Sitting in the Santa Anita press box the other day two turf writers were discussing the trainer that they felt was the greatest of all time or “GOAT” as it is so often referred to in the social media world. One witter referred to Bob Baffert as being the greatest and then the other chimed in stating that Bob Baffert being the GOAT was “ridiculous” without of course saying who he thought was the best.
What really amazes me is that it seems nowadays anyone who has an opinion on any subject matter that is different from the other person can be viewed upon as being a moron, idiot or fool without another side being mentioned. If the person questioning Baffert as to being the GOAT, I’m not too sure why he wasn’t able to state his case and offer up another trainer for consideration unless of course he simply lacks the marbles or confidence to do so. Perhaps I’ll simply have to read the book he authored on Charlie Whittingham to get his real opinion that he wasn’t able to bring up and defend in a public audience.
Yes, I finally saw the “Little Timmy” reference I needed to see when Justify won the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 19th. A hard fought, dragged out brawler type win. I was more impressed with Justify in that race than any of the ones leading up to the Preakness. Now I wonder how much does he have left in the lemon so to speak and hopefully It hasn’t been squeezed too dry. I just wished Whittingham was the trainer. (yes, tongue in cheek). With some new shooters lining up to take aim, it will be interesting to see how much the tough campaign has taken out of him. Time will only tell.
The Balls were out in force and I’m not referencing basketballs during the recent Los Angeles Lakers public workout of LiAngelo Ball. About two dozen media members (two dozen too many) turned out to watch with Lakers coach Luke Walton and the older brother, Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers guard looking on. In my opinion the Lakers should “pass” the Balls and move on.
Round four begins Thursday in the NBA with the Cavs taking on the Warriors … again. A yawner? Yeah, I would have to side with that.
Listed below is our VIP release that went on Thursday, May 17. Ladybug was a closing second and paid $3.20 to place and the exacta (2-6) came back @ $11.50. The 11 was a scratch and did not participate.
SANTA ANITA PARK
“The Great Race Place”
EDDIE THE HATS VIP PLAY, 5 STAR DIAMOND PLAY
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018
First Post 12:30 p.m. (PT)
Ladybug (#6) (3-1,M/L)
The skinny: First off, Sadler doesn’t claim many of these. Yeah, he’ll reach in from time to time and take one but when he claims for this ownership group, beware. The white elephant in the room is that this three-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is 0 for 7 which is reason to believe she is lacking in heart but we are going to overlook that. But off her first start with new connections, she didn’t run all that badly and second time we are looking for much improved, better effort from her. We are encouraged by the fact that Kent Desormeaux thinks enough to ride back and she has worked well since with a noteworthy drill on May 3rd here at Santa Anita park in 1:00 2/5 H. She remains at the claimed level, has experience coming down the hill and we LOVED her last try, perhaps moved a bit too soon by Kent D. but we think things have been figured out by her new connections.
How to Play: Play this filly to win and place and here are the exacta suggestions with a $1 minimum play. We aren’t going to get too sexy here but will go in as follows. Keep in mind that if your bankroll allows for it, a larger denomination can be used.
Exacta Plays: We are going to use Ladybug as the key horse and box her with the following horses.
6 with 5,7,10,11
5,7,10,11 with 6
If #11 scratches, use the #2 as an alternate. Chalky but interesting horse with blinkers being removed off an okay effort last time.
Every year I feel conflicted and guilty when it comes to racing two-year-old thoroughbreds. I certainly don’t profess to be anything close to a thoroughbred trainer but I do believe that it’s too early to be starting race horses at two. My opinion is that they haven’t matured enough yet and that their bodies and legs are still coming together and developing to take the stress when they train and run.
So why is it every year when the condition book comes out and I see they are carding for the babies I get just a bit excited inside? I’m sure it’s the possibility that we may see a future champion run and to witness him or her at the very start of their career?
Yeah, well you guessed it. We are totally looking forward to the first two-year-old race “baby” race which is scheduled to be run Friday, May 4 at Santa Anita Park. Scheduled as the first race we will anxiously tuned in and perhaps even spending a extra hour going over the breeding.
As usual, good luck at the races!
In today’s climate it’s not easy to keep positive thoughts and a positive mind. Have a few bad beats and surround yourself around people that have negative energy and you too are bound to submit to those around you … cursing a bad play and or punching something out. Sure it’s easy to fall into that trap but don’t let yourself do it. Keep in mind that sports wagering is suppose to have some entertainment value and albeit some people take it to a different level, like a professional career, it’s still suppose to be somewhat fun isn’t it?
Professional gamblers will tell you that you need to take things seriously. Income comes from winning wagers, not losing ones. So my question is if you can’t take the good with the bad, is it worth ruining your health over? Probably not. If you find yourself going to bed angry more often that not perhaps you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. First and foremost you need to start with those around you.
