Friday, August 18, 2017



              PICK SIX CARRYOVER   $252,000


Trainer Doug O’Neill made his way to the winner’s circle following Lava Man’s 2 ½ length victory as the even money favorite in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic in 2006, but hasn’t made it back there with four starters since in Del Mar’s signature event.

While fully aware that it’s a longshot chance at best, O’Neill is hoping to get back to the presentation area after Saturday’s 27th running when he’ll saddle Donworth and Curlin Road.

“Obviously, Bob Baffert is holding two aces (Arrogate and Collected), but I still feel we’ve got two good chances,” O’Neill said Thursday by phone. The father of two has spent the early part of the week seeing his children off on the start of a new school year and supervising strings of horses in the L.A. area while leaving the Del Mar training to right-hand man Leandro Mora and other Team O’Neill assistants.

Donworth drew the No. 6 post position and Curlin Road No. 7 in a field of eight, with Arrogate to their outside.

“I’m very happy with the draws for both of them,” O’Neill said. “I like the fact that they’re a little more to the outside.”

Lava Man, a California-bred gelding claimed for $50,000 at Del Mar in 2004, went on to earn $5,170,103, the most ever by a horse following a claim. In 2006, he became the first horse to sweep the Southern California circuit’s trio of biggest races – the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic.

There’ll never be another Lava Man, but O’Neill does see some traits in common with his two for Saturday’s race.

“Donworth is a big, strong, athletic horse like Lava Man and he has speed like Lava Man did,” O’Neill said. “He has been plagued with injuries, but right now he’s really in top shape.

Donworth punched his Pacific Classic ticket with a runner-up effort to Accelerate, 6 ¾ lengths in front of fourth-place Arrogate, in the San Diego Handicap.

“And Curlin Road is a claimed horse, like Lava Man was,” O’Neill said.

Claimed for $40,000 in April at Santa Anita, Curlin Road won the Cougar II Handicap here on July 26.

“They’re both doing really well, and at the right time,” O’Neill said.

The field from the rail: Royal Albert Hall (Corey Nakatani, 30-1), Collected (Martin Garcia, 5-2), Accelerate (Victor Espinoza, 3-1), Sorry Erik (Kent Desormeaux, 30-1), Hard Aces (Santiago Gonzalez, 20-1), Donworth (Mario Gutierrez, 15-1), Curlin Road (Flavien Prat, 20-1) and Arrogate (Mike Smith, 1-1).

The TVG Pacific Classic is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic here on Saturday, November 4.


Michael House’s Hunt, winner of the Grade II $250,000 Eddie Read Stakes on July 22, was established as the 3-1 favorite on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line for Saturday’s Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Handicap presented by the Japan Racing Association.

Hunt, a 3-year-old Irish-bred gelding, will be attempting to be the first horse to win the Eddie Read and Del Mar Handicap in the same summer meeting since Marty and Pam Wygod’s After Market in 2007.

Defending Del Mar Handicap champion Ashleyluvssugar, second to Hunt in the Eddie Read, beaten a length, is the second choice on the morning line at 7-2.

An intriguing challenger in the field of 13 for the “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf here on Saturday, November 4, is Inordinate. The five-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday won the 1 ¾-mile San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita in April in his third start since being privately purchased and going from East Coast trainer Chad Brown to Richard Baltas. Inordinate will be tasked at 1 3/8 miles in the Del Mar Handicap.

“We bought him out of a dispersal sale for $60,000,” Baltas said. “He’s doing very well and I think he’s a nice horse. He won the San Juan Capistrano and came out of the race a little bit stiff and sore, so we gave him like a month off. So now he’s ready to roll again.

“It’s a tough race, but I think he’ll be good at the distance. It looks like he didn’t like the blinkers so we’ll keep them off.”

The field from the rail: Liam the Charmer (Victor Espinoza, 12-1), Inordinate (Rafael Bejarano, 8-1), Big John B (Corey Nakatani, 12-1), Editore (Tiago Pereira, 30-1), Itsinthepost (Tyler Baze, 4-1), Monster Bea (Joe Talamo, 20-1), Flamboyant (Brice Blanc, 15-1), Ashleyluvssugar (Gary Stevens, 7-2), He Will (Mike Smith, 12-1), Up With the Birds (Jamie Theriot, 20-1), Hunt (Flavien Prat, 3-1),Mr. Roary (Santiago Gonzalez, 12-1) and Prime Attraction (Stewart Elliott 20-1).

The Del Mar Handicap will go as the seventh on an 11-race program.


Con Te Patiro, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy who won the Sandringham Handicap at Ascot in June, was established as the 7-2 morning line favorite in a field of 14 for Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Oaks Presented by The Jockey Club.

