Talamo out for meet after breaking wrist in spill

Jockey Joe Talamo, pictured aboard Stevie's Afleet on July 21, broke his wrist today when his mount Rockstar Ben went down in Del Mar's third race. Talamo hopes to be back this fall at Oak Tree, he told a Del Mar official.

Results, Del Mar, Sunday, Race 4 – lost $200

Jockey Joe Talamo

The public as a group is a very good handicapper, which is why the tote board plays such a huge part in my wagering decisions.

In this race, seven out of nine of these starters were running for the first time ever. Yet, the crowd pounded four fillies to 4-to-1 or less while allowing five runners to go off at 20-to-1 or higher.
And the results: The favored horses finished 1-2-3-4.
My plan of action was to bet three debuters —  #2 Marishka Moon, #3 Intentional and #5 Tell a Kelly  — if their post time odds were 10/1 to 19/1.  I also liked #9 Pacific Pride, but only if her odds were 7/2 to 9/1.
The public totally ignored my first timers at the betting windows, so the odds were too high for me to wager. And then the crowd loaded up on Pacific Pride. And at 5/2, I couldn’t bet her either.
But I have contingency plans. And in the pre-race write-up I noted that I would put $200 on #4 Romanette if her odds were 5/2 to 4/1, which she was.
However, it really didn’t matter because #7 Pedaltothemedal jumped to an early lead and got stronger as the race got longer.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

1 1 Retail (KY) Blanc B Sahadi J 26.70 7
2 2 Marishka Moon (KY) Bejarano R French N 28.30 8
3 3 Intentional (KY) Espinoza V Koriner B 27.50 6
4 4 Romanette (KY) Rosario J Baffert B 4.10 3
5 5 Tell a Kelly (FL) Quinonez A Sadler J 24.90 5
6 6 Dazzling Display (KY) Garcia M Baffert B 2.30 2
7 7 Pedaltothemedal (KY) Talamo J Sherman A 3.00 1
8 8 Pat’s Dream (KY) Flores D Hajek I 27.10 9
9 9 Pacific Pride (KY) Smith M Hollendorfer J 2.70 4
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $8.00 $4.00 $3.00
6 $3.80 $3.00
4 $3.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $13.70 (7-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $66.70 (6-7-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $81.80 (7-6-4-9)

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 10 — lost $500

Jockey Joe Talamo took #7 Get My Fix off the pace then rolled to victory in the stretch

Jockey Joe Talamo took #7 Get My Fix off the pace then rolled to victory in the stretch

 Usually, when Bob Baffert starts two horses in a race, one or both of them run huge.

In this event, Baffert saddled both #4 The Program, 16-to-1, and #5 Mr Charlie, 4-to-1. But, surprisingly, both broke slowly and neither one fired.

The winner, #7 Get My Fix trained by Brian Koriner, was one of the most likely winners when looking at the past performances. This 2-year-old had run a 79 Beyer Speed Figure in his second lifetime start on Aug. 8, which is significant because the median Beyer Speed Figure for this class is an 80. In his last race, Get My Fix rated behind the leaders and finished up well, which is the preferred running style for 6-1/2 furlongs.

Others who looked like they had a shot were #9 Frisco Kid, a first-time starter who went off at 13-to-1, and #1 The Skinny Man, a 7-to-2 shot. Neither ran well, although The Skinny Man showed speed until the stretch.

In the race, Get My Fix and jockey Joe Talamo mowed down pace setter #10 El Gran Matador while outrunning another late runner, #6 Domonation. In my betting scenario, I intended to bet $200 on Get My Fix if his odds were 5-to-2 or better. But the bet was live only if both #4 The Program and #9 Frisco Kid were 8-to-1 and #5 Mr Charlie was less than 4-to-1.

As the horses loaded into the gate, I bet The Program at 16/1 and Frisco Kid at 13/1. Then Mr Charlie’s odds moved up from 7/2 to 4/1, so I ended up betting him instead of Get My Fix. In all, I wagered $500.

