Today’s picks at Hollywood Park

Well, we had one $15 winner Wednesday, but we expect better. I was really disappointed by how poorly Warren’s A P Strike ran in the seventh.

Here’s who I like today:
1st — TURBO CALL and TAHOE KID are two good wheel horses in the early double, though I like Tahoe Kid the better of the two. I think John Sadler breaks out of his mini-slump here.
2nd — PERFECT CAST is a nice long-shot play with Aaron Gryder aboard. She raced wide last time and drops a couple of pegs today.
3rd — BRIDLED QUEST is my best bet of the day at 4-1 on the morning line. I think you’ll get 5-1 or 6-1 on this guy and he’ll be closing. PORTUGA is the long shot play here.
4th — REAL LIFT got claimed for $10,000 by Jeff Mullins (29 percent off the claim) and is being raised two levels here, but she can take the upgrade.
5th — ALWAYS PRETTY, IRISH TORRENT and MICHAEL’S ROSE are all live in this race that will most likely be switched to the main track. I particularly like the fact that Michael’s Rose is trying two turns for the first time and adding blinkers.
6th — SCOTTY JONES is an across-the-board long shot bet at 20-1 or higher.
7th — LITTLE WING should be set to fire his best effort after a prep on Nov. 28 at Golden Gate Fields.
8th — UTA’S BEAUTY held her speed to the stretch for the first time last out, and that’s always a good sign. She’ll be tough in here. WINNINGDANCER has tactical early speed that could prove dangerous.

Good luck today!!

Let’s go get ’em today at Hollywood Park

Can we build on the momentum of last week, when we had $17.40 and $33 winners? I sure hope so. I need some extra cash for the holidays.

2nd — ORIENTATION HALL and KIELBASA are good wheel horses in the early double. I’d include ’em both in early pick fours as well.

7th — WARREN’S A P STRIKE stays the same level and, with the injury to Tyler Baze, gets the services of Joe Talamo today. I think he’ll be rolling late and has a good shot to find the winner’s circle. An across-the-board play.

8th — BARTOK’S MAGIC finished fourth, beaten seven lengths in his debut, and has every right to improve today. Talamo rides. Can he sweep the late double?

Good luck today!!

More small fields at Hollywood Park

I’m sure glad the pro-synthetic folks told us one of the benefits of the artificial surfaces was that we’d have bigger fields.
Hmmmm, let’s see … Thursday’s card at Hollywood Park offers five-horse fields in the first and third races and six-horse fields in the second and fourth. Only two of the eight races on the card have more than eight horses.
It’s not much better on Wednesday, when three of the eight races have six-horse fields and the rest include eight runners. And this is before any scratches. How many four- and five-horse fields will we end up with during the two days?
Tough to get excited about those two cards.

Some horses to ponder on Hollypark card

Here are a few horses I like on today’s card at Hollywood Park. Slow day yesterday, but you can’t have big winners like Always in Style ($17.40 on Thursday) and Sweetsinginanita ($33 on Friday) everyday. I wish we could.

2nd — FREE BEER ran evenly in his debut here on Nov. 26 and the Medaglia d’Oro colt is ready to fire in his second start.

3rd — Mike Mitchell employs the comebacking Corey Nakatani on SUNSET TIJUANA in this $10,000 claimer, and he should be tough here. I also like MARQZ MELODY, but why is he dropping through the roof after missing by just a head against $32,000 claimers at Oak Tree? That scares me.

4th — I played MASSIVE ATTACK on Nov. 12 when he came charging home first and paid $74.80 and I think he’ll show the same type of life today. You won’t get 36-1, however. SEA RASCAL is another one to watch here.

5th — MR. HOT STUFF is my best bet of the day. He’s ready to stretch out to two turns after a pair of sprints and, with Garrett Gomez still out of town, he gets the services of leading rider Rafael Bejarano.

6th — A three-horse grab bag here. A SONG AT TWILIGHT has the speed to wire the field if she breaks out on top. JUSTABOUTPERFECT can stalk just off the pace and pounce in the stretch, and GLITTERMAN’S FANCY won’t be far back but can also close late. Exacta box anyone?

