Dalmore carries improving form to Affirmed upset; Drefong, Dynamite Charge highlight Horses to Watch list at Santa Anita

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 5th, 2016


There was a single graded race this past week at Santa Anita.

Affirmed S. (G3): Big Chief Racing’s DALMORE (Colonel John) drew even with 1-5 favorite Danzing Candy (Twirling Candy) in midstretch and inched away to a half-length victory for trainer Keith Desormeaux. The improving sophomore colt registered his first stakes win and completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:40 4/5 with Kent Desormeaux.

Track Stats

From 43 dirt races held at the Arcadia, California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 28 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 63 percent of the wins. Eleven races were won in wire-to-wire fashion (26 percent) and no turf racing was offered due to the installation of a new course.

Speed was good on the main oval for a second straight week, with many winners laying first or second before coming home best in the lane. Only 4-of-43 winners broke from outside of post 6.

Meet Totals












109 (33%)

2nd Choices:


79 (24%)

Turf Wire:


13 (15%)

Dirt Wire:


71 (29%)





Thursday (6/30)

2ND – Bob Baffert’s EMMZY (Eskendereya) took the lead early and never wavered in posting a second straight win in this affair. The sophomore filly came home swiftly under Mike Smith and should be stakes bound in this form cycle.

3RD – CHANGING KARMA (Exchange Rate) raced in second behind clear speed before pulling away to a very professional tally in our view. The Kelly Castaneda charge has won two in a row and looks primed for a class rise.

5TH – RADISH (Square Eddie) ran a big one in defeat and should be graduating soon for conditioner Doug O’Neill. The juvenile filly had to fight off a pair of pace foes early before finishing well clear of third behind a perfect-trip winner. 

Friday (7/1)

3RD – SHE’S MY FIRST (To Honor and Serve) was always in the mix and finished up nicely to be a close third in a solid debut race. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee could be sitting on a big one next time and she figures to handle more ground down the road.

4TH – BENDABLE (Horse Greeley) proved her exciting debut tally was not a fluke while taking down a decent field today for conditioner Richard Mandella. The three-year-old took the lead at the top of the lane and won pretty easily beneath Flavien Prat, and the Kentucky-bred filly rates as a fine prospect with a lot of room for growth.

Saturday (7/2)

5TH – DALMORE has improved since adding blinkers a few back and has the look of a runner who may be productive during the second half of this season.

8TH – TO THE BAR (Kitten’s Joy) sped to the front and never looked back in posting a sharp 5 ½-length tally for trainer Ron Ellis. The five-year-old gelding came home in a swift :24 1/5 and should loom large in his return.

Sunday (7/3)

2ND – BESIDES THE POINT (Concord Point) broke best and finished that way, as well, en route to a comfortable debut score under Stewart Elliot. The two-year-old filly avoided a claim in this dash and might be a useful prospect going forward.

Monday (7/4)

4TH – DEFRONG (Gio Ponti) made it three in a row for Baffert in rolling home a facile winner. The three-year-old colt force a wicked early pace and never tired in one of the sharper performances we have seen at this meet of late. The Kentucky-bred is cut out to run longer and possibly on the lawn, and he is of stakes material for sure.

6TH – O’Neill’s DYNAMITE CHARGE (Super Saver) broke slow but quickly got the lead, and she never looked back in securing an impressive debut romp. The two-year-old filly toppled a group that appeared to have a few decent prospects and the bay lass will be headed to the stakes ranks.

A Look Ahead

There is no graded racing on tap at Santa Anita this weekend.