Trainer Wesley Ward, who has been an impactful American presence at Ascot in recent years, sent Hat Creek Racing’s Con Te Partiro across the Atlantic and was rewarded with a 1 ¼-length victory under Jaime Spencer. The 3-year-old filly has had three recent five-furlong works at Keeneland.

The local Oaks contingent is headed by Madam Dancealot, a 1 ¾-length winner of the Oaks-prep San Clemente Handicap on July 23. Madam Dancealot would become the first to win the San Clemente and Oaks since Evening Jewel in 2010.

“She’s doing great. It’s a matter of getting a good trip,” trainer Richard Baltas said of Madam Dancealot.

Baltas also will saddle Kathy’s Song in the Oaks.

“I bought her at a private sale and I’m kind of taking a flier, but she’s doing really well,” Baltas said.

The field from the rail: Kenda (Tyler Baze, 20-1), Madam Dancealot (Jamie Theriot, 9-2), Blame It On Alphie (Victor Espinoza, 20-1), Pistol Packin Rose (Mario Gutierrez, 30-1), Con Te Partiro (Flavien Prat, 7-2), Meadowsweet (Kent Desormeaux, 12-1), Vexatious (Rafael Bejarano, 8-1), Kathy’s Song (Gary Stevens, 15-1), Storm the Hill (Santiago Gonzalez, 20-1), Dream Dancing (Julien Leparoux, 6-1), Pacific Wind (Corey Nakatani, 12-1), Beau Recall (Joe Talamo, 6-1), Tapped (Mike Smith, 8-1) and Bernina Star (Brice Blanc, 30-1).

The Oaks will go as the 10th on an 11-race program.


A field of six was entered Thursday in Sunday’s Grade II $200,000 Del Mar Mile, an event which will provide a rematch of the 1-2 finishers in 2016, Midnight Storm and Om.

Midnight Storm finished a half-length in front of Om last year and both went on to on-the-board finishes in Breeders’ Cup races. Midnight Storm was third in the Mile while Om came up a nose short making an incredible late rally in the Turf Sprint.

Midnight Storm will be switched back to turf after four starts on dirt in graded stakes in 2017. Om’s only 2017 start was a runner-up effort, beaten 1 ¾-lengths by Pee Wee Reese in the Grade III American Stakes at Santa Anita on July 4.        

“He’s been doing well, his works have been good and it seems like he’s gotten good and tight since then and we’re ready to roll,” trainer Dan Hendricks said of Om. “It’s a tough race, but we’re part of it.”

The field from the rail: Vyjack (Flavien Prat), Om (Gary Stevens), Bal a Bali (Mike Smith), Midnight Storm (Rafael Bejarano), Blackjackcat (Kent Desormeaux) and Le Ken (Drayden Van Dyke).


Flavien Prat won Wednesday’s third race on Lajatico ($7.60) and fourth on Bolser ($13.60) to move into a tie with apprentice Evin Roman atop the jockey standings. Both have 22 wins, Roman from 135 mounts and Prat from 104.

Joe Talamo made the most progress, however. Talamo won aboard Time for Ebby (1st, $46.80), Honor Maker (6th, $23.60) and Responsibleforlove (7th, CTT and TOC Handicap, $10.20) to leapfrog Tyler Baze and Kent Desormeaux and settle into fourth in the standings. Talamo has 14 wins from 80 mounts.

In the training race, Doug O’Neill picked up one win (3rd, Lajatico) to move within one of leader Phil D’Amato, 12-11.

Roman has six mounts on Thursday’s eight-race program, Prat has five.

Neither D’Amato nor O’Neill have representatives on Thursday, but third-place Richard Baltas saddles horses in three races and has two, one of them 5-2 morning line favorite Relentless Miss, going in the third race.


Trainer Richard Baltas and Thoroughbred owner, breeder and syndicated handicapper Jon Lindo will provide expert commentary and selections at the upcoming Weekend Handicapping Seminars.

Baltas will do the honors on Saturday for a card that includes the Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Handicap, Grade I $1 million TVG Pacific Classic and Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Oaks.

Lindo is part of the ownership group of Skye Diamonds, winner of last Sunday’s Rancho Bernardo Handicap, and is currently the front runner by many victories of the four-member selection panel for the San Diego Union-Tribune racing page.

Lindo will be the guest of Scott Shapiro on Sunday.

The seminars are held from 12:45-1:30 at the Seaside Terrace near the top of the stretch.  