7th — NO PRODIGAL can go gate to wire here, although speed has been holding better on the main track than on turf. HIS SISTERS MISTER and CUT will be amongst the closers. Interesting that Bejarano switches to His Sisters Mister.

8th — I like PARTYWITHLARRYZ, DANCING IN SILKS, LIT’SGOODLOOKNGRAY and NIKKI’SGOLDENSTEED in the $75,000 On Trust Handicap. I think any of the four could win the 7 1/2-furlong race for Cal-breds.

9th — WARREN’S BUDDY puts blinkers on here and could show more speed than in his debut at Fairplex Park. If he wins, there will likely be a pick-six carryover on Wednesday, but hey, there are no Secretariats in here.

Good luck today!!

Small pick six ticket at Hollywood Park

I’m going to play a small pick six at Hollywood Park, what with there being an $86,000 carryover. Here’s what I’m looking at:

5th — Single CAJUN CORREDOR, who is dropping and moving back to Rafael Bejarano for white-hot trainer Doug O’Neill.
6th — Kiss DUBAI RAINBOW good-bye. Unless one of the first-timers proves quick out of the gate, this 2-year-old colt will wire the field.
7th — KING CITY KITTY can give trainer Ted H. West his eighth win of the meet from just 16 starters. Another win for Bejarano.
8th — TOMMY’S LUCK, SQUALLCREEK, CEE BARGARA and SANQUINE can all win this wide-open event.
9th — LARAGH tried to go gate-to-wire in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and finished third. Trainer John Terranova didn’t fly the daugher of Tapit out here and employ the services of East Coast jockey Edgar Prado to finish second.
10th — MONICA’S EDGE gets up in time to win the nightcap.

That’s an $8 ticket. Hey, the horses are live and I have a shot.

Others to watch today:
2nd — SNOOTY GAL can wire this bunch off the layoff.
3rd — MISS DOW JONES has been popular at the claim box lately, and she’s going to get her picture taken today.

Good luck today!!

Some selections for Hollywood Park

I like a few long shots on today’s eight-race card at Hollywood Park. I hope some of you cashed in on our selection in the second race yesterday, Always in Style, that returned $17.40. That one was too good to pass up.

4th — SWEETSINGINANITA has won only once in 17 tries, but she’s dropping into a spot where she can contend. If she can handle the 1 1/16-mile distance on turf, she’s a player here with Chantal Sutherland aboard. She’s an across-the-board play.

6th — I like an exacta box of FOXY GAMES, MISSOULA and NO KA OI in this $32,000 claimer on grass. I’ll play any of the three to win at 10-1 or higher.

7th — INFORMED is the chalk play here, and I like the chances of long shot BELO PURSE, making only his second start in the U.S. He was a Group I winner in Brazil.

8th — CUBS MOLINA figures to be charging late in this six-furlong maiden claiming event, and BECKETT has some interesting early speed. Either could win the nightcap.

Good luck today!!

That didn’t take long

About three hours after I wrote my column for today’s editions, dealing with free Fridays at the upcoming Santa Anita meet, upcoming staff reductions and the strong possibility of purse cuts, the Daily Racing Form reported that Santa Anita has cut overnight purses about 10 percent.

Allowance and maiden special weight races will be cut less than maiden claiming and straight claiming events. Del Mar had to cut purses during its summer meet, and Hollywood Park has cut purses three times during its current autumn meet — twice because of the economy.

Nothing artificial about New York

Charlie Hayward, CEO of the New York Racing Association, told a panel that included Del Mar president Joe Harper that the NYRA is considering new turf courses for the state’s tracks but no synthetic surfaces. Like many, he questions whether artificial tracks really do cut down the number of fatalities. He also stated it’s impossible to get an accurate picture on how many horses really are affected by soft-tissue injuries that many trainers claim are a result of synthetic tracks. The debate rages on.

Hayward also said that once slot machines are in place at the New York tracks, they are looking at a 27 percent increase in purses, or $32 million more.