Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we return to our regularly scheduled Thursday report.
Can’t express how excited we are to start our daily Kentucky Derby video feature courtesy of our friends at XBTV.com. Jeff Siegel and Aaron Vercruysse run down each of the horses in the Kentucky Derby. Today is part one of four. To watch and learn: (Just click here.)
It’s a little more than a week out and there is other Kentucky Derby news. In short, Gronkowski and Quip are out and Combatant and Instilled Regard are in.
Gronkowski, named for the New England Patriot player, came down with a minor infection and it was decided to not ship him from England to the U.S. He’ll be fine and resume training next week.
“He’s extremely strong and we are excited about getting him to the U.S. to compete in the Belmont,” said Tom Ludt, VP of equine operations for Phoenix Thoroughbreds. He might be a nice fit for the Belmont.
His defection is a minor blow for serious bettors, because of the name he was expected to be over-bet in the Derby thus raising the odds of the horses that have a legit shot to win. He had won four in a row but this isn’t the Burradon Stakes.
The other defection was Quip, who trainer Rodolphe Brisset felt would just not be ready to come back on three weeks rest after running second in the Arkansas Derby. He has the same ownership as presumptive favorite Justify, the China Horse Club and WinStar Farms. He now looking to run in the Preakness, which, again, might be a nice fit.
Combatant has only one win in seven starts and that was a maiden special weight. He finished fourth in the Arkansas Derby and third in the Rebel Stakes.
Instilled Regard joins Bolt d’Oro, Justify, My Boy Jack and Solomini as horses based at Santa Anita. He was bought last year at the Ocala Breeders Sale for a shade over $1 million. His most memorable race was the Los Alamitos Futurity, a star-studded race in which Solomini crossed the finish line ahead of McKinzie, but stewards determined that Solomini interfered with Instilled Regard and Solomini was taken down to third. You can make a case that if there was no interference Instilled Regard would have won the race.
He followed that race up with a win in the Lecomte Stakes but then finished fourth in the Risen Star and Santa Anita Derby.
Veteran turf journalist Jennie Rees, of JR Communications (@tracksidejennie), is on the scene in Kentucky and shares with us this video of trainer Todd Pletcher talking about his four horses. (you can watch here)
We’re trying to make this your home for Kentucky Derby news. So, please enjoy.
Santa Anita preview
Really good betting card on Thursday, based on field size. The feature, we think, is the 1 ¼ mile allowance/optional claimer for horses 4 and up. It goes as the seventh race with a field of nine. There are three turf races, first, fourth and eighth, and five of the eight are straight-up claimers. But, hey, that’s the horse population and that’s why Santa Anita has done a way better job this year offering fuller fields than last.
Here’s are the field sizes, in order: 7, 7, 9, 10, 9, 12, 9, 9 (5 also eligible).
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.
“This weekend, two stakes races will be featured on the Sunday card at Golden Gate Fields. The Silky Sullivan Stakes, for California-bred or California sired 3-year-old colts and geldings, offers a purse of $100,000, while the Campanile Stakes, for California-bred or California sired 3-year-old fillies, has a guaranteed purse of $100,000 as well. Both races will be run at one mile on the turf.
“The Silky Sullivan lists a cast of 19 nominations. Leading the group of nominees is multiple stakes winner Heck Yeah, a Bob Baffert trainee who most recently won The Echo Eddie Stakes on Santa Anita Derby day. Local Golden Gate horses on the “noms” list include allowance performers Night At the Opera and Unpossible, along with impressive maiden winners Aigle, Daddysprize and J T’s A. T. M.
“The Campanile attracted 13 nominees. Pulpit Rider, from the Mike Puype barn, won the California Oaks two starts ago and most recently finished fourth in the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes behind El Camino Real Derby winner Paved. The daughter of Lucky Pulpit will likely go off favored if she ships up north this weekend. One Fast Broad, a two-time stakes winner from The Mick Ruis stable, is also nominated for the Campanile. Among the local Golden Gate fillies nominated: impressive maiden victor My Sweet Lou and recent winners Gettin Sideways, Impecunious, Lavadia and Our Bold Princess.
