Horses to watch

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SANTA ANITA

DYLAN WARD: It took 12 races for Dylan to break his maiden and he did it in his first start after being gelded. We look for him to keep moving forward now that his mind is strictly on racing. He can move up and do well against winners next out, going long on the grass.

OPTIMISM AND HOPE: Ran a much better-than-looked third in this downhill turf sprint as she appeared to be ready to unleash a big run. Had to check off heels after coming out for room and then she was switched out again for room. Kept going to pick up the show dough. She is sitting on a win.

QUE CHISTOSO: This is what I was called in high school. It means cheerful. This first time starter settled at the back of this 10 horse field. He came out nearing midstretch and just found his stride. Was absolutely motoring home to finish a fast closing third while missing the place money by a half-length. He was claimed by Bob Hess Jr. and this looks to be a nice pick up for $30k.

ALWAYS BELIEVE: First time starter for Britney’s dad Peter Eurton, this filly somehow got off at 49/1 with Prat riding. She opened up down the lane and just failed to hold while clear of the rest of the eight runners. This was a good field and this filly will not get caught next time out.

POWER CAT: Exits the same race as ALWAYS BELIEVE. This first time starter for Bob Baffert was sent off at 3/2 and owned some big time works but just ran a so-so race off of those works finishing behind ALWAYS BELIEVE to be third. Would love to see these two hook up next time out.

PERDONA: Was between horses going down the hill and had to be steadied hard when in tight after the right hand curve. She chased again between horses and made a nice late run to finish third, missing the place by a half-length. This was a game effort and we will be on this filly next time out, dirt or grass.

LIL JESSICA: First time starter ran huge in this 11 horse field of $30k maiden claimers. She got to the front at 16/1 down the lane and just failed to hold, getting caught late while more than two lengths clear of the rest.

LADY VALEUR: Irish invader for Paddy Gallagher would have won on most days going long on the grass in this straight maiden race but had the misfortune of running against our HTW $$$$$ play Nodiac. Lady Valeur was steadied when squeezed at the start and that did cost her. Enough for the win, not sure, but she did come on with interest late to just lose by 1¼ lengths. We will be singling her next time out. $$$$$

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

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