Turfdom Horses To Watch – July 28, 2020

IRREPROACHABLE (July 24): Four year old gelding for Phil D’Amato made start #2 on Friday and ran much better than his debut when dropped down into the claiming ranks. Off at 8/1 in a full field of maiden claimers for a $50,000 tag, he made the running right from the start under Velez and ran a quick opening quarter down on the inside. He put the other speed away turning for home, opened up two at the 1/8 pole, but couldn’t hang on as an outside closer wore him down late. On a day when rally wide closers had all the best of it, this horse was beaten by the bias, in fact it was a double bias. He’s a soon winner for the D’Amato barn as long as they keep him with Cal bred maiden claimers, which I’m sure they will do. These fields are often full but the

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Turfdom News and Notes for July 28, 2020

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club got back to racing this past week with a very high horse inventory, as all four days had good field size and many races had also eligible lists. There were 11 races on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and 10 more for Monday. This week’s entries already have 11 races scheduled for both Friday and Saturday. All of the riders are back after their 10 day quarantine, including Mike Smith, who was back east with a win aboard Authentic in the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park. Smith was allowed to ride back in California because he had not ridden in any race at Del Mar prior to last Saturday. For most of the week the outside lanes were the place to be, especially on Friday and Saturday, and especially in sprint races. The turf course favored rally wide winners in the two turn races up

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Kentucky Derby 2020 Report (7-19-20)

Much has changed on the recent road to Kentucky Derby 2020. Art Collector is suddenly one of the Derby favorites after a sharp victory in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on July 11. Chad Brown threw his hat in the ring with Peter Pan hero Country Grammer, and Bob Baffert won yet another Haskell with Authentic. Kentucky Derby Points Race Recaps Blue Grass Stakes (G2) Recap (7-11-20) – Winner: Art Collector Swiss Skydiver took on the males in this spot, and the talented early-pressing filly made her presence felt throughout. Shivaree went to the lead from the rail under Johnny V as expected, but Swiss Skydiver was right up there with him, and she took over after the opening half. She was still in front after six panels, but Art Collector tracked the pace intently from an inner post, and he confronted the filly turning for home. Those two

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Kentucky Oaks 2020 Report (7-19-20)

Speech and Paris Lights both became grade one winners in the most recent pair of Kentucky Oaks 2020 points races, and the former looks like a strong Oaks contender after her sharp victory over Venetian Harbor in the Ashland. Kentucky Oaks Points Race Recaps Ashland Stakes (G1) Recap (7-11-20) – Winner: Speech Venetian Harbor was the strong favorite and controlling speed vs. four opponents in this G1 at a mile and a sixteenth. I have liked her for qite some time but stamina was always the main issue. She got clear early but Speech tracked from the outside post and stayed within a length for much of the running. That stamina issue I mentioned came into play. Speech turned up the heat around the far turn, got to the front early stretch, and pulled clear to score by three lengths. Venetian Harbor was clearly second best and Envoutante raced in 3rd

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Kentucky Oaks 2020 Report (7-10-20)

A trio of Kentucky Oaks 2020 points races have run since I last checked in, and Shedaresthedevil was the most impressive winner of the three. Next up is the Ashland at Keeneland on July 11, and Venetian Harbor is going to be tough to catch in that one. Kentucky Oaks Points Race Recaps Delaware Oaks (G3) Recap (7-4-20) – Winner: Project Whiskey ($79.60) It was bombs away in this affair. Post time favorite Piece of My Heart had a slim early lead over Long Point Beach and Project Whiskey. Dream Marie made a wide early move and joined the crowd up front. Project Whiskey and Dream Marie battled in the lane and the former prevailed by a half-length. Princess Kadey rallied for the show and was followed by Piece of My Heart and Hopeful Growth. It was a big gap back to Comical, and Queen Bridget beat one home after a tardy

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Kentucky Derby 2020 Report (7-10-20)

The Kentucky Derby 2020 point race calendar has picked up steam the last couple of weeks. Dean Martini upset the Ohio Derby late last month, and Uncle Chuck had some fire works of his own at Los Alamitos Race Course on the Fourth of July. Shared Sense threw his hat into the ring four days later in the Indiana Derby. Kentucky Derby Points Race Recaps Ohio Derby (G3) Recap (6-27-20) – Winner: Dean Martini ($31.20) This race was a tale of two trips, and Dean Martini enjoyed a dream journey from the inside post. The same cannot be said of my value top choice South Bend. Rowdy Yates, Lebda, and Dean Martini mixed it up early, and the latter backed off a bit from the inside post. Established and Storm the Court were up close as well. Dean Martini came through along the rail to grab the lead at the

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Del Mar News and Notes for July 14, 2020

• In the late sixties, one of the top folksy/rock duos was Simon and Garfunkel, and their biggest hit song in that era was called the “Sounds of Silence” and that was what it was like when Del Mar opened up for their 81st season this past Friday. No, I wasn’t there, but Jay Privman of the Racing Form was, and said in his article how scary it was with no spectators at the track. No big roar from the crowd when the gates opened at the start of race one, and no Trevor Denman in the booth to call the race. But at least we have racing, and Bing Crosby was still there to sing his jingle when the horses came on the track for race one. And the overall handle was up 3.5 % vs. last year when they had 24,000 plus on hand at the track. So

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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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