Handicapping Tip of the Day #40 – Thoroughbred Race Horses are Not Machines

See Arrogate July 22, 2017 at Del Mar.

 

Super horse Arrogate Loses

The horse racing world was turned upside-down when Arrogate, rated the top horse in the world and the all-time leading money winner among North American thoroughbreds, suffered one of the biggest upsets in thoroughbred history Saturday at Del Mar, Calif. Arrogate, the 1-20 favorite in the $300,000 San Diego Handicap, finished fourth. After his subpar performance,… [Read more…]

Top Trainer Bob Baffert Talking Del Mar 2017 [Video]

Del mar chantal billboardThe 78th season of horse racing at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club starts Wednesday, July 19th. Bob Baffert, one of the sports all-time best trainers, has a horse named Arrogate that will race twice at Del Mar this season.

Here’s trainer Bob Baffert talking about the …

Source: Top Trainer Bob Baffert Talking Del Mar

‘Super Bowl’ of Horse Racing Worth $100 Million to San Diego Economy

Del Mar racingSan Diego Chargers may have left, but the “Super Bowl of horse racing ” – Breeders’ Cup 2017 –  is coming to Del Mar in November and will be worth $100 million to the San Diego economy.

A total of $4.5 million has been spent to upgrade the track and add 2,700 premium seating options, including a $1.5 million chalet village at the west end of the stretch run. “This is not your grandmother’s Del Mar,” said Fravel.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer estimated the two-day event will be worth $100 million to the local economy and be a significant public relations coup for both San Diego and Del Mar. “Millions of people will be watching the event on television across the globe,” he said.

Source: ‘Super Bowl’ of Horse Racing Worth $100 Million to San Diego Economy

2017 Breeders’ Cup Tickets For Sale Beginning March 6

Del Mar racingThe Breeders’ Cup announced that tickets for the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar will go on sale to the public on Monday, March 6. This is the first time that Del Mar will host the Breeders’ Cup.

Source: Breeders’ Cup Tickets For Sale Beginning March 6

Great Horse Racing Videos – Chrome in the 2016 Pacific Classic

“California Chrome in a canter!” ~ announcer Trevor Denman

Kentucky Derby champion California Chrome smashes to victory in the 2016 Pacific Classic, defeating a solid Grade 1 field that included the super mare Beholder and the talented runner Dortmund.

Later this year California Chrome will attempt to become the first 5-year-old Thoroughbred to add the Breeders’ Cup Classic to a resume that includes the Kentucky Derby.   Derby winners who won the Classic are: 3yos Unbridled, American Pharoah and Sunday Silence, and 4yos Ferdinand and Alysheba.  It’s a difficult task and rare for an older horse to accomplish, especially since few Derby winners get to compete at an advanced age.

2016 Pacific Classic, Saturday August 20, 2016 at Del Mar

 

 

AGOS Horses to Watch – July 18, 2016

The opening of “The Spa” should be a national holiday, or at least a day off for horseplayers.  They’ve been opening the doors since 1863, exactly one month after the Battle of Gettysburg. If you listen closely you may hear the sounds of past champions thundering down the stretch. But you’ll have to find out for yourself and add this track to your racing bucket list.  Want to learn how to “Beat Saratoga?”  Download this report today.

Del Mar

Langham (7/15/16 – DMR Race #10 – #9 – 1 mile turf) – Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith up for John Sadler and this first timer made an explosive run on the far turn into average fractional times. Keep an eye for this guy next out as I think he’s going to get better with every outing.

Belmont Park

Bobby on Fleck (7/9/16 – BEL Race #1 – #5 – 6f on the main –  Irad Ortiz was the pilot for Chad Brown and these guys do very good work as a team winning (27%). This first timer was pretty impressive and deserves a good play right back. He came into the race with a resume of bullet works and drew off strongly at the 3/16 th’s pole  to win by six lengths. He may be a nice play right back moving up the ladder.

Eloweasel (BEL 7/9/16 – Race #2 – #6 – 1 mile turf)  Manny Franco’s mount broke open the gate prior to the start and just stood there.  Either the asst. starter gets a raise, or she just wasn’t ready this day. Once the gates broke she was two wide early and ventured out in the six path rounding the far turn. We’ll give her a pass on this one and look for a blockbuster price next out. Think of this as a teaching moment that will pay boxcars !

