The Claim Box July 4-7 – by Rod Young Turfdom

HORSE AMOUNT FROM TRAINER RATING CEE’S THE YEAR $16,000 Becerra Hess Jr. C+ This 5-year-old mare is traveling well these days and made it two straight victories with a desperate nose decision today. Although this is a positive barn switch, the next level at Del Mar will be considerably more difficult. Hess won this in a 3-way shake. PRIVILAGED $8000 Heap Aguirre C Won a desperate decision here with his 3rd start off a 7 month layoff at 10/1. This 6-year-old has good speed, always a valuable commodity, and can pay his way at the lower levels of the claiming ladder. MARINE FOG $8000 Mulhall Autrey C Here’s another who is in good form now, but this 6-year-old isn’t going to win at a level any higher than this. Throw in the fact that Autrey is absolutely ice cold in Southern California these days, and this becomes somewhat of a

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Turfdom Horses to Watch July 2 – by Rod Young Turfdom

TOLEDO EDDIE (June 28): Four year old gelding for Craig Dollase tried the first allowance condition for Cal Breds on Friday at 6 furlongs on the turf. Off at 4/1 in this 7 horse field, “Toledo” broke well and laid third down the back side, started his bid at the 1/4 pole, kept to his task down the lane, but could catch the lone front runner who had it all his own way the entire trip. In the end he finished a solid second beaten a length and a half. Although he was bred in Idaho, he qualifies for this condition because his sire (Ministers Wild Cat) is now standing in California. Any horse who has won 5 of 11 starts has some quality to him and he can win this condition with a contested pace which he will probably get at Del Mar. And he can win that condition

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Turfdom New and Notes July 2 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The main track at Hollywood Park continued to play fair this past week as did the infield turf course. With two weeks left in the meet, the Racing Office is making the best of a bad situation as Hollywood Park limps to the finish line. The July 4 racing card is very poor for a Holiday card with a number of short fields including the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes, which drew only 4 horses and is just about unbettable. Other than 3 maiden claiming races for $20,000, which is the bottom of the barrel, the Friday night card isn’t too bad, and yes it is Friday night with a post time of 7 PM. • Speaking of races being unplayable, Obviously got his first Grade 1 victory in last Saturday’s Shoemaker Mile. He has sprint style speed and can carry that speed for a full mile. To me he seems

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The Claim Box – by Rod Young Turfdom

NEW HORSE AMOUNT FROM TRAINER RATING MAGIC BEAM $20,000 O’Neill Spawr B+ This is a re-claim for Spawr and he got it via a 4 way shake. This late running sprinter just missed here getting beat a head and a nose. Spawr had him last Summer when he won at Del Mar and I’ll bet he wins with him again this year at the Seaside. DOMONATION $20,000 Pederson Glatt D Don’t like this claim as they paid way too much for this late running sprinter. He is 2/28 in his career and can only win when the race totally collapses in front of him. He was beaten 12 lengths today at 5/2. Both of his career wins have come at Hollywood Park and we all know what is going to happen to this place. NEW HORSE AMOUNT FROM TRAINER RATING PINCELADA $8000 Periban Craigmyle C This one has speed and

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Bias: Fact or Fiction? The Osterman Files

As we all know, handicapping is an inexact art. Certainly, it’s far from a science. The dynamics of any given race and the individual horses involved are many and that’s why predicting any winner is never a sure thing. Never. Nothing works all the time. Nothing. In the end, what works for me, may not work for you. What works for you, may not work for me. The path to consistent winning is a twisting road where it’s incredibly easy to get lost. Sometimes, you stay lost for days, weeks, months and, heaven forbid, years. Many handicappers never find the right road but, still, they enjoy the journey. At least, the say they do. There has always been a difference of opinion when it comes to “bias”, a relatively new function in the handicapping equation compared to the time-honored staples of class, pace, trip and speed. When it comes to

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The Start of Something Big – The Osterman Files

Never one for hyperbole, to my way of thinking Paynter’s return from the near dead on Friday at Hollywood Park was a “wow”. His saga has been well documented and needn’t be repeated in detail here. As a promising three-year-old in 2012, he was late to the Triple Crown trail, ran a good fourth in the Santa Anita Derby in just his second lifetime start and went to the top of his class with a gutsy near miss in the Belmont followed by an emphatic victory in the Haskell. Then he got very sick and nearly died while others in his battle-scarred class were retired before their time. Anybody remember I’ll Have Another, Bodemeister, Union Rags, Hansen, Gemologist and so many others. They aren’t around to compete any more. Paynter is. In some ways, a case can be made that his illness was the best thing that could have happened

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