The last of three spins down the hillside turf course is Friday afternoon’s feature with a solid group of older male runners competing in a third-level allowance with a $63,000 purse.
Despite winning just 3-of-25 career starts, Victory Pete drops out of stakes company for the first time in eight starts and is the 5-to-2 favorite in the field of eight. The seven-year-old son of Five Star Day exits a pair of main track races where he was well-beaten, including the Santa Anita Handicap (Grade I), and has competed in a pair of Grade III events down the hill, most recently finishing second in the Daytona on Jan. 8.
After winning five of his first six career starts, Red Defense is the 3-to-1 second choice looking to snap a three-race losing streak. The five-year-old Cal-bred son of Redatorre has a win and a pair of third-place finishes from three starts down the hill and exits a similar third-level allowance race going a mile on the turf where he also ran third.
With Chosen Miracle being scratched again, Supreme Summit is the lone 7-to-2 third choice looking for his first win in 18 months. In his only try down the hill he got up for the show in last year’s San Simeon (Grade III) and a win today in his third start off the layoff would push the career earnings for the six-year-old son of Cactus House over $400,000.
One of the best racing days on the calendar begins bright and early tomorrow from Meydan Racecourse in Dubai with first post time for eight races each worth at least $1 million at just after 6 a.m. Pacific and culminating with the $10 million Dubai World Cup (Group I). Bob Baffert sends Game on Dude in the main event with Chantal Sutherland aboard and The Factor in the Golden Shaheen piloted by Rafael Bejarano.
On this side of the Atlantic, the $1 million Florida Derby (Grade I) card at Gulfstream Park is littered with graded stakes action and locally, the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (Grade I) highlights a 10-race card that includes a pair of $200,000 sprint stakes for Cal-breds.
I’ll be on Thoroughbred L.A. on Saturday morning between 9-10 a.m. Pacific with Bob Ike to discuss all the action along with America’s Best Racing and the new website followhorseracing.com being launched as a joint effort between the Jockey Club and NTRA after next weekend’s Santa Anita Derby. Make sure to tune your radio dial to AM 830 if you’re in Southern California or listen online here.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 5 (1,3,5,7) – Despite dismal efforts in his last two, No. 1 Clearance Clarence deserves respect as the favorite on the switch to Jeff Mullins and with Joel Rosario taking the call. The pair have combined to win with 6-of-14 starters at Santa Anita since the start of 2011.
With lots of speed signed on, we’ll do what’s generally not advised and use both Jack Van Berg runners No. 3 Warrens Wild Thing and No. 7 Warren’s Kong, both of whom have shown a consistent late kick despite combining for 57 defeats.
Finally, No. 5 Afleet Cowboy exits an impressive maiden win and is the x-factor in his first start on turf.
Leg 2 – Race 6 (1,3,5,6,8) – Five-deep with bottom-level maiden claimers staggering over seven furlongs with No. 1 Creative Writer, No. 3 Smart Hombre, No. 5 Gifted Crusader, No. 6 Salty Robin and No. 8 Kumite.
Leg 3 – Race 7 (6,7,8) – We’ll play against favored No. 4 Victory Pete and use the two other runners listed above with No. 7 Supreme Summit and No. 8 Red Defense, along with No. 6 Mobilized, who moves to Garret Gomez and won the last time he was in his second off the layoff.
Leg 4 – Race 8 (4,5,8,9) – The outside runners No. 8 Bud and Brandy and No. 9 Luckyvic exit the best race when facing open competition and No. 4 Excessively Trick and No. 5 Sea John’s Spirit will likely get most of the betting action.
Recap – (1,3,5,7) w (1,3,5,6,8) w (6,7,8) w (4,5,8,9) – Total cost of ticket = $120
Yesterday’s Result – (-$90)
Total for current Santa Anita winter/spring meet – (-$2,006.50)
Total from 12/26/10-12/18/11 – (+$3,512.05)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (2,6) – No. 6 Missdealornodeal is the top choice in her third start off the layoff and having the speed to potentially clear early and No. 2 Talktoomuch is a deserving favorite dropping a notch off a win.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (ALL) – We’ll use all five runners in the evenly-matched $20,000 claiming route for older females.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (5) – She’s giving up lots of experience and the recency edge against all her rivals, but No. 5 Schiaparelli could be a monster for Mike Puype. The daughter of hill freak Cambiocorsa won impressively in a turf sprint andHollywoodPark last summer and has been training great for her return.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (2,3,5,6) – Another short field of female claimers, this one bottom-level runners in an atrocious sprint and we use No. 2 Moon Stone Madness, No. 3 Flashy Traveler, No. 5 Folk Dancer and No. 6 Storm Magic.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (1,3,5,7) – Same four as the late Pick-4.
Recap – (2,6) w (ALL) w (5) w (2,3,5,6) w (1,3,5,7) – Total cost of ticket = $80
Yesterday’s Result – (-$52.10)
Total for current Santa Anita winter/spring meet – (-$2,293.55)
Total from 7/20/10-12/18/11 (+$1,513.90)
Best Bet of the Day (ROI based off $2 WPS bet)
Race 3 – #5 Schiaparelli (5/2 ML) – For once, we’ll anticipate getting all of this morning line price if not more with bettors focusing on the three runners coming out of an allowance race on Mar. 4. However, this filly could be the real deal and a legitimate stakes type moving forward.
Yesterday’s Result – Show dough with Syndey’s Darling (-$2.60)
Total for current Santa Anita winter/spring meet – (-$112.80)
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For more Santa Anita action check out Jarrod Horak’s Pick 6 Blog.