“Golden Gate continues the winter/spring meet trend of competitive racing and good field sizes this week, starting off with a seven-race program Thursday afternoon. Sixty-two horses are entered Thursday, which averages out to 8.8 horses a race. There is a strong eight-race card on Friday and another solid sequence of races on Saturday, with four of nine races on the turf. First post on Thursday and Friday is 12:15 p.m. while Saturday and Sunday has a 12:10 p.m. post.”
Bob Ike SA pick of the day
FIFTH RACE: No. 9 Eric the Trojan (7-2)
In a wide-open downhill turf dash, let's give the edge to this class dropper from the Ron Ellis stable. Although he is 0-for-8 over this layout, ‘Trojan has been close on a number of occasions, including a solid third last time vs. much better and figures to get a legitimate pace at which to run.
Sunday Result: Bear Skinned (8-1) ran his race but came up a 1/2 length short when finishing second.
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, April 26.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 7th day of a 42-day meet.
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Angel Allie||Tyler Baze||124||Mark Glatt||7-2||40,000|
|2||Tizanillusion||Joseph Talamo||120||John W. Sadler||4-1|
|3||A Little Bit Me||Kyle Frey||124||Doug F. O'Neill||3-1|
|4||Lightning Dove||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Ronald W. Ellis||4-1|
|5||Beau Square||Corey Nakatani||124||Jack Carava||4-1||40,000|
|6||Queen Anne's Lace||Flavien Prat||122||Dan Blacker||6-1|
|7||Giant Mongolian||Stewart Elliott||120||Enebish Ganbat||12-1|
7 Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000.
|1||Super Terrific||Tiago Pereira||126||Brian J. Koriner||4-1||50,000|
|2||Captivate||Drayden Van Dyke||126||Mike Puype||4-1||50,000|
|3||Invasion Looming||Brayan Pena||124||Charles S. Treece||6-1||40,000|
|4||Imagineiamfastest||Geovanni Franco||120||Hector O. Palma||6-1||50,000|
|5||Tidal Effect||Flavien Prat||120||Simon Callaghan||7-5||50,000|
|6||June Two Four||Edwin Maldonado||120||George Papaprodromou||15-1|
|7||Goodwillambassador||Franklin Ceballos||113||Philip D'Amato||2-1||40,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $6,250.
|1||Forthenineteen||Brayan Pena||121||Genaro Vallejo||4-1||6,250|
|2||Shaula||Juan Sanchez||121||Jose Jesus Avalos||7-2||6,250|
|3||Diamond Proof||Edgar Payeras||114||Jesus Nunez||20-1||6,250|
|4||Easter Fever||Tiago Pereira||121||Victor M. Trujillo||8-1||6,250|
|5||Rockantharos||Mario Gutierrez||121||Antonio Garcia||4-1||6,250|
|6||Not too Shiny||Kyle Frey||121||Jack Carava||9-2||6,250|
|7||Southern Treasure||Edwin Maldonado||121||Rosemary Trela||5-1||6,250|
|8||Tiz Deliteful||Tyler Baze||121||Jeffrey Metz||6-1||6,250|
|9||Kiss My Lulu||Franklin Ceballos||116||William E. Morey||9-2||6,250|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||California Breeze||Geovanni Franco||126||Philip D'Amato||5-2||20,000|
|2||Mi Pajarito||Alonso Quinonez||120||Jorge Periban||10-1||20,000|
|3||Stylist||Martin Pedroza||120||Kristin Mulhall||20-1||20,000|
|4||Mariana's Girl||Tyler Baze||120||Hector O. Palma||15-1||20,000|
|5||Latin Charm||Matt Garcia||126||John Casey Selvester||20-1||20,000|
|6||River Muskrat||Kyle Frey||120||Jerry Hollendorfer||10-1||20,000|
|7||Smart Rachel||Brayan Pena||120||Hector O. Palma||10-1||20,000|
|8||Ib Prospecting||Tyler Conner||126||Peter Eurton||3-1||20,000|
|9||Sweet Treat||Franklin Ceballos||121||Clifford W. Sise, Jr.||4-1||20,000|
|10||Veiled Heat||Asa Espinoza||121||Nestor M. Capitaine||6-1||20,000|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $43,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $50,000-$45,000.
