Two on the floor

This long-shot player likes two races today at Santa Anita — the sixth and the eighth. I’m intrigued by two 6-1 shots in the sixth — Royal Place, who is taking a nice drop and switching to Garrett Gomez; and Margaritalosflores, another who is dropping and gets regular rider Jon Court. The latter has won twice down the hill in eight starts.
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Malibu no day at the beach

Handicapping today’s Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Good luck!!! The way I see it, seven of the 13 horses are capable of winning the opening-day stakes. Arson Squad, Brother Derek, Sailors Sunset, Midnight Lute, Northern Soldier, Latent Heat and Spring at Last are all threats.
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Oh Brother! Solis opts for Arson Squad

Veteran jockey Alex Solis had a tough decision to make when choosing between 2006 Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek and Swaps Stakes winner Arson Squad for the opening day Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Tuesday. Solis has ridden Brother Derek in each of the colt’s 13 races and he’s been aboard Arson Squad in seven of his eight career starts. Solis, with the help of veteran agent Scott McClellan, chose Arson Squad for the seven-furlong Malibu — the first leg of the Strub Series, which is also comprised of the San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes on Jan. 13 and the Strub Stakes on Feb. 3.
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My “Moment of the Year”

To me, it has to be Barbaro’s courageous battle for his life following his tragic breakdown in the Preakness Stakes.
The publicity and attention that the talented colt brought to the industry was invaluable and why, in my view, Barbaro should be named the 2006 Horse of the Year at next month’s Eclipse Awards ceremony.

Racing’s Moment of the Year

You can now vote for thoroughbred racing’s “Moment of the Year” on the NTRA Web site — www.ntra.com

Voters have the opportunity to choose from among 10 images, drawn from the year’s racing. Those selecting the winning image will automatically be entered in a random drawing for a grand prize of $1,000. The winning moment will be announced at the Jan. 22 Eclipse Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills.

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So long to T.H. Approval

After winning the San Juan Capistrano Handicap for the second consecutive year with T.H. Approval in April, trainer Eduardo Inda talked about winning the race again in 2007 for an unprecedented third time. But that possibility came to an end this week with the retirement of the 5-year-old horse, who fractured his sesamoid while finishing a disappointing seventh in the Grade I Turf Cup at Hollywood Park last Saturday.
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