Hollywood cancels Thursday card due to horse shortage

Hollywood Park officials could not fill fields for Thursday’s races, so they canceled the entire card. Racing was not canceled any other day and the first post time for today is 1 pm.  

A Hollywood Park official said that they postponed the draw from Sunday until Tuesday for Thursday’s races, then had to cancel when not enough horses entered.

“It’s simple,” Eual Wyatt, Jr., vice president and general manager of Hollywood Park told the Los Angeles Times.  “There is a shortage of horses. It may be the economy. Investing in horses is an expensive proposition.

“Is this a sign of things to come? That’s only a guess.”

This winter, races were canceled at Golden Gate Fields because of horse shortages, but never before at Hollywood, Wyatt said. 

“We will discuss and see if there are some accommodations we can make,” Wyatt said. “We should have a strategy by early next week.”

Results, Hollywood Park Sunday Race 3 — no bets

Trainer John Sadler and jockey Joel Rosario teamed up on #9 I Swear

Trainer John Sadler and jockey Joel Rosario teamed up on #9 I Swear

When trainer John Sadler names jockey Joel Rosario as his rider, bettors should take notice.

Coming into Sunday’s third race, Rosario had won with 30 of the last 137 horses that he rode for Sadler and horseplayers who bet them all got back $1.51 for every dollar they bet.

In this race, Sadler gave Rosario a leg up on #9 I Swear, a 5-to-2 shot who was running in her third lifetime start. She was slow to start and Rosario was content to lay eight lengths off the pace on the backstretch.

As #2 Parker’s Stormgirl and #6 Wild Heart battled for the lead on the turn, I Swear started her run and moved up four-wide entering the stretch. When the speed collapsed, it became a race between #5 Youknowwhatilike and I Swear — and I Swear prevailed by a length.

I was planning on betting #6 Wild Heart at 2/1 or more, but the Bob Baffert-trained filly was hammered down to 3/2, which was too low for a wager.

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

1 1 Crystal Empire R N (KY) Sorenson D Walsh K 2.90 5
2 2 Parker’s Stormgirl (CA) Talamo J Puype M 9.70 3
4 3 Aislebebarbie (CA) Scott J Sierra C 65.20 7
5 4 Youknowwhatilike (CA) Arambula P Martinez S 10.30 2
6 5 Wild Heart (KY) Rios J Baffert B 1.50 6
7 6 Candelaria (CA) Martin G Shidaker D 76.70 8
8 7 Court Ballado (KY) Baze T Sherman A 13.30 4
9 8 I Swear (KY) Rosario J Sadler J 2.70 1
SCR Whatafantasy (CA) Delgadillo A O’Neill D
Pgm Win Place Show
9 $7.40 $3.80 $3.00
5 $6.60 $4.20
2 $5.00
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta

Results, Hollywood Park Sunday Race 1 — lost $200

After winning five races on Saturday, Rafael Bejarano took the opener on Sunday.

After winning five races on Saturday, Rafael Bejarano took the opener on Sunday.

After running an amazing race to cross the wire first, #7 Seeuat Sticknstein was taken down by the stewards for causing interference in the stretch to #2 Gate to Wire.

The win continued a huge weekend for jockey Rafael Bejarano, who won five races Saturday and two more on Sunday.

Seeuat Sticknstein, who is trained by David La Croix, was trying to overcome a huge bias against him. In these 4-1/2 furlong races the turn comes up quickly, so horses in the inside four post positions have a tremendous advantage. 

In fact, according to my records, only one first-time starter of 50 in the last two years won a 4-1/2 furlong race at Hollywood breaking from outside of post number 4. And that horse was even money.

In this race, Seeuat Sticknstein battled for the lead while three wide on the turn against #4 Catch My Tale and #5 Great Wheels. He shook off those two and led by a length over #3 Izzynfranstreasure, who was coming on the outside.

Rafael Bejarano tried to squeeze between #3 Izzynfranstreasure while Seeuatsticknstein was bearing out, so the seam closed quickly and Gate to Wire checked in midstretch. Gate to Wire regained his footing and came charging at Seeuat Sticknstein, but missed by a half a length.

I bet $200 on #1 Swiss Record at 2/1 and he was not a factor.