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

1 1 The Skinny Man (KY) Bejarano R O’Neill D 3.90 9
2 2 Kuro (KY) Espinoza V Machowsky M 15.40 6
3 3 Mister Do It (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Hendricks D 53.90 10
4 4 The Program (KY) Garcia M Baffert B 16.00 5
5 5 Mr Charlie (KY) Smith M Baffert B 4.00 8
6 6 Domonation (KY) Rosario J Sadler J 8.40 2
7 7 Get My Fix (KY) Talamo J Koriner B 2.80 1
8 8 Brady Blue Eyes (KY) Borel C Glatt M 4.20 4
9 9 Frisco Kid (FL) Solis A Headley B 13.60 7
10 10 El Gran Matador (NY) Santiago Reyes C Becerra R 53.70 3
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $7.60 $4.40 $3.60
6 $9.40 $6.80
10 $16.40
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $39.30 (7-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $91.20 (5-1-7)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $1679.50 (8-2/5-1-7)
$1.00 Pick 5 paid $3351.10 (1/6/9-8-2/5-1-7)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $583.30 (10 OF 10)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $0.00 (NO WINNING TICKE
$1.00 Superfecta paid $9445.30 (7-6-10-8)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $1372.40 (7-6-10)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $84.40 (1-7)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $11781.60 (10-1/6/9-8-2/5-1-7)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $89.60 (10-1/6/9-8-2/5-1-7)

Results, Del Mar Sunday Race 6 — lost $400


Riding for trainer Jack Carava, Garrett Gomez got #12 Lunar Humor up in the final strides

Three horses were dropping into maiden claiming $25,000 for the first time after running decently against classier animals. And #12 Lunar Humor, #2 Al N Con and #4 Morton Owen finished 1-2-3.

 Trainer Jack Carava ran Lunar Humor against maiden special weight company until his fifth race. But when the gelding could finish no better than third in four straight races, Carava began descending the class ladder.

In the maiden claiming ranks last May and June, Lunar Humor ran low-to-mid 70 Beyer Speed Figures while finishing second two times — first for $80,000 claiming and then for $40,000. On July 24 something curious happened, as jockey Michael Baze merely breezed Lunar Humor in the stretch, which caused the Beyer to sink to an all-time low of 63.

I am sure that the low last-race Beyer kept some betting money off of Lunar Humor, a 3-to-1 shot, despite the presence of jockey Garrett Gomez, who has a large following. In a recent TVG video, Carava — who is the son of a horse trainer — said that he enjoys picking spots for his runners, strategizing and compared horse racing to poker.

So maybe, just maybe, Carava was “strategizing” by breezing his horse in the stretch, so it would pay a good price when he picked his spot on the drop.

This race began with #2 Al N Con, #8 She Made Me Do It and #11 Cafe Con Leche all battling head-to-head down the backstretch.  Al N Con, who had led in his last two races against $40,000 maiden claimers, shook clear by a length on the bend, as Cafe Con Leche kept chasing.

As the field swung into the lane, Morton Owen and Joel Rosario were making a move some eight paths wide with Lunar Humor also coming on just inside of him. They had to make up four lengths on Al N Con, 4/1, at the top of the stretch.

When Joe Talamo rode Al N Con past the sixteenth pole, he still had what appeared to be a safe 2-length lead. But Lunar Humor came with a late charge to get up with two jumps to go.

Despite being extremely wide, Morton Owen, at 9-to-2, only missed by two lengths.

I bet $400 on Morton Owen because he had lots of positive long-term betting angles going for him. This gelding was 3-to-1 on the morning line, but was cold on the board throughout the betting period and ended up at 9-to-2.

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

1 1 Deltamax (FL) Gryder A Cerin V 30.20 11
2 2 Al N Con (CA) Talamo J Rosales R 4.10 2
3 3 Joys Last One (CA) Stra K Martinez S 65.30 10
4 4 Morton Owen (KY) Rosario J Mitchell M 4.50 3
5 5 Spartan Jet (KY) Pedroza M Lopez J 41.60 7
6 6 Smokenomore (CA) Garcia M Spawr W 6.50 4
7 7 Warren’s Juan (CA) Santiago Reyes C Lewis C 37.10 8
8 8 She Made Me Do It (CA) Blanc B Bacorn H 16.80 12
9 9 Secret Lure (CA) Valdivia, Jr. J Puype M 21.80 6
10 10 Yrunvs M. B. (CA) Valdez F Becerra R 27.30 9
11 11 Cafe Con Leche (KY) Quinonez A Miller P 3.70 5
12 12 Lunar Humor (KY) Gomez G Carava J 3.20 1
SCR Ol’dogtown (CA) Scott J Bellasis R
SCR Objectified (CA) Baze T West T
Pgm Win Place Show
12 $8.40 $4.40 $3.20
2 $5.20 $3.60
4 $3.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $17.30 (12-2)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $126.60 (7-1-12)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $264.80 (12-2-4-6)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $40.90 (12-2-4)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $51.20 (1-12)
$2.00 Quinella paid $17.20 (2-12)

