Horse racing newsletter: It’s all in the numbers
Hello, my name is John Cherwa, and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we need to wait until Friday before Santa Anita races again.
We’ve often said that statistics can be used to prove whatever point you are trying to make. For example, Santa Anita likes to use one about the number of horses that have been on the track, racing and training, to prove that the horse fatality rate is much lower than what people think. It’s in the tens of thousands of horses for this meeting.
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While it is true horses have been on the track, as they are several days a week, if only for a jog, it’s a made-up figure. The track just extrapolates the number of horses it has and comes up with an average. It would be shredded by an auditor. When you’re going to give a number is the thousands or even millions of a percent, you better be 100% correct. It’s why I don’t use that figure.
The California Horse Racing Board issued a report in which they listed horse fatalities by trainer. In it, they broke it down by starts per 1,000. Simply, that figure is not fair. The sample size is way too small. It brought howls from some who like to use the above-mentioned figure. I thought the CHRB was going to reissue the report without that category but if they have, I haven’t seen it. Either way, I won’t use that figure either.
So, on the backdrop of stats don’t always tell the right picture, I thought I would compare Presidents Day figures from the last five years and 10 and 20 years back to see if we can learn something. It’s broken down in categories.
Feb. 21, 2000: 20,450
Feb. 15, 2010: 13,306
Feb. 15, 2016: 10,225
Feb. 20, 2017: 9,412
Feb. 19, 2018: 9,577
Feb. 18, 2019: 7,668
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Feb. 17, 2020: 7,003
Comment: The crazy thing about the 2000 day was it was raining. As you can see, the decline was massive.
2000: $3,070,332 on track; $150 average per customer; $10,569,081 including ITW and out of state.
2010: $2,050,849; $154; $8,873,143
2016: $1,596,438; $156; $9,280,161
2017: $1,433,468, $152; $10,093,977
2018: $1,354,851, $141; $9,298,033
2019: $1,282,639; $167; $9,467,602
2020: $1,000,777; $143; $6,213,445
Comment: While attendance is way down, the mutuel handle in no way mirrors that. This no doubt is because of the strength of ADWs. And, the consistency of average per customer, is to me, further evidence that the attendance figures are, shall we say, a moving target. (Yes, Santa Anita denies that.) Now the number of races (we’ll get to that in a moment) also mitigates the number.
Races and runners
2000: 10 races, 63 runners, 6.3 average per race
2010: 10, 80, 8.0
2016: 9, 69, 7.7
2017: 11, 84, 7.6
2018: 9, 67, 7.4
2019: 9, 76, 8.4
2020: 8, 48, 6.0
Comment: This year, everyone hopes, is clearly an aberration. But, if not, it shows the severity of the decline in the horse population. In the past, the numbers go up and down a little but Monday’s total is alarming.
This is stolen from Ed Golden’s stable notes. It did not include Monday’s racing.
“Through 26 days, favorites are winning well above the national norm of about 33%, at 39.09 (86 out of 22), even higher on dirt, 41.80 (51 of 122) and slightly lower on turf, 35.71% (35 of 98). Bridge jumpers are faring well with in-the-money odds-on favorites winning at an 87.50% clip (49 of 56) .
Santa Anita review
The feature on Monday’s card was the $70,000 Wishing well Stakes for fillies and mares going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. It was only a five-horse field but An Eddie Surprise rallied from next-to-last to win by a half-length. It was jockey Joel Rosario’s fourth win of the day.
An Eddie Surprise paid $9.40, $4.60 and $2.60. Miss Hot Legs was second and Kentan Road was third.
Here’s what the winning connections had to say.
Doug O’Neill (winning trainer): “We love her consistency. Prior to the race it looked like such an evenly matched race so you could win or run fifth and run your race. We just got a dream trip by Joel and it worked out perfect. We are grateful to have a small string in Dubai thanks to Frank Gabriel, but as nice as Dubai is it’s not even close to Santa Anita, I mean this is the best. We are so blessed to call this home and there’s just nothing better than winning here at The Great Race Place.”
Joel Rosario (winning jockey): “I just tried to break good out of there and save some ground in the last turn and make a great run. When you have a good horse they make your job easy. We were very confident, she got out of there not very quick in the beginning. I just let her be where she was and she started getting better going into the last turn, I felt very confident after that. I just try to figure out what makes my horse happy and to help them run their best. Yes, I think when they feel comfortable, they perform.”
Big races review
A look at graded stakes or races worth $100,000 or more on Monday.