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

1 1 Swiss Record (CA) Rosario J Harrington M 2.10 6
2 2 Gate to Wire (KY) Bejarano R Dominguez C 2.10 1
3 3 Izzynfranstreasure (CA) Gavica G Coffee C 53.00 3
4 4 Catch My Tale (KY) Hill C Talbot S 5.30 5
5 5 Great Wheels (CA) Baze M Freeman E 18.80 4
6 6 Suitcase Simpson (CA) Sorenson D Harrington M 8.70 7
7 7 Seeuat Sticknstein (KY) Baze T La Croix D 4.20 2
8 8 Del Mar Truckee (CA) Scott J Sierra C 33.60 8
Pgm Win Place Show
2 $6.20 $3.60 $2.80
7 $4.40 $4.00
3 $16.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $15.40 (2-7)
$1.00 Superfecta

Quality Road still possible for Preakness and Belmont

Florida Derby winner Quality Road remains a possibility for the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, but will not run in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby due to a sore cracked hoof.

The 3-year-old colt missed a scheduled 5-furlong workout today at Belmont Park because of the injury to his right front hoof.

“It’s not terribly bad, but it’s not right,” trainer Jimmy Jerkens told USA Today. “He’s really sensitive on the quarter.”

Hoof specialist Ian McKinlay, who is working on Quality Road’s foot, is optimistic that the colt may compete in Pimlico’s Preakness Stakes on May 16.

“If this thing calms right down,” McKinlay said, “he’ll be back on track.”

Derby Festival Great Balloon Race colors Louisville sky



After two days of being canceled because of high winds, the Derby Festival Great Balloon Race took to the air in Louisville on Sunday.

The University of Louisville balloon beat out 33 others by landing its craft closest to an “X” marked on the ground, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Ky Derby decision on Quality Road hangs in the breeze

On Saturday, Kentucky Derby hopeful Quality Road jogged the Belmont Park track and his slight quarter crack appeared stable. So it seemed, all systems were go for the big race next Saturday.

But after a mile and three-quarter Sunday gallop, the crack on his right front foot emitted a tinge of blood.

And that was enough to get trainer Jimmy Jerkens thinking about doing the unthinkable: scratching the Florida Derby and Fountain of Youth winner. It’s not that Quality Road didn’t look great on the track, but Jerkens said that the Derby is no place to send a horse who is at anything less than his best.  

“He galloped the way he usually does,” Jerkens told Joe Drape of the New York Times. “I would have been more optimistic with no blood.”

So it all comes down to today. 

Quality Road is scheduled to breeze five-eighths of a mile on the Belmont Park training track.  If it goes well, then Quality Road will be in the Churchill Downs starting gate on Saturday, and Jerkens might be smelling roses a few  minutes later.

But if the colt seems weakened at all by the crack, then the plane headed from New York City to Louisville on Tuesday will leave without him.

“He needs to work to our liking and come out perfect,” said the cautious Jerkens. “If he takes one bad step — forget it.”

Sunday, Hollywood Park Race 3 — 2 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 6 furlongs, 3+up, f & m

Possible overlays                           Morning line

#6 Wild Heart                                    5/2

In her March 12 debut, #6 Wild Heart broke slowly, but made an impressive move at the leaders entering the turn. On that day, she was going against maiden special weight runners and jockey Jesus Rios put the brakes on as Wild Heart was within a half length of the leaders. 

She quickly fell back and ended up losing the race by more than nine lengths. Today, she is facing a weaker bunch and should be able to run the 70 Beyer Speed Figure necessary to win this type of race.

You might wonder why trainer Bob Baffert is using jockey Rios if Wild Heart is really ready to win. I believe that if Wild Heart is right, she’ll get the lead and never look back, so Rios will have an easy trip.

Also, I think Baffert’s barn likes to bet and Rios will help the odds stay reasonable.

The most likely challengers to Wild Heart are second-timers #1 Crystal Empire R N and #5 Youknowwhatilike.  Also, the John Sadler-trained #9 I Swear was bet below 7-to-2 both times she ran, so I am hoping bettors like her again in this race.

In the end, Hall of Famer Baffert will probably win another. Therefore, I will bet $300 on #6 Wild Heart at 2/1 or more.

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