Racing at Santa Anita with Marc Doche: Royal Delta’s reign gets stiff challenge in Ladies’ Classic
- Updated: November 2, 2012
The Breeders’ Cup never disappoints. It’s one of the things you can add to the certainties in life. In fact, the two-day championship event for thoroughbred horse racing often does much more than live up to the hype, which is rare to say for any entertainment spectacle.
With one of the greatest distaff fields in history lining up for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (Grade I) to be run over 1 1/8-miles on Santa Anita’s main track, the expectation to begin the festivities on a high note are immense.
The field of eight begins with reigning champion and 9-to-5 favorite Royal Delta, who has won half of her six starts since a 2 ½-length score at Churchill Downs last year. Sent off as the odds-on favorite in her last four races, the 4-year-old Empire Maker filly has won three of those races and signaled her return to top form with a 9 ½-length win in the Beldame Invitational (G1) at Belmont Park on September 29.
Awesome Feather is a perfect ten. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly champion of 2010 has overcome a tendon injury to pile up many lengths between her rivals while compiling a 10-for-10 career record. Despite only a pair of ungraded stakes wins in 2012 and unheralded jockey Jeffery Sanchez retaining the mount, the 4-year-old daughter of Awesome of Course is a deserving 3-to-1 second choice.
The home-track advantage goes to 15-to-1 shot Include Me Out, a winner in 3-of-6 starts over this main track including the Santa Margarita (G1) in March. With plenty of early paced signed on things might set up nicely for the 4-year-old daughter of Inlcude, however the competition she’s been facing in California is a step below what her rivals from the east have seen.
A pair of 3-year-olds face their elders for the first time with My Miss Aurelia the 4-to-1 co-third choice also entering with an unblemished record through six starts and Grace Hall at 10-to-1 having shown the ability to compete at this level with six clear wins in ten starts.
The “early” Pick-4 starts in race six so make sure to read below closely as we give out a pair of Pick-4 tickets.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (3,5,6,10,12) – No. 3 Sky Lantern is going to take some beating drawn perfectly in the Juvenile Filly Turf and with the best form after a crushing Group 1 win in Ireland on September 9.
These are babies being asked to do a lot so we’ll spread with No. 5 Spring Venture, No. 6 Watsdachances, No. 10 Waterway Run and No. 12 The Gold Cheongsam.
Leg 1 & 2 – Race 7 (2,3,7,8) – The Juvenile Fillies has a few hyped 2-year-olds lining up that will surely get attention at the windows, but most of them want to be on or near the lead and a couple may be over the top after a string of top performances.
We land on Spring in the Air making her first start on dirt with the ability to pack a late punch with a pair of impressive wins of her own to go along with two runner-up efforts. She followed up a rousing win in the Acibiades (Grade I) at Keeneland with a pair of solid five-furlong spins on the dirt at Churchill Downs and can upset at generous odds.
We’ll cover ourselves using two of the unbeaten runner with No. 3 Executiveprivilege and No. 8 Kauai Katie along with another closer at a big price with No. 7 Broken Spell.
Leg 2 & 3 – Race 8 (4,9,10,12) – The favored Euros will be tough in the Filly and Mare Turf with No. 4 The Fugue and No. 10 Ridasiyna. No. 9 Marketing Mix is a win machine and has the advantage of having been on the grounds for a while and No. 12 In Lingerie could get brave on the lead if allowed to get away.
Leg 3 & 4 – Race 9 (2,5,6,7) – Four deep in the Ladies’ Classic with No. 2 My Miss Aurelia, No. 5 Awesome Feather, No. 6 Royal Delta and No. 7 Include Me Out.
Recap – (3,5,6,10,12) w (2,3,7,8) w (4,9,10,12) w (2,5,6,7) – Total cost of ticket = $160
Leg 4 – Race 10 (2,3,4,6,7,8) – We close with the $150,000 Twilight Derby (G2), formerly the Oak Tree Derby, and No. 8 My Best Brother looks to streak on the front end to another victory as the top choice, but we spread with No. 2 Speaking of Which, No. 3 Power Foot, No. 4 Smart Ellis, No. 6 Old Time Hockey and No. 7 Grandeur.
Recap – (2,3,7,8) w (4,9,10,12) w (2,5,6,7) w (2,3,4,6,7,8) – Total cost of ticket = $192
Yesterday’s Result – (-$112)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (+$670.60)
Total from 12/26/10 – 9/5/12 – (-$2,966.60)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (1,6,8,9,10) – No. 6 Saint Loup enters having faced the best competition in Europe, but might be a touch short for his U.S. debut.
We’ll make the top pick No. 9 Swift Eagle looking for his third straight win pressing the pace and spread with No. 1 Press Baron, No. 8 Te Rapa and No. 10 Dreamcatcher.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (7,9) – No. 7 Big Tiz is a potential single if you want to cut the ticket in half with a huge class edge over this bunch, but we’ll double up with No. 9 Magical Band, who when last seen over this strip broke his maiden by nearly four lengths and gets the services of Rafael Bejarano.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (1,4,6,7) – No. 1 Got Even will roll on the front end and try to steal it, but he’ll likely find some company to his outside so we’ll use the trio of No. 4 Seven Bridges, No. 6 Northern Iowa and No. 7 Macho Dorado that can win from off the pace.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (3) – Instead of debating whether to single No. 5 Super Ninety Nine or doubling up with No. 3 Merit man in the Juvenile Sprint, the scratch of the former leaves us with only the latter.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (ALL) – If we can get to the Marathon we’ll be licking our chops with some likely massive payouts in a race where through four years the winner has always returned more than $10 and produced an inexplicable result last year with Afleet Again blowing up the tote at 41-to-1.
Recap – (1,6,8,9,10) w (7,9) w (1,4,6,7) w (3) w (ALL) – Total cost of ticket = $260
Yesterday’s Result – (-$220.50)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (+$41.60)
Total from 7/20/11 – 9/5/12 – (+$17,380.65)
Best Bet of the Day – Can now be found in the free analysis section at www.theracingedition.com along with an early Pick-4 ticket and a consensus box for the entire card.
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For more Santa Anita action check out Jarrod Horak’s Pick 6 Blog.