Oaklawn (6): Grade 3 $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes, fillies and mares 4 and up, 1 1/16 miles. Winner: Go Google Yourself ($6.20)
Aqueduct (8): $100,000 Hollie Hughes Stakes, NY-breds 4 and up, 6 furlongs. Winner: Amundson ($33.60)
Oaklawn (8): Grade 3 Razorback Handicap, 4 and up, 1 1/16 miles. Winner: Warrior’s Charge ($8.00)
Oaklawn (9): Grade 3 $750,000 Southwest Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles. Winner: Silver Prospector ($11.40)
Now, the stars of the show, Monday’s results. See you Friday.
Santa Anita Charts Results for Monday, February 17.
Copyright 2020 by Equibase Company. Reproduction prohibited. Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 27th day of a 60-day meet. Clear & Firm
1 1/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $33,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $25,000. Time 23.51 47.64 1:11.53 1:36.56 1:48.47
|1||Wind Tartare||122||1||6||7||7||7||5–½||2–½||Valdivia, Jr.||5.40|
|3||Playa Chica||122||3||7||4–1||4–1½||4–1||6–½||7||Van Dyke||5.50|
|5||TIG TOG (IRE)||6.20||3.80||2.80|
|1||WIND TARTARE (FR)||5.80||2.80|
|$1 EXACTA (5-1)||$14.30|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (5-1-4-7)||$34.03|
|10-CENT SUPER HIGH FIVE (5-1-4-7-2)||Carryover $1,239|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (5-1-4)||$41.10|
Winner–Tig Tog (IRE) B.m.5 by Dark Angel (IRE) out of Deira Dubai (GB), by Green Desert. Bred by T. & G. Molan (IRE). Trainer: John W. Sadler. Owner: Hronis Racing LLC. Mutuel Pool $144,635 Exacta Pool $77,981 Superfecta Pool $26,984 Super High Five Pool $1,624 Trifecta Pool $44,033. Claimed–Playa Chica by Bran Jam Stable. Trainer: Vladimir Cerin. Scratched–none.
TIG TOG (IRE) pulled between horses then chased outside a rival, came three deep into the stretch, bid under left handed urging while drifting in outside the pacesetter in midstretch, took the lead past the eighth pole and won clear under a hold in the final strides. WIND TARTARE (FR) bobbled slightly at the start, settled inside then just off the rail on the backstretch, continued outside a rival on the second turn, came out for room in midstretch and edged the pacesetter late for second. MONGOLIAN WINDOW tugged her way to the early lead, angled in and set the pace inside, inched away again on the first turn, fought back in midstretch, could not match the winner in the final furlong and lost the place late. DULVERTON DARLING went up three deep to press the pace passing the wire the first time then stalked outside a rival, came three wide into the stretch, drifted in some in the final furlong and lacked the needed late kick. INDYPENDENT DEPUTY pulled some along the inside early, saved ground chasing the pace, came out for in midstretch and deep stretch and lacked the needed rally. CLOCKSTRIKESTWELVE pulled between horses to bid passing the wire the first time then stalked a bit off the rail, was between foes again in midstretch and weakened. PLAYA CHICA bobbled at the start, pulled along the inside, saved ground stalking the pace and weakened in the final furlong.
1 Mile. Purse: $24,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000. Time 23.91 47.79 1:12.67 1:25.54 1:39.02
|2||Fast as Cass||124||2||5||4–½||4–1½||3–1½||3–1½||4–ns||Fuentes||9.60|
|1||Play Hard to Get||117||1||4||5||5||4–hd||5||5||Velez||4.20|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (5-4)||$16.80|
|$1 EXACTA (4-3)||$7.40|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (4-3-5)||$9.60|
Winner–Conquest Cobra B.g.8 by Pioneerof the Nile out of Stateliness, by Silver Deputy. Bred by McKathan Bros. (FL). Trainer: Vann Belvoir. Owner: Stuart Tsujimoto. Mutuel Pool $158,207 Daily Double Pool $28,523 Exacta Pool $67,703 Trifecta Pool $51,966. Scratched–none.
