Horses to Watch August 4 – by Rod Young Turfdom

TIZCANO (July 29): Three year old gelding for Peter Miller returned to the races after a five month freshening and was gelded while on vacation. Miller entered him in a second condition allowance race at 5 furlongs on the grass in Wednesday’s third race, the start of a massive pick six c/o. Off at 6/1 in a 7 horse field, he broke well from the outside and then laid 5 lengths off the pace. His jockey, Espinoza, found a seam at the top of the lane and Tizcano finished with good energy to miss by just a length at the wire. This distance has been favoring speed and it is very difficult to win from off the pace. However this race sets him up nicely for two turns and he has the talent to knock out this condition before the end of the meet. Miller goes all out to win

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News and Notes August 4 – by Rod Young Turfdom

With three weeks completed of the eight week Summer Del Mar meet, the main track remains a challenge from a handicapping perspective. Overall, it is a deep, tiring track and many horses just don’t handle it. For a dirt track the kickback is minimal and the times are anywhere from a full second to two seconds slower than Santa Anita. Since the inside has dried out from the rains of opening weekend, there is no bias inside to outside. The main problem is that some days speed holds on well and some days the rally wide closers have the best of it. And some days this changes midway through the card. The unpredictability of the surface has led to numerous pick six c/o in just 14 days of racing, and management loves it. Nothing raises the handle on this circuit like a pick six c/o. This stat is amazing. Out

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Horses to Watch July 28 – by Rod Young Turfdom

SAVINGS ACCOUNT (July 22): Four year old turf filly for Tom Proctor tried the second allowance condition on Wednesday at a flat mile on the main track, which had been favoring speed all day. Off at even money in this 7 horse field, she was kept well off the pace under Mike Smith, a good 6 to 7 lengths behind the pace setter down the back side. She started her move just past the 1/4 pole, engaged the leader at the 1/8th pole, and gradually pulled away at the wire to win it by a half. This was an extra good race for this filly as she favors the grass, and it was tough to overcome speed on the main track Wednesday. She won this race strictly on class. Proctor should have her back on the grass next time and she is ready for stakes competition. Up the ladder. BRIMSTONED

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News and Notes July 28 – by Rod Young Turfdom

There are two weeks in the books at Del Mar with six to go, and finding winners at this Oceanside track are becoming increasingly difficult. They installed a new dirt surface this year, and though it has the same ingredients as the Santa Anita track, they are totally different. It might be that Del Mar sits on the ocean and that Santa Anita is so far inland, but whatever it is, they are different. The first two days of the meet the track played “fair.” The times were slow and the track was deep and tiring, but there was no bias. Then the rains came over the weekend and the track never did dry out on the inside. Coming into Sunday, the inside was dead, and jockeys were steering their mounts off the rail, even when they were on the lead. The rail post at six furlongs was 0/34 and

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Horses to Watch July 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

HOT LIGHTNING (July 16): Three year old gelding for Vann Belvoir finally got his chance to go two turns and ran huge in Thursday’s 7th event, a starter allowance race for non winners twice who broke their maiden for $50,000 or less. Off at 6/1 in a full field of runners, he broke well to set the pace, but never got a breather the entire trip. He put the other speed away at the 1/4 pole, but then had to hold off the late runners and was extremely game the entire length of the stretch. He got nailed right at the wire but it was a very impressive performance. Belvoir always does well at this meet and this one is sitting on a victory as long as they keep him at two turns. He’s “single” material next time out. FINEST CITY (July 16): Three year old filly for Eric Kruljac

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News and Notes July 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Del Mar got off to their normally strong start last Thursday with 40,304 patrons going through the wickets, but that was 4% less than last year on opening day. Plus they came to party more than wager as on track handle was down more than 7% vs. last year. However, that’s not a bad thing at this place as the concession prices are through the roof and there’s plenty of profit to go around. With Saratoga still a week away from opening, the overall handle was up 2.6% and came in over $15 million. Throw in the fact that this was the 12th consecutive year that the opening day crowd surpassed 40,000 and you can see that this is the place to be. What other track in this country can say that? However, those numbers dropped dramatically over the weekend as Mother Nature got in the way and dropped a

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News and Notes July 14 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Del Mar kicks off their 76th season with full fields and a ton of excitement. The opening day card with 10 races, averaged 12.2 horses per race and Friday’s card is just as full. For the first time in 9 years they have a pure dirt surface for the main track and it is the same dirt, the El Segundo Sand” as they have at Santa Anita. The turf course has had another full year to mature and last year’s issues should be behind them. First post will be 2PM on all days but Fridays, where they will stick with the 8 race card and a first post of 4PM. Papacoolpapacool and Soul Driver head up the field for the Oceanside stakes on Thursday with 10 other three year olds in a very contentious race. Rafael Bejarano is back to defend his riding title against a room full of talented

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Horses to Wach June 30 – by Rod Young Turfdom

GETOFFMYBACK (June 26): Two year old colt for Mark Casse made his debut in Friday’s sixth event, a five furlong dash on the main track. Drawing the rail slot in a full field and off at 5/1, he got wiped out at the start as both the two and the three horse came over on him bumping him hard. He was last and fell a good 8 lengths off the pace, which is difficult to make up at 5 furlongs. Talamo did a good job of getting him to the outside at the top of the stretch and he put in an impressive run to get 4th and was only beaten two at the wire. This son of Good Journey had worked well coming into his debut and probably would have won this race with any other post position. He ran the last quarter in 24 flat which is pretty

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News and Notes June 30 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Santa Anita’s long 27 week Winter/Spring, Spring/Summer meet came to an end this past weekend with two very good 10 race programs. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah paraded between the 7th and 8th race on Saturday and all fans in attendance got a good look at this outstanding race horse. On track attendance was up over 9000 people vs. the corresponding Gold Cup day last year, however on track handle was actually down a tad. That means the “newbies” who came out to see Pharoah simply watched but didn’t wager. Hopefully they liked what they saw and will be back another day to put some dollars through the machines. The all-sources handle overall was strong and topped last year by almost $2 million. 27 weeks of continuous racing takes it’s toll on both the main track and the turf course, and the maintenance crew at Santa Anita did an excellent

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Horses to Watch June 23 – by Rod Young Turfdom

URLOVENEVERFAILS (June 19): Three year old filly for Jerry Hollendorfer made her debut in Friday’s opener, a maiden special weight event at the tough distance of 7 furlongs on the main track. Off at 2/1 and the second choice in the wagering off a solid set of drills, she broke with the leaders early, then settled in off the pace about 3 lengths back. She moved to contend at the 1/4 pole, stuck her nose in front at the 1/8th pole, but then was out gamed by the favorite late and lost by 3/4. All in all it was an excellent debut and this Tommy Town runner won’t be a maiden much longer. Although she’s bred to be just a sprinter, she has the look of a runner that can get two turns as well. Tab and follow. PERDONA (June 20): Three year old filly for Peter Eurton made her

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