Four-year-olds with aspirations of tackling their elders in the Big ‘Cap seven weeks from now throw down in a wide-open edition of the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes (Grade 2) at 1 1/6-miles on the main track with 33 percent of the nine-horse field hailing from the barn of Bob Baffert.
Favored in all seven of his starts, four of those coming at odds on and never being higher than 9-to-5, Mile High Magic is a generous 8-to-1 on the morning line for Baffert making his graded stakes debut in search of his third career win. A 40 percent clip jumps off the page, with Baffert taking blinkers off the son of Roman Ruler, who should be winging on the early lead in his maiden voyage around two turns.
Baffert also sends 7-to-2 morning line favorite Fed Biz, exiting a pair of off the board finishes in Grade 1 events. Knocked off the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail due to injury last year after a 5 ¾-length win over this main track, the pricey Giant’s Causeway colt has fallen to defeat in three straight since winning the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar last summer.
Birthday boy Joe Talamo climbs aboard Guilt Trip, one of three runners tabbed as a 6-to-1 fourth choice making his second start for Baffert since shipping west from New York. Since an even fifth-place finish in the Malibu Stakes (G1) on opening day, the Pulpit colt turned in a blistering five-furlong bullet work in 59.1 a week ago that was the fastest of 103 recorded at that distance that morning.
Fly Lexis Fly,Peru’s juvenile champion of 2011, is also listed at 6-to-1 in search of his first win while making his fifth start since returning to this hemisphere. The Kentucky-bred Badge of Silver colt has run in three graded stakes and faced his elders three times in the U.S., with his best result coming the only time he ran against his age group when finishing second in the Super Derby (G2) at Louisiana Downs last September.
With a late kick that’s landed him in the money in all five career starts, Battle Force is co-second choice at 9-to-2 making his first start on dirt. Another son of Giant’s Causeway, he still only has a maiden win to his credit, but exits a runner-up effort in the Generous Stakes (G2) on turf on the heels of a similar result against first-level allowance company over Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track.
The other runner pegged at 9-to-2 is the only entrant that has a stakes win on dirt in North America, as Handsome Mike looks to re-capture his Pennsylvania Derby (G2) form from September and make amends for the pair of Grade 1 flops locally that followed.
We’re off to the races!
Late Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (8,10,11) – On an extremely difficult card, No. 10 Wine List will be popular at the windows off a near-miss runner-up effort in his first try going long on the lawn. It could be a big day for Talamo riding for owners Gary and Mary West, as they have Guilt Trip in the San Fernando Stakes as well.
The logical pair that could upset is No. 8 Persuasive Paul and No. 11 Gentleman Pete.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (4,5,8) – It’s all about Baffert for us using his three remaining runners with No. 4 Mile High Magic, No. 5 Guilt Trip and No. 8 Fed Biz.
Leg 3 – Race 8 (1,4,5,6,7,9,11) – We prefer No. 1 Truest Legend and No. 4 No Silent, but spread with No. 5 Starspangled Heat, No. 6 Maui Mark, No. 7 Royal F J, No. 9 Sweet Swap and No. 11 Cat Talk.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (2,4,11,13) – A bad bunch to close the show where No. 2 Nonrefundable should be favored after breaking his maiden by over nine lengths in his only try over this track two starts back.
No. 4 Et Tu Walker was running late in his last and should appreciate the added ground, No. 11 Time Goes On makes his local debut off solid form at Hawthorne and Hastings and No. 13 Key Reversal hopes for improvement in his second start off a brief layoff.
Recap – (8,10,11) w (4,5,8) w (1,4,5,6,9,11) w (2,4,11,13) – Total cost of ticket = $108
Yesterday’s Result – (-$36)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (+$387.60)
Total from 12/26/10 – 12/16/12 – (-$2,090.45)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (2,5,7) – Tough to find positives for any of these runners and this could be an all ball, but with a difficult sequence ahead we narrow it down to No. 2 Tizmetizyou, No. 5 Now Hope and No. 7 Iconic Spirit.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,3,4,5,7) – No. 1 Firendesire can keep the hot streak rolling for Steve Knapp wheeling back quickly after an even effort against allowance company.
No. 7 Apalachee Song may be the quickest early and could get brave if she can clear.
Add the trio of No. 3 Warren’s Chaser, No. 4 All About Avery and No. 5 Run Captive Run.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (3,5,7) – Hard-knocking sprinters where No. 5 Castletown is likely the quickest early and won’t have Grade 1 runners at his heels late.
He will have a pair bearing down late returning from long layoffs with No. 3 Chiloquin and No. 7 Midnight Transfer.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (1,3,6,9) – No. 1 Batti Man should be rolling early under Talamo dropping to the lowest level of his career.
Hill pros No. 3 Mensa Heat, No. 6 Cherokee Heaven and No. 9 Mr. Bossy Pants are the ones to hold off late.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (8,9,10) – A split of race two for bottom-level three-year-old maiden claiming fillies and the ones with experience have shown nothing so we’ll look to debut runners No. 9 Miss Judged and No. 10 Avery’s Arabesque.
No. 8 Mind Your Bizness flashed brief speed before stopping badly in her debut, but we’ve seen Jeff Mullins work his magic of the claim many times.
Recap – (2,5,7) w (1,3,4,5,7) w (3,5,7) w (1,3,6,9) w (8,9,10) – Total cost of ticket = $270
Yesterday’s Result – (+$725.80)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (+$4,633.15)
Total from 7/20/11 – 12/16/12 – (+$13,891.70)
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