Talamo riding for Hess and owner Terri Lanni

Jockey Joe Talamo aboard #5 Prophetise heads through the Del Mar tunnel onto the racetrack

Talamo aboard #5 Prophetise heads through the tunnel onto the racetrack

Bob Hess, Jr. talks strategy with jockey Michael Baze in the Del Mar paddock
Bob Hess, Jr. talks strategy with jockey Joe Talamo in the Del Mar paddock

Saturday, Hollywood Park Race 10 — 5:11 pm

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden $25,000, 6 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up

Possible overlays              Morning line

#1 Atlantic Victory                8/1
#2 Fire Scout                       9/2
#3 Reiterate                        15/1
#6 Jamieson                         7/2
#7 Dirt Diver                         6/1
#8 El Noche                          8/1

Howard Zucker trains #6 Jamieson and if he has this colt at his best off a year layoff then this race will be over very quickly. Jaimeson showed good speed in February of 2008 when he missed by a neck in a maiden claiming $40,000 contest. These days, he’s showing nothing but slow workouts, but Zucker may have intentionally kept things at a snail’s pace to keep away pari-mutuel attention on race day.

Another coming off a recent layoff is #2 Fire Scout, who showed early speed on April 29 before fading in the stretch. Trainer Brian Koriner switches jockeys to Joe Talamo, and together they have an outstanding record. In 2008-09, the Koriner-Talamo team combined for 32 wins out of 141 runners, or 23 percent. Betting all 141 runners yielded $1.24 for every $1 wagered. 

Two recently raced maidens who could hit the wire first are #1 Atlantic Victory and #7 Dirt Diver. Atlantic Victory would need to improve by only a length or two off his April 2 Beyer Speed Figure of 66 to win, while Dirt Diver’s debut might be good enough to get the job done.

Longshot possibilities include second-time starter #8 El Noche, who popped out of the gate first in a 7 furlong race on May 16 and he adds blinkers today. Also, low-profile trainer Richard Rosales saddles first timer #5 Reiterate. Rosales doesn’t win many, but when he does the tote board lights up like a Christmas tree.

I will bet $400 on #6 Jamieson at 2/1 to 7/2, but just $300 at 4/1 to 9/1. Also, I’ll take $250 on #2 Fire Scout at 2/1 to 5/1 only.

If either Jamieson or Fire Scout is bet below 2/1, then I will substitute $150 to win on #7 Dirt Diver at 7/2 or greater. Also, only if Jamieson or Fire Scout are below 2/1, I will take $50 longshot plays on #5 Reiterate and #8 El Noche at 6/1 or more.

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 3 — won $1,695

e-pluribus-unumThe crowd in this race went for #6 Michelle Marie, who had recently competed in maiden special weight races with the likes of Irish Gypsy and Mother Ruth.

She ran OK to finish second at 6-to-5, but first-time starter #7 Martini Mixer was absolutely the best horse in this maiden claiming field. 

Jockey Joe Talamo broke Martini Mixer in the middle of the field where she followed six lengths behind a pack of four horses vying for the lead — #3 Tripped Fame, #4 Mary the Princess, #6 Michelle Marie and #9 Misstrailcityzone.

On the turn, Talamo began his rail-hugging rally then swang out for the drive.  Only two of the four pace setters remained at the top of the stretch and Martini Mixer blew by both Mary the Princess and Michelle Marie to win by about three lengths.

I thought Martini Mixer, who is trained by Brian Koriner, had a good chance and bet $400 on her. I collected $2,080 and profited $1,655, as I also put $25 on 22-to-1 shot Misstrailcityzone.