|1||Hitters Park||Stewart Elliott||120||Adam Kitchingman||15-1||45,000|
|2||Eddie Haskell||Mario Gutierrez||122||Doug F. O'Neill||9-2||50,000|
|3||Jan's Reserve||Drayden Van Dyke||120||Craig Anthony Lewis||20-1||45,000|
|4||Ohio||Brice Blanc||122||Paulo H. Lobo||6-1||50,000|
|5||Allaboutmike||Tyler Baze||120||Peter Miller||5-1||45,000|
|6||Moonlight Drive||Joseph Talamo||122||David Jacobson||4-1||50,000|
|7||K Thirty Eight||Geovanni Franco||122||Karen Headley||6-1||50,000|
|8||Home Run Kitten||Victor Espinoza||120||Peter Miller||9-2||45,000|
|9||Eric the Trojan||Flavien Prat||122||Ronald W. Ellis||7-2||50,000|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $20,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000.
|1||Twirling Tiger||Martin Pedroza||123||Jack Carava||10-1||16,000|
|2||Hank the Tank||Asa Espinoza||116||Mike Puype||10-1||16,000|
|3||Stringent||Franklin Ceballos||118||David E. Hofmans||5-2||16,000|
|4||Go Ghetto||Martin Garcia||123||Justin B. Clark||15-1||16,000|
|5||We Go Now||Joseph Talamo||123||Craig Dollase||20-1||16,000|
|6||My Farmer||Brayan Pena||123||George Papaprodromou||6-1|
|7||Atomic Action||Edwin Maldonado||123||Anthony K. Saavedra||10-1||16,000|
|8||Bourque||Ruben Fuentes||123||Mick Ruis||15-1||16,000|
|9||Rick's Dream||Geovanni Franco||123||Hector O. Palma||3-1||16,000|
|10||Fire to the Wire||Santiago Gonzalez||123||Brian J. Koriner||5-1||16,000|
|11||The Common Man||Tiago Pereira||123||Victor M. Trujillo||12-1||16,000|
|12||Levitation||Drayden Van Dyke||123||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||20-1||16,000|
1¼ Mile. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Upper Room||Tyler Baze||122||Peter Eurton||12-1|
|2||Point Piper||Mario Gutierrez||124||Jerry Hollendorfer||9-2||40,000|
|3||Seau||Tyler Conner||120||Jerry Hollendorfer||5-1|
|4||Kid Charming||Drayden Van Dyke||122||James M. Cassidy||3-1|
|5||Mongolian Greywolf||Octavio Vergara, Jr.||122||Enebish Ganbat||15-1|
|6||Kawara||Flavien Prat||124||Richard E. Mandella||5-1|
|7||Van Cortlandt||Stewart Elliott||120||Vladimir Cerin||8-1|
|8||Deal With It Dude||Joseph Talamo||122||Michael W. McCarthy||8-1|
|9||Little Scotty||Asa Espinoza||117||Vladimir Cerin||5-2||40,000|
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $54,000. Maiden. Fillies. 3 year olds.
|1||Lady Lemon Drop||Franklin Ceballos||117||Steven Miyadi||12-1|
|2||Curlin's Prize||Tyler Baze||122||Neil D. Drysdale||12-1|
|3||Luminoso||Geovanni Franco||122||Doug F. O'Neill||5-1|
|4||Party Dancer||Flavien Prat||122||Simon Callaghan||7-2|
|5||Bring On The Band||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Patrick Gallagher||5-1|
|6||Rockin Ready||Joseph Talamo||122||Philip D'Amato||5-2|
|7||Rattle||Tiago Pereira||122||Leonard Powell||12-1|
|8||Curlin's Journey||Mario Gutierrez||122||Dallas E. Keen||6-1|
|9||Heaven Escape||Brice Blanc||122||Paulo H. Lobo||8-1|
|10||Into Glamour||Kent Desormeaux||122||Richard Baltas||4-1|
|11||Aha||Martin Garcia||122||Alexis Barba||30-1|
|12||Unaffordable U||Santiago Gonzalez||122||Richard Baltas||15-1|
|13||Fashion Brand||Tyler Conner||122||Patrick Gallagher||15-1|
|14||Spiel||Mike Smith||122||Richard E. Mandella||10-1|