Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as the
A lot to catch up on, so let’s get right to it.
In case you missed these stories in The Times.
–Here’s a story on how the ADWs are battling it out for your betting dollar. (just click here)
–Bolt d’Oro has had some bumps in the road but now he’s ready. (just click here)
Jeff Siegel and Aaron Vercruysse of XBTV.com are doing a series of exclusive video reports on the horses and strategies in the Kentucky Derby. Here’s a look at them, if you’ve missed any, plus a couple of new ones.
First up, the entire XBTV crew debates the Kentucky Derby. Believe me, when I say it’s worth watching. I’m not kidding. Opinions and theories are flying like a day at a UFO conference. Anyway, this will give you plenty to think about. It’s worth your time. (Just click here.)
It’s a pretty big backstretch so I can’t get to everybody. Here’s some information from the Churchill Downs notes team, headed by Gary Yunt, put together for the media.
–The four Todd Pletcher horses (Audible, Magnum Moon, Noble Indy, Vino Rosso) all galloped 1 ¼ miles on Wednesday. Noble Indy also went to the starting gate, where he stood briefly.
–Blended Citizen, for Doug O’Neill, is still hoping for a scratch by 9 a.m. on Friday so that he can get in the race. Jack Sisterton is doing the horsesitting duties while Doug remains in California. The colt galloped 1 3/8 miles on Wednesday.
—Mick Ruis, Bolt d’Oro’s trainer, made a $1,200 bet in Las Vegas last year. He got pretty fantastic odds of 40-1. “But you can’t put a money value on winning the race,” Ruis said.
—Wayne Lukas kept the same routine with his colt Bravazo, galloping him 1 ½ miles. “He does everything right,” Lukas said. “He’s a real, real nice horse to be around. He’s not hard to train.”
—Steve Asmussen was predictably dismayed by his colt Combatant drawing the 20 hole. “Obviously it’s not what I was looking for,” Asmussen said. “The horse has been horribly unlucky with his draws. The difference with the Derby is you have at least a quarter mile into the first turn. When you’re only going 1 1/16 or 1 1/8, you have very few options.”
–Enticed, for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, was gate schooled on Wednesday. “Sometimes you have to school them because they are a problem, but he’s a perfect gentleman, and [the gate crew] got to see that.”
–It’s trainer Jason Servis first start in the Derby. On Wednesday, he had Firenze Fire jog 5/8ths of a mile and gallop another mile.
—Dale Romans has both Free Drop Billy and Promises Fulfilled. Free Drop Billy was named for Bill Collins by owner Dennis Albaugh. “Bill and I would always play golf and get into arguments about the actual rules of a ‘free drop,’” Albaugh said. “Bill on the other hand, would always take more drops than I would and somehow always dropped in a much better spot than he was supposed to. Hence the name Free Drop Billy.”
—Chad Brown continues to be sky high on Good Magic, who galloped 1 3/8 miles but wanted to go longer.
–Hofburg galloped 1 ½ miles on Wednesday and stood at the starting gate. “We were probably a little stronger galloping today,” said Bill Mott’s assistant, Kenny McCarthy. “We got hooked up with a little bit of company coming down the stretch, but that’s a good thing. His head was up and his ears were up.”
–Assistant Christina Jelm was filling in for
—Bob Baffert had both Justify and Solomini do gate work before galloping 1 ½ miles. “They’re here and they’re still doing well,” Baffert said.
–Lone Sailor galloped 1 ½ miles on Wednesday. “We know he needs to improve but he showed us in the
–Mendelssohn was cleared by quarantine on Wednesday afternoon and will train on Thursday.
—Keith Desormeaux is still high on My Boy Jack after just a jog on Wednesday. “We’re checking all the clues and he’s making us happy,” the trainer said.
Ruh-roh. We’re hoping Thursday’s short fields are a byproduct of a big Derby weekend, but half of the fields on an eight-race card have only six horses. Throw in a scratch here and there and you’ve got a lousy betting card. We’re back to a 12:30 p.m. post. There are three turf races, the feature being an allowance/optional claimer down the turf-course hill for horses 3 and up. It’s the seventh race at about 3:45 p.m.
Here are the field sizes, in order: 6, 6, 6, 8, 6, 8, 9, 11.
