Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we enter the first week of the final major preps before the Kentucky Derby.
These next four weekends will make us forget about everything we thought we knew about who was going to win this year’s Kentucky Derby. Saturday will be the
The following week is the UAE Derby and
The week after that is Arkansas Derby, where you will likely learn what 1882 and 2018 may have in common.
We’ll be going into greater detail on all those races both here in the newsletter and also the print and online editions of the Los Angeles Times.
But a few things have happened since we last met, so here are some news headlines.
–Jockey Jose Flores was not expected to live after he suffered brain and spine injuries after falling in a race at Parx, near Philadelphia. It would be the first jockey death since October 2017, when Mario Chavez had fatal injuries at Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma. To learn more about what happened and the jockey who won 4,650 races, see Jim Dunleavy’s story in the Daily Racing Form. (just click here)
–Aqueduct closed its door to simulcast wagering on Wednesday because of weather. It should reopen on Thursday with live racing to resume on Friday. Aqueduct is running a three-day racing week.
–U.S.-based horses set to run next Saturday in Dubai are headed that way. There are 15 scheduled from the U.S. that are scheduled to run in Dubai and five of them in the World Cup —Forever Unbridled, Gunnevera, Mubtaahij, Pavel and West Coast, who is the likely favorite. Read more from the Paulick Report. (just click here)
It’s a pretty good Thursday card with the new first post of noon. It’s eight races with only one of them on turf, a departure from the usual two or three. The feature is the seventh, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds. In it is Ax Man, who we wrote about earlier (you can read it here) before his disappointing fourth-place finish in the San Vicente on Feb. 10. Ax Man was thought to be a Derby hopeful but he got caught up in a speed duel and was badly beaten. He’s the 6-5 favorite for trainer
Baffert has another colt in the race Zulfikhar, who won his debut easily but didn’t fair as well going around two turns. Jockey Martin Garcia makes his first start for Baffert since returning from Aqueduct. Garcia has been Baffert’s longtime favorite when it comes to working horses in the morning. He has also ridden some of Baffert’s best horses. Zulifikhar is 2-1.
The field sizes are decent, in order: 7, 7, 12 (2 also eligible), 6, 9, 8, 6, 10.
Golden Gate weekend preview
Now a look at the best racing coming up at Golden Gate. New race caller and all-around good guy Matt Dinerman is our host to previews and other musings. So, take it away, Matt.
“It’s important to note that nominations close Thursday for the Grade 3 $200,000 San Francisco Mile. The San Francisco Mile, a one-mile turf event for 3-year-olds and up, will be run next Saturday. Everyone in attendance will receive a San Francisco Mile Day Cap (one per paid admission) and fans can also watch and wager on the Florida Derby Day card at Gulfstream Park, beginning at 10 a.m.
“Mended, a $12,500 claim who has gone on to become a stakes performer, continued her success with a solid second in the Grade I Santa Margarita at Santa Anita last weekend. With the Grade I placing, Mended now has even more appeal as a broodmare prospect. Wednesday morning, trainer John Martin said Mended came out of her race in good shape. She has won more than $305,000 for owners Troy and Maritza Onorato while winning 10 of 12 starts since being claimed.
“Lastly, jockey Rocco Bowen is ‘very sore’ but is otherwise OK after a spill following the running of the Camilla Urso. Bowen was transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland after the incident and X-rays came back negative. Silvio Amador and Pedro Terrero, also unseated from their mounts in the same incident, were able to walk off the track under their own power. All three riders are named on mounts this week.
“Four live racing days this week (Thursday-Sunday), with first post time at 12:15 p.m. each day.”
Bob Ike’s SA play of the day
EIGHTH RACE No. 7 Tiz Toffee (8-1)
Newcomer from the Phil D’Amato stable was second in both outings as a 2-year-old and could be live in her SoCal debut while making her first start since November. Although her numbers are relatively slow, she tried very hard in defeat last time and should be a square price. She’ll have to beat favorite Wild At Midnight, who ran well in her only start last May.
Sunday Result: Midnight Crossing (11-1) fired big but couldn’t hold off her stablemate Madam Dancealot near the wire and had to settle for second in the Santa Ana.
Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of Horsebills.com (here’s a video) and the proprietor of BobIkePicks.com (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).
Still looking to jump the circulation of this newsletter. Can’t beat the price. If you like it, tell someone. If you don’t like it, then you’re probably not reading this. Either way, send to a friend and just have them click here and sign up. Remember, it’s free, and all we need is your email, nothing more.
Any thoughts, drop me an email at my new address firstname.lastname@example.org or feed my ego by following me on Twitter @jcherwa
And now the star of the show, Thursday’s entries.
Santa Anita Entries for Thursday, March 22.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 49th day of a 59-day meet.