CONQUEST COBRA had speed three deep then dueled outside a rival, battled between foes on the backstretch then outside the pacesetter on the second turn, was fanned out a bit into the stretch, gained the advantage under left handed urging in upper stretch, inched away in midstretch and edged clear late. WILSHIRE DUDE had speed off the rail then angled in and dueled inside, fought back on the second turn, came out into the stretch, drifted inward in the final furlong and held third. IMAGINEIAMFASTEST stalked off the rail then bid three deep between foes on the backstretch, dropped back outside a rival on the second turn, swung out into the stretch and lacked the needed late kick. FAST AS CASS drifted out four wide into the first turn, bid four wide on the backstretch, stalked off the rail on the second turn, came four wide into the stretch and weakened. PLAY HARD TO GET saved ground stalking the pace throughout and lacked the needed rally.
1 1/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $57,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000. Time 23.86 48.79 1:12.92 1:37.48 1:49.32
|2||Out of Balance||124||2||3||5–hd||6||6||5–½||1–½||Rosario||2.40|
|6||Eternal Endeavour||122||6||4||3–2||3–1½||3–1||2–1||4–2¼||Diaz, Jr.||7.70|
|3||Kittyhawk Lass||122||3||2||4–1||4–hd||4–hd||6||6||Van Dyke||5.80|
|2||OUT OF BALANCE||6.80||3.40||2.60|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (4-2)||$17.80|
|$1 EXACTA (2-4)||$17.60|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (2-4-1-6)||$19.05|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (2-4-1)||$17.55|
Winner–Out of Balance B.f.4 by Kitten’s Joy out of Balance, by Thunder Gulch. Bred by Mrs. Jerry Amerman (KY). Trainer: David E. Hofmans. Owner: Amerman Racing LLC. Mutuel Pool $178,521 Daily Double Pool $16,175 Exacta Pool $87,075 Superfecta Pool $30,455 Trifecta Pool $48,377. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (5-4-2) paid $12.15. Pick Three Pool $38,105.
OUT OF BALANCE bobbled a bit at the start, saved ground chasing the pace, came out into the stretch and again in upper stretch, rallied under urging to gain the advantage nearing the wire and gamely prevailed. SAPPHIRE KID angled in and set a pressured pace inside, fought back in the stretch and held on well but was caught late. PRETTY POINT came off the rail and stalked outside a rival then went up three deep leaving the first turn, tracked the leaders outside a foe on the backstretch and second turn, came three wide into the stretch and finished with interest to be edged for the place. ETERNAL ENDEAVOUR (GB) broke out a bit, prompted the pace three deep then battled outside the pacesetter in midstretch and deep stretch and was outfinished. KYNANCE (IRE) also broke out a bit, pulled her way along to press the pace between horses, fought back into the stretch and weakened some in the final furlong. KITTYHAWK LASS stalked a bit off the rail then inside on the second turn and in the stretch and lacked the needed late kick.
6½ Furlongs. Purse: $57,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000. Time 21.66 44.57 1:09.20 1:16.04
|2||Ava’s Charm||124||2||3||1–hd||1–1||2–3½||2–4¼||Van Dyke||2.40|
|5||Hang a Star||119||5||2||4–1||5||4–hd||4–3¼||Velez||22.80|
|4||D’s Lovely Sophia||124||4||1||2–½||4–hd||5||5||Rispoli||8.40|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (2-1)||$11.00|
|$1 EXACTA (1-2)||$3.40|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (1-2-3)||$3.30|
Winner–Ce Ce Ch.f.4 by Elusive Quality out of Miss Houdini, by Belong to Me. Bred by Bo Hirsch LLC (KY). Trainer: Michael W. McCarthy. Owner: Bo Hirsch, LLC. Mutuel Pool $197,828 Daily Double Pool $16,450 Exacta Pool $67,836 Trifecta Pool $60,025. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (4-2-1) paid $4.75. Pick Three Pool $18,906.
CE CE bobbled slightly at the start, stalked inside, came out leaving the turn, bid outside the runner-up into the stretch to take the lead, was mildly hand ridden for a few strides to open up and won clear without further encouragement and a long hold late. AVA’S CHARM had good early speed and dueled inside, inched away on the turn, battled inside the winner into the stretch, came off the fence in midstretch and was clearly second best. RATHER NOSY hopped slightly at the start, went up to duel between horses then stalked between foes on the turn, continued off the rail into the stretch and bested the others. HANG A STAR prompted the pace four wide then stalked outside on the turn, came four wide into the stretch and weakened. D’S LOVELY SOPHIA pressed the pace three deep between horses, stalked on the turn, came three wide into the stretch and also weakened.