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



1 1 St. Rosalind (KY) Baze M Headley G 27.20 5
3 2 Tripped Fuse (FL) Baze T Glatt M 3.90 8
4 3 Mary the Princess (CA) Bejarano R Periban J 7.00 4
5 4 Daniella Roth (CA) Garcia M Stein R 27.10 6
6 5 Michelle Marie (KY) Rosario J West T 1.20 2
7 6 Martini Mixer (CA) Talamo J Koriner B 4.30 1
8 7 Ata Pretense (CA) Arambula P Burnison E 56.20 9
9 8 Misstrailcityzone (CA) Quinonez A Nettles K 22.10 3
10 9 Greek Advantage (CA) Sorenson D Bell, II T 9.60 7
SCR Roomantic (LA) Delgadillo A Hajek I
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $10.60 $4.60 $3.60
6 $2.80 $2.40
9 $6.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $109.30 (2-3-2)
$1.00 Exacta

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 4 — lost $600

Jockey Danny Sorenson rallied first timer #4 Treadwell for the win

Jockey Danny Sorenson rallied first timer #4 Treadwell for the win

Jockey Danny Sorenson sat in mid pack then unleashed a rally in the stretch to get first-time starter #4 Treadwell to the winner’s circle.

Favorite #3 Total Sum ran a decent race coming off a 14-month layoff — and jockey Joe Talamo was all over him in the stretch — but Total Sum lost by a neck when he couldn’t get by the winner.

In hindsight, the key to this race may have been the low Beyer Speed Figures showing in these horses’ past performances. The median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this class is a 74, but the best overall sprint Beyer on this surface for these runners was just a 68.

In light of that, maybe the first time starter Treadwell’s chances could have been upgraded. But no use dwelling on the past because both Bob Baffert and Mike Mitchell have runners going today that may be live.

In this race, I bet $400 on #3 Total Sum and $200 on #7 Lago de Oro.

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

1 1 Winterscore (CA) Baze T Stute M 4.80 3
2 2 Big Water (CA) Quinonez A Pilmer T 5.10 5
3 3 Total Sum (CA) Talamo J Ellis R 1.60 2
4 4 Treadwell (KY) Sorenson D Bell, II T 8.60 1
5 5 Pure Green (OR) Arambula P Schiewe P 59.40 6
6 6 Road to the Throne (KY) Martin G Johnson E 74.30 7
7 7 Lago de Oro (FL) Baze M Scolamieri S 2.10 4
8 8 Some Kinda Monster (CA) Puglisi I Schwizer M 48.70 8
Pgm Win Place Show
4 $19.20 $6.40 $4.60
3 $3.60 $3.00
1 $3.80
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $30.90 (4-3)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $68.70 (5-7-4)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $111.10 (2/6-4/5-7-4)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $337.20 (4-3-1-7)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $141.70 (4-3-1)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $107.80 (7-4)

TV’s “Jockeys” is a winning ride. But why muzzle Trevor?

The TV show  “Jockeys” is an exciting behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to ride top Thoroughbreds on the lucrative and ultra-competitive Southern California racing circuit.

I watched back-to-back half-hour episodes on Animal Planet Feb. 27 where the story focused on jockeys Joe Talamo, Brendon Meier, Alex Solis and Solis’ son, bloodstock agent Alex Solis II.

Being that Talamo, Meier and Solis II are all less than 24 years old, the program was obviously slanted toward youth, at least in these episodes. The first show entitled “May the Horse Be With You” opened with the narrator telling us that Talamo, who won the 2007 Eclipse Award as the nation’s top apprentice, was losing lots of races lately.

“I’m on a cold streak and you always want to win,” said the 19-year-old Louisiana native. “I really want to win one today.”

Reckless riding

Talamo was then shown, in three consecutive races, losing control of his horses as they swerved into the path of other runners. To display how damaging a horse fall can be, the producers showed footage of jockey Mike Smith getting tossed from a horse in 1998. Smith, who almost died from the accident, was in a body cast for a month, he said.

The jockeys on the program all seem to get along well, but they don’t take riding mistakes lightly. Bad rides can easily lead to crippling injuries or death. 

After Talamo’s reckless incidents, one jockey put a white message board above Talamo’s locker, drew a racing oval and added a zig-zagged line throughout the oval. Above the drawing read: “Talamo’s path to the winner’s circle.”  And another sign written by a rival above Talamo’s locker read, “What goes around comes around.”

Talamo summoned to stewards

When a horse impedes another, the jockey goes before three stewards who serve as the judge and jury for riders. They review the race replays and the rider explains what happened. If the stewards think the jockey was at fault, they are suspended for a few days and can’t make any money.

