Santa Anita Horses To Watch Jan 14

LAVENDER (January 10): Four year old filly for Matt Chew, who hadn’t started in 15 months, made her U.S. debut in Friday’s opener, a sprint dash on the lawn at five and a half for older runners, which were maidens. Off at 5/2 in a field of six, she broke well under Valdivia and laid 4th down the back side about four lengths off the pace. She left the rail at the top of the stretch and angled out in the middle of the course, then showed a quick turn of foot late and won going away by two at the wire. It was a strong ride by the rider who was winning his first race since he returned to this circuit, having been gone at least 10 years. Lavender ran second twice in large fields at 7/8 in Ireland, so there is no reason she can’t get at least

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch Jan 7

CALIFORNIA STREET (January 1): Six year old gelding for Paddy Gallagher was making just his 11th career start and first around two turns since March of 2018. Off at 3/1 in a six horse field at a flat mile on the main for the second allowance condition, 4 and up, he broke running under Prat. Then the rider wisely took a hold of him and let him drift back to last, about 7 lengths off the pace. He moved up on his own at the ¼ pole, stayed on the fence, couldn’t find a seam at the rail, checked momentarily, and then swung out for some clear racing room. His bid fell just a head short at the wire as the favorite cruised wire to wire. Van Dyke on the winner actually out rode Prat in this race as he closed the hole on “California” at the 1/8 pole when

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch Dec. 31

DEVIL MADE ME DOIT (December 28): Two year old colt for Doug O’Neill made his debut in Saturday’s opener and couldn’t have been more impressive. Bet down from a M/L of 4/1 to the post time favorite at 3/2, he broke running under Gutierrez and set all of the fractions in 22.42 and 45.22. He turned for home with a one length lead and when the rider asked him, he opened up, all under a hand ride. He went on to win by 9 and was geared down the final 50 yards. The final time was 1:10.29 on a very dull racing surface. He is bred for turf and distance so this son of Daredevil could be any kind. Up the ladder. BRILL (December 28): Three year old filly for Don Chatlos, who hadn’t been to the post in six months and had never tried the turf in 7 starts,

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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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