Golden Gate weekend preview
Now a look at the best racing coming up at Golden Gate. Race caller and all-around good guy Matt Dinerman is our host to previews and other musings. So, take it away Matt.
“Beginning Thursday, first post time at Golden Gate Fields will change from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. That change will go for the remainder of the meeting, which concludes June 10. Kentucky Derby,
“Good news to report: Jockeys Francisco Duran and Irving Orozco, both involved in separate spills last week, are OK days after their incidents. Their horses also escaped injury. On Monday, Orozco said by text: “I do not feel bad at all, thank goodness.” I spoke with Duran over the phone Wednesday, in which he told me: “I am a little body sore but that’s it. I’ll be ready to ride [Thursday].” Surely, we will see Francisco and Irving back in the winner’s circle very soon.
“A trio of Northern California trainers will saddle participants in major stakes at Churchill Downs on Friday and Saturday. Blaine Wright has 4-year-old colt Riser slated to run in Friday’s Grade 3 $200,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint for older horses going five furlongs on the turf. The grey/roan son of Mizzen Mast won a pair of stakes at Emerald Downs last summer and makes his 2018 debut in the ‘Turf Sprint. He has been training regularly over the Golden Gate Fields tapeta in preparation this race.
“Twenty-six-year-old conditioner Ari Herbertson will run Pyscho Sister, who most recently won an allowance race at Golden Gate last month. The New-York bred will be facing 10 other fillies and mares in the Grade 2 $300,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile. Hollendorfer is represented in the Kentucky Derby with Lecomte Stakes (G3) winner Instilled Regard, who recently ran third in the
“Ten races are scheduled on Derby Day at Golden Gate, with the program featuring a trio of allowance races. Fans on-track have a chance to take part in the annual ‘Derby Day Hat Contest, where patrons can show off their stylish Kentucky Derby hats and win cash vouchers for their creativity and style. Food and drink specials will be offered throughout the afternoon, multiple food trucks will be on hand and local band “The Spirit of 29” will be performing.”
Bob Ike SA pick of the day
SEVENTH RACE: No. 7 Arms Runner (7-2)
Comebacker from the red-hot
Sunday Result: War Heroine ($6.20) wired her opponents as we had hoped, helping us go three for four with newsletter picks last week.
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).
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And now the star of the show, Thursday’s entries.
Santa Anita Entries for Thursday, May 3.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 11th day of a 42-day meet.
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $48,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $100,000-$85,000.
|1||Primo Touch||Geovanni Franco||122||Dan L. McFarlane||5-2||100,000|
|2||Samdar||Tiago Pereira||119||Gary Stute||8-1||85,000|
|3||True Loyalty||Joseph Talamo||122||James P. DiVito||2-1||100,000|
|4||Honeymoonz Over||Tyler Conner||122||Doug F. O’Neill||8-1||100,000|
|5||Magic Musketier||Asa Espinoza||112||Jerry Hollendorfer||4-1||85,000|
|6||Platinum Equity||Franklin Ceballos||115||Richard Baltas||3-1||90,000|
7 Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000. State bred.
|1||Black Storm||Brayan Pena||123||Lloyd C. Wicker||8-1||40,000|
|2||Big Bad Gary||Franklin Ceballos||115||Ruben Gomez||6-1||50,000|
|3||Extreme Heat||Asa Espinoza||118||Michele Dollase||5-2||50,000|
|4||Johnny Ray||Tyler Baze||120||Blake R. Heap||2-1||50,000|
|5||Git On Your Pulpit||Tiago Pereira||120||Kathy Walsh||9-5||50,000|
|6||Severin||Alonso Quinonez||120||Paula S. Capestro||12-1||50,000|
7 Furlongs. Purse: $20,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000.
|1||Ransomed||Franklin Ceballos||121||Sal Gonzalez||7-2||16,000|
|2||Party Hostess||Asa Espinoza||119||Jerry Hollendorfer||9-5||16,000|
|3||She’sluckythatway||Octavio Vergara, Jr.||126||James F. Sayler||20-1||16,000|
|4||Little Nati||Alonso Quinonez||126||Victor L. Garcia||7-2||16,000|
|5||Gemini Journey||Tiago Pereira||126||William Spawr||5-1||16,000|
|6||Tiki Bar Logic||Joseph Talamo||126||Michael Machowsky||5-2||16,000|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $23,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.
