Closing week is upon us with the end of the meet marking the beginning of baby racing in Southern California as two-year-olds quarter horse two furlongs in the opener while each in for a $100,000 tag.
We’re partial to the first Salute the Sarge baby to run locally with Confederate Recon the 3-to-1 co-second choice breaking from the outside post in the field of eight for Eric Guillot. Salute the Sarge won the first three races of his career, including a pair of graded stakes, so his progeny definitely have the right to be precocious.
Let’s just say the majority of the trainers in the opener won’t be found at the top of the standings here or anywhere else, so respect must be given to 5-to-2 favorite K Court from the barn of Janet Armstrong, who has won with 7-of-21 starters at the meet, and the other 3-to-1 price, Valley Spirit, conditioned by Gary Stute.
The feature sees second-level $62,500 allowance optional claiming sprinters at six furlongs on the main track where Bob Baffert is double tough with 5-to-2 second choice Saddleranch and 3-to-1 third choice Hoorayforhollywood. What a surprise.
Considering 2-to-1 favorite Courtside has been scratched twice on race day in the last six weeks, one of the Baffert’s could very well go off favored whether Courtside runs or not.
A perfect 2-for-2 over the Santa Anita’s main track, Off the Wall is worth a look at 6-to-1 for Bruce Headley returning off an 11-month layoff, while Derive ships backs in from Turf Paradise off six straight wins, but is a play against at 4-to-1.
We’re just over two weeks away from the centerpiece of the sport with the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby and you can check out my latest blog for America’s Best Racing featured at www.followhorseracing.com by clicking here.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 5 (1,3,4,7) – The favorites will be tough with No. 1 Cheese Danish shortening up in his second start after showing speed and No. 3 Arinyes Love moving to Joel Rosario.
We’ll add No. 7 H.J’s Kitty, the beaten favorite last time that continues to train well, and No. 4 J Louie, who took decent action over the weekend before getting impeded by a breaking down horse.
Leg 2 – Race 6 (2,3,4,6) – Lots of cheap early speed here so we’ll hope to win from just off the pace or the back of the pack with No. 2 Titian, No. 3 Morganouska, No. 4 Belo Purse or No. 6 Maker.
Leg 3 – Race 7 (3,4,6) – Stick with the three preferred above No. 3 Saddleranch, No. 4 Off the Wall and No. 6 Hoorayforhollywood.
Leg 4 – Race 8 (1,2,3,4,6,8) – Not much confidence with any of these maiden three-year-old fillies in for $75,000 going a mile on turf so we spread with No. 1 Royale Legacy, No. 2 Cavalleta, No. 3 Selleria, No. 4 Light of Life, No. 6 Sabouli and No. 8 Lady Vivien.
Recap – (1,3,4,7) w (2,3,4,6) w (3,4,6) w (1,2,3,4,6,8) – Total cost of ticket = $144
Saturday’s Result – (-$44.25)
Total for current Santa Anita winter/spring meet – (-$2,772.60)
Total from 12/26/10-12/18/11 – (+$3,512.05)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (ALL) – Not much in the way of handicapping here so we’ll hope for a bomb to shake things up early.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (ALL) – Lots of runners in sharp form with No. 1 Clinton the only one not preferred, but we’ll use them all instead of leaving off just one.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (1) – The inside post is no bargain at a short price, but we’ll hope No. 1 Outperform can match his runner-up effort from March 23 to easily dispose of this group.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (1,3,6) – No. 3 Warrens Wild Thing always finds a way to lose, but he had plenty of trouble in the stretch last time so we’ll give him another shot.
No. 1 Clearance Clarence used a whole new running style for new connections last time and can be a little closer early today before making a late run.
No. 6 Minister d’Oro drops in for a tag for the first time and we’ll hope his last was just an aberration.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (1,3) – Trim down to just the two favorite with No. 1 Cheese Danish and No. 3 Arinyes Love.
Recap – (ALL) w (ALL) w (1) w (1,3,6) w (1,3) – Total cost of ticket = $144
Saturday’s Result – (+$984.40)
Total for current Santa Anita winter/spring meet – (-$1,362.05)
Total from 7/20/10-12/18/11 (+$1,513.90)
Best Bet of the Day (ROI based off $2 WPS bet)
Race 7 – #6 Off the Wall (6/1 ML) – You can’t argue with his record over this strip and Headley connects with over 25% of his runners returning from being off over six months, which is how this guy broke his maiden here last March.
Saturday’s Result – (NA)
Total for current Santa Anita winter/spring meet – (-$129.50)
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