Horses to watch

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SANTA ANITA

HOPPERTUNITY

It’s around this time of year when these newly turned 3yo’s wake up big time. And this second-time Bob Baffert runner by Any Given Saturday did just that when exploding down the lane to blow this good field away going a mile. Ran like he could have gone around again. Now Mr. B will need to move him way up the ladder if he has a chance to make it to the first Saturday in May race in Louisville. Definitely one to watch. $$$$$

SRI’S RED

Was last seen finishing up the track at Del Mar last year with straight maidens. She came back in this $20k maiden claimer and just did fail to get there. May have been best but had a very wide trip. With this race under her belt she will be a solid single for a barn that is due to heat up.

PREMIER STEPS

Was last seen running at Pimlico last May when under the care of Chad Brown. She showed up in this spot for Tom Proctor who is having a huge meet, especially when his buddy Gary Stevens is on his runners. Stevens was on this filly as she finished a solid second after breaking slow and having to be steadied hard. Next time, with a clean trip, she will get the job done and most likely will go long. $$$

SILVER HUSTLER

Really never got untracked in this mile turf race for $50k claimers but she was red tagged for the $50k by a good barn. Look for her to come back in a good spot at what will be a nice price. Will use her in our picks and exotics.

POWER RED

Just looked super winning his 1 1/8 turf route with the underrated but very good turf rider F. Pratt. Trainer Richard Mandella had this gelding primed with a bullet 7 furlong work and then a mile in 1:39:4 seven days prior to the race. He is a master at that. Look for this gelding to come right back and repeat.

ROOM FOR ME

The one-time good hookup of Omar Berrio and AC Avila has been trying to get things rolling again and almost got there with this $20k maiden claimer just missing by a dwindling half length. We will keep an eye out for these two, especially when taking early money.

UNUSUALLY GREEN

Singled this one in the late pick four. Was making his first start on the grass but was bred to love it. He was 8/1 on the morning line and was sent off at 5/2. Finished second by a length but was five clear of the rest. Will be our single again next time out. $$$$$

GOLDEN GATE

STICKTOTHESCRIPT

Usually don’t like a maiden being claimed off of Jerry Hollendorfer but this first time starter ran huge and was gaining with every stride, finishing a fast closing third in this 5½ furlong sprint. Her new barn will get the job done first off the claim.

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper.  Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].

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