Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back as our horse racing newsletter looks at who others think is the best 3-year-old.
You’ve heard me rail about the East Coast bias when it comes to the perception of racing. So, it was with great interest when I saw that the first NTRA poll of top 3-year-olds came out and Good Magic, the Eclipse Award winner, was first and Bolt D’Oro was second. Magic had 24 first-place votes and Bolt had 11. That’s pretty convincing.
So, I drilled down at the votes, which you can see here. My thought was that East Coasters voted for their horses and West Coasters voted for their horses.
I was dead wrong.
There are 38 voters in the poll and using the scientific method of looking up addresses in the 2017 NTWAB membership directory and checking out names on Twitter, I found that of the three California voters, none voted for Bolt.
Two Calis, Debbie Arrington and our answer-man contributor Jon White, voted for Good Magic and Scott Hazelton, the astute TVG analyst, voted for McKinzie.
Now, it should be pointed out that this poll is not who will win the Kentucky Derby but who is currently the best 3-year-old. More on what they’ve done than what they will do. We’ll explain more very soon as we debut a feature on who will win the Derby.
Now, it does bear looking at the makeup of the voters. First, we are going to throw out five names whose location could not be found in this haphazard examination of residences.
So, of the remaining 33, 13 were from the upper East Coast (NY/NJ/NH/CT) or 39%. Kentucky had eight (including two folks with the same last name who voted exactly the same 1-10) or 24%. The largest population state in the U.S., California, has, as stated, three or 9%.
Illinois had two voters or 6% and Canada, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas each had one voter or 3% each.
Is this fair? I don’t know, you tell me.
The NTRA isn’t trying to rig the game, of that I’m sure. I’ve put together polls before and sometimes you just look for people who are willing to participate and it’s no more complicated than that. And they’ve assembled a good group, including the current NTWAB president and four past presidents. That’s some firepower.
In the end, of course, it doesn’t matter because it will be decided on the track. But polls are a great vehicle for conversation and discussion and civil arguing is a good thing. Non-betting disagreements only make the sport more relevant. Betting disagreements are often settled in two minutes or less.
Santa Anita preview
Thursday’s card has one good-news race and one bad news. It’s hard to call any of the races on the eight-race card a true feature but for a Thursday it beats most other tracks.
The good news is the seventh, a 1 1/8 mile allowance/optional claimer on the turf. The purse of $54,000 has attracted 10 entrants with three also eligibles. The rail is at 20 feet.
The bad news is a one-mile maiden special weight worth $54,000. The problem is there are only five entrants. First time the entry box has been that low. The full race card is OK for horse population, as follows: 8, 5, 6, 9, 8, 9, 10 (3 also eligible) and 9.
There are only two turf races, also a low for the year.
Golden Gate preview
Last week we added a weekend preview of the best racing coming up at Golden Gate and from the response, we think you like it. New race caller and all-around good guy Matt Dinerman is our host to previews and other musings. So, take it away, Matt.
“We’ll start with some newsworthy jockey notes. Two Northern California riders are getting close to milestone victories. Jockey William Antongeorgi III is six wins away from 1,000 career wins while Francisco Duran is three wins shy of 1,500 victories. Also, 25-year-old Ferrin Peterson will be riding her first career race Thursday in the second race. She will ride Flood Level, who is 8-1 on the morning line. Ferrin has wanted to be a jockey ever since she was a little kid. We wish her the best of luck in becoming a successful jockey.
“Northern California horseman William E. Morey is off to a white-hot start at Santa Anita with his 15-horse string. The son of the late William Morey Jr. has won with nine of his first 15 starters at Santa Anita. His biggest win came last Saturday with Rye in the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic on Cal Cup Day. Another Northern California trainer, O.J. Jauregui, completed the exacta with Camino Del Paraiso, who has competed against Golden Gate allowance and stakes competition in the majority of his races.
“Nominations close Thursday for the $50,000 California Oaks, a 1 1/16 mile race for 3-year-old fillies to be run Saturday, Feb. 10. The California Oaks is the second of 12 stakes races scheduled to be run in this meet. Expected locals to run include Aniva Bay and Divine Mercy, the first two finishers in an allowance race in Dec., and impressive maiden special weight winner Sweetsongofthenile.