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $35,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $32,000. Time 22.37 45.31 56.83 1:02.80
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (1-9)||$120.40|
|$1 EXACTA (9-3)||$247.20|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (9-3-2-1)||$231.73|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (9-3-2)||$506.55|
|10-CENT X-5 SUPER HIGH FIVE (9-3-2-1-6)||Carryover $6,441|
Winner–Loud Mouth Dbb.c.4 by Boisterous out of Drama Cat, by Tale of the Cat. Bred by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC (CA). Trainer: Steve Knapp. Owner: Thomsen Racing, LLC. Mutuel Pool $247,610 Daily Double Pool $17,612 Exacta Pool $133,102 Superfecta Pool $62,041 Trifecta Pool $90,140 X-5 Super High Five Pool $6,817. Claimed–Blackout (FR) by Gary Barber. Trainer: Peter Miller. Scratched–Castle, Union Ride.
50-Cent Pick Three (2-1-9) paid $108.15. Pick Three Pool $29,830. 50-Cent Pick Four (4-2-1-9) 383 tickets with 4 correct paid $218.10. Pick Four Pool $109,457. 50-Cent Pick Five (5-4-2-1-9) 340 tickets with 5 correct paid $982.85. Pick Five Pool $388,627.
LOUD MOUTH had speed four wide then stalked three deep, continued outside on the turn and three wide into the stretch, rallied under urging and got up nearing the wire. MORGAN S. sped to the early lead, inched away and set the pace inside, fought back when challenged leaving the turn and into the stretch, inched away again in midstretch and held on well but was caught late. TIGERBEACH saved ground chasing the pace, came out leaving the turn, went around a rival into the stretch, angled out in midstretch and gained the show. BLACKOUT (FR) bobbled slightly at the start as the ground broke out behind, stalked inside, bid alongside the pacesetter leaving the turn and into the stretch, battled outside that one in midstretch and was outkicked late. CONCUR stalked outside a rival, angled to the inside into the stretch and lacked a rally. VIA EGNATIA had speed between horses then stalked outside a rival, continued a bit off the rail leaving the turn and into the stretch and weakened. PORTANDO angled in and saved ground chasing the pace, came out in midstretch and also weakened.
1 Mile. Purse: $38,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $40,000. Time 23.20 47.30 1:11.98 1:25.05 1:38.81
|5||Govenor Cinch||124||5||4||3–1½||2–½||2–2||1–hd||1–hd||Van Dyke||1.60|
|1||Big Hoof Dynamite||122||1||3||4–4||4–4||3–3½||3–4||3–1¾||Cedillo||2.40|
|3||Gorky Park||122||3||5||2–hd||3–hd||5||5||5||Valdivia, Jr.||18.70|
|1||BIG HOOF DYNAMITE||2.40|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (9-5)||$147.40|
|$1 EXACTA (5-4)||$8.60|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (5-4-1)||$9.55|
Winner–Govenor Cinch Dbb.c.3 by Govenor Charlie out of Ghostly, by Ghostzapper. Bred by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson & Paul Weitman (CA). Trainer: Tim Yakteen. Owner: Watson, Karl, Pegram, Michael E. and Weitman, Paul. Mutuel Pool $212,557 Daily Double Pool $16,107 Exacta Pool $82,586 Trifecta Pool $63,128. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (1-9-5) paid $66.05. Pick Three Pool $22,077.
GOVENOR CINCH five wide early, pressed the pace four wide into the first turn then three deep, stalked outside a rival then between foes on the backstrech and off the rail on the second turn, re-bid alongside the runner-up in the stretch to gain a short lead under left handed urging, battled outside that one through the final furlong and gamely prevailed between foes late. ITSTHATTIME had speed three deep then angled in and dueled between horses, inched away early on the backstretch and angled in, set the pace inside, fought back along the rail through a long drive and continued gamely to the end. BIG HOOF DYNAMITE showed good early speed inside then was in tight into the first turn, came off the rail leaving the turn, stalked three deep on the backstretch, continued off the inside on the second turn and three wide into the stretch and finished willingly late outside the top pair. KNIFES EDGE settled off the pace inside, came out on the second turn and three deep into the stretch and made up some ground in the final furlong but lacked the needed rally . GORKY PARK dueled between horses then inside on the first turn, stalked along the fence on the backstretch, dropped back on the second turn and into the stretch and weakened.
