Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Midnight Storm Shakes Up Del Mar Derby

Midnight Storm was able to parcel his speed effectively while on an easy lead in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) and glided through the stretch in command to post a 17-1 surprise Aug. 31 over the turf.

The race was the stakes debut for Midnight Storm and his second grass win of the meet for first-year trainer Phil D'Amato, who took over training the 3-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile   from Jorge Gutierrez earlier in the meet.

Tyler Baze, winning the Del Mar Derby for the first time, guided Midnight Storm to a commanding 3 1/4-length victory in crafty style for owners/breeders Marjorie Post Dye and Alex Venneri's Venneri Racing. The final time for the 1 1/8-mile event was 1:47.47 over firm going.

It was the second big turf win of the meet for D'Amato, who took over for retired trainer Mike Mitchell earlier this year. Big John B won the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 23. 

In his first start for D'Amato Aug. 10, Midnight Storm scored a front-running half-length win while making his initial grass start in an allowance/optional claiming race at one mile.

"I was very confident because I've never had a horse train for a race like this before," D'Amato said. "The last race didn't take anything out of him. Tyler breezed him and he galloped out a mile in 1:39 and change and only really good horses do that on this racetrack. He gave me every indication he was going to give his best."

D'Amato said it was Baze's plan to go to the front in the field of eight sophomores.
"He worked him last time and I let him roll with it," he said of Baze, who rode Midnight Storm in a race for the first time.

Favored at 8-5 was Glen Hill Farm's Enterprising, who trailed early and never got into the fray while compromised by soft fractions. Enterprising was looking to become the fourth horse to sweep Del Mar's grass series for 3-year-olds after earlier wins in the Oceanside Stakes and La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT). He finished sixth.

"Absolutely no pace. Nothing to run at," jockey Mike Smith complained. "You have to make a decision with this horse right out of the gate. If you ask him to go, he'll go. But I was concerned about the extra distance and I thought there'd be more pace. Just didn't happen."

Midnight Storm outran Sawyer's Hill for the early lead and was allowed to have things his way up front while opening a two-length lead. Sawyer's Hill, Home Run Kitten, and Sammy Mandeville followed the pacesetter, who put the field asleep through even fractions of :24.24, :48.69, and 1:12.50. Midnight Storm and Sawyer's Hill began to draw away from the field rounding the final bend and it was down to those two in the homestretch.

"Sure was nice to go uncontested out there," Baze said. "No pressure helps. This is the first time I've won this race. Del Mar has been good to me."
Midnight Storm found more on the lead while in a drive from Baze and Sawyer's Hill, ridden by Martin Garcia could not catch him. Sawyer's Hill finished a head in front of the closing Talco, a French-bred colt making his United States debut for John Sadler with Corey Nakatani aboard.

Under equal weights of 122 pounds, Midnight Storm paid $36.60, $16.60, and $8 across the board for his first stakes win, topping a $280.40 exacta with 12-1 shot Sawyer's Hill, returning $12.40 and $8. Talco paid $6.80 to show.
"We weren't going that slow up there; we were just comfortable," Baze said. "I knew this horse was ready. I worked him the other day five eighths and then had a strong mile gallop out."

Rafael Bejarano, who came into the race 5-for-5 on the Sunday program, was aboard Sammy Mandeville, who finished evenly for fourth. Home Run Kitten, Enterprising, Aventador, and Flamboyant completed the order.
After two losing mounts, Bejarano came back in the eleventh and last event to win his sixth race of the afternoon, aboard Halljoy at $8.60. With four winners Saturday and six Sunday, the 32-year-old Peruvian is closing in on his third consecutive Del Mar riding title with 10 wins from only 16 mounts over the two-day period.

He is only the fifth jockey in Del Mar history to win six races in a day.

Midnight Storm, who broke his maiden in June going seven furlongs on dirt at Santa Anita Park, has three wins and two seconds from seven career starts, earning $285,810.

It was a big day at Del Mar for Pioneerof the Nile, who also sired Jojo Warrior, the $100,000 Torrey Pines (gr. III) winner on the Polytrack earlier on the program. Kentucky-bred Midnight Storm is out of the winning Bertrando mare My Tina, and is the fifth winner from as many starters produced by his dam.

Read more on BloodHorse       http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87113/midnight-storm-shakes-up-del-mar-derby

Fall Meet at Los Alamitos Begins Sept. 5

Live daytime racing comes back to Los Alamitos Race Course from Sept. 5-21 with an 11-day fall meeting in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Fair.