Jockeys are paid 10 percent of the owners share of the purse for winning a race, and 5 percent for second and third. Purses generally start at about $15,000 in Southern California for maiden claiming races and dramatically increase to millions of dollars for stakes races. The winning owner gets 60 percent of the purse, second place is 20 percent and third pays 10 percent.

So, riders make $900 for winning  a race with a $15,000 purse and $60,000 if they win a $1 million stakes. Not bad for a couple of minutes work, but they spend hours every morning exercising horses and cultivating trainer relationships. Also, jockey booking agents take 20-25 percent of the rider’s pay.

Talamo met with the stewards and they watched his races together. The panel, who told Talamo they have no tolerance for careless riding, expected quicker reactions from Talamo when his horses were swerving during his races. 

However, Talamo was riding inexperienced and sometimes unpredictable 2-year-old horses, so the stewards didn’t penalize him. “I think it’s fair to say that he was very close to suspension,” said steward Scott Cheney. “He could have acted a little bit faster.”

Smith takes Talamo under his wing

Viewers learn that these jockeys try to beat each other every day, but after the races they go out to dinner together, workout together and socialize with each other. During one scene, a table full of jockeys — at least the ones older than 21 — were sipping wine during dinner at an upscale restaurant. (And I thought all these guys drank was water and ate nothing more than a  peanut or two a day.)

The conversation turned to how young jockeys are getting mounts on good horses today, whereas 10 or 20 years ago they would have to pay their dues first.

“It takes a long time to get good,” said Mike Smith, who won the 2005 Kentucky Derby aboard Giacomo. “You ain’t that good Joe. You aren’t going to get that good until you are in your 30’s” 

In another scene, Smith had a party at his house and the wine glasses were full again. Gary Stevens attended and Talamo was amazed that he’d watched Stevens in the movie “Seabiscuit” just three years ago, and now he was hanging out at parties with him.

When Smith started riding, the veterans helped him out. So, Smith now advises Talamo and works out with him. They were shown jogging on the Santa Anita track. Afterward, he told Talamo to work hard and let trainers and owners know that he wants opportunities to ride good horses. But when given the the chance, he better make the most of it, Smith added.

“One good horse will make you famous,” Smith told Talamo.

Alex Solis II, 23, bloodstock agent

At the beginning of the second half hour, entitled “Hands Down,” viewers are introduced to Alex Solis II, a 23-year-old bloodstock agent. Solis II, who was involved with the aquisition of Sham Stakes winner The Pamplemousse, purchases horses and solicits investors to buy shares in his runners.

If a bloodstock agent makes a good buy and the runner wins a stakes race, then the horse could be worth millions of dollars as a breeder. But pick the wrong horse, and investors can lose lots of money.

Apprentice can’t seem to get started

Minutes into the second half hour, viewers also meet Brandon Meier — an apprentice jockey who won 58 races in three months at Arlington Park. Meier, 20, is the son of jockey Randy Meier, who is the all-time leading rider at Sportsman’s Park and Hawthorne. But Brandon is having trouble getting mounts at Santa Anita.

The stewards keep a close eye on new riders like Meier and many trainers won’t use inexperienced jockeys, even though they get a 5-pound weight break.

“I use apprentices,” said trainer Bob Baffert. “But if you have a high profile horse, you want a veteran rider.”

In a dramatic moment, Meier finally got a mount that had a strong chance to win. His horse looked so good that, while jockey Jon Court was sitting around in the jockey’s room, he bet Aaron Gryder a Gatorade that Meier’s horse would defeat the one Talamo was riding.

Meier, who was on One Time at Band Camp, had the lead in the stretch, but Return of the King with Talamo came rolling home in the stretch to nail him by a nose.

To make matters worse, Meier drifted out in the lane, so he was summoned to the stewards office the next day for an explanation. Luckily, Meier didn’t get suspended.

Alex Solis rides for son

One of Solis II’s horses, Lavender Sky, was ready to run and his father Alex Solis was looking forward to riding this classy animal, who trainer Dan Hendricks estimated to be worth at least $500,000.

“Normally your kids want to do great for you,” said jockey Solis, who is also the regular rider for The Pamplemousse. “I want to do great for him.”

