Turfdom Horses To Watch List– February 19, 2020

SILK FROM HEAVEN (February 14): Four year old filly for Hector Palma made her 2nd start off of a layoff on Friday in a first allowance Cal bred condition for older fillies and mares at ¾ on the main track. Off at a whopping 35/1 in just a six horse field, she showed much improved early speed and dueled for the lead from the inside down the back stretch. She opened up a length and a half at the 3/8 pole and still had her head in front at the top of the lane. The heavy odds on favorite out gamed her down the lane, but she held second and it was another 3 lengths back to the third horse. Her next start will be her 3rd off the layoff, often a horse’s best race, and that combined with the new found early speed, make her a soon winner for

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Kentucky Oaks 2020 Report: February 14

Venetian Harbor jumped onto the Kentucky Oaks 2020 trail with an emphatic win in the Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) at Grounds on Feb. 15 is the next Oaks points race, and it is a big one. Juvenile filly champ British Idiom returns to action, and it is the first 50 points race of the season, so it is basically and win and you’re in contest. British Idiom won all three of her starts in 2019, including the Alcibiades (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). She is the deserving favorite at Fair Grounds on Saturday. Kentucky Oaks 2020 Points Race Recaps Suncoast Stakes Recap (2-8-20) – Winner: Lucrezia ($13.80) This race did not feel strong. Lucrezia attended the pace and scored comfortably, but the final number was nothing special. She won because she liked the Tampa Bay oval,

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch Feb. 4

A MAN’S MAN (January 31): Four year old gelding for Brian Koriner tried the turf for the first time in Friday’s opener, a sprint for Cal bred maiden special weights for older runners. Off at 5/2 in a 7 horse field, he was unfortunate to draw the rail and though he broke well, took up sharply just after the dirt crossover, and nearly went down when he was cut off just after the break. Rosario was able to stay on and he circled the field at the top of the lane, got fanned six wide, but kept to his task and was up for third beaten a length and a half at the wire. The checking on the back side cost him at least 3 lengths and in this race, he was much the best. This was just the third start for the son of Mucho Macho Man and he

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch Jan 27

VEGAS PALM (January 24): Five year old mare for Gary Mandella, who is still a maiden at five, was in Friday’s opener at a mile on the grass for older special weights. Off at 4/1 in a field of 7, she broke OK under Prat and settled in 4th down the back side, four lengths off the leaders. Prat kept her on the fence turning for home and she was loaded at the top of the lane, but couldn’t find a seam to get through. She checked twice trying to get out, finally dove to the rail, and then got bogged down on the poorer side of the course. She finished third beaten a length and a half and may have been best. Although still a maiden at age five, she has had just five trips to the post, and this daughter of the good sire Violence is good enough

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch Jan 21

ODYSSEUS (January 17): Four year old colt for Richard Mandella finally made her debut on Friday in a maiden special weight at five and a half on the turf for older runners. Off at 9/1 in field of 8, he broke running under the bug boy Velez, but then settled in well off the pace. He was six back at the ¼ pole, then put in a good run at the top of the lane, angled out in the middle of the course, and stormed home to win going away by a length and a half. This son of Candy Ride, bred by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally, obviously had some issues getting to the races, but he’s a runner, and will only get better as the furlongs increase. He paid $21.20 as a Turfdom Best Bet. Up the ladder. JET SET RULER (January 18): Five year old gelding for

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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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