The brief meet will be highlighted by the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile Sept. 6 and a pair of $100,000 juvenile races to be held on Sept. 13-14. The Los Alamitos Mile for 3-year-olds and up on the dirt, could be used as a steppingstone for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) to be held Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.

One of the highlights during the opening weekend of the meet will be a public viewing of a workout by popular Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner California Chrome. Los Alamitos racing fans will be able to view California Chrome's workout in between the third and fourth races Sept. 6 as he continues preparations toward a return to racing in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) Sept 20.

The three-week meeting will feature top Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing with a 2 p.m. PDT first post time each racing day. The action will typically consist of eight to nine Thoroughbred races to be followed by four to five Quarter Horse races, plus top-class Arabian action. The meet's opening weekend Sept. 5-7 will consist of racing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The other two weeks of the meet will feature racing on a Thursday through Sunday basis.

The eight-race stakes schedule will feature the 25th running of the $100,000 Barretts Debutante for 2-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs Sept. 13, and the $100,000 Barretts Juvenile for 2-year-old colts and geldings at 6 1/2 furlongs the following day. Both races are holdovers from the previous schedule at Fairplex Park.

The Los Alamitos Mile on the meet's opening Saturday could feature a matchup between the Bob Baffert-trained Sky Kingdom and the Leonard Powell-trained Soi Phet. Sky Kingdom won the American Flag Stakes during the summer meet at Los Alamitos, while Soi Phet won the Bertrando Stakes on opening day of the summer meeting. Tonito M., third to Eclipse Award winner Shared Belief in the $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II), is another possible participant in the Los Alamitos Mile.

Other stakes events will include the opening day $75,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs Sept. 5; the $75,000 Beverly Lewis Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs Sept. 6; and the $75,000 Orange County Stakes for fillies and mares at 6 furlongs Sept. 7.

Closing weekend will feature a pair of stakes races: the $75,000 Katella Stakes at 6 furlongs for 3-year-olds and up Sept. 20, and the $75,000 Las Madrinas Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles Sept. 21.

"We're very excited for the opportunity," said Brad McKinzie, general manager of the Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Racing Association. "Our goal is to offer quality racing featuring the top horsemen in California, and our exciting stakes schedule promises to showcase many of the outstanding racehorses stabled in Southern California.''

The fall meeting is the second of three Thoroughbred meets that Los Alamitos will play host to in 2014. Los Alamitos hosted the summer festival from July 3-13, while the winter session will be held Dec. 4-21.

Read more on BloodHorse    http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87138/fall-meet-at-los-alamitos-begins-sept-5

Monday, September 1, 2014

Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar - Miss Serendipity

Tom Durkin - Farewell Speech

Tom Durkin's Ten Best Race Calls 



A 50 G maiden sprint for fillies and mares!


I bet Jerry Fanning's mare Ryderoo......She has speed and most importantly she likes this track. Faith Hope Love the is the big time dropper that is the one to beat......Her works over this track tells me that she will take to this track.

               1. Faith Hope Love  ( won)
               2. Ryderoo.......do not dismiss!  (second)
               3. Bella Campari


One mile and a sixteenth a claimer for 16 G's on the all weather track.


Tom Proctor drops Contributor from 40 G's to 16 G's........if she is sound and fit....she will smoke this race on his past races that he has run before....... I like Uptown Big Brown over Contributor

               1. Uptown Big Brown    OUT
               2. Contributor.......the one to fear!
               3. Go Black Tie   (SECOND)


One mile on the turf for three year olds open for maiden special weight horses.!


Neil French trains Wanstead Garden a shipper from Churchill Downs........bred to love the grass and bred to love two turns.
 I usually do not bet first time starter's but Gains sends out Mr. Excavtor..........fast long works and excellent turf pedigree tells me that he looks like a runner to me. Monsieur Powers a shipper that has been sprinting overseas picks up Bejarano.....Imports sprinting run there best when they go longer........watch out! Corey rides a interesting colt Card Trick I like the running style as he is a closer and is bred to love the distance and turf.

                1. Card Trick
                2. Wanstead Garden  (won)
                3. Monsieur Powers

                LONG SHOT  MR. EXCAVTOR


A six furlong sprint on the all weather track for two year olds.


