Opening Day Los Alamitos Winter Thoroughbred Season

The Los Alamitos Winter Thoroughbred Season gets underway today and runs through December 18 Racing will be conducted on a Thursday through Sunday basis with the first race going off at 1 p.m weekdays and 12:30 p.m. weekends

Meet highlights:
GI CashCall Futurity and GI Starlet this Saturday.
California Chrome pointing towards the Winter Challenge on Dec 17.
Live Money Handicapping Contest on Dec 17 offering 3 seats to the 2017 National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.

For the Quarter Horse fans, The GI $600,000 Champion of Champions and GI Los Al $2 Million Futurity this Saturday and Sunday night.

Opening Day selections:

Race 1: 8-3-9

#8 Pacific Song improved when stretching out two starts ago and finished second when part of a pace duel. He stepped up in class and tried the tapeta surface at Golden Gate with little impact. He's back on dirt and back at a level that he fits with.

Race 2: 3-6-5

#3 Just Bookin finished first last time but was disqualified. A repeat of any of his last four efforts should have him in the mix.

Race 3:  9-8-5

#9 Sooner Time has the speed to clear the field. Send and try to take them all the way.

Race 4:  3-5-1

#3 Liana Skye comes off back to back second place finishes against similar. High percentage trainer puts them in the right spots.

Race 5:  8-6-4

#8 Kristie's Heart broke last of nine in her last effort and lost all chance. This is the lowest class level she has raced and a repeat of her previous four efforts would make her tough in this spot.

Race 6:  10-7-1

#10 With Love returns to dirt after giving the turf a try. There is some speed in this field and I think she can find her self sitting behind the pace setters waiting to make her move down the stretch.

Race 7: 1-7-5

#1 Rough Passage is a horse-for-course with two wins and a second in three local starts. Likes to be on the lead and the rail post should give him an advantage with the short run heading into the first turn.

Race 8: 10-4-2

#10 And Then Some has been running well as of late and has enough speed to get into a good position early on. The key will be to work out a trip from that outside post.


Del Mar 8.12.16

Tomorrow is Donuts day at Del Mar. Free and open to the public to watch morning workouts and a Q&A with racing personalities while enjoying some donuts. In the previous edition of Donut day, jockey Victor Espinoza, Art Sherman and the connections of California Chrome were the featured guests. This edition will feature Jill Baffert (Bob Baffert's wife and race horse Owner), Kaleem Shah (Owner of the talented Dortmund) and Jay Slender (gate starter).

Friday's picks:

Race 1:  5-2-8

#5 Correlation has performed well in two of her starts against much tougher competition. The drop in class and return to a sprint looks like a good spot for her to get the win.

Race 2:  4-5-3

#4 Ciao Bella Rosa finished a good third in her debut a couple of weeks ago. The filly that won that day could turn out to be a very good runner. Any improvement from this filly should make her tough to beat here.

Race 3:  8-4-3

#8 Broadway Nika has two wins over this track and is coming into this race off a small break. His last win was with this jockey off a short break.

Race 4:  10-1-8

#10 Alexita didn't get the best of trips last time but still managed to finish a decent third against a bit of higher level competition. A clean start from the outside should have her in great position throughout.

Race 5:  6-5-7

#6 Point Streak looks to have some good works to prepare for her debut. Although the barn is not known for turf runners, I think this filly has some talent.

Race 6:  2-7-5

#2 Spitfire made a nice improvement in his second start to break his maiden when switching to the dirt. That win was visually impressive given that the track was very speed friendly and closers were not making much of an impact. This guy closed from last to win by over four lengths.

Race 7:  7-6-2

#7 Rocket Heat loves this turf course and has plenty of early speed to try to make them catch him.

Race 8:  7-9-3

#7 If Ur Not Early has some win-early pedigree and lands a field that doesn't have any standouts. He doesn't need to be a star to make some noise here.


Del Mar 8.11.16

We are just nine days away from the GI TVG Pacific Classic. California Chrome worked well at Los Al and Beholder is now 'probable' for the Pacific Classic after also working well at Del Mar. Can't wait.

Thursday's picks:

Race 1:  4-3-1

#4 Super Touch has been given some time off since late June when running non-threatening eight in a field of nine against straight maidens. I like the drop in class and the return to a sprint.

Race 2:  7-1-6

#7 Armored Car returns to the claiming ranks and has speed figures at this distance that fit well against this group.

Race 3:  5-9-7

#5 Margie's Minute can win on the lead or off the pace and that is a very good thing in a spot like this. I like that Rafael Bejarano takes the call for this barn.

Race 4:  1-4-8

#1 Toy's Party makes his debut in a field that really hasn't shown much.  The three local workouts should have him used to his surroundings and this jockey/trainer combination have won plenty of races up north.

Race 5:  8-6-4

#8 Back to Bako has run well at time and i think he will sit a good trip stalking the pace. This jockey has ridden him well in previous mounts.

Race 6: 4-6-5

#4 Her Royalness has some good works and attracts the services of jockey Mike Smith for a trainer that know how to get them ready to fire first time out.

Race 7:  4-5-1

#4 Moonie ran too good to lose last time. Should be close to the pace in a great spot around the turn. A repeat effort should get her to the winner's circle.

Race 8:  4-2-8

#4 Clickjab takes a big class drop and has a series of works over this surface. This jockey rode him well two and three races ago. This is his spot to break his maiden.


Del Mar 8.10.16

The Del Mar summer season is just about at the half-way point and there's less than two weeks until the GI $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic. Let's hope Beholder is still being pointed towards a match up with California Chrome and Dortmund.

Today's picks:

Race 1: 4-6-5

#4 PayThe Fine looked like he was going to add them all through the rail when he ran out of room and had to take up. Today might be his day.

Race 2:  1-4-6

#1 The Cat's Leavin is a five year old debut winner and she looked good in that race. I like her local workouts and she should be firing from the start from that inside post position.

Race 3:  4-1-3

#4 Ky Colonel didn't show much in his debut but this barn is much better with horses with racing experience. I think we'll see a much improved effort today.

Race 4: 4-2-7

#4 Basinca ran too good to lose last time when losing by nose over this track at this same level when she was over seven lengths clear of the third place finisher. The shorter distance should help.

Race 5:  7-9-6

#7 Too Much Drama was a solid second in her first try at a mile and now gets the services of Rafael Bejarano. I think she's going to be sitting in a great spot turning for home.

Race 6:  1-4-3

#1 Lucky Whalen comes out of a debut race where she faces some talented runners. He didn't show much in that debut but that experience should have him ready for a better effort today.

Race 7:  4-3-1

#4 Songforjohnmichael has been facing stakes company going two turns and today he gets back to the allowance optional claiming level at a sprint distance. His race four starts back was visually impressive.

Race 8:  2-10-11

#2 Starlite Style should have won her last race when finishing a fast closing second. She should be able to save some ground from the inside post to set up her closing kick.