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Santa Anita for Saturday 20 June 2015

I am saddened to inform you that my friend and assistant handicapper for The Racing Digest, David Gordon, passed away Wednesday. He was one great guy. My heart goes out to his family as 56 is far too young to leave this earth. David Gordon was a kind man who was an accomplished actuary by profession but also the best "part-time" handicapper I have ever known. I always felt as if he would easily surpass my handicapping prowess if he was able to put in as much time as I do. Dave was a state chess champion and competed with many successes at the national level in Bridge tournaments. He was one sharp guy to say the least. I will miss him dearly but I will always cherish the many discussions we had about Thoroughbred racing and other topics.


race 1    average clarity

5  Ain't Misbehavin    just a bit of a trainer/rider upgrade (sarcasm) and returns off of a break as a 1st time gelding.......seems likely to improve many lengths today

1  Oil   easy hand ride 8L win to graduate in last.......should have plenty in the tank for today's tougher level

2  Hot Lightning    another 1st time gelding......last fits and is somewhat disguised by a tardy start and rushing some.....Belvoir is a soild 20% win 1st out after a claim covering his last 100 starts


race 2    average clarity

1  Hye I'm Jack   slowly developing sort seems likely to keep the trend going with 1st time Bejarano.....should be in the mix from the get go even with his (sometimes) tough post at 6F 

2  Player's Charm   exits a fast heat where his 8 beaten lengths 2nd still was a par like effort for today's level......Van Dyke seems to get the most out of this W Solis runner and remains aboard today

4  Carulli    showed life in maiden claiming debut after a bad beginning.....claimed by the ever dangerous Richie conditioner steps his new shooter up hinting he likes what he sees

7  Very Good Year   32 to 1 in his MSW debut suggests a turf tightener.......drop into MC and go today for this Gaines three year old 


race 3    above average clarity

4  Flat Gone   major league rider change for today especially considering that Baltas/Bejarano have won about 10 of their last 20 teaming up.......race 2 back is solid.......extra furlong for today seems like a plus

6  Buckleberry Grey    scored off of the 2 year layoff in latest and did so as a 1st time gelding......initially I made him my top selection but it bothers me some that the connections didn't place him in a Alw40000s race where he couldn't be claimed

3  Public Policy   six and one half furlongs hurts (tends to flatten out) but he sure appears loose.....thus......dangerous here


race 4    average clarity

9  Moussed Up    won like a good thing in his 1st on the hill and did so showing strong early speed......since then his a.m. work is improved hinting he is ready for his step up in class.....seems likely to be in the mix from the get go

7  Global Magician   is proven fresh so the layoff doesn't bother me especially with an impressive looking work regiment.....1st on the sod today but owns a pedigree that says he should take to it

8  Pay the Fine   proven on the SA hill and on the right end of the learning curve with few reasons not to believe his development won't continue today

2  Rocker   GG is closed so connections ship south for a grass race......three year old gelding is improving and will need to keep the trend going.......and of course........take to the uniqueness of the SA hill


race 5   average clarity

4  Moyo Honey   horrid trip in debut....showed Stakes like ability as she broke slow - ran wide - and rushed.....I gave her 9L of trip adjustment.....she only lost her MSW debut by 1 1/2 L the 7 week break as it gives her ample time to recover from such a stressful run

1  Dreamologist    very strong work regiment for this Mandella 1st time starter.......prolonged and tightly spaced........rather sure this filly is fit - well meant - and ready to roll

6  Cassandras Chase   Baltas 1ster has decent has tossed one winner from one starter.......and a Stakes winner to sire is off to a good start.....seems dangerous for a trainer having the meeting of his life

2  Perdona   bad trip in MSW debut.......Bejarano will be out to make amends in lifetime start number two


race 6    average clarity

5  Takem by Surprise   consistent sort seems best at today's 6F distance.....but........he definitely tends to hang.......gets 1st time Bejarano and a better post to cope with than he has had in his last two races ( 2nd and 3rd place finishes).........if Raffi can't do it nobody can

7  Molten Image   bled over lasix in last and was vanned off.......gets plenty of time off to recover but it is not good news that it will likely be in the 90's when he runs......might bled again to some degree.......the one to beat if he doesn't hemorrhage too much.....might be last if he does

1  Not Enough Eddie   O'Neill wants the title so he drops.....or....claim me please.......strong 5/8ths gate work at LA makes me lean towards my 1st notion 

6  George's Main Man   best of the rest....positive jock change


race 7    below average clarity

4  Hero Ten All   has faced better for the most part and seemingly very sharp in the a.m. for this race versus a group that should be more to his liking

8  Madiba   won two straight on the AW at GG by daylight and then tried the grass in a Stakes race and had a bad trip....too wide.......not an easy post but has tactical speed and best use it......seems very dangerous if he gets a good trip

3  Harmonic  nicely developing sort might need his best ever......but he has a decent chance to save ground at least thru turn one ........and that folks is 1/2 the battle 

1  Seve's Road   placement seems very ambitious ambitious.....but to jock wants the mount and D'Amato is one tough trainer on the sod

Long-shot consideration:   7  Cardiac   we liked this fellow in his last and he came thru with a win......but what we want and was the catalyst for selecting him in his latest is his race run two back.....shot here if he finds that race today


race 8   above  average clarity

2  Sheer Pleasure    on the improve and 3 for 3 on the main track when the rider stays on.....crunched her foes in last and did it despite not the best of trips.......gets 5 lbs. off for today and her last fig/effort fits at today's Grade 2 higher level

9  Stellar Wind   best credentials in the race for sure.......likes to make powerful wide late runs which compromised her in her last or she might have won her 4th straight route race.....continues to work like she has held form and should once again make a big move on turn 2

6  Tara's Tango   exits a very fast heat at 7F in her last.....1st at a route but bred to handle one......likely in the race from the opening bell.....a dangerous thing with Mike Smith aboard

7  Conquest Curlgirl   best of the rest.....dangerous trainer stepping up in class in Mark Casse


race 9    average clarity

2  Over Par   improving sort was over par until her latest....that or better seems likely today

7  Sir Cal   best ever in last with 1st time Bejarano and 1st time at a route..........has a shot if she builds off of the race ....recent a.m. work hints that she has

12  Gigantis   1st time gelding today and the stout works hint the surgery did a world of good.......good pedigree for a turf route

1  Shanty Irish   bombed out with the blinkers put on in last.....smartly removed for today....average pedigree for a turf route

11  Unusual   another 1st time gelding.......1st long but bred to handle the two turns.......effort two back down the hill fits fig/effort wise

9  Los Gatos   improving....not impossible if her progression continues today....trainer's had a tough year

Posted on June 20, 2015 at 11:03 am by richs · Permalink
In: Free Information, Selections