I was very impressed when a maiden two year old entered a stakes race and won......Doug O'Neil trains Wake Up Nick. Peter Miller entered Global Magician in the same races as Nick......He finished third......This race is filled up speed sprinter except Barry horse Cardiac.....if the top two selection dual it out and have a speed meltdown the look to Cardiac for the win.

                  1. Wake Up Nick   (won)
                  2. Cardiac              (third)           
                  3. Global Magician  (second)


One mile on the poly open for optional claiming race for fillies and mares and up.


I Bet My Happy Face when she sprinted it was a prep race and she had all kinds of trouble. A rare race because she still got third. Bejarano first choice is Lady Asano and he could have ridden Tiz Midnighth.

             1. My Happy Face   (third)
             2. Lady Asano
             3. Tiz Midnighth     (won)


One Mile on the turf for two year old fillies.....non graded stake race!


Corey rides Diva Express who is the main rider for trainer Mark Casse......this daughter of Afleet Express is bred for the distance and turf.

Doug sends She's Complete  a import and Bejarano jumps on her......She finished second on the poly and she is a blue-blood on the turf............I like the fact that Bejarano re-rides her.

            1. She's Complete    (won)
            2. Achiever's Legacy
            3. Awesome Diamond





Optional allowance claiming sprint for three year olds and up running on the poly track!


Back Off Bubby ships in from back east....trained by Michael Machowsky a under rated trainer that knows where to spot horses so they can have a chance to win.......He has strong nice longs works over the track....love the morning line 12 to 1....first time in for a tag!

Mike Smith takes the mount trained by Doug O'Neil Twenty Percent.........I was impressed when he broke his maiden debut at Santa Anita Park then entered a stake race that was over his head.
Giant Ego cuts back to a sprint.......He has always been game and rarely runs a bad race.......He can stalk the speed and close so beware because he has a real chance to win this grab bag!

      1.  Back Off Bubby  (second)
      2.  Twenty Percent
      3.  Giant Ego


A optional claimer allowance race at one mile open up for three year olds and up!


I bet Frensham in his last race finishing a third by one length.....but the pace will have Pepnic on the front end.......catch him to win this race....He has a solid touch of back class.......if no one goes with him he will be hard to catch.

           1. Pepnic
           2. Frensham
           3. Seeking The West


PICK FOUR   6,7,8 WITH 6,7 WITH 3,8,9,10 WITH 8

COST $24.00  OUT!


One mile and a sixteenth on the turf for fillies and mares three year old and up!


I Bet Wishing Gate in her last race and she finished second......I thought she would have run a smasher but she did not.....she was defeated by the favorite........Cozze Up Lady is a stakes winner on turf here at Del Mar.....She pulled the jockey around the track so the trainer is removing the blinker's on her today......the same jockey re-rides. Parranda switches back on the surface that she runs best on.....the turf.......She has won two of three on the turf.........beware!

             1. Parranda
             2. Wishing Gate
             3. Cozze Up Lady


PICK THREE   5,6,7,9  WITH 3,8,9,10 WITH 8

COST $24.00  OUT


A talented field of Cal Bred maiden special weight open up for two year olds!


                          CHECK THE TOTE BOARD!

Flexible a FTS.......is trained by both trainer and jockey who trying to be the leading trainer and jockey at Del Mar....bred to be quick and this trainer and jockey combo fire at a high percentage of winners first time out.

Mischief Clem is bred to win early.......sired by Smart Strike they are fast fro the gate and win.....Kent is white red hot and he too is trying to get the jockey title this year!

Rocko's Wheel gets the garden spot.....bred to win early and she might out run her odds!

           1. Flexible
           2. Mischief Clem
           3. Rocko's Wheel



COST $2.00


Non Winnner of two sprinting for the claiming price of 16 G's.


When Bill Sprawr hires Bejarano he has a live horse in this suspect field  (8 to 1). Dehere Is Gone had a horrible trip he was wide..........and I mean wide......He pulled his jockey around the track never did relax...so Bill is putting on the blinkers on him so he can relax and stalk the rabbits.

Dean Pederson a trainer that is excellent up north then he brought his stable down south to run in the So. Cal Circuit. He trains Snowmass Village who broke his maiden first time out at the Wood........his last race he ran against straight older horses at the claiming price of 25 thousand dollars.....I love how he has been training long six furlong works in the morning time.
Peter Miller trains Chattering Glass who gets the excellent spot on the outside!

        1. Snowmass Village 
        2. Dehere Is Gone
        3. Chattering Glass    WON

Sunday, August 31, 2014



One mile maiden special weight for two year old fillies.