CLOSERS – Trainer John Sadler estimated on Thursday morning that there’s an 80 percent chance his Hard Aces will run, for the third year in a row, in the Pacific Classic … Selected works from 123 officially timed Thursday: Smokem (3f, :36.40), Ransomed (4f, :46.20), Battle of Midway (5f, 1:03.40), Desert Steel (1:01.40), Oregon (5f, :59.80), Poetic (5f, 1:00.20), Slim Fit (5f, :59.80), Big Gray Rocket (6f, 1:12.80) and Just a Smidge (6f, 1:12.60).

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Superstar Arrogate Tops Field in Saturday's TVG Pacific Classic

Arrogate, the North American earnings champion with something to prove at Del Mar, will get a chance to do just that this Saturday when he heads a field of eight horses in the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic.

The gray by Unbridled’s Song was assigned Post 8 at a special “Draw Party” Tuesday evening at the popular Brigantine restaurant on the high ground overlooking the seaside oval and once again will be handled by his Hall of Fame partner, Mike Smith. The mile and a quarter crucible, which will reward its winner with a prize of $600,000, will go off at approximately 5:40 p.m. as the 8th race on an 11-race card. NBCSN will televise the Grade I headliner nationally.

The Juddmonte Farms’ colt was installed as the even-money favorite by Del Mar linemaker Russ Hudak, a substantially longer price than the 1-5 morning line he started with in the TVG San Diego Handicap here July 22. He’s also likely to finish quite a bit longer than the 1-20 odds he broke from the gate with in that mile and one-sixteenth test. The real question, though, is will he make up for a case of what subsequently proved to be disappointment of the highest order?

Going into the San Diego, Arrogate had a record of seven wins from eight starts with a bankroll that registered over $17-million, more than any other North American horse in history. But in the San Diego he managed to -- in the words of his Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert -- “lay an egg.” The husky 4-year-old never got in gear that afternoon and finished a disappointing fourth.

But his connections feel he has put that “no go” behind him and is back “to his old self” after a series of steady works since. He’ll pack 124 pounds – as will all runners in the race with the exception of the 3-year-old Sorry Erik, who gets 118 – trying to show the racing world that he’s back and that his “Horse of the World” crown still fits nicely on his classy head.

Set to take him on are the colt who beat him in the TVG San Diego, Hronis Racing’s Accelerate, along with another Hronis runner, Hard Aces; R3 Racing, Calara Farms and ERJ Racing’s Curlin Road, Reddam Racing’s Donworth, Tachycardia Stables and Twilight Racing’s Royal Albert Hall, Big Chief Racing’s Sorry Erik and Speedway Stable’s Collected. The last-named runner, a galloping winner of the Precisionist Stakes at Santa Anita in his last start, also hails from the Bob Baffert barn.

The TVG Pacific Classic will draw top billing on a deep card that also will feature two other Graded stakes – the Grade I Del Mar Oaks and the Grade II Del Mar Handicap, the former run at nine furlongs on grass for a $300,000 purse and the latter marked in at 11 furlongs on the lawn for a $250,000 pot.

Both the TVG Pacific Classic and the Del Mar Handicap are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, guaranteeing their winners admission into designated Breeders’ Cup races. The former gets its hero a free ticket into the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic, while the latter ensures admission into the $4-million Breeders’ Cup Turf. Both will be run at Del Mar on Saturday, November 4 as part of the two-day, 13-race extravaganza that will be held at the shore track for the first time this fall.

Here’s the field for the TVG Pacific Classic in post position order with riders and morning line odds:

Post Position Horse/Jockey Morning Line Odds

Corey Nakatani 30-1

Martin Garcia 5/2

Victor Espinoza 3-1

Kent Desormeaux 30-1

Santiago Gonzalez 20-1

Mario Gutierrez 15-1

Flavien Prat 20-1

Mike Smith Even
First post Saturday for the chock full card is 2 p.m.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


It has been quite a week having my apple computer taking a nose other words my computer is gone..........sorry about the delay...........Today the Oceanside is contentious........It would not surprised me to see a long-shot win this..........Peter Miller looks to have a number of future stars with this.........My pick is Fortune of War.......with Corey riding...........  Arms Runner looks to be the one to me........the speed looks to be Allaboutmike....pace will make the race..........catch the speed Allaboutmike to win the Oceanside.......

    Good Luck today..........and I will have my full card analysis for you management and patience is the key to make a  ROI..........on our money this season at the beach...........Thanks.........and again Good Luck and have fun...........

             1.  Fortune Of War...........
             2.  Bowie's Hero
             3.  Arm Runner

            Long shot is Harbour Master......don't dismiss !

Race 1...........I like Victor's horse..........Native Ride and Summer Buddha

              1. Native Ride
              2. Summer Buddha..........weight off and class relief........

Update......that was a not what I will have strong meet this summer.........!

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