Sprinters take center stage on a glorious Saturday at Santa Anita with all eight runners going to post in the $200,000 San Carlos Stakes (Grade 2) over seven furlongs on the main track having a legitimate shot to hit the wire first.
The only millionaire in the group and potentially lone speed breaking from the inside, Comma to the Top is the 4-to-1 co-third choice looking for his second graded stakes win of the meet. The five-year-old son of Bwana Charlie has a field-high 11 wins and finally broke through in graded stakes action when he wired the Daytona Stakes (G3) that was taken off the turf and run over a wet fast track on December 29.
Bob Baffert sends his customary pair, with Capital Account also listed at 4-to-1 and Drill all the way at 12-to-1 as the second longest shot in the field.
Since breaking through in graded stakes action by capturing the Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2) at Del Mar this summer, Capital Account has lost four straight. The six-year-old son of Closing Argument has only one win in five tries over a fast dirt surface, but has finished as the runner-up on three occasions and enters with a quartet of bullet works over this main track.
With Martin Garcia at Fairgrounds in New Orleans, La.to ride Baffert’s Code West in the Risen Star (G2), Julien Leparoux climbs aboard Drill for the first time in hopes of leading him to a fourth win in five tries at this elongated sprint distance. The son of Lawyer Ron made his four-year-old debut off a seven-month layoff with a solid fourth-place finish in the Malibu Stakes (G1) going seven furlongs on opening day, but returned to disappoint when beating just one runner home in the Palos Verdes Stakes (G2) on January 19.
Midnight Transfer began his four-year-old campaign off a similar seven-month break with a rousing score against second-level allowance optional claimers that lands him as the 3-to-1 second choice. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano climbs back aboard the son of Hard Spun shooting for his first taste of graded stakes success after two disappointments on the Road to the Kentucky Derby last year.
Having defeated four of today’s rivals in the Palos Verdes in his first try in a graded stakes, Sahara Sky is dismissed at 6-to-1 because of his propensity to regress in the second start off a layoff. The five-year-old son of Pleasant Tap has won all four times when running fresh, but has followed up each of those efforts with defeats, albeit the last time he went seven furlongs on this main track he missed by just half a length after winning by 4 ¼-lengths going slightly shorter.
We finally get to the 5-to-2 morning line favorite The Lumber Guy, who makes his four-year-old debut in his second start for Neil Drysdale after flopping as the odds-on favorite in the Malibu. The Grand Slam colt was the runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) here in November and has won half his eight career starts, but continues to look flat in the mornings for a barn that has not experienced much success at the meet.
We’re off to the races!
Late Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (2,5,10) – A combined 123 defeats for these non-winners of two lifetime and we use the trio of No. 2 Sun’s Out, No. 5 Flower Power and No. 10 Rock Off.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (1,3,6,7) – No. 1 Grumpy Small Mouth should be the quickest early and with Garrett Gomez aboard should have some stick through the lane after three wins and four runner-up efforts form nine starts in 2012.
Spread with No. 3 Champions Gate, No. 6 Buffalo Billy and No. 7 Smoking G.
Leg 3 – Race 8 (1,2,5,8) – Half the field again with No. 1 Comma to the Top, No. 2 Capital Account, No. 5 Midnight Transfer and No. 8 Drill.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (3,4,5,6,8,10) – The most wide-open heat of the day closes the card with maiden allowance runners coming down the hill and we spread with No. 3 Blue Cherokee, No. 4 Boss of Me, No. 5 Thunder’s Rollin’, No. 6 Uno Dos Adios, No. 8 Wind of Bosphorous and No. 10 Buckleberry Grey.
Recap – (2,5,10) w (1,3,6,7) w (1,2,5,8) w (3,4,5,6,8,10) – Total cost of ticket = $144
Yesterday’s Result – (-$168)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (+$559.10)
Total from 12/26/10 – 12/16/12 – (-$2,090.45)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (2,3,6,7,8) – No. 7 Night Teller is consistent and if none of these others slow pokes jump up with an improved effort can grind his way to a win.
No. 6 As Uusal is potential for lone speed on the quick turn around, while No. 8 Enchanted Dreams plummets to the bottom off the long layoff for ice-cold connections.
No. 2 Lady Comic can contend if you toss her last and No. 3 Secret of Success can improve in her second start.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,5) – Lone speed kills and No. 1 Sydney’s Darling fits the bill in search of her third straight win. She stretched out on a wet fast track in her last to clear the first-level allowance condition and now goes 1 1/8-miles back on turf against a group of deep closers that should leave her all alone on the front end throughout.
Double up with No. 5 Stanwyck having never finished out of the money is six starts and with the potential for a promising career ahead.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (3,4,5) – No. 3 Penrose drops to the bottom in his second for Jeff Mullins and No. 4 Warren’s Lorie S. moves to Bejarano for the first time and should be tough on the front end.
Take a flier with No. 5 Gianis making his debut for connections that don’t send out many, but that I know are betting on this one.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (2,4,5) – Half of this six horse field can win and half can’t so we’ll use No. 2 Splendid Fortune, No. 4 Egg Drop and No. 5 My Philly Girl.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (1,2,3,7) – No. 3 Unbridled’s Note is a deserving heavy favorite exiting a pair of Grade 1 placings, but if he’s not at the top of his game to begin 2013 he can get upset by No. 1 Klisz, No. 2 Chips All In or No. 7 Irish Art.
Recap – (2,3,6,7,8) w (1,5) w (3,4,5) w (2,4,5) w (1,2,3,7) – Total cost of ticket = $180
Yesterday’s Result – (-$270)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (+$2,194.40)
Total from 7/20/11 – 12/16/12 – (+$13,891.70)
Best Bet of the Day – Can now be found in the Pros Picks section at www.santaanita.com.
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