Kentucky Oaks Report (6-11-20)

Another Kentucky Oaks 2020 points race, and yet another victory for Swiss Skydiver. She sure is racking up the Oaks points after capturing her third straight graded route in the Santa Anita Oaks on June 6.   Kentucky Oaks Points Race Recaps Dogwood Stakes (G3) Recap (6-6-20) – Winner: Four Graces ($6.60) Four Graces dueled on the lead with Ain’t No Elmers in this extended sprint under the Twin Spires, and an unlucky Edgeway stalked the pace from the outside post while taking the overland route. Four Graces had plenty left and kept Edgeway at bay en route to a 2-1/2 length victory. The latter was clearly second best in a strong performance. The top two finishers ran well, but I doubt they are Oaks fillies. They are decent sprinters, and I would take Edgeway to turn the tables if they face each other again in a race like the Beaumont at

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Kentucky Derby 2020 Report (6-11-20)

My longtime top ranked Kentucky Derby 2020 contender Honor A. P. solidified his status as a high quality sophomore with a strong off the pace victory over Authentic in the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, June 6.     Kentucky Derby Points Race Recaps Santa Anita Derby (G1) Recap (6-6-20) – Winner: Honor A. P. ($6.40) There is a good chance that we saw the Kentucky Derby winner in this race. Honor A. P. has been my top ranked Derby contender for quite some time, and he put it all together in this race. Shooters Shoot got a slim early lead after post time favorite Authentic broke outward from the outside post. The latter recovered and chased outside, and Anneau d’Or chased in between rivals. The pace was solid and Honor A. P. was in midpack and outside under Mike Smith. He made a nice wide move and had all the

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Santa Anita Horses To Watch – June 9, 2020

BUYBACK  (June 5): Four year old filly for Matt Chew is a real trier every time she goes to the post. She took on 9 others Friday in a $35,000 claimer, non winners of three, at a mile on the lawn 3 and up. Off at 7/1, she broke running under Van Dyke with a good trip on the outside of horses just two lengths off the lead. She looked all in at the ¼ pole when Van Dyke started scrubbing on her, but she never stopped trying. She found another gear at the 1/8 pole and almost caught the even money favorite at the wire coming up a length short. This was her 8th trip to the post and she has hit the board in 7 of those with a 4th place finish in her debut. She can run short or long, turf or dirt, and though limited somewhat

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Santa Anita News and Notes for June 9, 2020

For the most part, the main track and the turf course both played fair this past weekend. There are days when the outside lanes are a bit better than the inside on the main track, like on Sunday, but one is really splitting hairs as most often the better horses are winning on those lanes. The turf course continues to be fair more often than not regardless of the placement of the inner rails. The quality of the racing was good this past weekend but most of the fields are still on the short side. That will change when Del Mar opens up on July 10, but the last two weeks of Santa Anita figure to be on the slim side with regards to entries. Jockey Flavien Prat won 3 on Friday, 4 on Saturday, and then 2 more on Sunday to run away with the riding title. However, the

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Kentucky Derby 2020 Report (6-5-20)

The Santa Anita Derby (G1) is the next Kentucky Derby 2020 points race, and it looks like a match race between San Felipe (G2) 1-2 finishers Authentic and Honor A. P. Authentic is the SA Derby target, and he is going to be tough to catch if they let him dictate terms again. Rushie and Shooters Shoot drew inner posts and might try to go after the aforementioned favorite early, and if that happens, Honor A. P. might be the major beneficiary. He could easily turn the tables on Authentic if the pace is contested at a mile and an eighth. Friar’s Road, Anneau d’Or, and Azul Coast round out the field. Check out my SA Derby video at the bottom of this post.  In other Triple Crown news, the top portion of my Derby list gets a bit of a shakeup following Nadal’s recent injury and retirement. Kentucky Derby

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Kentucky Oaks 2020 Prep Races

The Kentucky Oaks 2020 points race series is back in action for the first time since the Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park on May 1. Swiss Skydiver captured the last two Oaks points races (GP Oaks, Fantasy), and she is favored to make it three straight graded route wins against three opponents in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, June 6. Kentucky Oaks Points Race Preview Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks (6-6-20) SA 5 (G2 Santa Anita Oaks, 8.5f)Primary – #3 SPEECH, #1 Swiss SkydiverSecondary – #2 Merneith, #5 Regal BeautyWagers: #3 to win, Exacta 3-1 Comments: This race is down to four runners following the defection of Smiling Shirlee. #3 Speech (8-5) fired in all five outings and has earned some quality speed figures. Flavien Prat takes the call, she fired a local bullet for this May 23, and a tactical trip is expected. She ran

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Kentucky Derby 2020 Report (5-1-20)

The Arkansas Derby has been split into two divisions, and exciting Kentucky Derby 2020 prospect Charlatan is the strong favorite to win the first division. Bob Baffert’s unbeaten colt looks like the one to catch from the inside post at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, May 2. The second division of the Arkansas Derby also features a Bob Baffert favorite. Nadal is a perfect 3-for-3, and he won the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park in March. He loves to mix it up on the pace, and won duels in all three races. He will likely face pace pressure again and figures to fight hard throughout.      Hot Prospects: Basquiat The Chad Brown trainee stalked the pace and won with something in reserve in his extended sprint debut at Gulfstream Park April 25. The son of American Pharaoh has plenty of promise and figures to stretch out in distance in the

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TURFDOM NEWS AND NOTES for April 14, 2020

Santa Anita Park remained closed for the third consecutive week and there doesn’t appear much hope for them to return to racing in the near future. Officials from the track do have a meeting set up with the Los Angeles County Dept. of Health this Saturday, the 18th, to reassess the county’s position, but they do not appear to make any exceptions to the mandates set forth due to the virus. There was some talk of Santa Anita and Los Alamitos switching dates as they continue to run in the evenings, but that has been taken off the table. Los Al officials are afraid if they ran in the daytime, Orange County personnel may just cancel their evening quarter horse meet. Currently, that is the only track open in the state. The feeling from the TOC group is that if they don’t return to racing in the next couple of

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Kentucky Oaks Report for April 5

Kentucky Derby 2020 Report (4-10-20) Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Kentucky Derby 2020 will no longer be run on the first Saturday in May. The new date for the Derby is Saturday, Sept. 5. More points races will be added to the schedule in the near future. Let’s recap the Florida Derby and preview the Oaklawn Stakes. The next big race for the sophomore set is the $200,000 Oaklawn Stakes at a mile and an eighth on Saturday, April 11. The top three finishers will receive automatic berths into the rescheduled Arkansas Derby (May 2). A baker’s dozen will line up, and the pace should be honest with Basin, Sir Rick, Taishan, and Gold Street vying for early position. Bob Baffert always seems to have a live California shipper in these big Oaklawn Park sophomore routes, and this race is no exception. His $1 million purchase Thousand Words is the 5-2 morning line favorite.

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Santa Anita News and Notes for April 7

The Great Race Place continues to be closed for the second consecutive week for racing, however, training continues each day in the hope that the track will reopen sooner rather than later. In a nutshell, the L.A. County Dept. of Health has decided that thoroughbred racing at this facility is not an “essential” business to stay open in light of the current pandemic. The Stronach Group, which owns and operates the track, has done a very good job of outlining the reasons why the track should remain open for racing, but that has pretty much fallen on deaf ears so far. They continue to try and get the Department back to the negotiating table and iron out the differences, but have made little headway. The California Horse Racing Board should have been the one making the decision whether to race or not, but they pawned it off to the local

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