Santa Anita Handicapping Horse Racing Horses To Watch Oct. 16

CREATIVE CONTESSA (October 12): Three year old filly for Mick Ruis made start #2 in Friday’s 4th, a maiden special weight affair for fillies/mares 3 and up at ¾ on the main. Off at 7/2 in a field of 9, she came running right from the start and set fast splits of 21.73 and 45.22 for the half. After breaking a tad slow, these were her fractions and she made the lead on her own by the half mile pole. The favorite rolled up to her on the outside by the ¼ pole and went right on by, but the “Contessa” found another gear and dug deep to stay with her till the sixteenth pole, then tired to finish a well beaten second. Although she lost by five at the wire, it was another five back to the third horse. This one has a ton of natural speed and Ruis

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Santa Anita News and Notes October 16

• The Fall meet at Santa Anita Park is halfway home as week three was completed on Sunday. Rain hit the race track on Friday evening and continued on to Saturday and was the first rainfall since last Spring, and it was very unexpected. They closed the track for workouts Saturday morning and took all the races off the turf in the afternoon. For the most part, it totally destroyed the 10 race card. Southern California can handle earthquakes and fires, but they don’t handle rainfall very well. The main track was sealed and with the horses that were left, after a bevy of scratches, promoted early speed, as 9 of the 10 races were won by front runners. But all was well by Sunday, as the rain stopped, the main track went back to being fair, and the races were back on the grass, albeit with a course rated

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Santa Anita Park Handicapping Weekly Report (Oct 12-14)

Santa Anita Recap for Friday (10-12-18) Fast main track and firm turf course. No front running winners on dirt. The winning turf course running styles were a dueling front runner down the hill, a patient runner at a mile and an eighth, and a patient runner at one mile (rail at 20 feet). Gary Stevens rode three winners. Riding double for Joe Talamo. Trainer Bob Hess Jr.saddled the early double, and Stevens rode both. The Rainbow 6 pool was $169,305, and multiple winning tickets paid $6,957.50. Oct 12 Claims: Race 3 – Rumpus Cat ($50k, Richard Baltas), Bahamian ($50k, Vladimir Cerin), Seahawk Wave ($50k, Ron Ellis). Race 5 – Conquest Typhoon ($50k, Bob Hess Jr.). Race 6 – Lea’s Reward ($12.5k, Armando Cardenas). Santa Anita Recap for Saturday (10-13-18) Good main track and off the turf. Seven front running winners on a speed favoring dirt track with some moisture in

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Kentucky Derby 2019 Blog: Champagne, Breeders’ Futurity Recap

Complexity takes over the second spot on my Kentucky Derby 2019 contenders list after a stellar front running victory in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, Oct. 6. Chad Brown’s fleet colt was strong throughout in the Champagne, and he will try to stretch his speed around two turns in the BC Juvenile. The other points race on Oct. 6 was the Breeders’ Futurity from Keeneland, and Knicks Go pulled off a front running stunner. It sure did not seem like this two turn event at Keeneland was a strong race. Kentucky Derby 2019 Point Race Recaps Grade 1 Champagne Stakes Recap (10-6-18) – Winner: Complexity This race was over early after Complexity sped away through rapid splits of 22.51 and 45.31. Chad Brown’s fleet colt opened up by 2-1/2 lengths after six panels in 1:09.40, and he was clear by a commanding five lengths in

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Santa Anita Handicapping Weekly Report Oct 4 -8

Santa Anita Recap for Thursday (10-4-18) Fast main track and firm turf course. Two front running sprint winners on dirt (6.5f, 6f). The winning turf course running styles were a patient runner at one mile, and a last-to-first closer at one mile (rail at 30 feet). Hat trick for Flavien Prat. Training double for Peter Miller. The 20 cent Rainbow 6 pool was $133,840, and multiple winning tickets paid $2,180.76 each. Oct 4 Claims: Race 1 – Believe Indeed ($20k, Michael Pender), Award it ($20k, Vladimir Cerin), Beautiful Becca ($20k, Mick Ruis). Race 4 – Belle Monte ($12.5k, Andrew Lerner), K P’s Smokin ($12.5k, Steve Knapp). Race 5 – Thanks ($30k, Robert Hess Jr). Santa Anita Recap for Friday (10-5-18) Fast main track and firm turf course. Two front running route winners on dirt (8f, 8.5f). The winning turf course running styles were a downhill closer, a patient runner at

