SANTA ANITA (opens 12/26)
ARISTOCRATIC: Well-bred Bob Baffert two-year-old bobbled in an awkward start. He then stalked off the rail but was caught between runners into the turn. Gained some momentum and ran on to be a strong second in the 5½ furlong race. He wants longer in his next start. $$$
LEMON ORCHID, MERRILY MERRILY, WANDA’S TOUCH: This was the exacta and trifecta of the week as all three of these runners were exiting the same race in which they finished 3rd, 4th and 5th, and today they ran 1-2-3. The $2 exacta paid $46.20 and the $2 trifecta, $193.80. Keep looking for those same race horses as the winner went off as the 7/5 chalk.
LOYALIST: $16k claimer ran huge in this six furlong sprint as he got stuck down on the inside. Had to wait for room leaving the turn and then was steadied hard into the stretch. Came out but was blocked off heels in upper stretch and had to angle in. Still ran on to finish a clear second.
POTENTE ALBA: Looked all the winner down the lane as he opened up 1½ lengths in this 5½ furlong race but got caught late, losing by a head. Make no mistake, this one is sitting on the win next time out. He looks like a very good single.
FEEL FREELY: Was running in a $50k optional claimer and eligible to be claimed. He did not have the best of trips here and finished up the track. Trainer Phil D’Amato, who looks to be gearing up for a big Santa Anita meet, put up the $50k and claimed this filly. He will have her spotted for the win next time out.
ADIOS CALI: Peter Miller first time starter got the best of the even-money Baffert runner in this 5½ furlong sprint when running her down late. She was well bet going off as the second choice at 2/1 as the smart money poured in on her not only in this race but also in the rolling doubles. This filly has a ton of upside. $$$