But Solis couldn’t get Lavender Sky to run and she finished dead last.

“Too many good jockeys”

In a couple of scenes, Meier’s girlfriend was pressuring him to come back to Arlington Park. Meier told her that if business didn’t pick up at Santa Anita then he’d think about making a move.

Journeyman jockeys either catch on or move on. And for Meier, business didn’t pick up, so he decided that after three weeks he’d had enough. He  packed up his truck, said his goodbyes, and was off to the Churchill Downs/Keeneland circuit where he had some contacts.

“There are not enough horses and too many good jockeys here,” Meier said.

Show does Trevor no justice

To horseplayers at simulcast centers watching races on TV screens, every horse looks like every other horse and the jockeys all look the same too. What a show like “Jockeys” does, is to put a human face on the game while shining a light on various racing interactions and subtleties.

But one thing I do not like about this show are the ridiculous race calls by track announcer Trevor Denman, which sound like they’re straight from an outdated video game. Denman has become one of America’s all-time great race callers because of the excitment and drama he adds that almost nobody can match. But on “Jockeys” he speaks in a monotone with lots of dead air while using riders names instead of horses names.

The show does him no justice.

Otherwise, for fans of horse racing and competitive sports, “Jockeys” is a winning ride.

“Jockeys” airs at 9 p.m Pacific Time Friday on Animal Planet. On March 6, the first half-hour “Legend of the Fallen” is about retired jockeys risking it all in one last comeback race. Also, Chantal Sutherland faces a difficult decision. The second half hour “Go Big or Go Home” sees 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin arriving at Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup. 

Jockeys playing basketball? Fun to watch, bad to bet

Psst. Here’s a tip: Don’t bet on the Santa Anita jockeys basketball team.

Wagering on jockeys Joe Talamo, Cory Nakatani and Rafael Bejarano might be a good idea while these guys are holding a whip and a horse’s reins. But when they tie up their Nike Air Zooms and pick up a basketball, gamblers should keep their money in their pockets. 

Oh sure, these riders are nice people and it’s fun to watch jockeys like Brice Blanc, David Flores and Kayla Stra scamper around the court. But why would a group of grown-ups who stand just over 5-feet tall and weigh 115 pounds spend much time honing their basketball skills?

They wouldn’t. And they don’t.

That much was evident Thursday at La Salle High School in Pasadena when the Santa Anita jockeys lost to a group of eighth graders from Holy Angels School in Arcadia 35-19. 

It’s easy to see that these jockeys don’t play much ball by watching the one-minute You Tube video below of the game, which was shot by SA blogger Mary Forney.

We see Nakatani clanking a couple of free throws, the ref moving another mistaken jock off the key during the shots, and a Santa Anita field goal try that went bad after a sweet set-up move. I don’t know, maybe their coach TV’s Kurt Hoover was to blame.

But what I do know is that if this match was a horse race, it was as dominant a victory for the school kids as Smarty Jones’ 11-1/2 length win in the 2004 Preakness Stakes.

The riders might have lost, but as usual, the annual game seemed to be a hugely popular and entertaining event. The jockeys play the Holy Angels every year to raise money for the school’s athletic department.

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 3 — won $770


I see two keys to this race: the first was the continued improvement of Gale in the Vale after her 11-month layoff, and the second was jockey Joe Talamo’s ability to ration this filly’s speed through a first quarter mile in 23.02 seconds. After not struggling through the first two furlongs, Gale in the Vale had enough left for the remaining five-eighths of a mile to resist the closing rush of #6 Keira’s Way.

At the start, Talamo did not gun Gale in the Vale to the lead, but instead eased her up to the front. About a furlong or so into the race, Gale in the Vale got the lead and stayed there throughout.

The 9-to-5 favorite, #6 Keira’s Way, who finished second, did not make an impact until the final 100 yards when she came with a burst to miss by about a half a length.

I bet $350 on Gale in the Vale and collected $1,120.

