Del Mar News and Notes Nov 20

• Del Mar reached the halfway point in their four week fall meet on Sunday and the main track has changed the past couple of days. It was favoring early speed earlier in the week but was back to playing fair over the weekend, but the times were considerably slower, much like it was for the summer meet. They must have dug up the track to make it deeper. The turf course continues to play fair regardless of the placement of the rails, but early speed has the advantage in those 5/8 turf sprints they run. They run four days this week on a Thursday through Sunday basis and they have stakes races all four days. Thursday is of course Thanksgiving with an early first post of 11 AM. There is just one carry over into Thursday’s card and it is the single ticket jackpot of the pick six which

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Del Mar Horse Racing Handicapping News and Notes Nov 13

• Del Mar opened their four week fall meet with a four day race week as fires were ravaging the state throughout, but none around the race track. The Santa Ana conditions, where the wind blows in from the desert, sometimes as strong as 70 MPH, were prevalent at Del Mar on Monday, where the horses were aided by the wind down the back side, but ran into a strong head wind in the stretch. Nonetheless, the track played fair throughout the first four days, as did the turf course where the rails were out 18 feet the entire week. The times were quicker than they were for the summer meet as they purposely “slowed” the track down in order to make it safer for the horses in the summer. After three days of racing, the $2 pick six was hit on Sunday by a single ticket holder for over

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Santa Anita News and Notes Nov. 6

• The Great Race Place concluded their six week Fall meet on Sunday with some very good racing the final three days of the meet, coinciding with the B/C in Louisville, Kentucky. The Breeders Cup will return to Santa Anita in 2019. We don’t have the final numbers yet for the meet, but handle had to be driven up by the popular 20 cent pick six, which no single player was able to hit the entire meet. The jackpot was over $1.1 million going into closing day and over $6.7 million was added to the pool on Sunday. Favorites won five of the six races and the total pool was paid out to 10,466 customers. The pick six ticket paid $601 and there was no consolation payout. Flavian Prat won the riding title winning both of the graded stakes races Sunday. He finished three ahead of a rejuvenated Rafael Bejarano

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Oct 30

• Santa Anita Park heads into their final week of racing this Friday with just a three day race week but each day will have 10 races and from the looks of entries for Friday, the fields will be fairly full with plenty of quality added to the mix. The main track continues to play fair for both sprints and route races. The turf course also plays fair for two turn races with a slight edge going to runners from off the pace. The surprise for this meet is that early speed continues to win most of the races coming down the hill in the six and a half furlong sprints. There were three races run over the weekend and in each case the winner was close up early to the pace. The single ticket jackpot of the pick six, which is a 20 cent wager, continues to be elusive

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Santa Anita News and Notes Oct 23

• Four weeks are in the books at the Great Race Place in Arcadia, California, but it hasn’t looked like the Great Race Place the last couple of weeks. Too many short fields and a lack of “quality” races makes Santa Anita look much more like Golden Gate Fields in Northern California. It looks like it will stay that way for at least one more week, then should improve sharply as the country gears up for the Breeders Cup in the final week of this meet. With the B/C in Kentucky this year, Santa Anita has an excellent lineup of stakes races for the final weekend on November 2,3, and 4. The main track has played fair for the most part except for this past Saturday when early speed was dominant. But biases don’t last long here as the maintenance crew tries very hard to get the track back to

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Santa Anita News and Notes October 16

• The Fall meet at Santa Anita Park is halfway home as week three was completed on Sunday. Rain hit the race track on Friday evening and continued on to Saturday and was the first rainfall since last Spring, and it was very unexpected. They closed the track for workouts Saturday morning and took all the races off the turf in the afternoon. For the most part, it totally destroyed the 10 race card. Southern California can handle earthquakes and fires, but they don’t handle rainfall very well. The main track was sealed and with the horses that were left, after a bevy of scratches, promoted early speed, as 9 of the 10 races were won by front runners. But all was well by Sunday, as the rain stopped, the main track went back to being fair, and the races were back on the grass, albeit with a course rated

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes October 9, 2018

• Week two is in the books for the six week Fall meet here at Santa Anita Park. They ran five days this past week with the Monday holiday of Columbus Day. The main track has favored early speed most of the week, especially in sprint races. The turf course has played fair most of the week with the exception of the downhill sprints, which continue to favor early speed, with most of the winners running either one, two after a quarter mile. I do expect that to change as soon as the course becomes worn down a bit. The new 20 cent wager featuring the pick six has become quite popular. Nobody has been able to hit the single ticket jackpot through 9 days of racing. The carry over into Friday is up to $364,450, plus on the weekends, the track has been guaranteeing $1million if someone is the

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 1

• Santa Anita Park opened their six week Fall meet on Friday under clear skies and warm temps. The track kicked off their initial Stronach Pick Five, which they will run every Friday, where one has to pick the winner of five successive races, all run within a 45 minute time period, from four different Stronach owned tracks across the country. Difficult to do, but the exotic wager comes with just a 12% takeout, the lowest of any exotic wager that I know of in the country. They also did away with the traditional $2 pick six and in its place, introduced the 20 cent Rainbow pick six, which has been popular at other Stronach owned tracks. Nobody was the single ticket winner after three days of racing and the c/o into Thursday’s card is $127,225. After three days of racing, the main track played fair as an equal number

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Del Mar News and Notes Closing Week

• Del Mar finished off another successful racing summer season on Monday with increases in both overall handle and field size, as compared to either of the two previous years. Overall handle was up a robust 6.8% for the meet and the average field size grew to 8.7per race. Handle was up last year 5.1% vs. 2016, so that’s a 12% increase over two years. But most importantly, the main track was safe. There was only one fatality the entire meet which was racing related whereas there were double digit fatalities in years past. The race track was slow and heavy, but it was safe. Times were off anywhere from 5 to 10 lengths depending on the class of the race. Young jockey Drayden Van Dyke finally emerged as a star on this circuit by the winning the riding title by five over talented Flavian Prat, and Encinitas resident Peter

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Del Mar Horse Racing Handicapping News and Notes Week 6

• Week six was completed at Del Mar on Sunday and now there’s only one week left of the summer meet, but it should be a dandy, with six days of racing, Wednesday through Monday, and some outstanding stakes action. The main track continues to play fair from a pace standpoint but there are days when the outside lanes are so much better than the inside, and there was one day last week where the inside portion of the track was biased. The times remain terribly slow, about six to seven lengths slow, but for the most part the track has been very safe, and that’s all been done on purpose for the safety of the animals and the riders. The turf course continues to favor off the pace runners when going two turns and the course is “fair” for those 5/8 sprints. They have been unable to gather any

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