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    MARK GEIGER: Longshots, Comments, Chalk Festival
    WARREN EVES: Horses to Watch, Comments

  • October 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug    

    Santa Anita Park’s culture must change to stop slide; Hire racing sec, go after every top claimer in land

    Posted By Warren Eves on August 20, 2017

    By Warren Eves Santa Anita’s plunge from greatness can be fixed. I was among many who wrote Tim Ritvo in regard to this issue weeks ago. This week I felt compelled to follow it up. Here’s what I sent Ritvo. Longtime California linemaker Terry Turrell sparked this follow-up communique. Terry asked me if you had responded. My answer was no! I said most likely you had received too much mail to respond. The more I am told Santa Anita’s fall from grace cannot be fixed, the more I am convinced otherwise. The fact that I’m the senior turf writer in the land means zip. The other fact is I care deeply about the (more…)

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    Gal jockey Sasha Risenhoover moves tack to SoCal; Veteran Vince DeGregory to handle his first lady rider

    Posted By Warren Eves on August 13, 2017

    By Warren Eves I’ve been rooting for jockey agent Vince DeGregory for a long time. His faith may have been rewarded last week. Jockey Sasha Risenhoover has moved her tack to Southern California. DeGregory will be her agent. “A few months ago Donna Keen, wife of Dallas Keen, asked me to watch Sasha Risenhoover to see what I thought of her riding ability because she wanted to go to Del Mar this summer to ride,” relates DeGregory. “She wondered if I would take her book. At the time I didn’t have a jockey since I was recovering from back surgery. I watched her ride and win on some favorites, but that didn’t show me much until she won on some longshots. That got my attention…..but she kept riding high.” DeGregory, one of the keener students of riding prowess, sent a text back to Donna Keen that said Risenhoover needed to “get her ass down’ becacuse she was ‘riding too high.’ DeGregory tells the rest of the story. “Two months later? Sasha comes out of Dallas Keen’s stable office(at Del Mar) and immediately says thankyou Vince for telling me to get my ass down.” Risenhoover then intimated she had lowered her stirrups which made a big difference. “I thanked her and I immediately decided that I would be her agent,” says DeGregory. Donna Keen never told Risenhoover that DeGregory has worked for eight Hall of Fame jockeys. “Every day she is working for new trainers,” says DeGregory. “I believe she is going to make it here,” says DeGregory. “She is a very hard worker, who has a wonderful personality. I never thought I would work for a girl jockey and I was asked by a few, but this one is the one God (more…)

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    Meadowlands’ crack handicapping crew aces full!; Brower, Prewitt, Heyden, Warkentin & Horowitz

    Posted By Warren Eves on August 4, 2017

    By Warren Eves The Meadowlands pre-race similcast commentary team is absolute! Every racetrack exec should be required to watch the best thought provoking wagering format show on the planet. Dave Brower and four others bring it! Sound reasoning backs up every opinion they might suggest. To this hardened pari-mutuel bettor, it’s obvious the Big M team of handicappers leave little doubt it’s likely these guys are probably betting real money on their well based opinions. Their show comes on the air before the first race out of East Rutherford, Bergen County, New Jersey. Gabe Prewitt teams with Brower to kick things off prior to race one. It’s obvious these (more…)

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    Someone made a score when Arrogate ran his clunker; Betting trend shows what produced unusual payoffs

    Posted By Warren Eves on July 24, 2017

    By Warren Eves “Somebody made a score.” One astute horse player made that statement after 1-to-20 favorite Arrogate ran a clunker finishing a badly beaten fourth in the San Diego Handicap Saturday at Del Mar. “I wasn’t paying attention to betting trends in that race because I knew there was no way on earth I would be betting on–or against–Arrogate,” said the well known bettor who asked that his name not be used. “So I didn’t notice Accelerant’s 10-to-1 odds plunge to 7-to-1 in the last flash. As soon as the race was (more…)

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    There’s reason why the biggest bettors flock to HKJC; Nearly $19 MILLION was bet PER RACE in Hong Kong

    Posted By Warren Eves on July 20, 2017

    By Warren Eves “Any wonder why the world’s biggest horse bettors have flocked to Hong Kong?” That statement that came our way from Jay Richards, former turf editor of the Las Vegas Review Journal. Richards knows the Hong Kong Jockey Club circuit about as well as anyone. He’s done video tape review of each and every race for the past 26 years. “Hong Kong handled $15.28 BILLION(equivalent in U.S. dollars) over its 88 racing dates during the 2016-17 season which ended Sunday,” reports Richards, “an average of $173.6 million per racing date(U.S. dollars). A total of 807 races were run, making the per-race handle nearly $19 million(U.S. dollars).” (more…)