|1||So Golden||Joseph Talamo||125||James M. Cassidy||8-1||25,000|
|2||Looking At Thelake||Tyler Baze||125||John W. Sadler||7-2||25,000|
|4||Road Test||Tyler Conner||125||Jack Carava||6-1||25,000|
|5||Oh Scatty Oh||Franklin Ceballos||118||Steven Miyadi||6-1||22,500|
|6||Khaleesi||Brice Blanc||123||Michael Machowsky||6-1||22,500|
|7||Instinctual Kash||Geovanni Franco||120||Jeffrey Metz||8-1||25,000|
|8||Hotsy Dotsy||Asa Espinoza||118||Hector O. Palma||6-1||25,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $56,000. Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. State bred.
|1||Queen Bee to You||Edwin Maldonado||126||Michael Pender||5-2|
|2||Tapitha Bonita||Franklin Ceballos||113||Sal Gonzalez||6-1|
|3||Starr of Quality||Tiago Pereira||124||William Spawr||4-1|
|4||Donut Girl||Tyler Conner||118||Hector O. Palma||6-1|
|5||Silverspun Pickup||Martin Pedroza||120||Michael Machowsky||8-1|
|6||Lostintranzlation||Geovanni Franco||126||Richard Baltas||7-5|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $25,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $20,000-$18,000.
|1||Pachi the Grey||Asa Espinoza||115||Jerry Hollendorfer||8-1||20,000|
|2||Gringo Star||Alonso Quinonez||122||Ian Kruljac||4-1||20,000|
|3||Joeray||Tyler Conner||122||David Jacobson||3-1||20,000|
|4||Don’t Stalk Me||Franklin Ceballos||117||Steven Miyadi||3-1||20,000|
|5||Royal Trump||Tyler Baze||122||John W. Sadler||5-2||20,000|
|6||Lipster||Heriberto Figueroa||115||Jorge Periban||12-1||20,000|
|7||Optic||Edwin Maldonado||122||George Papaprodromou||10-1||20,000|
|8||Curly’s Mark||Geovanni Franco||122||Philip A. Oviedo||10-1||20,000|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $58,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.
|1||Conqueror||Geovanni Franco||123||Vladimir Cerin||6-1|
|2||Ann Arbor Eddie||Mario Gutierrez||125||Doug F. O’Neill||6-1|
|3||Fly to Mars||Asa Espinoza||116||Peter Miller||4-1|
|4||Acceptance||Stewart Elliott||125||Kenneth D. Black||6-1|
|5||Brandothebartender||Franklin Ceballos||120||Andrew Lerner||12-1|
|6||Cimpl Man||Tyler Baze||125||Gary Mandella||6-1||62,500|
|7||Arms Runner||Israel Ocampo||123||Peter Miller||7-2|
|8||Tristan’s Trilogy||Joseph Talamo||123||Rafael Becerra||12-1|
|9||Bombard||Martin Garcia||123||Richard E. Mandella||5-1|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $30,000.
|1||Bragging Rights||Heriberto Figueroa||115||John W. Sadler||6-1||30,000|
|2||Heather’s Wish||Brayan Pena||122||Caesar F. Dominguez||50-1||30,000|
|3||A Little Romance||Tyler Conner||122||David Jacobson||8-1||30,000|
|4||Mongolian Princess||Stewart Elliott||122||Enebish Ganbat||10-1||30,000|
|5||Pray for Corday||Martin Pedroza||122||Sal Gonzalez||20-1||30,000|
|6||Spacerika||Ruben Fuentes||122||Salvador Orozco||6-1||30,000|
|8||Complete Discreet||Tiago Pereira||122||Sam J. Scolamieri||8-1||30,000|
|9||Teen Angel||Mario Gutierrez||122||George Papaprodromou||8-1||30,000|
|10||Daisy’s Stormcat||Octavio Vergara, Jr.||122||Marcelo Polanco||50-1||30,000|
|11||Sea Glass||Geovanni Franco||122||Ian Kruljac||9-5||30,000|