“Live racing continues Thursday with our usual first post time of 12:45 PM. Golden Gate has seven races Thursday, eight on Friday and nine on Saturday and Sunday. Super Bowl Sunday will have an early first post of 11:15 a.m.
“This announcer/handicapper has family stretched across the East Coast, so I have no choice but to root for New England. My dad is a huge Patriots fan, and he may be the only racing fan/handicapper that gets more aggravated when the Patriots lose than when he loses a photo finish at the races.”
(Note: The previous paragraph is not authorized or endorsed by this newsletter. Go Eagles.)
Bob Ike’s SA play of the day
SEVENTH RACE: No. 7 The Tulip (4-1)
Mare from Paddy Gallagher barn turned in a solid effort in her U.S. debut, finishing fourth when beaten less than two lengths. She broke slowly, lagged early, saved ground into the lane and closed mostly on her own courage while acting like she will appreciate today's added distance.
Sunday Result: Concur got the all-time perfect trip, cut the corner into stretch to hit the front, then couldn't hold off the top pair late when finishing third.
Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of Horsebills.com 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, February 1.
Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 21st day of a 59-day meet.
6½ Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Soft Trip||Modesto Linares||122||Vernon E. Aguayo||30-1||20,000|
|2||Capes Hot Rocket||Martin Pedroza||122||Vladimir Cerin||5-2||20,000|
|3||Awesome Anywhere||Evin Roman||117||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||9-2||20,000|
|4||Lucky Staxx||Ignacio Puglisi||122||Paul G. Aguirre||8-1||20,000|
|5||Sawbuck||Joseph Talamo||122||John W. Sadler||3-1||20,000|
|6||Tiz the Ticket||Santiago Gonzalez||122||Ruben Gomez||12-1||20,000|
|7||Spend It||Tyler Baze||122||Rafael Becerra||3-1||20,000|
|8||Spokane Eagle||Tyler Conner||122||Neil D. Drysdale||8-1||20,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $54,000. Maiden Special Weight. 4 year olds and up.
|1||Momma's Baby Boy||Flavien Prat||122||Jerry Hollendorfer||8-5|
|2||Surfside Sunset||Kent Desormeaux||122||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||5-2|
|3||Antioch||Joseph Talamo||122||Gerard Piccioni||3-1|
|4||Insubordination||Santiago Gonzalez||122||G. F. Almeida||10-1|
|5||Hollywood Strike||Victor Espinoza||122||John A. Shirreffs||3-1|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000.
|1||Madelyn's Wild Max||Brayan Pena||121||Genaro Vallejo||4-1||16,000|
|2||Next Speaker||Rafael Bejarano||121||Jeff Bonde||4-1||16,000|
|3||Here and There||Rajiv Maragh||121||Robert N. Falcone, Jr.||7-2||16,000|
|4||Bear Skinned||Martin Pedroza||121||Jack Carava||8-1||16,000|
|5||Airfoil||Flavien Prat||121||Peter Miller||9-5||16,000|
|6||Iron Rob||Tiago Pereira||121||Mike Puype||4-1||16,000|
About 6½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $30,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $32,000.
|1||Elwood J||Rafael Bejarano||123||Jerry Hollendorfer||5-1||32,000|
|2||Ketos||Tiago Pereira||123||John W. Sadler||6-1||32,000|
|3||Rate for Me||Tyler Baze||123||George Weaver||5-2||32,000|
|4||Green With Eddie||Mario Gutierrez||123||Doug F. O'Neill||6-1||32,000|
|5||Los Gatos||Martin Pedroza||123||William Spawr||4-1||32,000|
|6||Taima the Hawk||Drayden Van Dyke||123||Vann Belvoir||5-1||32,000|
|7||My Man Chuckles||Flavien Prat||123||Richard Baltas||6-1||32,000|
|8||Exotic Ghost||Stewart Elliott||123||Mike Puype||8-1||32,000|
|9||At Ease||Brice Blanc||123||Hector O. Palma||15-1||32,000|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.