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    Time for house cleaning at the once great race place; Rick Hammerle’s ways have been mitigated disaster

    Posted By Warren Eves on June 6, 2017

    By Warren Eves It’s time for a house cleaning at the once great race place. Santa Anita Park could not muster enough horses to run on April 27. That spoke loud and clear as to how bleak things have been for some time. The lack of entries issue surfaced again.  A June 8th program in the condition book also had to be scrapped. Anyone who has followed the erosion of Southern California racing over the years, even in casual fashion, knows you don’t have to go any further than to point the finger at Rick Hammerle. That’s why we were shocked when the Stronach Group’s Tim Ritvo told TVG viewers: “Rick Hammerle is a real top racing secretary and director of racing, so we know he knows what he’s doing.” Huh! You gotta be kidding! Ritvo is in Arcadia, Ca., trying to put a finger in the dike which has been on the verge of bursting for a long time. Ritvo appears to be a nice guy, but while he’s (more…)

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    Ky Derby winner may not be coming out of the west; Pletcher appears to have best colt in Always Dreaming

    Posted By Warren Eves on April 9, 2017

    By Warren Eves It was great to see class act John Shirreffs win the Santa Anita Derby with Gormley. Looking at the Ky Derby picture for the first time this year–it’s safe to say this year’s winner probably won’t be Gormley. And…….you probably won’t find the winner of that Derby in Louisville among the 12 colts who chased Gormley to the wire at Santa Anita on April 8. Gormley’s final fraction of 13.61 is the tell tale sign when one is looking for quality. Handicappers must include final fractions(ff) when ferriting out colts who appear to have a realistic chance of winning the run for roses in Kentucky. In the ninth race on the same Santa Anita Derby card the filly Sircat Sally led every step and came her final fraction in (more…)

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    Mirahmadi continues to amaze at Golden Gate mike; Chemo treatments have not affected gallant race caller

    Posted By Warren Eves on March 24, 2017

    By Warren Eves Courage is found in many places One venue you’ll find it is in the announcer’s booth at Golden Gate Fields. Race caller Frank Mirahmadi continues to amaze as he mans the microphone. Nobody could guess he’s being put to yet another ultimate test. Despite chemo infusion treatments, Frank continues to call each race with aplomb. “Frank is one of the strongest guys I’ve ever known,” says close friend Jay Richards, former turf editor of the Las Vegas Review. “His race calls at Golden Gate have been bold, authoratative–and as always, extremely (more…)

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    Oklahoma-bred Plum Gorgeous could be special; Snickerboxer’s number could be misleading at Oak

    Posted By Warren Eves on February 2, 2017

    By Warren Eves Sometimes a performance jumps off the page at you. That would be the case of a maiden $40,000 six-furlong dash January 26 at Oaklawn Park. Plum Gorgeous wired a field of eight impressively for red-hot trainer Federico Villafranco. Who knows what the future holds for the daughter of Hansen owned by Dan Caldwell?  “She’s an Oklahoma-bred so that made her more appealing to me,” says Caldwell. “She’s a beautiful gray filly who hopefully has a bright future not only racing but as a broodmare.” The Caldwell-Villafranco stable would be welcomed by any racing secretary in the country. They’re always aggressive at the claim box and more importantly, they fill races. While we’re (more…)

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    Medal of Courage’s run leaves scribe in quandary; Diodoro making mink out of possum at Oaklawn

    Posted By Warren Eves on January 25, 2017

    By Warren Eves Sometimes it’s simply impossible to evaluate a good looking equine performance. Here’s what I was asking after watching Medal of Courage win a starter allowance Jan., 20 at Oaklawn Park. Did this newly claimed gelding have anyone behind him? Should I downgrade the race due to a not-so-hot 13.18 final fraction? Or…..did the “sealed” muddy surface aid such a run? To be honest?  I honestly don’t know the answer. That’s the way it goes sometimes while trying to make objective observations. Here’s how it went for Medal of Courage, coming off a third at Remington Park in his last race. He got away straight to be 2nd early on. He fell out of it readily to be last. Midway on the turn Medal of Courage was still last. That’s the point where he began mounting a big run. He rallied wide off the top. Once to the middle of the muddy oval Medal of Courage came on strongly to win by a handy margin. It was the (more…)

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