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch Oct 9

OLEKSANDRA ( October 5): Four year old filly for Neil Drysdale made her first start outside of Australia in Friday’s 2nd, a six and a half sprint down the hill for maiden special weights 3 and up. Off at 6/1 in a field of 10, she broke slowly from the 3 hole, then got smashed by the 4 horse who came over on her to be away dead last. She fell 12 lengths off the pace under the veteran Mike Smith, but he kept her on the rail and saved all the ground. She moved up on the dirt crossover, found a seam on the rail, then burst through in the final furlong to win going away. Her final margin was just a neck but she had a strong turn of foot the final sixteenth with an impressive gallop out. This was her first start in 11 months and she

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes October 9, 2018

• Week two is in the books for the six week Fall meet here at Santa Anita Park. They ran five days this past week with the Monday holiday of Columbus Day. The main track has favored early speed most of the week, especially in sprint races. The turf course has played fair most of the week with the exception of the downhill sprints, which continue to favor early speed, with most of the winners running either one, two after a quarter mile. I do expect that to change as soon as the course becomes worn down a bit. The new 20 cent wager featuring the pick six has become quite popular. Nobody has been able to hit the single ticket jackpot through 9 days of racing. The carry over into Friday is up to $364,450, plus on the weekends, the track has been guaranteeing $1million if someone is the

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Kentucky Derby 2019 Blog: G1 Champagne & G1 Breeders’ Futurity Preview

My top ranked Kentucky Derby 2019 contender Endorsed makes his much anticipated second lifetime start in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, Oct. 6. Endorsed, owned by Godolphin Racing and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, looked good graduating by a neck in his six furlong debut at Saratoga on a good track Aug. 18, and he was 8-1 that day. The exciting son of Medaglia d’Oro, out of stakes winning Tapit mare Dance Card, should continue to get better as distances increase. Two of my other “exceptional eleven” members are also entered in the Champagne, starting with morning line favorite Complexity. Chad Brown’s $375k purchase easily won his six furlong debut at Saratoga and might have the edge in a one-turn mile. Code of Honor is also on my Derby list, and he gamely dug in and went all the way in his Saratoga debut Aug. 18.

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Santa Anita Recap (Sept 28 -30)

Santa Anita Recap for Friday (9-28-18) Fast main track and firm turf course. One front running winner at six furlongs on dirt. The winning turf course running styles were a patient runner at one mile (placed first via DQ), a stalker at one mile, a downhill stalker, and a front runner down the hill (rail at 10 feet). Mike Smith booted home a pair. Sept 28 Claims: Race 3 – Discatsonthesquare ($16k, John Martin), Bobbie Lincoln ($16k, Reed Saldana). Race 5 – Alvaaro ($40k, Doug O’Neill). Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes Recap (9-28-18) – Winner: Stormy Liberal Stormy Liberal sure knows where the wire is located, and he tagged his front running stablemate Conquest Tsunami right on the line to win by a head. My value top choice Caribou Club flew late to finish 3rd at 7.80-1. Santa Anita Recap for Saturday (9-29-18) Fast main track and firm turf course.

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 1

AFTER YOU ( Sept. 28): I think trainer Neil Drysdale put one over on the crowd on Friday when this two year old gelding made his 2nd start of his career in a maiden claimer for $40,000 and ¾ on the main. Off at 5/1 after receiving heavy early action (he was 3/2 after five minutes of wagering), he darted to the front, opened up five at the ¼ pole, and won in hand by five while never looking like a loser at any point in the race. This one got nothing out of his debut as he ran dead last at 38/1, beaten 14 lengths on the grass. But the addition of blinkers and the drop to $40K was all he needed. He can now run in those starter races non winners twice, providing they have enough horses to make one of those races go. Up the ladder for

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