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $70,000. ‘Wishing Well Stakes’. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Time 22.71 45.07 56.56 1:02.40
|1||An Eddie Surprise||122||1||4||4–hd||4–½||3–2||1–½||Rosario||3.70|
|5||Miss Hot Legs||120||5||2||2–2||2–2½||2–1½||2–1||Cedillo||4.30|
|1||AN EDDIE SURPRISE||9.40||4.60||2.60|
|5||MISS HOT LEGS||5.60||2.60|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (5-1)||$37.80|
|$1 EXACTA (1-5)||$15.00|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (1-5-3)||$25.70|
Winner–An Eddie Surprise Ch.m.5 by Square Eddie out of Dani Reese, by High Demand. Bred by Reddam Racing, LLC (CA). Trainer: Doug F. O’Neill. Owner: Reddam Racing LLC. Mutuel Pool $263,856 Daily Double Pool $27,990 Exacta Pool $90,293 Trifecta Pool $68,957. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (9-5-1) paid $154.85. Pick Three Pool $18,778.
AN EDDIE SURPRISE saved ground stalking the pace, came out in upper stretch and rallied under some urging to surge to the front three wide in late stretch. MISS HOT LEGS angled in and was close up stalking the pace just off the rail, bid between horses a sixteenth out to put a head in front but could not hold off the winner. KENTAN ROAD sped to the early lead, set the pace along the inside, fought back in deep stretch and held third. APACHE PRINCESS between horses early, stalked a bit off the rial then outside the winner leaving the turn and into the stretch, came out in the drive and was edged for the show. TONAHUTU (IRE) three deep early, stalked outside a rival then off the rail into the stretch, came out in upper stretch, drifted in late and did not rally.
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000. Time 24.30 48.72 1:13.59 1:39.35 1:46.11
|9||Reds Sacred Appeal||124||8||8||8||8||8||7–hd||4–½||Prat||15.80|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (1-6)||$85.40|
|$1 EXACTA (6-7)||$29.70|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (6-7-2-9)||$83.92|
|$1 SUPER HIGH FIVE (6-7-2-9-4)||$3,451.00|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (6-7-2)||$74.45|
Winner–Tiz Wonderfully Dbb.m.5 by Tiz Wonderful out of Your Special Day, by Kafwain. Bred by Dr. Dorothee Kieckhefer (CA). Trainer: James M. Cassidy. Owner: James M. Cassidy. Mutuel Pool $324,276 Daily Double Pool $77,670 Exacta Pool $176,538 Superfecta Pool $92,543 Super High Five Pool $45,823 Trifecta Pool $131,034. Claimed–Ruby Bradley by Marcelo Polanco. Trainer: Marcelo Polanco. Claimed–Atina (ARG) by Exelby, Randy, Mayo, Tom and Mullins, Jeff L. Trainer: Jeff Mullins. Scratched–Zoning.
50-Cent Pick Three (5-1-6) paid $70.40. Pick Three Pool $119,845. 50-Cent Pick Four (9-5-1-6) 122 tickets with 4 correct paid $1,450.75. Pick Four Pool $232,514. 50-Cent Pick Five (1-9-5-1-6) 50 tickets with 5 correct paid $3,378.60. Pick Five Pool $221,788. 20-Cent Pick Six Jackpot (2-1-9-5-1-6) 16 tickets with 6 correct paid $3,330.14. Pick Six Jackpot Pool $98,182. Pick Six Jackpot Carryover $366,954.
TIZ WONDERFULLY stalked three deep then outside a rival, bid three wide into the stretch, took a short lead, drifted inward in deep stretch and held on gamely under urging. MESO chased three deep then four wide on the backstretch and second turn and into the stretch, also drifted in past midstretch, bid three deep then outside the winner late and just missed. RUBY BRADLEY pulled along the inside and was in tight into the first turn, came out and stalked just off the rail, bid between horses on the second turn to put a head in front a quarter mile out, fought back off the fence in midstretch, drifted to the inside in deep stretch and bested the others. REDS SACRED APPEAL angled in and was in a bit tight between horses into the first turn, settled outside a rival to the stretch, split foes in deep stretch and bested the others. ATINA (ARG) stalked off the rail then between horses on the backstretch and a bit off the fence on the second turn, came out in midstretch and lacked the needed rally. DISCREET DIVA four wide into the first turn, stalked three deep to the stretch and could not offer the necessary response. CIMARRON saved ground chasing the pace, went around a rival in deep stretch and also lacked the needed rally. WHOA NESSIE sped to the early lead and angled in, set the pace inside, dueled on the second turn and into the stretch and weakened in the final furlong.
|Out of State||N/A||$3,631,014|