Horses to Watch September 8 – by Rod Young Turfdom

EMMY AND I (September 2): Two year old filly for Tim Yakteen made her debut in Wednesday’s 4th, a maiden special weight sprint for Cal breds on the main track. Off at 7/1 in a 9 horse field, she broke running and had the lead by the half mile pole. She stayed right there until the 1/16th pole and then gave it up late and was beaten 4 lengths. But she dug in through the lane and was fairly game considering this was her debut. She had trained well coming into the race and with her speed, she should be able to get her diploma up in Arcadia this Fall. Tab and follow. DREAMOLOGIST (September 4): Three year old filly for Richard Mandella made the second start of her career, and first around two turns, and first on the lawn, in Friday’s 4th, a maiden special weight for 3 and

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News and Notes September 8 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The 40 day 8 week meet at Del Mar came to a close on Monday, Labor Day, with another wide open full field card. For the final week, both the main track and the turf course played “fair” but that didn’t stop the avalanche of long priced horses the last two days. On Monday there were horses that won and paid $95, $91, and $75 throughout the day leading to unusually high exotic payouts. With a one day c/o in the P6, the wager was hit twice on the final day with a payout of $694,742. The 50 cent P5 also had a huge payout of $313,842 on the first 5 races of the day. Overall handle for the meet was up 10% but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The track had two more racing days this year vs. last. The DAILY average handle was down 1.2%, which is

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Horses to Watch Sept. 1 – by Rod Young Turfdom

LETITHAPPEN (August 26): Two year old colt for Jeff Bonde made his first start around two turns in Wednesday’s third, a maiden special weight at a flat mile. Off at 5/1 in a 10 horse field, he showed good speed from the outset but was sandwiched in between horses down the back side and took the worst of it. The inside speed horse gave it up turning for home but “Happen” battled on, but now he was down on the inside through the stretch. He gave it up very late, finished third, and was beaten two lengths. All in all, it was a good performance and with a better trip, he could have gotten the money. He can go short or long and I don’t see him being a maiden much longer. Tab and follow. MIDNIGHT BELLE (August 28): Three year old filly for Mark Glatt made her third career

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News and Notes Sept 1 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The main track played “fair” on Sunday, but in the last two weeks, early speed has dominated more times than not as the track has become tighter and the times have become quicker. Winning favorites are creeping closer to the national norm of 33% as they stand at 29.41% with one week left in the meet. However, turf favorites are only at 24.44% and odds on favorites are still well below the norm at 48.57%. In two turn races on the turf, closers still have the advantage, regardless of where the inner rails are placed. Those five furlong dashes on the grass are playing fair. Saturday’s attendance was over 24,000, 4000 more than on Pacific Classic Day the week before, and the card was fairly boring, go figure. Maybe they all came to see American Pharoah and the Travers card at Saratoga, which was outstanding. • The Stewards have a

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Horses To Watch August 25 – by Rod Young Turfdom

LOVENSEEK (August 21): Three year old gelding for Peter Miller tried $40,000 claimers on the turf at a mile and a sixteenth for 3 year olds Friday. Off at 3/1 in an 8 horse field, Miller put the blinkers back on and he went right to the front, set quick fractions, got caught at the 1/8th pole, but dug in and fought back, to lose by a half at the wire. This one likes the turf, but is probably a better sprinter than a route horse, and six and a half down the hill fits him nicely. Plus he still has that first allowance condition available and he has the talent to win that condition. He’ll fit nicely in the first condition book at Anita. ANOTHER HOUSE (August 22): Three year old gelding for Tom Proctor made his first start in California and his second career start in Saturday’s third,

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News and Notes August 25 – by Rod Young Turfdom

For the second consecutive week, early speed has dominated on the main track at Del Mar, as the course has tightened up considerably and the times are much faster than the first 4 weeks of the meet. In fact, the new “El Segundo Sand” put in to replace the old poly track, finally resembles the Santa Anita strip, and I’m sure it will stay that way the rest of the meet. The turf course is playing “fair” but favorites are only winning at a 24% clip through the first six weeks on the lawn, while they are up to 30% now on the dirt. Sunday was a pretty “chalky” day. • Saturday was Pacific Classic Day, and although on track attendance was very light (20,424), they witnessed a very impressive performance by Richard Mandella’s Beholder, who romped to an 8 length win as the 2/1 favorite in the Classic. I’m

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Horses to Watch August 18 – by Rod Young Turfdom

SWEETRAYOFSUNSHINE (August 12): Six year old mare for Bill Spawr may not be the soundest horse on the back side, but she is all race horse. After being off for 12 months, she returned in a $32,000 claimer on the main track at six furlongs. Off at 5/1 in a 7 horse field, she broke well and lagged 7 lengths off the pace down the back side. She put in her run starting at the 1/4 pole, caught the leaders at the 1/16th pole, and won going away by two and a half. This was her 8th win from just 15 starts and she does her best work at a mile. Spawr was able to protect her in her return to the races, and she still has the first allowance condition available. Up the ladder. RECALIBRATING (August 12): Two year old colt for Eric Guillot made his debut in Wednesday’s

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News and Notes August 18 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The weather turned “hot” at Del Mar on Friday, and stayed “hot” the rest of the weekend. A strong inside speed bias developed on the main track and stayed there for 3 consecutive days. Not sure if it was from the heat alone or over watering from the maintenance crew, but the rail was golden and the jockeys soon discovered the bias, hustled their mounts to the lead and kept right on going. Temps return to normal this Wednesday and I would assume the track will play “fair” once again. The turf course played fair all last week. There was a c/o in the Pick Six once again going into Sunday’s card and two tickets got it right, to the tune of $257,589, with both tickets being purchased off track. • Sharla Rae won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on Saturday for her first graded stakes win, and paid

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Horses to Watch August 11 – by Rod Young Turfdom

YANA (August 5): Four year old filly for Richard Baltas ran another one of her strong races Wednesday, in a first level allowance condition at a flat mile on the main track. Off at 15/1 in a nine horse field, she went right to the lead from the get go, set moderate fractions though being pressed most of the way, found another gear at the top of the lane, then gave it up late to the 2/5 favorite. This Cal bred has already won that allowance condition and she is knocking on the door with this one. She can go short or long and has won on the turf and the dirt. That type of versatility gives Baltas lots of options to knock out this condition. MRAZEK (August 5): Two year old colt for Doug O’Neill drew the rail for the third consecutive sprint on Wednesday in the $100k Graduation

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News and Notes August 11 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The new main track at Del Mar has finally “settled in” and formful handicapping over the weekend returned. The track still plays “slow” in regards to time, but the surface is playing “fair”, the track is safe, and the kick back for the horses is minimal. Up until this past weekend, chalk has taken a beating. Favorites have won at a 26.42% clip overall, but the turf is only at 19.57%. Odds on favorites have won at 40%, still well below the national average, but up from the 27% of a week ago. I for one still remain more confident in betting turf races than main track races, but that changed this past weekend. Long shots are still coming in, but at least they figure, and in most cases can be considered contenders. • They ran two Grade 2 stakes on Saturday and a Grade 3 on Sunday. Doug O’Neill’s

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