1 Mile. Purse: $16,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $12,500.
|1||Reverend Al||Evin Roman||124||Blake R. Heap||8-1||12,500|
|2||Dad’s a Gambler||Brayan Pena||124||George Papaprodromou||7-2||12,500|
|3||Yo La Tengo||Tiago Pereira||124||Charles S. Treece||20-1||12,500|
|4||Fire to the Wire||Santiago Gonzalez||124||Brian J. Koriner||2-1||12,500|
|5||Liberation||Alonso Quinonez||124||Val Brinkerhoff||20-1||12,500|
|6||Uncle Billy||Asa Espinoza||114||Peter Miller||3-1||12,500|
|7||Moonman||Kent Desormeaux||124||J. Keith Desormeaux||5-2||12,500|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $17,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000.
|1||Her Royalness||123||Bruce Headley||8-1||16,000|
|2||Veiled Heat||Franklin Ceballos||118||Nestor M. Capitaine||4-1||16,000|
|3||So Euro||Tyler Conner||123||Michael Machowsky||8-5||16,000|
|4||Angel Tears||Asa Espinoza||113||Vann Belvoir||15-1||16,000|
|5||Louder California||Fernandez Rojas||123||Rafael DeLeon||30-1||16,000|
|6||Blame the Weather||Edwin Maldonado||123||Jeff Bonde||2-1||16,000|
|7||Knowitallhousewife||Evin Roman||123||Adam Kitchingman||5-2||16,000|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Tammy’s Window||Tyler Conner||120||William E. Morey||12-1||40,000|
|2||Proud ‘n’ Ready||Drayden Van Dyke||120||Michael W. McCarthy||8-1|
|3||Kitty Boo||122||James M. Cassidy||12-1|
|4||Morning Dance||Santiago Gonzalez||122||Philip D’Amato||8-1|
|5||War Moccasin||Kent Desormeaux||124||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||6-1||40,000|
|7||Siberian Iris||Flavien Prat||122||Richard E. Mandella||4-1|
|8||Meanie Irenie||Franklin Ceballos||115||Richard Baltas||15-1|
|9||Rooms||Evin Roman||122||George Papaprodromou||15-1|
|10||Gone to Town||Alonso Quinonez||120||Hector O. Palma||12-1|
|11||Princess Kendra||Ruben Fuentes||124||Reed Saldana||20-1||40,000|
|12||Fahan Mura||Edwin Maldonado||120||Vladimir Cerin||6-1|
|13||Lady Ninja||Drayden Van Dyke||120||Michael W. McCarthy||7-2|
|14||Starr of Quality||Tiago Pereira||120||William Spawr||5-1|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $54,000. Maiden. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Blaze of Glory||Flavien Prat||120||Richard E. Mandella||8-1|
|2||King Cause||Evin Roman||120||Doug F. O’Neill||9-2|
|3||Kidmon||Tyler Baze||126||John W. Sadler||8-1|
|4||Twisted Road||Joseph Talamo||126||Richard E. Mandella||3-1|
|5||Beneficent||Geovanni Franco||126||Art Sherman||9-5|
|6||Captivate||Drayden Van Dyke||126||Mike Puype||5-2|
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $30,000.
|1||Victoria Falls||Santiago Gonzalez||126||Jorge Gutierrez||9-2||30,000|
|2||Onassis||Asa Espinoza||110||Peter Miller||5-2||30,000|
|3||Cee Sam’s Girl||Franklin Ceballos||115||George Papaprodromou||8-1||30,000|
|4||Silversonic||Rajiv Maragh||120||Peter Eurton||10-1||30,000|
|5||Sexy Star||Kayla Stra||120||Derek Meredith||30-1||30,000|
|6||Grecian Fort||Brayan Pena||120||Antonio Garcia||30-1||30,000|
|7||Mischievous Song||Tyler Conner||120||Jerry Hollendorfer||6-5||30,000|
|8||Eye of the River||Ruben Fuentes||126||Martine Bellocq||10-1||30,000|
|9||Dixie Bobbie||Barrington Harvey||120||Jesus J. Enriquez||50-1||30,000|
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $16,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $12,500.
|1||Dixie Crystal||Tiago Pereira||123||Marcelo Polanco||20-1||12,500|
|2||Quiet No More||Felipe Martinez||123||Doug F. O’Neill||5-1||12,500|
|3||Albeit||Franklin Ceballos||118||Sal Gonzalez||5-1||12,500|
|4||Briartic Gal||Tyler Baze||123||Melissa Saldana||4-1||12,500|
|5||Tizno’s Dilemma||Evin Roman||123||Sean McCarthy||3-1||12,500|
|6||Lovely Linda||Tyler Conner||123||Eoin G. Harty||6-1||12,500|
|7||Tiki Bar Logic||Joseph Talamo||123||Michael Machowsky||5-2||12,500|
|8||Reinahermosa||Efrain Hernandez||123||Ricardo Zamora||20-1||12,500|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $75,000.
|1||Zulfikhar||Martin Garcia||122||Bob Baffert||2-1|
|2||Madarnas||Kent Desormeaux||120||Eddie Truman||8-1|
|3||Master Ruler||Evin Roman||124||John W. Sadler||15-1|
|4||Joeray||Tyler Conner||120||David Jacobson||8-1|
|5||Graycaster||Flavien Prat||122||Jerry Hollendorfer||7-2|
|6||Ax Man||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Bob Baffert||6-5|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $54,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Dutton’s Legend||Tyler Baze||126||Mike Puype||20-1|
|2||Copper Fever||Flavien Prat||126||Richard E. Mandella||5-1|
|3||Red Shelby||Victor Espinoza||126||Peter Miller||6-1|
|4||Wild At Midnight||Drayden Van Dyke||126||Bob Baffert||5-2|
|5||Life of Illusion||Evin Roman||126||Steven Miyadi||15-1|
|6||Fluorescent||Rajiv Maragh||126||Jerry Hollendorfer||12-1|
|7||Tiz Toffee||Edwin Maldonado||120||Philip D’Amato||8-1|
|8||Baby’s Got Class||Matt Garcia||120||John Casey Selvester||15-1|
|9||Gracious Me||Martin Garcia||120||Peter Miller||5-1|
|10||Pretty Owl||Joseph Talamo||126||Bob Baffert||4-1|