01/16/2010 12:58AM

Westward Ho


BEVERLY HILLS -- Got out here a couple of days early for Monday night's Eclipse Awards, and as long as I'm in the neighborhood I''m making my way out to Santa Anita tomorrow, when they're running the G3 San Rafael, G2 Santa Ynez and G2 San Fernando. I'll be doing a seminar with handicapper Jerry Antonucci near the paddock at 11 a.m. and "signing" some dvd's at the Champions! gift shop from noon to 1, assuming I can figure out how to sign something that's a)got a black cover and b)is shrink-wrapped in plastic.

The trip out west from New York today was uneventful. Airport security seems no different in the wake of the Christmas Day Underpants Incident, and they didn't notice or confiscate the two Bic lighters in my carry-on. The supposedly 18-minute drive from LAX to the Beverly Wilshire (site of Monday's dinner) took more like 78 minutes, but that's what you get for landing in LA at 5 p.m. on a Friday.


The only hitch came at the hotel, where I checked in, went up to the room, opened the door and sensed I was not alone. Just as I was noticing a clearly lived-in room, a boy of about 12 stuck his head out from around a corner and let out something between a yelp and a scream, understandably: If you think I look a little scary under normal circumstances, you should see me after 10 hours on the road and a few days without shaving. I tried to reassure the tyke that the front desk had made a mistake, but I'm not sure he was convinced. In any case, happy ending: When I went back to the front desk they were so mortified by what had happened that they insisted on upgrading me to a suite with a little smoking balcony for the four nights I'll be here. Sweet.

Anyway, if you're out at Santa Anita tomorrow, say hello, and if anyone has any brilliant insights on the SA card I'm about to start working on, feel free to post them.

r. coulter More than 1 year ago
Steve I always give this standard answer to people at the track when they ask me for a tip "stay out of my way when I'm drunk"
Paseana More than 1 year ago
Steve, it's nice to hear that you'll be out at the Great Race Place tomorrow. I'll come by to say hello and shake your hand. One thing that I hope you'll be able to take a minute or two to do.....PLEASE make your way over to the Kingsbury Fountain on the other side of the paddock to get a look at the new statue of John Henry. It's an absolute masterpiece, and any fan of John's, which I think you are, shouldn't miss it if they have the opportunity. Just a reminder......see you there!
Arcstats More than 1 year ago
You get a break on Saturday - no Mullins or Biancone horses listed in the entries. Hope the guesses/coin tosses/handicapping efforts land in your favor at the plastic track "want-to-be" Breeders Cup home court.
george quinn More than 1 year ago
Hey I see Gary Stevens is dropping training like a hot potato. Let me see? Up at 330 am working till 4 in the afternoon 7 days? Or NBC telecasts and an HBO mini series? Let me think about that one for a minute. Ok I thought about it. GQ
prozacjack More than 1 year ago
Dear Steve, Shame on you for scaring the hell out of "little children" just to get an UPGRADE...Tip for Santa Anita, if Bob Baffert has two horses that are UN-coupled play the LONGER price, Don't play ANYTHING Alex Solis has on the RAIL.Look TWICE at EVERYTHING Espinoza is riding,he is NOW out of his COMA. David Flores is "starving" and is most effective on the GRASS. Tyler Baze will NOT back-off if he and Martin Pedroza each have a speed horse in any race. Martin Garcia has a TOUCH of Shoemaker in him, horses will run for him. Don't count on Mike Smith to put the "Lone speed on the lead" UNLESS it is a STAKE race...Have a nice day.lol
ponyman More than 1 year ago
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Mr. Crist; Since you are at Santa Anita and requested thoughts on today's card, I will re-post my spot-plays from FormBlog for your use. Perhaps Uncle Steve will chime in as well. Good luck, and enjoy: Spot plays for Santa Anita, 1/16/10: Race #2 (Md Sp Wt 44k – 6.5 Furlongs, Downhill Turf) MEILI (#1) has a big bad losing habit, but showed some good speed on this course back in October before fading. Jockey Talamo will try and get this filly to settle, and if he succeeds, she has a shot. MISS PLEASANT (#7) ran nicely in her first effort on turf, and that race has already produced three next-out winners. KHENDUM (#8) also exits a key race, and is working smartly in preparation for this. Improvement is expected. RICHELLE’S JOY (#4) has experience over this course, exits a key race, and is working nicely coming into this race. Race #7 (The San Fernando – 8.5 Furlongs, Pro-Ride) PAPA CLEM (#4) is fast enough and talented enough to pull this off. If he doesn’t, then I am not sure what to think about his future. He is working well in preparation for this, and should be sharp. SMART BID (#1) is a tough-knocking late-developing type who has a chance to earn some black type today. He is a factor here. QUINDICI MAN (#8) has a favorable closing style that may allow him to pick up a check here. MR. HOT STUFF (#5) is somewhat of a no-hoper, but can round out Trifectas and Superfectas. Race #8 (fAlw 46000N1X – 6.5 Furlongs, Downhill Turf) ONCE UPON A GRACE (Ire) (#3) made an interesting late run in her last, and has also performed admirably on this course in the past. 12/27 workout suggests she is ready, and Jockey Talamo is a plus here. SURFER GIRL (#7) has overcome some serious health issues to finally make it back to the races. She will be flying late, and could win this on talent alone, but I think she needs a race. ROSEY DE MEGEVE (GB) (#5) is probably the fastest and classiest filly of the bunch, but is lacking much needed experience on this particular course (as is her jockey). Nevertheless, she could factor in here. BELLA ROJA (#9) is a late closing type that I expect Jockey Espinoza to settle, and then follow SURFER GIRL right on down the lane. The tactic may work.
robert ginnerty More than 1 year ago
I am glad to know that you are willing to handicap races on a synthetic surface unlike the speed guru Andy Beyer. Good luck in the feature races and enjoy the nice weather. Oh, I almost forgot to let us know how you like the down hill six and one half turf course.
Turk More than 1 year ago
I had a balcony to smoke off of in LA this past week and the hotel slapped a 200 buck charge on my room. I explained that I didn't smoke my cigar in the room but on the balcony,outside, in the atmosphere, but the hotel manager was unmoved. It was a well spent 200 dollars as I stared at the Pacific and enjoyed my Fuente.
Ron-D More than 1 year ago
An angle that has had some success in the Southland circuit is first time Bejarano. It's worth giving these horses an extra look. Race 1 Timbavati: Race 5 Switch: Race 9 Glory Forever