Kentucky Derby 2020 Update Dec. 8, 2019

The Kentucky Derby 2020 preps are winding down for the juvenile set. Silver Prospector took the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) Nov. 30. Shotski wired the field in the Remsen (G2) Dec. 7, and Thousand Words captured the Los Al Futurity (G2) later that day for trainer Bob Baffert. The Derby trail has one more stop for the juveniles next week, the $400k Springboard Mile at Remington Park on Sunday, Dec. 15. They will all officially turn three on January 1, and the Jerome at Aqueduct is the first points race of 2020.   Kentucky Derby 2020 Points Race Recaps Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) Recap (11-30-19) – Winner: Silver Prospector ($17.80) This graded point race was run at a mile and a sixteenth in the slop. Longshot New Eagle set the pace and favorites South Bend and Tiz the Law were in chase mode. I initially thought my value

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Horses To Watch December 3

KENZOU’S RHYTHM (November 29): Five year old gelding for Jeff Mullins was in for a $28,000 claiming tag in Friday’s 4th, a mile event for older horses on the main with a top claiming price of $32,000. Off at 6/1 in a six horse field shortened by scratches, he made the running right from the start and dueled between horses through quick splits of 23.13 and 47.15 over a track rated as “good”. He put the inside speed away at the ¼ pole but had no answer for the one on his outside, but he battled gamely down the lane and didn’t give it up until the 1/16 pole, and still held second at the wire. This was just his second start off a long layoff and he got nothing out of his previous start. He’s sitting on a win, though he might need a slight class drop. Either way,

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Del Mar Horses to Watch Nov. 19

VENETIAN HARBOR (November 15): Two year old filly for Richard Baltas made her debut in Friday’s third, a maiden special weight affair at 5/8 on the lawn. Taking a lot of late money, (she was in the gate at 9/5 and was even money on the far turn), she came out running under Prat, but then took back at the 3/8, when he didn’t want to engage in a speed duel. She fell 3 lengths off the pace, then re-rallied in the lane but fell one length short at the wire. She ran the final quarter in a very fast 22.25 and was past the winner just a few strides after the wire. Baltas always does well with 2nd time starters but is only 7% with debut runners. This one is bred for turf or dirt and they won’t beat her in start #2. Be ready. TIGRE DI SLUGO (November

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Kentucky Oaks 2020 Blog: BC Juvenile Fillies Recap

The Kentucky Oaks points race series for 2020 had it’s biggest stop year at Santa Anita Park on Friday, Nov. 1, and British Idiom locked up the Eclipse Award for top juvenile filly with a neck victory over Donna Veloce in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). The next two points races are both on November 30 (Demoiselle at AQU and Golden Rod at CD). Kentucky Oaks 2020 Points Race Recaps BC JUVENLE FILLIES – Winner: British Idiom ($7.40) The pace did not play out quite as expected. It was contested, and I landed on Bast because I thought she would sit the right stalking trip behind fast fractions. I was not expecting her to be dueling on the lead with longshot Two Sixty and third choice Wicked Whisper. Donna Veloce sat in the garden spot behind the three dueling leaders, and she got first run and took over in

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch November 5

BEEN STUDYING HER (November 1): Two year old filly for Dan Ward (Hollendorfer) made her 4th start this year in a Cal bred stakes on Friday at 7/8 on the main. Off as the 3/2 wagering choice in a full 12 horse field of juveniles, she sat just off the pace of the leaders down the back side. Mike Smith pushed the button at the ¼ pole and she went right by the leaders and opened up from there. She won quite easily by two and a half, and though she sat the perfect trip, this was her third win in just four trips to the post. Her lone loss was in the Grade 1 Chandelier at a mile and a sixteenth. She is probably best as a late running sprinter, but she has enough pedigree both top and bottom to get at least a mile. She even has Kittens

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch Oct 29

ELGOFRANCO (October 25): Two year old filly for Ben Cecil made her debut in Friday’s 2nd, a maiden special weight event for Cal breds at five and a half on the lawn. Off as the 9/5 second choice in the wagering, she broke running from the rail slot and vied for the early lead with the favorite down the back side. She seemed to get shuffled back at the 3/8 pole and fell six lengths off the pace, but then swung to the outside at the top of the stretch and finished with good courage to nail down second, though never a threat to win the race. She worked fairly well coming into the race and this daughter of the good sire Square Eddie can run on any type of surface. She should move up quite a bit in start #2 and if they add Lasix, go to the window.

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch October 20

JEFE (October 18): Three year old colt for Keith Desormeaux finally put it all together in Friday’s first with a powerful maiden win at a mile on the main track for 3 and up. Off as the longest shot in the race at 7/1 in just a five horse field, he loped along early without any speed as usual. He was last into the clubhouse turn under Maldonado, but just five lengths off the pace. On a track that was extremely slow and deep (25.56 and 50.38 for the half), he made his move at the 3/8 pole while four wide. He hit the front at the top of the lane, then hit his best stride late to pull away and win by four at the wire. They thought enough of this Curlin colt to try him in a Grade 1 last year as a juvenile, and this was his

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch List October 15

COAST OF ROAN (October 11): Three year old gelding for Doug O’Neill made just the second start of his career on Friday, the first on the grass, and the first around two turns. Off at 23/1 in a 7 horse field at a mile on the turf for maiden special weights, 3 and up of the Cal bred variety, he made all of the running right from the start. Setting early fractions of 23.05 and 47.01 for the half, he was in front by two down the back side. When the stretch runners came to him at the top of the lane, he found another gear under Evin Roman and squirted away to a two and a half length victory. This Cal bred showed a lot of “moxie” in just his 2nd start and has limited grass breeding. Nonetheless, he beat this field in square fashion and it looks like

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch List, October 9th

PERFECT RUSH (October 4): Two year old filly for John Sadler made start #2 in Friday’s third, a six furlong sprint on the main for maidens carrying a $50K price tag. Getting a lot of late money, and dropping down from a straight maiden race in her debut, she went off as the 3 to 2 choice in a field of five. She broke a tad slow under replacement rider Victor Espinoza, and he then hustled her up to the lead by the half mile pole in a quick opening quarter of 22.04. She still had the lead turning for home, then the rider took a hold of her and hand rode her in to win by three at the wire. She could have won by six or seven if he wanted. This daughter of Mineshaft out of a Hennessy mare was cut out to be a runner, so I’m

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch October 1

MAGIC ON TAP (Sept. 27): Three year old colt for Bob Baffert made his 2nd start this year in a first condition allowance race at a flat mile on the main track Friday. Off at even money in a 9 horse field, he broke slowly from the two hole and was fifth into the clubhouse turn, 4 lengths off the leaders. John Velasquez kept him on the rail throughout and he made a move to get up to the third at the 3/8 pole, then fell back again at the ¼ pole. He tried to find a seam down the lane, but had to check and alter course, finally got through late but the race was over. He finished second beaten two at the wire. His next start will be his third off the long layoff, often a horse’s best race, and if he can get a clean trip, he’s

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