News and Notes Dec. 1 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Del Mar concluded their five week Fall meet in outstanding fashion this past Sunday with 4 days of Championship racing, having full fields and a lot of quality to go with the quantity. Total handle for the meet was up a whopping 26.4% vs. last year with advanced deposit wagering showing the highest percentage increase. The only negative for the meet was on track attendance averaged 6180 patrons per day vs. 9055 in 2014. The turf course was in outstanding shape the entire meet with 47 races yielding an average of 9.11 starters per race and the main track was free from bias the last two weeks and was virtually injury fee. The long shots came rolling in the final day of the meet with nobody picking six or five winners in the pick six. The pick four on the last 4 races of the meet paid $25,229 for a

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News and Notes Nov. 17 – by Rod Young Turfdom

With three weeks of racing in the books for the Fall Bing Crosby Meet at Del Mar, the main track continues to favor early speed in both sprints and route races. Some days are stronger than others, but speed is the name of the game at this track for this meet, and probably will continue that way for the final two weeks. They continue to save the inside portion of the turf course for the final week of the meet and their Turf Festival. The rails were out 30 feet all last week and this favored early speed on Friday and Saturday. Yet Sunday, all 3 winners came from off the pace in the 3 turf races. The inner rails will be out 18 feet this week. They had a two day c/o in the pick six going into Sunday of just over $230,000, and then they added $1.3 million

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News and Notes Nov. 10 – by Rod Young Turfdom

With two weeks of racing in the books for the Fall Bing Crosby Meet at Del Mar, the main track continues to favor early speed in both sprints and route races. They did have one race on Sunday where the winner came from 7 lengths back in a sprint, but that has been the exception and not the rule. The majority of the winners have been first or second at the half mile pole while the late runners are spinning their wheels down the lane. However it is different on the turf course as winners are coming from all over the place, i.e. on the lead, from mid-pack, and from well off the pace, regardless of where the turf rails are placed. They have kept the rails out for the first two weeks, anywhere from six to twenty four feet, as they are saving the inside for the Turf Festival

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News and Notes Oct. 27 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Santa Anita closed their doors on Sunday with a very successful five week Fall meet. Jockey Rafael Bejarano easily won the riding title with 25 victories, 10 more than his nearest competitor. It was his 23rd riding title in Southern California and he continues to be head and shoulders above his competition. Mario Gutierrez finished second and had an excellent meet. He had the highest win percentage of any rider in the top 20 at 27%. Jerry Hollendorfer had a two win lead going into the final day over Doug O’Neill for the training title, but O’Neill knocked down 3 winners on Sunday, including the final race to win the title by one, 12 to 11. Richard Mandella’s Baruta won the closing day feature, the Grade 3 Ken Maddy stakes down the hill for older fillies/mares and paid a nice $11.60 under leading rider Rafael Bejarano. Saturday was a strong

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News and Notes Oct. 20 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Entering into the final week of the five week Fall session, the main track played “fair” last week from a pace stand point, but the outside lanes were definitely better than the inside ones coming down the stretch. Rally wide closers from just off the pace were getting the best trips. We’ll call the turf course “fair” as well and early speed was winning more than their fair share, especially when the rails were out 15 feet or more. They actually had the course rated “good” twice last week, once due to over watering and once due to some light precipitation, but all in all, based on the times, it was pretty firm. Even without any major stakes, last weekend’s racing was very good. There was a good mixture of long shots and favorites winning resulting in a two day c/o in the pick six of $311,096 heading into this

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News and Notes Oct. 13 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Although the temperatures sizzled at the Great Race Place this past week, hovering around 100 degrees, the main track played “fair” the entire week. The turf course also played “fair” but when the rails were out 24 to 30 feet, early speed was a clear cut advantage, and many horses went wire to wire with this scenario. Early speed holds on better at this turf course as compared to Del Mar. Racing returns to their normal 4 day week this Thursday and there were enough longshots on Monday to provide for a c/o in the Pick six of $52,585 and the Super High Five in the finale of $17,879. Temperatures should return to normal for this time of year for the remainder of the race week. • Although they didn’t run any “graded” stakes this past weekend, two year olds were in the spotlight with the running of the Zuma

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News and Notes Oct. 6 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Both the main track and the turf course played “fair” in the first full week of racing here at Santa Anita. They had some showers on Saturday evening and Sunday morning where they took the three grass races and put them on the main track, but the surface still played “fair.” The track was rated “good” early on Sunday and then went to “fast” after the third race, but it was a “dull fast” with the times on the slow side. Racing resumes on Thursday and this will be a five day race week as the track will have Holiday racing for Columbus Day, October 12. First post will remain 1PM the rest of the meet. • They ran some sprint races over the weekend that have Breeders Cup implications, the most important being the Grade 1 Sprint Championship for older runners. Masochistic went off as the 3/5 choice, but

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News and Notes Sept. 29 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The Great Race Place at Santa Anita kicked off their 19 day Autumn meet with five Grade 1 races Saturday that were preps for the Breeders Cup at Keeneland October 30/31. The temperatures were very warm over the weekend topping out at 95 on Saturday and 93 on Sunday. In spite of those numbers, the main track was surprisingly slow and the times for both sprints and routes were about 5 to 7 lengths slower than normal. However, the track did play fair on Saturday. On Sunday, as the surface tightened up to some degree, the rail was very dead. Most horses were winning with rally wide trips from just off the pace. The turf course played fair both days with the inner rails at their normal position. When racing resumes on Thursday, the rails will be moved 24 feet out for both Thursday and Friday. There is a c/o

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Turfdom Horses to Watch June 26 – By Rod Young

CHILOQUIN (June 21): Five year old gelding for Scott Hansen is a pretty solid campaigner and consistently outruns his odds. He tried a classified allowance race at 5 furlongs on the grass on Friday and once again ran his heart out to finish third only beaten a half length. Off at 6/1 in an 8 horse field, he was 4th down the back side trailing the leader by 5 lengths. Made his move at the 1/4 pole but then got floated out 6 wide at the head of the lane. He stayed out in the middle of the course the entire length of the stretch and missed by only a half at the wire. He can handle any type of surface and is now 15/21 hitting the board along with 6 victories in his career. He just needs to find the right spot to spring another upset like he did

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Turfdom News and Notes – By Rod Young

The main track at Hollywood Park continued to play fair this past week as did the infield turf course. There are only 3 weeks left now for the Hollywood Spring/Summer meet and the Racing Office is starting to feel the pain of trying to fill races, as many owners/trainers are saving their stock for the lucrative Del Mar meet which kicks off on July 17. There is a nice pick six c/o going into Thursday’s card of $94,863 from races 3-9 with only 49 horses in that sequence, and that’s before early and late scratches. • There are two very good Grade 1 Stakes races lined up for this Saturday and trainer Mike Mitchell has a strong hand in both of them. His excellent turf miler, Obviously, heads up the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on the turf and his previous Grade 1 winner, Camp Victory, is part of the lineup

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