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

1 1 Ata Honour (KY) Flores D Burnison E 5.30 7
2 2 Gale in the Vale (MD) Talamo J Zucker H 2.20 1
3 3 Smiling Bubbles (CA) Russell C Valenzuela, Jr. M 48.50 8
4 4 Lil Troublemaker (CA) Gavica G Soto A 64.90 3
5 5 Krypton Ranger (CA) Garcia M Garcia O 22.40 5
6 6 Keira’s Way (KY) Potts C Lucarelli F 1.80 2
7 7 Secret Potion (CA) Rosario J Hollendorfer J 2.80 4
9 8 Village Lady (CA) Couton J O’Callaghan C 32.70 6
SCR Elsa’s Rose (CA) Sutherland C Sherlock G
Pgm Win Place Show
2 $6.40 $3.20 $3.40
6 $3.00 $2.60
4 $10.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $13.50 (2-7-8)
$1.00 Exacta paid $8.80 (2-6)

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 2 — lost $450

Trainer Julio Canani won with #5 Lady Lumberjack, who paid $3.

Trainer Julio Canani won with #5 Lady Lumberjack, who paid $3.

It didn’t take long for the public to realize who the favorite would be in this race. Somebody (trainer Julio Canani??) must have plunked down $15,000 on #5 Lady Lumberjack because she was 1-to-9 a few minutes into the betting.

I happened to look at the win pool with more than 20 minutes to post, and Lady Lumberjack had $19,000 on her while the other contenders had only $4,000 to $5,000 bet on each of them.

Julio Canani trains Lady Lumberjack and many of his contending horses are so heavily bet that wagering on them is out of the question. Anyway, Lady Lumberjack, who went off at 1-to-2, looked like a solid contender in here, but her odds were ridiculously low. She broke well and stalked #3 Lion Heart’s Bluff down the backstretch.

On the turn, the Bob Baffert-trained #9 Hard Kisses, a 10-to-1 first time starter, was hung out four wide and running well about four lengths back. On the rail, another debuter #7 Shiksa, at 11-to-1,  was in last place preparing to rally.

As the field swung for home, Lady Lumberjack took over from the game 50-to-1 shot Lion Heart’s Bluff and began easing away. But jockey Joe Talamo swung Shiksa off the rail and was closing fast.

In the end, Shiksa ran out of ground and missed by about a half a length with Hard Kisses a length behind the winner, Lady Lumberjack.

My bets ended up being $200 on #4 White Lamb — who made no impact –$150 on #7 Shiksa and $100 on #9 Hard Kisses. 

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

1 1 Godfrey Queen (KY) Baze M Guillot E 32.40 7
2 2 Desert Rose Drive (KY) Husbands P Casse M 10.30 6
3 3 Lion Heart’s Bluff (KY) Potts C Rosales R 51.80 4
4 4 White Lamb (FL) Gomez G Harty E 6.00 9
5 5 Lady Lumberjack (KY) Bejarano R Canani J 0.50 1
6 6 Guided Wave (KY) Rosario J Gallagher P 19.90 5
7 7 Shiksa (KY) Talamo J Biancone P 11.20 2
8 8 Smart Tiffany (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Lobo P 30.70 8
9 9 Hard Kisses (ON) Flores D Baffert B 10.70 3
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $3.00 $2.40 $2.10
7 $6.40 $4.60
9 $4.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $12.00 (5-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $1043.80 (5-7-9

Gomez’ chances to dethrone Bailey crashed with horse


Suffered broken teeth, scrapes and bruises

Garrett Gomez made his name by finishing first.

And to a competitive jockey like him, it had to be frustrating to watch three of the horses he was slated to ride on Sunday win their races at Santa Anita while he recuperated from being thrown from his mount in Saturday’s Eddie Logan Stakes.

Gomez lost a few teeth when Back At You tried to jump the stretch rail while leading Santa Anita’s seventh race Saturday, causing both man and horse to crash to the ground. But no doubt Gomez’ biggest loss during this freak occurrence was the opportunity to break Jerry Bailey’s earnings mark of $23,354,960 set in 2003, which Gomez would have almost certainly done on Sunday.

But now, even though Gomez is back riding again, it seems his chances of eclipsing Bailey crashed when Back At You went down.

However, champions don’t quit and, although time is running out, Gomez seems determined to set the record for earnings in one year. 

As of Tuesday, Gomez’ 2008 mounts have earned $23,275,879 for their owners, which puts him just $79,081 shy of Bailey’s total. Gomez’s amount would have topped Bailey’s total Sunday if he was the one riding Proudinsky in the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap as scheduled, instead of Rafael Bejarano. Proudinsky, a German-bred, was the 7/5 favorite in the 1-1/8 turf race and he defeated six other rivals by 3/4 of a length, earning $90,000 for owner Johanna Louise Glen-Teven.

