Tag: Richard Mandella

Express Train and Juan Hernandez captured the San Diego Handicap, considered a prep for Saturday's Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Express Train is the 3/1 morning-line favorite in a deep, competitive field. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Pacific Classic Comes In With a Tide of Legitimate Contenders

There isn’t a lot of star power in this year’s Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. What there is, however, is one of Jon White’s more challenging morning-line puzzles. Del Mar’s morning-line author, White found himself staring at one of the most competitive fields he’s faced this summer. Yes, […]

Royal Ship brings the best last-out Beyer Speed Figure, a 108, from this Grade 2 Californian victory. He is the 5/2 co-second favorite in Monday's Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Hollywood Gold Cup Shines Light On Would-Be Older Stars

The Hollywood Gold Cup inaugural winner was Seabiscuit. Its last winner was Improbable. And in between, one of the West Coast’s signature races turned loose winners such as three-time champs Lava Man and Native Diver, two-time winner Game on Dude and Triple Crown owners Citation and Affirmed. August company, to […]

Trainer Bob Baffert and his prize 2020 charge, Authentic, arrive at Spendthrift Farm last fall. In the wake of Baffert's latest failed medication test, the large Kentucky breeding farm removed some horses from Baffert's barn. (Image: Rick Samuels)

Breeding Goliath Spendthrift Farm Pulls Horses from Baffert’s Barn

The fallout from trainer Bob Baffert’s latest failed medication test took a troublesome turn for the Hall of Fame conditioner when breeding colossus Spendthrift Farm removed several horses from his barn. The Daily Racing Form reported that Spendthrift’s Following Sea was transferred to Todd Pletcher’s barn. Along with that, Spendthrift […]

Fighting Mad captured the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes last May over Hard Not To Love. The two meet again in Saturday's Grade 2 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

The Older Set Takes Over the Stakes Spotlight at Santa Anita, Gulfstream

Last week, the sophomores stole the stage. Now, it’s the older horses’ turn to seize the stakes spotlight, dim as it may be this weekend. This weekend’s stakes schedule doesn’t scream “high profile.” After all, 2021’s first Grade 1s are still two weeks away. But, it does raise its voice […]

Red Flag comes into the Los Alamitos Futurity as the even-money favorite. He won his last race by nearly eight lengths. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Los Alamitos Futurity: The Derby Prep that Predicts the Future

This is how meaningful the Los Alamitos Futurity is when it comes to defining Kentucky Derby prospects. The inaugural Futurity, run at the late Hollywood Park in 1981, sent a couple of Derby contenders named Gato Del Sol and Laser Light to Churchill Downs for the 1982 Derby. They finished […]

Astute sung a 7 1/2-length victory tune in the Desi Arnaz Stakes. She goes for her first Grade 1 victory in Saturday's Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos. (Image: Benoit Photography)

Which Starlet Will Reign Supreme Among These Precocious Fillies?

Bob Baffert rarely tastes defeat in the Starlet Stakes, which makes him the perfect trainer to put the crown back on Princess Noor’s head in Saturday’s Grade 1 Starlet at Los Alamitos. To do that, Princess Noor will not only have to beat two of her Baffert stablemates in the […]

United owns six victories in 15 career starts, including the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes. He is the expected favorite in Sunday's John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita. (Image: Benoit Photo)

United Seeks Redemption in John Henry Turf Championship

The John Henry Turf Championship is the perfect race at the perfect place for United — a meeting of opportunity and talent in a setting the standout turf runner should devour. And United has devoured Santa Anita Park. Three of his six career victories came at Santa Anita. Missing on […]