. His form was poor
coming into this race, and this claim seems like a bigger gamble than normal. No idea what Glatt is
going to do with this horse.
THIS CAT’S AWESOME $40,000 Sherlock Taylor C
Dropped in for a tag for the first time in his 6-race career, Cat missed the board at 2/1. Although he
was only beaten 3 lengths at the wire, his trip was ideal and he had zero excuses. Probably needs a
slight drop in class to score.
TRELAWNY $40,000 Yakteen Hollendorfer C
Beaten 6 lengths and off the board. Basically just ran evenly around the track. He likes to win races
and likes the grass. Now goes to the leading trainer’s barn, but $40,000 seems too high to pay for this
7- year-old. But, the Dorf is trying to secure the Trainer’s title, so whatever it takes to win.
JOVITA’S TUFFY $16,000 Wright Ellis B
Rallied to get 2nd after breaking from the rail. He was no threat to the winner and goes from one good
barn to another. Worth the money paid for Jovita.
TOPPER’S GHOST $16,000 O’Neill Kitchingman C+
They claimed the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in this race and left the impressive 6-length winner alone.
Go figure. Topper ran an OK 3rd and like Tuffy, is worth the $16,000 they paid for him.
THE CLAIM BOX @ SANTA ANITA PARK March 29, 2014
BY ROD YOUNG, TURFDOM
BIG BREAK $50,000 Sherman Knapp A
Word was out on this debut runner for Sherman. Big Break didn’t disappoint as he blew away the field
by 8 open lengths. Knapp doesn’t usually spend this much on his claims, so he really liked this one.
Shouldn’t have any trouble with a starter field next time out.
THE CLAIM BOX @ SANTA ANITA PARK MARCH 30, 2014
BY ROD YOUNG, TURFDOM
KAFISTER $20,000 Hollendorfer Bernstein B+
Won easily today by 4 lengths at 1/5 for the Dorf. He had a perfect trip but was much the best as
indicated by the heavy wagering support. He’s in good form and can win on the raise for the new
connections.
CARBONITE $10,000 Sadler Diodoro C
Diodoro took two in this race; this one lost a desperate decision right on the wire. He finally found his
proper level but at 8-years-old, I don’t think there is much left in Carbonite’s tank.
CHANGE OF PLAN $10,000 O’Neill Diodoro C+
This was Diodoro’s other claim, who finished 4th but was only beaten one length for all of it and didn’t
have the best trips from the rail. He likes this track and has more positives than Carbonite.
SHE DIGS ME $10,000 Miller Lopez D
He threw in a real clunker at 5/2 and was beaten 10 lengths. Digs had a good trip and had no excuses
as he had dead aim on the leaders turning for home. I think this one is going the wrong way, and a
negative barn switch.
TRIBAL DRESS $12,500 Papaprodromou Mitchell AA
re-claim by owner Nick Alexander {who also bred this filly}, Tribal Dress won easily today by 4
lengths going away at the wire. She likes this race track and can win on the raise, even if she faces
older.
TIZ VEGAS $12,500 Miller Hollendorfer CAn
invader from New Mexico, this filly ran dead last today and was beaten 15 lengths in the process.
On the surface, this looks like a bad claim, but the Dorf will find a way to get his money out of her,
one way or the other.
BIG MEDICINE MAN $50,000 Harty Diodoro B
This was Diodoro’s 3rd claim, and clearly his best. This was Medicine’s first try in the claiming ranks
after 7 starts in special weights, and although he didn’t run badly, he is still a maiden. He finished
strong to get 2nd, but Bejarano got the jump on him and was beaten 3 lengths. He can break his maiden
at this level.
READY FOR MORE $62,500 Mitchell Koriner CFigured
to show more speed on the stretch out but he didn’t. This 6-year-old finished 8th but was only
beaten a total of 4 lengths. He is out of allowance conditions and must run for a price. A lot of money
was paid for this one and I don’t think he’s worth it.
SWEET HEAT $20,000 Mulhall Hess Jr. C+
Got bumped badly at the start to get away last {and never recovered} in this 5-furlong dash. She had
trained fast coming into her debut and was sent off as the favorite. Deserves another chance to show
her talent.
All comments made by the writer are subjective by nature and in no way reflect upon the
opinions of Today’s Racing Digest.

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