Also, two horses that Gomez was named to ride on Sunday also won the two races that preceded the San Gabriel Handicap: In the sixth race, Wild Diplomat, ridden by fill-in jockey Joe Talamo, won $22,200 for owners E. Smith & Sterling Stable, and in the seventh Unusual Spirit’s victory by rider Mike Smith was worth $28,800 to owner-trainer Jerry Fanning.

It’s safe to assume that there was no possible way Gomez could strap his body to the back of a horse on Sunday. Because if Gomez, who won two races Monday, rode those three winning horses on Sunday then he would have shot by Bailey with 2008 purse earnings of $23,416,879 — or $61,919 more than Bailey’s 2003 money won.

During Saturday’s Eddie Logan Stakes, Back At You had a clear lead in the stretch, but the lightly-raced 2-year-old tried to jump the inner rail as he approached a large shadow of the grandstand that darkened the turf course. According to Bloodhorse.com, Gomez, who was taken to the hospital, broke several front teeth, cut his knee and one of his hands was swollen. Gomez had cosmetic dental surgery and took off his mounts Sunday, but on Monday he was back in the saddle, winning the third race on Suit Yourself and the fifth on Trainspotting.

As for the fallen horse, Back At You didn’t suffer much major damage. Trainer Eddie Truman told Daily Racing Form that Back At You’s wounded leg was stitched up and the trainer could find no other injuries. Truman speculated that his horse was confused by the shadows from the grandstand covering the front stretch of the turf course after racing in bright sunshine on the backstretch and far turn.

Back At You will resume training in less than a month after resting for a couple of weeks, Truman said. 

Santa Anita Park next races on Wednesday, which is the last day of the year. Gomez, who still has an outside shot of beating Bailey, is named to ride four horses in races with purses totaling $185,000. The winning owner earns 60 percent of the purse.

To set the record, Gomez will need to win both the $56,000 sixth race on #2 Kynishka at 3/1, and the seventh on #8 Baroness Thatcher, a 4/1 shot, in the $70,000 Kalookan Queen Handicap — which carries $21,000 in added money.

If he loses either one, then Gomez finishes second in this race for the record — albeit to Jerry Bailey, one of the all-time greats.

Friday, Santa Anita Race 9 — 4:24 pm post time

                               Maiden Claiming $25,000, 6.5 furlongs, 3yo and up

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Possible overlays                             Morning line

# 5 Squire Trelawny                             6/1
#8 Mystification                                   10/1
#9 Kinky Rule                                        2/1
#12 Delicato                                       8/1
#13 Six Pack Man                                 6/1

None of these horses recently have come close to the 78 Beyer Speed Figure needed to win a race like this, and most of these runners have lots of starts without a win.

I can’t see any great-looking angles to play either, but it’s worth noting that trainer Clifford Sise has excelled in races like these over the last few years. However the one he trains, #9 Kinky Rule, has morning line odds of just 2/1. Also, trainer Mike Puype has won 12 of 33 recent races off of a 61-to-180 day layoff, according to the Daily Racing Form. Puype’s horse #13 Six Pack Man is 6/1 on the morning line and is working out well, according to clocker Andy Harrington of the National Turf Clocker Report.

Finally, #12 Delicato ran much better than looked in July when he was slammed at the start, rallied four wide and then was breezed by the jockey in the final 25o yards — all while still running a 70 Beyer Speed Figure. He’s dropping in class today and Delicato’s trainer Jerry Fanning switches to Michael Baze from Joe Talamo. 

Talamo rides #8 Mystification, (10/1 ML) who comes from behind and could get there too if he improves and everything breaks right. The leading rider Rafael Bejarano rides #5 Squire Trelawny who can win if he gets a good trip and nobody else runs at least a 78 Beyer.

I will bet $250 on #9 Kinky Rule at 2/1 or more. But if Kinky Rule goes off at lower than 2/1, then instead I will bet $150 on the following horses as long as they are 9/2 or better: #5 Squire Trelawny, #12 Delicato and #13 Six Pack Man. If I can’t get 2/1 on #9, then I’ll also put $100 on Mystification at 8/1 or better.

%d bloggers like this: