Horses to Watch Apr. 18 – by Rod Young Turfdom

LOOKING AT THELAKE (April 14): Three year old filly for Billy Morey, was bought privately in Florida. Off as the even money choice and racing with Lasix for the first time, she broke awkwardly from the gate but was quickly righted by Pedroza. From the 8 hole, he sent her right to the rail to save ground into the clubhouse turn and was only about 3 lengths off the pace. She raced under a tight hold all the way down the back side, slipped through on the rail at the ¼ pole, then quickly opened up by 3 on the field. She cruised home under a hand ride to win by seven. She is now eligible for those starter allowance races non winners twice, and she should have no trouble with that condition. She has never missed the board in 5 trips to the post and was quickly claimed by

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News and Notes Apr. 18 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The long Santa Anita meet, which runs through July 4th, started its second half this past week and for the first time in quite awhile, there was actually a bias on the main track. Early speed dominated the main track races on both Friday and Saturday but then on Sunday, it was back to a “fair” race track. The turf course continued to play fair as winners were found on the pace as well as coming from off the pace. Management will continue to keep the inner rails out anywhere from 10 to 30 feet for the next couple of weeks to protect the inside of the course. Racing resumes this Thursday with their normal 4 day race week and there are two c/o in the exotic pools. The Super High Five has a c/o of $35,348 in the final race of the day and the single ticket jackpot of

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Horses to Watch Apr. 11 – by Rod Young Turfdom

QUEEN BEE TO YOU (April 7): Three year old filly for Mike Pender had 7 starts on the dirt in sprints and hadn’t been able to break her maiden. On Friday, they stretched her out to a mile and put her on the turf for the first time and she found her calling. Off at 6/1 in an 8 horse field against older maiden special weights, all who are bred in California, she hopped at the start to be away last. She stayed there until the ¼ pole, and then Desormeaux swung her to the outside and she gobbled up the ground. She put her head in front at the 1/8th pole and then eased clear under a hand ride to win by a length and a half at the wire. She should have no trouble with the first condition as long as they keep her with state breds, and

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News and Notes Apr. 11 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The long Winter/Spring meet concluded on Sunday with a race track that has played fair for most of the meet, although the times have been on the slow side for Santa Anita Park. Many Easterners complain about the speed friendly tracks here, but that just isn’t the case anymore, as more than a fair amount of winners come from off the pace, both long and short. The turf course has also been playing fair regardless of where the inner rails have been placed. They had a good on track crowd of 36,155 on Saturday for the Santa Anita Derby and set a record for handle on the late pick 4 of $1,473,681, the largest amount ever bet for that wager other than a B/C Day. Racing resumes at the Great Race Place this Friday, as they start the second half of racing here and will continue on until July 4th.

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Horses to Watch Apr. 4 – by Rod Young Turfdom

SMOKEY IMAGE (March 31): Four year old colt for Carla Gaines, who had been off since July of last year, returned to the racing wars in the third allowance condition Friday against a pretty tough group. Off at 6/1 in this six and a half sprint on the main track, he broke running and vied for the early lead through quick fractions of 21.88 and 44.65 from between horses. He gave up some ground and dropped back to 4th at the ¼ pole, but then came back on again in the final sixteenth and galloped out fairly strong. He finished up third at the wire and was only beaten two lengths for all of it. Carla has lots of options with this Cal bred, as he can go short or long, turf or dirt, and can face Cal breds in a stakes as well. This was a fine comeback race

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News and Notes Apr. 4 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Although times were very slow this past week, the main track continued to play fair at the Great Race Place in Arcadia, California. The turf course is also playing fair regardless of where the inner rails are placed. As we head into the final week of the Winter/Spring meet, temperatures remain in the 80s and track conditions remain perfect. There is a c/o in the pick six for Thursday of $133,546 along with the single ticket jackpot of $590,443. The latter wager has not been hit in 23 race days going back to February 20th. They had just two stakes over the weekend and only one was graded, that being the Tokyo City Cup on Sunday, a Grade 3 at a mile and a half on the main track. John Sadler’s Hard Aces got up on the outside in a thrilling 3 horse finish to get the money at 4/1.

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Horses to Watch Mar. 28 – by Rod Young Turfdom

UTANA (March 24): Four year old filly for John Shirreffs and the “Zenyatta” connections made her debut in Friday’s second, a maiden special weight at six and a half on the main. Off at 6/1 in a small field of five due to late scratches, she got bumped on both sides at the break to get away last by five lengths. But Espinoza hustled her up the rail and she was in contention turning for home. She dove to the inside on what was probably the worst part of the track, and stayed there the entire length of the stretch fighting gamely. She got beat a “zop” at the wire and was probably best. This daughter of Curlin will do better as the furlongs increase and I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s not stretched out for start number two. She’s a soon winner for a very patient barn. KENDA (March

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News and Notes Mar. 28 – by Rod Young Turfdom

With the weather staying dry at the Great Race Place, form has been holding up quite well overall and the main track continues to play fair for the most part. Saturday had its fair share of longshots resulting in a pick six c/o into Sunday, but that has been the exception rather than the rule. That is why the single ticket jackpot in the pick six has not been hit for 19 consecutive race days. The pool now sits with $496,486 in the kitty going into this Thursday’s action. The turf course has also been playing fair in two turn races but not so in the sprints down the hill. There speed has been winning and horses back in the pack and deep closers have no chance. Part of that scenario is because they have kept the rails out 30 feet for the down hill sprints, even when they are

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Horses to Watch Mar. 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

RIVER ECHO (March 17): Four year old gelding is a new horse since transferring into the Peter Miller barn from back East. After winning the first allowance condition in his last start, he tried the second condition on Friday and was best even though finishing second. Off at 7/2 in a strong field, he sat third in the early running with a rail trip just off the speed. Arroyo had a ton of horse turning for home but he had nowhere to run until a brief opening at the sixteenth pole. He burst through but it was too late as a perfect tripper from the outside got the jump on him. He now has two wins and a close second since joining the Miller barn and he wins this condition next out. BOTTLE SERVICE (March 18): Three year old gelding for Mike Machowsky was all over the place in Saturday’s

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News and Notes Mar. 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

With the weather now good at Santa Anita, favorites have been dominating the scene, and such was the case this past week with no c/o in the pick six other than the single ticket jack pot, which now stands at over $346,000 going into Thursday’s card. In fact favorites are at 36.55% overall for the winter meet with dirt races leading the way at 38.46%. The number drops to 30.53% on the grass. Odds on favorites are winning at 62.03%, but odds on favorites in the money is at 94.94% (75 of 79). That’s a pretty good number for the bridge jumpers and there have been a number of them at the meet. They ran three stakes over the weekend and favorites won all three. The only graded stakes was the Grade 1 Santa Margarita at 9 furlongs on the main track and Baffert’s Vale Dori kept right on rolling

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