Vow Me Over debut was against cheaper and she got beat by a very talented filly Champion Risk who then came back and faced winners for the first time and won........In other words that race is a key maiden race and the connections thought that she is talented enough to hike her up to a maiden special weight race. She sprinted in her debut but her pedigree suggest that one mile will be no problem.

Danette has the most races in this field. She finished third at one mile........a player! Maybellene has sprinted two times.....Her debut she had blinkers on.......Her second race was a dull performance as she took off her blinkers.......Today she adds them. Ultimate Holiday raced in her debut on the turf going one mile................she faded to fifth and now switches to the poly track.

        1. Vow Me Over
        2. Quaint
        3. Maybellene



Non winners of two for the claiming price of 16 G's.


Hard to trust this race........so take note!

I bet Golden Celestial two races back and she won......Her last race she did not look relax during pre race warm up and did the classic bounce finishing fifth...The jockey pinned her down on the rail and that day the rail was not the place to be. Major switch in jockeys as the bug boy takes the mount and gets weight off.

Dan Blacker is a better trainer then not winning a race this year at Del Mar..........He sends out Swissrella.......He has spotted her in a race where she can win......I like her!

         1. Swissrella
         2. Golden Celestial
         3. Yodel Up A Storm.....do not dismiss!


One mile on the turf for two year old fillies.


Great connections Glen Hill Farms and trainer Tom Proctor looks to have this two year old filly Educating................. get on the grass. The daughter of Elusive Quality is bred for the turf. AS a FTS she looks scary in her debut!

Neil Drysdale trains Tiz Lady Legs.......bred to go longer........with Bejarano on her she is a major contender.

Dixie Tweet has been around two turns.........her best race she finished second............beware!

           1. Educating
           2. Tiz Lady Legs
           3. Dixie Tweet



One mile and a sixteenth open for maiden claimers for three year olds and up at the claiming price of 30 G's.


      1. Designated       BET
      2. Burning
      3. Canopus


One mile for three year old fillies on the all weather track.


Margot Machance I was impressed with how she broke her maiden.......Kent takes the call.......She has won over the poly over the pond. Stateside...it is rare for any horse first time in the states to break there maiden....She flew home mowing down ten horses in a huge field..........I like her today

       1. Margot Machance
       2.  Unusally Green
       3. Tiz Kissable


A high price allowance turf race at the distance of one mile and a sixteenth on the turf.


Welcome back Solis........I think he is on a live long shot with Hello Frankie. I was very impressed with how Unusually Green broke his maiden.........It is a rare thing to face winners and then climb the class ladder in a high price allowance race but there seems to me to be no monsters in this race.


           1. Unusually Green
           2. Boozer
           3. Song To You

            LONG SHOT   Hello Frankie


One mile on the main track open for three year old fillies and m


I hate to be chalk Charlie but the horse to beat is the favorite Broken Sword...........likes this track and great connections Hollendofer and Bejarano team up.

        1. Broken Sword
        2. Every Way


One mile and a sixteenth for the claiming price of 32 G's open for three year olds and up racing on the main track!


Marty Jones is having a rare cold meet for a trainer that is one of the best on this circuit. He sends out Sizzlin Joe (8 to 1). His sired Unusual Heat loves the all weather track. Tab the key switch with jockeys.......Jones main man Joe Talamo takes the call. I love that he likes this surface and has the right racing style to mow them down turning for home.

Peter Miller sends out Dr. Action who has been racing stakes races that are over his head.......He looks spotted for action.

        1. Sizzlin Joe'
        2. Jomelo



One mile and a eighth on the turf for three year olds.

Flamboyant has a killer closing kick.........one of the best I have seen in some time. He is the second choice as Enterprising is the real deal...........Let's try to beat the favorite with Flamboyant over Enterprising.

          1. Flamboyant
          2. Enterprising



One mile for the claiming price of 10 G's for three year olds and up racing on the all weather track.


      1. Hawk's Eyes
      2. Pepper Sweet
      3. Gold Medallion


One mile on the turf for three year old fillies and up!


The daughter of Broken Vow Bijoux is making her third start. My main man JR takes the call for trainer John Sadler. She exits a key race where the top two horses came back and won.

Halljoy a Euro Import trained by Gaary Mandella has been smoking up thee track in the morning time..........a blue blood turf pedigree and look who takes the call.......Del Mar leading rider Rafael Bejarano.

        1. Halljoy
        2. Bijoux

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