Saber’s Horse Selections

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SANTA ANITA 

Race 1

3yo maiden fillies go a flat mile on the dirt or off track, No. 2 That’s a Lady has run two times, both going a mile on the grass. She gets the hard trying Abel Lezcano today for Sadler and just may take to the dirt. No. 4 Shakti failed in her turf attempts and now gets back on the dirt where she ran ok. The red hot Richard Baltas sends out No. 7 Pageant Material and she looks the one to beat for a hot barn. 2-4-7

Race 2

No. 4 Classico got the maiden win in fine fashion last out and now O’Neill puts him in this claim proof spot, he has been bet like a good thing in all three of his starts. No. 5 Courageous Dave has run well in all four of his starts and now gets the confident move up off the Baltas claim. 4-5

Race 3

The one time No. 1 Brimstoned was sent 6-1/2 furlongs on the dirt he won for fun, this 5yo gelding is the money maker for this barn. The one time No. 5 Acceptance went this distance he blasted home by 13 lengths. 1-5

Race 4

No. 3 Rim Nick showed good early speed in his one and only start when well bet, he will love this 5-1/2 furlong distance. No. 4 Mucho Chrome is the hunch play of the day as his stablemate California Chrome makes his comeback today in the feature. No. 7 Cupid cost $900k and was sent off at 9/5 in his first start but could only manage a 4th place finish, we look for much better today. No. 8 Legitimate exits the same race as Cupid and he was second in that race. 3-4-7-8

Race 5

No. 5 John’s Success is always right there, he gets back on the dirt and Bejarano gets the call. Pratt gets on No. 9 Fishel with Bejarano moving to John’s Success, he has a nice last work and looks set for a big effort. 5-9

Race 6

The road to the Kentucky Derby begins here with the Grade III Sham Stakes and the winner will get 10 Kentucky Derby points. The ice cold Baffert barn looks to start heating up today as he sends out No. 3 Let’s Meet in Rio who comes off a solid turf win going this mile distance. No. 4 Found Money looks the one to beat, he is a 3 time winner and comes off a solid win last out in the Kings Glorious. Baffert also sends out No. 9 Collected who will try the dirt for the first time. 3-4-9

Race 7

No. 2 Motown Men drops into a good spot and sports a bullet work here on December 26th and the last time he was at this level he got the easy win. No. 3 Ground Rules gets back to his best game going long on the dirt and Mike Smith makes a rare ride for trainer Sise. No. 10 Little Jerry will try and pop the gate and take them wire-to-wire. 2-3-10

Race 8

THE GRADE II SAN PASQUAL

The return of California Chrome! This will not be an easy spot as we have No. 5 Hoppertunity who likes this track and distance and Grade I winner No. 6 Hard Aces a deep closer if the pace gets hot. No. 4 California Chrome will as usual run his heart out. 4-5-6

Race 9

We go from the Grade II San Pasqual to this $8k claimer. No. 3 Half Dome Dude gets Kent D sticking around to ride in this cheap claimer. No. 4 Love de Car is in good form and his barn is hot. No. 10 Okaad drops back to the price tag of his last win, he will be the one to fear late if the track is playing fair. No. 13 Razorbill is a re-claim by Sadler and that’s always a good sign. 3-4-10-13

GOLDEN GATE

Race 1

No. 1 Power of Nine very seldom puts in a bad effort. She lost by a neck last time out when just failing to get by No. 6 Latin’s Clock who will have her hands full today with Power of Nine’s stablemate the speed No. 5 Two Step Flor. 1-5

Race 2

No. 3 Onedewoman has hit the board in all three of her starts here on the synthetic surface and now drops looking for the win. No. 6 Quick Navigator is looking for her 5th straight win and she gets her first start off the Metz claim and Baze gets the call. 3-6

Race 3

No. 3 Life Is a Trip won at first asking when bet down to .60 cents on the dollar, his stablemate No. 1 Cajun Cookin will try and run him down. 1-3

Race 4

No. 1 Next Book drops and is the speed. No. 3 Cantcatchme ships in from Emerald Downs and also has some speed. No. 5 Kid Green will try and run them both down. 1-3-5

Race 5

No. 2 Gold Treasure ships in for Hollendorfer and his buddy Baze gets the call. No. 7 Mister Blue ships in for Peter Miller who has won with 3 of his 5 shippers. 2-7

Race 6

No. 2 Anya Amasova and No. 3 Ninnavee exit the same race. Ninnavee is the speed and Anya will try an run her down. 2-3

Race 7

No. 2 Two Pump has hit the board in 12 of her 13 starts here with 4 wins and 7 seconds including running second in her last four starts, his win was at this level. No. 4 Marynetta is a win machine winning 10 of her 28 starts here, she comes off a wire-to-wire win. No. 6 Look Quickly is the stablemate of Two Pump and she exits the same race. 2-4-6

Race 8

No. 2 Dynamic Summer ran solid in her one and only start and sports a bullet work here on the 5th. No. 8 Hope’s Love also ran big in her one start just missing by a neck here back in June when sent off at 6/5. No. 13 Breakaway Dixie ran second in front of Dynamic Summer who finished 3rd. 2-8-13

Race 9

No. 9 Planet Sunshine finds a field loaded with early speed, he will run them all down. 9

CHECK FOR LATE SCRATCHES AND CHECK THAT THE SADDLE CLOTH NUMBERS MATCH OUR SELECTION NUMBERS.

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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