Horses to Watch Feb. 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

DENMAN’S CALL (February 18): There was no doubt who the best horse was in Saturday’s third, a first condition allowance sprint on the main track. Off as the 3/2 choice in a field of 8, “Denman” completely blew the start and was instantly six lengths behind the last horse. He was 12 back by the half mile pole, then put in a quick turn of foot down the lane racing on the worst part of the track, and was beaten just a length for all of it. This Kentucky bred for Doug O’Neill was graded stakes placed as a sophomore, and knocking off this first allowance condition should just be a formality. He’s a soon winner. WEST COAST (February 18): It’s extremely difficult to break your maiden going two turns in your first race, but this 3 year old colt for Baffert gave a good account of himself in his

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News and Notes Feb. 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Rain continues to play havoc with this winter meet at Santa Anita Park. For the third time this meet they cancelled a full day of racing (this past Friday), this time almost a full day before the storm arrived. They received 3 inches of rain at the Arcadia oval, which cancelled turf racing on both Saturday and Sunday once they resumed racing. Surprisingly, the main track was back to fast by the third race on Saturday and the times were quick due to the hard, tight seal. They did race on the turf Monday over a surface rated as “good”. Management has decided to add two days to the schedule later on in the meet, both Thursdays, April 20 and June 1 to make up for the dark days. This has been one of the wettest winters in California history and we’re still in February. Without having turf racing, field

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Horses to Watch Feb 14 – by Rod Young Turfdom

RIRI (February 10): Four year old filly for Phil D’Amato made her return to the races in Friday’s opener at six and a half down the hill for the second allowance condition for older runners. Off at 4/1 in a field of 9, she broke well under Bejarano and settled in third coming down the hill. She was in good striking position at the top of the lane, but sort of “hung” in the final furlong and raced like a horse in need of the outing. She finished 4th but was only beaten a length and a half at the wire. This race should set her up nicely to stretch out to a mile and she’s good enough to win this second condition. She’s in the hands of the best turf trainer on this circuit. She’s a soon winner. MERRILY MERRILY (February 10): Four year old filly for Sean McCarthy

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News and Notes Feb 14 – by Rod Young Turfdom

After rain on Saturday morning, Sunday was a beautiful day and the main track returned to a fast surface at the Great Race Place in Arcadia, California. The turf course was still labeled as “good” but the times were fast enough to call it a firm surface. Most of the weekend was pretty “chalky” but there was a $69 bomb in the finale Sunday, which gave one person the only winning pick six ticket resulting in a payoff of $148,205. Both the main track and the turf course played fair over the weekend. They race five days this week due to Presidents Day on Monday, and you know what that means, lots of short fields. They have 59 horses signed up for Thursday and only 55 for Friday, with 3 of the first 5 races yielding five horse fields. Del Mar in the Summer can handle five day race weeks.

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Horses to Watch Feb. 7 – by Rod Young Turfdom

DIAMONDINTHECENTER (February 3): Three year old filly for Jeff Bonde tried the first allowance condition on Friday after just breaking her maiden in the mud the race before. Off at 13/1 in this 7 horse field at 7 furlongs on the main track, she grabbed the lead quite easily and set fast fractions of 21.99 and 44.73 for the half. The heavy 3/5 favorite rolled up to her at the 1/4 pole and they raced as a team to the wire with the favorite prevailing, but it was a strong effort for the “Diamond” just the same. She was beaten 3 at the wire, but the winner is graded stakes placed and it was 3 lengths back to the third horse. Bonde has a good one here from the hot sire Gemologist, and she will knock out this condition this winter. Tab and follow. REACH THE WORLD (February 4): Trainer

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News and Notes Feb. 7 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The rain that was forecast for last week never really showed up and although the skies appeared threatening most of the weekend, the moisture never made it to ground level. The main track was fast and the turf course remained firm and both surfaces played “fair” for the most part. This week there is a 90% chance of rain on Friday during the day, so those turf races are vulnerable, especially the first, which is down the hill. However, the weekend says sunny skies and warm temps. There are no c/o into Thursday as the pick six was hit Sunday by a single ticket and paid out over a $100 grand. For those that witnessed the Las Virgenes stakes on Sunday, they got a sneak preview of a future champion, as Unique Bella was the easiest of winners by 9 open lengths vs. an Eclipse award winner from last year.

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Horses to Watch Jan. 31 – by Rod Young Turfdom

DELITEFULL LADY (January 26): Three year old filly for Richard Baltas made start # 2 in Thursday’s second, a maiden special weight at 3/4 of a mile on the main track. Off at 8/1 in just a six horse field, and not having to face Unique Bella, the best sophomore filly on the West Coast, she broke running under Bejarano, then was eased off the pace and sat third down the back side. She made her move turning for home, eased past the favorite at the 1/8th pole, and widened to win by five under a hand ride in the good time of 1:09.63. This one is stakes material and she may go through her allowance conditions first, should those races fill. Up the ladder. GILES (January 27): Six year old gelding for Kristin Mulhall had not been to the post in 10 months and was entered Friday for a

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News and Notes Jan. 31 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Although the State of California really needs the rain, it’s nice to have turf racing back in the mix at Santa Anita, as well as a fast track. That all came to fruition this past weekend on Cal Cup Saturday with five stakes on tap and four turf races under sunny skies and ideal weather conditions. The turf course played fair with the rails in their normal position and the main track also played fair with an equal amount of races being won from off the pace. There is a pick six c/o into Thursday’s card of $71,437 and the jackpot pick six has a separate pool of $38,405. Form prevailed in the Cal Cup stakes series on Saturday with the favorite winning four of the five races. The second choice in the wagering won the other race, the Cal Cup Derby. The feature was the Classic and the very

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Horses to Watch Jan. 24 – by Rod Young Turfdom

CHEEKABOOMBOOM (January 20): Three year old gelding for Peter Eurton made the second start of his young career in Friday’s fifth, a mile event on the main track for maiden special weights. Off at 10/1 in a field of eight for Cal breds on a sloppy race track, he laid back in the pack early, had plenty of horse on the inside turning for home, but was no match for the runaway leader who wired the field on a speed friendly surface. “Cheekaboo” rallied for second but was beaten a good six lengths at the wire. This son of Unusual Heat can act on any surface and Eurton may make a rider change in his next start. He’s ready to pose for pictures on a fair surface, turf or dirt. PALMER’S WAY (January 21): Three year old colt for Peter Miller made his debut in a very “salty” maiden special

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News and Notes Jan. 24 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The rains kept pounding Southern California and Sunday’s storm was perceived as being the worst in 20 years, so 4 hours prior to first post, they cancelled the entire Sunday card. Prior to Sunday, the area had picked up almost 12 inches of rain in the last 4 weeks and the average for this time of year is less than six inches. Although the rain has made a mess of racing in January, the precipitation is much needed for the area and the reservoirs are filling up nicely. Without turf racing, the racing secretary has had a rough time of filling races, and we probably won’t be back on the turf till next Saturday. Rain will stick around up till Wednesday this week but the forecast is dry after that for the next 7 days. There should be plenty of turf races available this weekend. The only c/o into Thursday’s

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