Economic Model (BEL 7/9/16 – Race #7 – #6 – 1 mile dirt) –  Irad Ortiz and Chad Brown once again and this son of Flatter came in 4/5 ITM travelling over four different tracks. Ever since the dismal display in the (G-2) Tampa Derby, he has come back to reel off to straight wins. The barn looks to have her figured out and will be pointing to the Spa where he broke his maiden last year. Good things are coming from this guy.

Indygita (BEL 7/16/16 – Race #2 – #4 – 1 mile turf) –  Irad Ortiz in the irons and his filly stumbled leaving the starting gate and was forced out wide at the 1/16th pole. Look for this gal to improve and get a better trip next out.

She Doesn’t Mind (BEL 7/17/16 – Race #8 – #9 – 1 mile turf) –  Javier Castellano in the saddle for Chad Brown and this race appeared to have her making up good ground.  Go back and take a harder look and you’ll see she was forced wide into the stretch and while trying to find her best stride was held up and blocked down the lane. She should give the fits next time out.

Claimer of the Week from Del Mar

Del Mar racingOlympic Blue broke from an outside post, contested the lead after the opening quarter mile, took command at the top of the stretch and hung on to win the first race on opening day of the Del Mar meet. It was the ninth career victory for Olympic Blue, who has been named the agameofskill.com Claimer of the Week.

 

The 5 year old defeated fellow $12,500 claimers on the fast main track going a mile, and stopped the timer in 1:37.11. The gelding’s backers were well rewarded with a win ticket that returned $19.60. The son of Olympio, who has now won on dirt, grass, and artificial surfaces, was masterfully ridden by Rafael Bejarano. He was claimed from his last race at Golden Gate by trainer Andy Mathis. The California bred has finished in the money (top three finishers) 17 times from 30 career starts. Owned by the Bran Jam Stable, Olympic Blue has now accumulated nearly $218,000 in lifetime earnings.

American Pharoah at Del Mar

from the Del Mar Press Department

AMERICAN PHAROAH MEETS PRESS UPON DEL MAR ARRIVAL
Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, displaying star cool, was on display for San Diego area media Tuesday morning, about six hours after arrival at the Bob Baffert barn.
American Pharoah vanned down from SDel Mar racinganta Anita in the dead of night with several other Baffert horses, arriving at 4 a.m. Assistant trainer Jim Barnes, who presented the horse in the absence of Baffert – away along with jockey Victor Espinoza to attend the ESPY Awards — said it was a very smooth freeway trip at that hour.
At around 7:30 a.m. American Pharoah, who notched his first career victory in the Del Mar Futurity on Polytrack last September, got his first experience on the new dirt surface, jogging one mile around the main track oval.
“He loves it down here,” Barnes said. “It was just a normal jogging day after a ship.”
A couple of dozen media members, including representatives from six television stations, assembled for what was scheduled to be a 10-minute gathering but ran slightly over that. One reason was that American Pharaoh seemed to be enjoying it so much he resisted the first tug to be led back to his stall. Before it was over, there was no gap between the media and the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years and good feelings appeared mutual.
“He loves selfies,” Barnes said.
American Pharoah will train here for an expected start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in New Jersey on August 2.  The 3-year-old son of Pioneerof The Nile, will go to the track between 7:30 and 7:45 during the week and will have workouts on the weekends.
“You don’t get to meet a Triple Crown winner very often, so we’re delighted to have him here,” said Joe Harper, Del Mar President and CEO. “He’s looking very good and we’re glad to have him back where (his career) started.”

Off the Charts Trip Notes – AGameofSkill.com, July 24, 2012

Off the Charts Trip Notes (July 24, 2012) spotlights horses throughout the country who encountered some type of significant or meaningful trouble in their most recent start or just gave an extremely impressive performance. Please note that horses spotlighted in Off the Charts Trip Notes are never an automatic bet back, but rather runners to give a serious look at given the trips and the trouble spotted by our expert handicappers at AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in track name order.

At Del Mar

Race 3 on opening day featured notable troubled trips for three runners, each of whom are discussed below.

