Kentucky Derby Report (6-25-20)

Tiz the Law maintained his status as a top tier Kentucky Derby 2020 contender after winning his third graded route of the year in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 20. Kentucky Derby Points Race Recaps Belmont Stakes (G1) Recap (6-20-20) – Winner: Tiz the Law ($3.60) Tap It To Win went straight to the front from the rail as expected, and he was about a length ahead of Fore Left through six panels in 1:09.94. Tiz the Law was in a perfect spot behind the aforementioned duo, and pushed right on by to score by an easy 3-3/4 lengths under Manny Franco. My value top choice Dr Post stalked wide from midpack and finished a good 2nd, and my live longshot Max Player showed nice energy in the stretch to finish a solid 3rd. Pneumatic stalked wide from the outside post and worked his way up to 3rd in

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Santa Anita Horse’s To Watch List – June 16, 2020

OVER ATTRACTED  (June 12): Three year old filly from France made her U.S. debut in Friday’s opener for trainer Carla Gaines at a mile on the turf for 3 year old fillies. Off at a robust 13/1 in just a five horse field, she broke a tad slow under Mike Smith and settled in 4th down the back side just 4 lengths off the leader. Smith asked her to pick it up just after the ¼ pole and she put in a nice rally turning for home while four wide down the lane. She was motoring out in the middle of the course and ran the fastest final quarter of the group, but couldn’t get to another who got the jump on her at the top of the lane. She came up just short at the wire by three parts of a length but had a strong gallop out. This

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TURFDOM NEWS AND NOTES for June 16, 2020

Maybe the Racing Office at Santa Anita was just playing “possum” with us. After two straight weeks of short fields, they are saving the best for last, as they have 8 stakes scheduled for the last two days of the meet this weekend, with 9 races for Friday and 10 each for Saturday and Sunday. Plus there is an excellent chance that the single ticket winner of the pick six will be still be intact and the pot will be well over $1 million for Sunday and the mandatory payout. For a 20 cent wager, it is much, much better than the lottery. Both the main track and the turf course have continued to play fair but inside speed with the turf sprints has been very good lately. Next Saturday is also Belmont stakes day at Belmont Park with the first leg of the Triple Crown and we’ll have selections

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Kentucky Oaks Report (6-11-20)

Another Kentucky Oaks 2020 points race, and yet another victory for Swiss Skydiver. She sure is racking up the Oaks points after capturing her third straight graded route in the Santa Anita Oaks on June 6.   Kentucky Oaks Points Race Recaps Dogwood Stakes (G3) Recap (6-6-20) – Winner: Four Graces ($6.60) Four Graces dueled on the lead with Ain’t No Elmers in this extended sprint under the Twin Spires, and an unlucky Edgeway stalked the pace from the outside post while taking the overland route. Four Graces had plenty left and kept Edgeway at bay en route to a 2-1/2 length victory. The latter was clearly second best in a strong performance. The top two finishers ran well, but I doubt they are Oaks fillies. They are decent sprinters, and I would take Edgeway to turn the tables if they face each other again in a race like the Beaumont at

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Kentucky Derby 2020 Report (6-11-20)

My longtime top ranked Kentucky Derby 2020 contender Honor A. P. solidified his status as a high quality sophomore with a strong off the pace victory over Authentic in the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, June 6.     Kentucky Derby Points Race Recaps Santa Anita Derby (G1) Recap (6-6-20) – Winner: Honor A. P. ($6.40) There is a good chance that we saw the Kentucky Derby winner in this race. Honor A. P. has been my top ranked Derby contender for quite some time, and he put it all together in this race. Shooters Shoot got a slim early lead after post time favorite Authentic broke outward from the outside post. The latter recovered and chased outside, and Anneau d’Or chased in between rivals. The pace was solid and Honor A. P. was in midpack and outside under Mike Smith. He made a nice wide move and had all the

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch – June 9, 2020

BUYBACK  (June 5): Four year old filly for Matt Chew is a real trier every time she goes to the post. She took on 9 others Friday in a $35,000 claimer, non winners of three, at a mile on the lawn 3 and up. Off at 7/1, she broke running under Van Dyke with a good trip on the outside of horses just two lengths off the lead. She looked all in at the ¼ pole when Van Dyke started scrubbing on her, but she never stopped trying. She found another gear at the 1/8 pole and almost caught the even money favorite at the wire coming up a length short. This was her 8th trip to the post and she has hit the board in 7 of those with a 4th place finish in her debut. She can run short or long, turf or dirt, and though limited somewhat

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Santa Anita News and Notes for June 9, 2020

For the most part, the main track and the turf course both played fair this past weekend. There are days when the outside lanes are a bit better than the inside on the main track, like on Sunday, but one is really splitting hairs as most often the better horses are winning on those lanes. The turf course continues to be fair more often than not regardless of the placement of the inner rails. The quality of the racing was good this past weekend but most of the fields are still on the short side. That will change when Del Mar opens up on July 10, but the last two weeks of Santa Anita figure to be on the slim side with regards to entries. Jockey Flavien Prat won 3 on Friday, 4 on Saturday, and then 2 more on Sunday to run away with the riding title. However, the

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Kentucky Derby 2020 Report (6-5-20)

The Santa Anita Derby (G1) is the next Kentucky Derby 2020 points race, and it looks like a match race between San Felipe (G2) 1-2 finishers Authentic and Honor A. P. Authentic is the SA Derby target, and he is going to be tough to catch if they let him dictate terms again. Rushie and Shooters Shoot drew inner posts and might try to go after the aforementioned favorite early, and if that happens, Honor A. P. might be the major beneficiary. He could easily turn the tables on Authentic if the pace is contested at a mile and an eighth. Friar’s Road, Anneau d’Or, and Azul Coast round out the field. Check out my SA Derby video at the bottom of this post.  In other Triple Crown news, the top portion of my Derby list gets a bit of a shakeup following Nadal’s recent injury and retirement. Kentucky Derby

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Kentucky Oaks 2020 Prep Races

The Kentucky Oaks 2020 points race series is back in action for the first time since the Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park on May 1. Swiss Skydiver captured the last two Oaks points races (GP Oaks, Fantasy), and she is favored to make it three straight graded route wins against three opponents in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, June 6. Kentucky Oaks Points Race Preview Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks (6-6-20) SA 5 (G2 Santa Anita Oaks, 8.5f)Primary – #3 SPEECH, #1 Swiss SkydiverSecondary – #2 Merneith, #5 Regal BeautyWagers: #3 to win, Exacta 3-1 Comments: This race is down to four runners following the defection of Smiling Shirlee. #3 Speech (8-5) fired in all five outings and has earned some quality speed figures. Flavien Prat takes the call, she fired a local bullet for this May 23, and a tactical trip is expected. She ran

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Kentucky Derby 2020 Report (5-1-20)

The Arkansas Derby has been split into two divisions, and exciting Kentucky Derby 2020 prospect Charlatan is the strong favorite to win the first division. Bob Baffert’s unbeaten colt looks like the one to catch from the inside post at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, May 2. The second division of the Arkansas Derby also features a Bob Baffert favorite. Nadal is a perfect 3-for-3, and he won the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park in March. He loves to mix it up on the pace, and won duels in all three races. He will likely face pace pressure again and figures to fight hard throughout.      Hot Prospects: Basquiat The Chad Brown trainee stalked the pace and won with something in reserve in his extended sprint debut at Gulfstream Park April 25. The son of American Pharaoh has plenty of promise and figures to stretch out in distance in the

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