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

  • February 2018
    S M T W T F S
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    John “Mickey” Martin takes prized claim to Gulfstream; Filly Mended shooting for tenth consecutive victory

    Posted By Warren Eves on December 1, 2017

    By Warren Eves Quite some time ago I wrote an opinion that the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary site is the best anywhere! When they ran a story on trainer John Martin and I felt compelled to write something about one of the most productive trainers in my lifetime. Trainer John “Mickey” Martin has his prized $12,500 claim Mended entered in the second race at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Dec., 2. What a story! All this filly Mended has done since John claimed her is to win nine races in a row for owners Troy and Maritza Onarato.

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    One time deli worker Martin Garcia moves to New York; It’s a move the 33YO jockey should have made long ago

    Posted By Warren Eves on November 9, 2017

    By Warren Eves Martin Garcia’s move to New York should not shock anyone. For years I have been puzzled as to why so many top jockeys continue to fight the huge odds to ride on the much coveted Southern California horse racing circuit. Garcia, as competent a rider as you can find, made his announcement in a David Grening story in the Daily Racing Form on Nov., 9. Having been reared on the SoCal circuit way back in the 50s I know the weather and the venue is attractive. What I have never understood is why so many saddle talents continue to buck huge odds. There are so many fine jockeys only the trainers benefit because they have so many choices. They have the luxury of knowing they can employ a top rider. That was not the case when I started out in the business. Garcia, who went from making sandwiches in a deli to race riding in 2005, made a big splash in horse racing when he won the 2010 Preakness on Lookin at Lucky.  The irony? He was replacing the late and great Garrett Gomez who did not get along with the colt that well in the Kentucky Derby. Having worked and ridden many a great horses for “Baffy” in Southern California for 13 years,  Martin has a number of good years left at 33. He’d like to get back to the level when his mounts won more than $10-million in 2010, 2013 and 2014.  His new agent will be Tony Micallef. You have to give Garcia credit for staying the course despite the way “Baffy” treated him from time to time.  “Baffy” has dangled the chance of riding one of his high priced blue bloods out there and Martin stuck around. Garcia has galloped and worked more exceptional equine talents than probably anyone on planet one. Notes scribbled on my program–Back in 2008 Martin Garcia’s new agent Tony Micallief surrendered his license for personal reasons. He was handling jockey Alan Garcia at the time. Micallief (more…)

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    NBC’s Breeders Cup production ranks among the best; Del Mar gets highest grade for flawless day long venue

    Posted By Warren Eves on November 8, 2017

    By Warren Eves That may have been the best Breeders Cup show ever. Unquestionably it ranks as the best produced horse racing extravaganza in this senior turf writer’s memory. It’s hard to take issue with the entire television presentation. Bravo! If the Breeders Cup doesn’t bring the venue back to Del Mar by the seashore, then shame on them. If there were any snafu on Saturday I was not aware it. Even those often criticized overhead blimp shots of the field going down the backstretch were steady and hard to knock. They caught trainer Peter Miller going bonkers as he won not one, but two Breeders Cup races. I’m told Miller can be known to complain at times, but he sure made (more…)

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    Mendelssohn impresses with Juvenile Turf victory; Question is will he try dirt at Churchill Downs?

    Posted By Warren Eves on November 3, 2017

    By Warren Eves One had to be impressed with Mendelssohn’s win in Saturday’s $1-M Juvenile Turf. Racing in blinkers for the second start he was away with the lead in the opening strides. Ryan Moore had him in the garden spot all the way and when he set him down he responded. The Aidan O’Brien trained son of Scat Daddy won by a length posting a final fraction of 12.30.  Mendelssohn paid $11.60 to win chased to the wire by the 12-1 shot Untamed Domain. About the possibility of running Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby, trainer O’Brien said earlier in the week that trying him on dirt is a possibility. The show came off (more…)

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    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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