NONSENSE (Race 3 at DMR, July 18, claimer, 1 1/16 poly).  This live longshot stumbled very badly at the start despite my favorite announcer calling a “good start for all.” Bided his time in last after the awful start before making a strong move into the far turn. Went extremely wide at the top of the stretch, losing all chance again, but was not beaten far in the end. Sneaky great performance for horse that loves the all weather.

CELESTIC NIGHT (Race 3 at DMR, July 18, claimer, 1 1/16 poly). One of the betting favorites, his troubled trip was highlighted on TVG so not likely to get a price on this guy next time. Leparoux  took the inside route and that didn’t work as he blocked at the 1/8th pole and then was steadied between horses just as he was ready to make a big run. With a clean path he could have won.

FIRE BREAK (Race 3 at DMR, July 18, claimer, 1 1/16 poly). This was the other finisher out of race 3 who could have fared much better with an improved trip. Simply put, this guy was wide pretty much every step of the way, beginning with going 5 wide on the first turn. He gave up several lengths to some of the other rivals in here yet still managed to finish a solid third, beaten only 3 1/2 lengths at the wire.

YANKEE REBEL (Race 2 at DMR, July 19, mdcl 80, 5f poly). This first time starter for trainer Bob Hess was visually impressive as he powered home late and won with no urging from jockey Garrett Gomez. This guy should be able to handle a step up in class.

SHE SPIRIT DI SU (Ire) (Race 3 at DMR, July 19, turf). Second choice in the wagering, she waited briefly at the top of the lane when the jock then decided to go the inside route. Jock very briefly looked to alter course at the 1/8th pole but then again ducked to the inside and she finished very strongly up the rail and inside of horses, which is difficult to do. Narrowly missed on the wire.

MISSDEALORNODEAL (Race 6 DMR, July 19th, polytrack, 5 ½ furlongs) Heavy favorite in field of nine. Stumbled severely at start with her nose touching the ground and instantly falling 9-10 lengths from early leaders. The mare showed great courage and determination going very wide and passing others to earn a close third. No doubt she was the best horse in the field.

MAGIC SCHOOL (Race 7 at DMR, July 19). Talamo mount trailed in a swiftly run 5-horse field. Proceeded to make a winning run into the far turn but was then blocked behind a trio of runners at the top of the stretch. Was steadied at the 1/8th pole and, while this was happening, the runner tried to savage (bite) the horse to his outside. Cleaner trip would have put this one much closer at the wire.

ACAFFELLA (Race 7 at DMR, July 22, claimer $40k, 1 1/16 miles). This closer was making a huge late run down the middle of track and was very unlucky to get squeezed between horses nearing the 1/16th pole. The race was won by the classy Jaycito, but this 4yo son of Mr. Greeley would have given him a run to the wire. Loves the synthetic tracks.

At Saratoga

SALTO (Ire) (Race 1 at SAR, July 20, 1m inner turf). This guy suffered a very unlucky trip in this two turn route affair. He was buried down inside for most of the running, blocked at the top of the lane and blocked again midway down the stretch as he was making a strong late run. Certainly deserves another chance as he lost whatever chance he had on this day under Javier Castellano who is normally one of the best turf riders on the grounds.

At Thistledown

MR. C’S LEGACY (Race 4 at TDN, mdspwt, 6f dirt). This first time starter showed very good early speed and pressured the legitimate 1-5 favorite, a shipper from Keeneland, throughout the entire race before giving way in the final 1/8th of a mile. Easily held 2nd in a strong performance. Doesn’t has the best way of going (action) but that shouldn’t stop him from breaking his maiden in the near future.

At Woodbine

PASSIONISTA and AMERICANA RAISA (Race 2, July 22 at WO, polytrack, 6 furlongs) A pair of 2 year old fillies bet 6th and 7th in a field of 7, respectively. Both fillies ran between others down the backstretch. American Raisa was the first of the two to check in tight quarters and back out of contention just short of the 5/8 pole. Passionista, who appeared sharp with the addition of blinkers, checked sharply just before the turn. Both dropped way back and lost all hopes of securing a paycheck. They are eligible to improve in a big way in their next starts.