Horses to Watch May 23 – by Rod Young Turfdom

BELLAMENTARY (May 19): Four year old filly for Phil D’Amato had not been to the post since last October and returned in Friday’s opener, a “salty” affair for the third allowance condition at a mile on the lawn. Off at 2/1 and the second choice in the wagering, she broke outward from the outside slot, but righted herself and went right to the lead setting good fractions of 23.11 and 46.26 for the half. She maintained the lead till the top of the stretch, was passed momentarily at the 1/8th pole, but dug deep and found another gear, and finished gamely on the inside to be beaten a length by a late runner. This was her first time on the grass and she ran a big race to some seasoned veterans. This gives D’Amato another way to go with this graded stakes place filly who had a runner up effort

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News and Notes May 23 – by Rod Young Turfdom

After months of rain and off tracks, summer came fast to the Arcadia oval and it was just plain “hot” most of the race week. Horses can handle rain, snow, and cold temps but they don’t like the heat. Temps cool off this week as we head into Memorial Day weekend, back into the mid seventies, but there is a good chance of rain on Thursday and Friday. The weekend is clear. For the most part, both the main track and the turf course played “fair” for the week. The turf course has really held up well with all of the racing that goes with a meet that basically runs straight for six and a half months. The pick six was hit Sunday for $90K plus, but there was more than one ticket, so the single ticket jackpot climbs to $253,350 for Thursday. This is a five day race week,

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Horses to Watch May 16 – by Rod Young Turfdom

STOP THE VIOLENCE (May 12): Two year old colt for Peter Miller made his debut in Friday’s 2nd and drew the extreme outside post in this four and a half furlong dash. He broke to the outside at the start and didn’t have much speed. He fell six lengths off the pace, rallied very wide at the top of the stretch, then closed with a rush while racing quite greenly. He finished third and was beaten just a half and was the most visually impressed runner in the race. He won’t be a maiden very long for these connections who know how to win races on this circuit. ALGORHYTHMIC (May 12): Five year old mare made it two for two for trainer Mike Machowsky since he claimed her for $32K back on March 10th. She won the first Cal bred condition down the hill on Friday and completely annihilated her

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News and Notes May 16 – by Rod Young Turfdom

In Major League Baseball, around the month of August, they call it the “dog days” of summer. Well summer hasn’t reached Santa Anita Park yet, at least not by the calendar, but that’s the way it feels with the programs they are churning out each day at the “Great Race Place.” Small five and six horse fields are very common in the first half of every program, most of the stakes races have small fields with overwhelming favorites, and the programs are dominated with six and seven dollar winners, or lower. In fact, this past week, they had a five horse field in the morning of low level claimers, one was a late scratch making the field just four, then there were two very late scratches at the post due to the unsoundness of the horses. That left just two at the gate. So they ran a match race with

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Horses to Watch May 9 – by Rod Young Turfdom

SIDEPOCKET RUN (May 5): We don’t often list an 8 year old running for $8000 on our Horses to Watch list, but this mare for Phil D’Amato is an exception. She had been off for 5 months, had good solid drills at Los Al, and came back running. She tracked an ordinary field by five down the back side, went to the lead on her own at the 3/8th pole, then won off by six under a hand ride by Pereira. She can handle a double jump in class up to $12,500 and get the job done again. Follow. SPIM ME A KISS (May 5): Three year old filly for Phil D’Amato made the third start of her young career in Friday’s 6th, a Cal bred maiden special weight down the hill for 3 and up. Off as the heavy 1 to 2 choice in a 9 horse field, she

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News and Notes May 9 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Once again rain wreaked havoc with the weekend cards at Santa Anita Park. Over the two days, 4 races were taken off the turf, all four down the hill, and the fields were cut in half due to late scratches. The two turn races remained on the grass, but there were still numerous scratches from fields that were already small from a horse shortage at this time of year. The main track was wet fast both days, had been sealed the night before, and like most wet/fast, sloppy tracks, speed was good early, and then late runners dominated later in the race card. It’s unusual for Southern California to get rain this late in the Spring, but this has been an unusual winter/spring for the state of California. Water has become a precious commodity in the state and the precipitation is more than welcome overall. Racing resumes this Thursday with

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Horses to Watch May 2 – by Rod Young Turfdom

VIGILANTE (April 28): Five year old full horse for Phil D’Amato, who made just his 2nd start off a very long layoff in Friday’s opener, ran a bang up 2nd in a second condition allowance race at 10 furlongs on the lawn. Off at 7/1 in just a five horse field, he trailed throughout and was last down the back side six lengths behind the leaders. Yet he closed into some very soft fractions and was motoring late under Bejarano. He cam up a neck short of catching the favorite but it was a strong performance. His next race will be his 3rd off the layoff, often a horse’s best performance, and he sitting on a win. He is good anywhere from 9 to 10 furlongs on the grass. Be ready. OVER PAR (April 28): Five year old gelding for Doug O’Neill tried the first Cal bred allowance condition on

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News and Notes May 2 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Racing returns to its normal four day race week beginning with this Thursday and both weekdays have better than average field size. They have 65 horses entered for Thursday and Friday has a full slate as well. With warm weather in the forecast, the turf course is being used a bit more and the first two year old race of the year is slated for Thursday. Plus it’s Kentucky Derby week as well so Saturday will have an early post of 12 noon with 11 races on the schedule. Back in Louisville the forecast is a 60% chance of showers on Friday and 30% chance on Saturday with temps in the mid sixties. The lone c/o into Thursday’s racing is the single ticket jackpot of the pick six which now stands at $349,793. The main track and the turf course both played “fair” over the weekend. They ran two Grade

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Horses to Watch Apr. 25 – by Rod Young Turfdom

KLONDIKE CREEK (April 21): Four year old colt for Richard Mandella tried a mile and a half on the grass for the first allowance condition on Friday. Off as the 2/1 choice in a field of 8, he set all of the pace through fairly quick fractions for this distance of 23.38 and 46.49. He put all of the other speed away at the top of the lane, but couldn’t hold on against a perfect tripper from off the pace. He was beaten a little more than a length at the wire finishing second. This race sets him up perfectly for an 8 or 9 furlong route on the grass and he has never missed the board in five tries on the lawn. They don’t card many mile and a half races, but there are many mile and a quarter races for the first condition. Be ready. MARCKIE’S WATER (April

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News and Notes Apr. 25 – by Rod Young Turfdom

During the Winter meet they had to cancel racing at Santa Anita on 3 different occasions due to heavy rainfall. They had to cancel racing this Thursday for another reason, insufficient entries. Cancellation of a race day due to lack of entries is rare at Santa Anita, but this is the time of the year when they always seem to be short of horses. They are not machines and they need a break some time during the year. With Del Mar just a couple of months away and their large purse structure, owners/trainers want a fresh horse for that meet. Throw in the fact that too many local horses are shipping out of town for more lucrative stakes engagements and bigger purses, and one understands the situation. Just this past weekend, 3 shippers won stakes on the road, i.e. Imperative taking down the Charles Town Classic in West Virginia for

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