|1||Papa Turf||Santiago Gonzalez||121||Brian J. Koriner||6-1||25,000|
|2||Red Carpet Cat||Drayden Van Dyke||121||Vann Belvoir||6-1||25,000|
|3||Beantown Boys||Joseph Talamo||121||John W. Sadler||8-1||25,000|
|4||True Valor||Kent Desormeaux||121||J. Keith Desormeaux||6-1||25,000|
|5||Well Measured||Evin Roman||116||Jack Carava||5-2||25,000|
|6||Rocket Heat||Geovanni Franco||121||Mark Glatt||3-1||25,000|
|7||Allaboutaction||Tyler Conner||121||Jerry Hollendorfer||12-1||25,000|
|8||Classico||Rafael Bejarano||121||Doug F. O'Neill||6-1||25,000|
7 Furlongs. Purse: $23,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $25,000-$22,500.
|1||Chay Up and Away||Ignacio Puglisi||123||Paul G. Aguirre||12-1||25,000|
|2||C. C. Zipp||Evin Roman||118||Jerry Hollendorfer||5-2||25,000|
|3||Reckless Charm||Tiago Pereira||123||James M. Cassidy||15-1||25,000|
|4||Christy Jackson||Tyler Baze||123||Kenneth D. Black||8-1||25,000|
|5||Tiki Bar Logic||Joseph Talamo||123||Michael Machowsky||6-1||25,000|
|6||Princess Dorian||Geovanni Franco||123||Reed Saldana||8-1||25,000|
|7||Little Nati||Franklin Ceballos||116||Victor L. Garcia||10-1||25,000|
|8||Fly Far Away||Flavien Prat||123||Vladimir Cerin||7-2||25,000|
|9||Road Test||Mario Gutierrez||123||Jack Carava||4-1||25,000|
1 1/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $56,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Proud 'n' Ready||Mario Gutierrez||120||Michael W. McCarthy||20-1|
|2||Bombilate||Kent Desormeaux||122||James M. Cassidy||4-1|
|3||Glory and Power||Brice Blanc||122||Paulo H. Lobo||20-1|
|4||Scandal||Mike Smith||124||Richard E. Mandella||4-1|
|5||Pantsonfire||Rajiv Maragh||122||Richard Baltas||7-2|
|6||Sasini||Rafael Bejarano||122||Simon Callaghan||12-1|
|7||The Tulip||Drayden Van Dyke||122||Patrick Gallagher||4-1|
|8||Night Time Inc||Santiago Gonzalez||124||Martin F. Jones||20-1|
|9||Pistol Packin Rose||Kyle Frey||120||Doug F. O'Neill||8-1|
|10||Antonina||Geovanni Franco||124||Paulo H. Lobo||30-1|
|11||Causeforcommotion||Evin Roman||117||J. Eric Kruljac||5-1|
|12||Siberian Iris||Flavien Prat||122||Richard E. Mandella||4-1|
|13||Lynne's Legacy||Victor Espinoza||124||James M. Cassidy||12-1|
6 Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Prices $50,000-$40,000. State bred.
|1||Lady California||Austin Solis||122||Daniel Dunham||50-1||50,000|
|2||My Scarlett||Tyler Baze||120||Jorge Periban||12-1||40,000|
|3||Lucky Lula||Geovanni Franco||120||J. Eric Kruljac||5-2||40,000|
|4||Irish Lassie||Tiago Pereira||122||Gerard Piccioni||10-1||50,000|
|5||Proudly Elegant||Franklin Ceballos||115||Vladimir Cerin||8-1||50,000|
|6||Impecunious||Joseph Talamo||122||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||6-5||50,000|
|7||Sunset Melody||Cecily Evans||122||Marcia Stortz||15-1||50,000|
|8||My Claw||Alonso Quinonez||122||Gary Sherlock||6-1||50,000|
|9||Dee Way to Go||Evin Roman||117||Jorge Periban||12-1||50,000|