A trio of invaders ship in to comprise half the field in the traditional closing day feature $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap (Grade II) run at the mega-marathon distance of 1 ¾-miles over the turf.
Boubon Bay is the 6-to-5 favorite taking aim at his second San Juan triumph over a turf course where he’s won six times in eight tries, including overcoming what seemed like an insurmountable amount of ground in the final few strides of the San Luis Rey (Grade II) on March 25 with Joel Rosario aboard for the first time. The six-year-old son of Sligo Bay captured this race two years ago, but bypassed the event last year in favor of a try in the Dubai Sheema Classic (Group 1) where he disappointed to finish 11th.
Back on his preferred surface after getting beat by just a neck on dirt in the Tokyo City (Grade III) in his U.S.debut, Dhaamer is the 9-to-5 second choice. The five-year-old Irish-bred son of Dubai Destination has improved both times in his second off a layoff and Mike Mitchell hits at nearly 25% in this situation.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott sends 4-to-1 shot Harrods Creek looking to make it a perfect 2-for-2 at the meet after he shipped in to win the Big ‘Cap with Ron the Greek last month. Making his first start of 2012 in the Pan American (Grade II) at Gulfstream Park on March 24, Harrods Creek faded to finish last in the field of four after setting the early pace, but he closed 2011 with a pair of in the money finishes in long-distance graded stakes races at Aqueduct and Woodbine.
Eagle Poise is also listed at 4-to-1 for Graham Motion exiting a disappointing try in the Mac Diarmida (Grade II) at Gulfstream in February. He previously got his head to the wire ahead of Harrods Creek in the Valedcitory (Grade III) at Woodbine in December. A familiar face is in to ride with Alex Solis aboard since he’s in town to celebrate his buddy Mike Smith’s 5,000th win at a party at The Derby after the races. Smith lands the mount on Harrods Creek to add to the intrigue.
It was nice to land a pair of Pick-5 scores in the last week to nearly draw even on the tally there, however the Pick-4 results have been disappointing with lots of near misses. One more shot for some profits to close this meet and we’ll pick back up with opening day at Hollywood Park on Thursday.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 7 (1,2,3,4) – One of the more competitive races on a closing card stacked with short fields sees eight second-level $62,500 allowance optional claimers at a mile on turf and we’ll look to the quartet breaking from the inside with No. 1 Barney Rebel, No. 2 Tippety Tap Tap, No. 3 Red Defense and No. 4 Fire with Fire.
Leg 2 – Race 8 (3,5,6,8) – Eight more here with Cal-bred maiden claimers and we’ll use half of them with No. 3 Catquest, No. 5 Soi Phet, No. 6 Warren’s Rail Bird and No. 8 Bringon the Wain.
Leg 3 – Race 9 (1,2,4,6) – No. 2 Bourbon Bay is logical over the course he owns, but the key to getting a decent return in the sequence is trying to beat him and we figure Mott and Motion aren’t wasting their time shipping in, so we’ll use both No. 4 Eagle Poise and No. 6 Harrods Creek along with No. 1 Dhaamer.
Leg 4 – Race 10 (4,7,8,9,12) – We end with maiden-claimers since there weren’t enough runners entered to close with the San Juan and spread with No. 4 Dream Caught, No. 7 Master Rudy, No. 8 Sheriff Ryan, No. 9 Midnight Con and No. 12 Very Unusual.
Recap – (1,2,3,4) w (3,5,6,8) w (1,2,4,6) w (4,7,8,9,12) – Total cost of ticket = $160
Yesterday’s Result – (-$135)
Total for current Santa Anita winter/spring meet – (-$2,954.95)
Total from 12/26/10-12/18/11 – (+$3,512.05)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (1,4,5,6) – An evenly-matched field of maiden allowance females at a mile on turf and No. 1 Miss Pippa might have the pace advantage stretching out after debuting down the hill, but we’ll use three others as well with No. 4 Dixie in Pink, No. 5 Lady Ten and No. 6 Playful Humor.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (ALL) – We’d lean to the pair of Bob Baffert runners, but in search of some value considering both are returning for the first time since Del Mar, we’ll punch the all button.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (4,8) – No. 8 Schiaparelli returns three weeks after having to be scratched when she flipped in the paddock as our Best Bet. The daughter of hill freak Cambiocorsa returned with a bullet five-furlong work on the turf so we’ll hope she’s no worse for wear.
No. 4 Deity tries for the third time to wire a field down the hill after just getting caught late in her initial two tries stateside.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (1,2,5,6) – A bad bunch of sprinters as evidenced by another Nor Cal runner making the jump in class as one of the favorites, so we’ll spread with No. 1 Storming Kentucky, No. 2 Meadow Road, No. 5 Afleet Cowboy and No. 6 Nisus.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (8) – Another turf course specialist here with No. 8 Van Brit, who has won in 7-of-12 starts on Santa Anita’s sod. It’s all or nothing with her as she’s finished off the board in her other five tries, but after a fourth-place finish in her last on Feb. 19 we figure she’s ready for a win.
Recap – (1,4,5,6) w (ALL) w (4,8) w (1,2,5,6) w (8) – Total cost of ticket = $80
Yesterday’s Result – (-$160)
Total for current Santa Anita winter/spring meet – (-$222.95)
Total from 7/20/10-12/18/11 (+$1,513.90)
Best Bet of the Day (ROI based off $2 WPS bet)
Race 5 – #8 Van Brit (8/5 ML) – Nothing major price was, but she can key the close to a Pick-5 score along with the rolling Pick3’s and on top of the superfecta. If she comes with her game, the rest of these runners have no shot. Vladimir Cerin looks to put a stamp on his strong close to the meet after four wins yesterday.
Yesterday’s Result – Got all the money with Designer (+$1.90)
Total for current Santa Anita winter/spring meet – (-$131.30)
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