Negativity breeds negativity. It took me a long time to realize that myself. Of course when you have a losing day, or several, you aren’t going to be singing in the shower. But you do need to be able to move on and turn the page. What makes that harder to do is if you attend a sports bar or race track with people that don’t understand this. Let’s say you folks had a bad day yesterday. You need to focus on today, and the positive things it can bring you. If you find yourself at the track with people that are still talking about yesterday’s nose defeat with a 6-1 shot, perhaps that person is someone you may want to not bring to the track with you anymore.
Surrounding yourself and thinking positive thoughts is easy. Finding winners and making winning selections is something different. Don’t make this game any harder than it has to be.
Once in awhile I get calls, texts and emails from friends, clients and associates asking my opinion on horses and sporting events. Who would have thought it right? Everybody has the Kentucky Derby on their minds right now and if you are into horse racing you should. I have been asked dozens of times if Justify is the real deal. As I was pondering getting some sleep last night I thought I’d share my Timmy Jones story with you folks.
Right now with only three races to his credit, all impressive wins, I will dare share this story with you folks.
Justify is just like little Timmy Jones. And here we go … que up the music.
Little Timmy Jones is a very well bred little boy. He comes from a nice home, both Mom and Dad have good breeding and take great care of Timmy. Timmy is off to school each and every morning at 8:00 a.m. and arrives at his school at 8:20 a.m. Like clockwork. However, one morning it happens.
Little Timmy runs into the neighborhood bully. Timmy as he turns the corner in front of Clark’s Drug Store gets punched in the gut, his lip bloodied and his lunch money is stolen. What does little Timmy do?
1: Tucks his tail between his legs and runs home to his parents.
2: Gets so angry that he hunts down the bully and kicks his butt and takes back his lunch money.
The moral of the story is that the horse Justify and Little Timmy Jones are both untested and we have no way of knowing how either is going to react. But guess what? We’ll find out come May 5!
Right now the ending is up to you. Just like it is me.
“A Powerful Source for Winners”
Eddie’s VIP Play
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25
First Post 12:30 P.M. (PT)
Our selection card is usually e-mailed to clients the evening before. In some circumstances, we may wait until the morning of the card as we may be waiting for additional information on a horse(s) given to us by the connections or just wanting to see the condition of a horse(s) the morning of the races. Please rest assured it is in our clients best interest to make sure we have all the info needed to release winners for that day.
(1st) ROYAL OPERA HOUSE (#7) : Four-year-old gelded son of Royal Applause was on our radar when he arrived at Del Mar back in 2017 and while this gelding was regarded, he simply has never lived up to his billing. Having shown some talent and ability, as of today he remains winless here in the U.S. He does remain somewhat active in the claiming box and many trainers have indeed shown some interest in him, they haven’t been able to find the success with him in the afternoons. However, his recent claim by trainer Alfredo Marquez makes us stand up and take notice. Low profile connections, Marquez is a veteran conditioner known for being able to turn his horses around off the claim. He’s had ‘House long enough now to have done some work with him in the mornings and his recent pair of drills has indicated that he’s on the improve. We like the cut back in distance and have thought he’d be a better sprinter than a two-turn horse. We are encouraged by the fact that Kent Desormeaux will take the call back and look for a nice stalking trip down the hill. He’ll be tough to deal with and we are looking for his U.S. win today.
Box Royal Opera House (#7) to Swinging Star (#3), Curly’s Waterfront (#6) & Awesome Heights (#8) ($12) and ‘House can also be used as an exotic single to kick off the card, if your bankroll allows such an investment.
RESULT OF THIS PLAY WAS AS FOLLOWS:
Royal Opera House wins @ $11.80, $4.40 & $3.40
$1 Exacta (7/3) @ $26.50
On paper it was suppose to be easy but true gamblers know that sometimes it isn’t. When the four-year-old daughter of Tapit entered the gate for last Saturday’s GII $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes all eyes were on her and it turned out to be an easy walk-over win for her as expected.
Sent off as the $0.10 cent favorite, Unique Bella cruised to an easy nine-length win without ever being seriously challenged while cutting out fractions of 23.54, 46.80, 1:10.95 and stopping the timer in 1:36.49. Moptotism was second and Majestic Heat heat finished third but they never threatened ‘Bella.
“I don’t think we’ve seen yet how good she can be,” said jockey Mike Smith after the win. “I’ve surely seen how easy she’s doing things right now which I think is truly impressive. I truly believe we haven’t gotten to the bottom of it.”
Later in the day Ax Man was sent off as the $0.40 cent favorite in the GII $200,000-added Santa Ynez but got cooked on the rail traveling 7-furlongs. Ax Man, the promising son of Misremembered had some Kentucky Derby aspirations but got pressed from his rail post and weakened in the stretch. With hot fractions of 22.00, :44.25, 1:09.89 and a final time of 1:22.62 the race set up perfectly for Kanthaka who came rolling late to defeat runner-up Nero. All out Blitz checked in a distant third.
“I was completely screwed by the two horse” (Mr. Jaggermeister), Drayden Van Dyke rider of Ax Man said. “He had me pinned down on the rail and he was done at the three eighths pole, but he kept me in tight. My horse got tired, but he never got a breather. I would completely throw this race out.”
The connections of Kanthaka will think about the colts options.