SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY
We start Santa Anita Derby Day off with 3yo straight maidens going 7 furlongs. Kent Desormeaux is back in town and he really tries hard when he is here with thoughts of a return in the near future. He is on No. 4 Missing Groom who exits our HTW list as a $$$$$ play for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. He gets off the grass and will love this 7 furlong distance and that last work on March 29th says he is on go. No. 6 Yard Line exits our HTW list off a solid second behind the very tough Chitu in his first start, he took a little time after that effort and looks ready to fire a big shot today. Baffert and Zayat hook up with No. 7 Vegas Strip who has been this 7 furlong distance when running 3rd as the chalk behind The Admiral. 4-6-7
Exacta box 4-6-7 and win and place 4
The speedy No. 1 Storm Fighter gets his second off the layoff and Maldonado will be gunning from his inside post trying to take him wire-to-wire. No. 2 Mythical Storm could be part of a storm storm exacta. He looked good when breaking his maiden first out of the box going down the hill and now will go a mile on the dirt. He is bred for the trip and Mike Smith gets the call today with Bejarano opting for No. 8 Volkonsky who has been stuck in second gear in his last two starts. 1-2-8
THE $200K EDDIE ECHO
Bejarano who has been hot especially when hooking up with Hollendorfer is on just another very live Hollendorfer runner No. 2 Whine for Wine fresh off his maiden breaker at .90 cents on the dollar. No. 4 Gangnam Guy exits our HTW list, he comes off a very tough loss going down the hill, Mike Smith gets the leg up today. No. 7 Next Book also exits our HTW list, he is still a maiden, he lost by a neck last time out when beat by Whine for Wine by a dwindling neck. No. 8 Life Is a Joy is the stablemate of Whine for Wine, he exits the same race as the Gangnam Guy and those are the two we will key on. 4-8
Maiden 3yo go down the hill. No. 3 Sammy Mandeville is bred for the grass, he has some good works and gets Mike Smith for his debut. No. 1 Snuggley Bear has had his chances but gets Kent today and his two turf races where good, if he can stay out of trouble from this rail post he has a big shot. Papa Mandella sends out two in here but the one we like is No. 9 Storm Fashion a first time starter with the good turf jock Brice Blanc, that last 7 furlong work is a nice move for this trainer, we look for a solid effort at a price. 1-3-9
THE GRADE I SANTA ANITA OAKS
These girls are not only looking for a Grade I win and that $240k for the winner but also those 100 Kentucky Oaks points. No. 1 Fashion Plate has won two straight her last a wire-to-wire win in a Grade I here back in February. She will look to duplicate that wire-to-wire win. No. 3 Ria Antonia couldn’t handle Untapable in the Rachael Alexander at the Fair Grounds which was her first start off her big second here in the BC Juvenile when beaten by a nostril to She’s a Tiger, she is back home and that last work was a pip. 1-3
THE $200K EVENING JEWEL
No. 2 Sprague River gets her first taste of dirt as her last four where on the grass and her first was on synthetic, she could wake up in this spot. No. 7 Princess Genevieve had a horrible trip in the Cal Cup Oaks and she gets her first taste of the dirt. No. 6 Rovenna will be on or near the front end, she is in top form and very seldom puts in a bad effort. 2-6-7
THE GRADE III $150K PROVIDENCIA
No. 4 Nashoba’s Gold comes off a huge effort in the China Doll when making a big five wide move to finish second by a dwindling ½ a length. She exits our HTW list and is the main player off of that bullet 5 furlong work on the 29th of March with the dogs up. Tom Proctor sends out two just as he did in the China Doll. No. 6 Savings Account who finished mid pack after breaking slow and now getting an extra 1/8 of a mile and the winner of the China Doll No. 8 Diversy Harbor who has won both of her starts. The upset filly could be No. 7 Margot Machance another who exits our HTW list. She looked big time when breaking her maiden here first in the states when making a big wide sweeping move beating a field of 12 for her outside post. 4-6-7-8
Key exacta box 4 with 6-7-8
THE GRADE I $1 MILLION SANTA ANITA DERBY WORTH 100 KENTUCKY DERBY POINTS
Baffert sends out No. 3 Hoppertunity who is fresh off of his big win in the Grade II Rebel at The Fairgrounds. This one has enough points and gets an unprecedented fifth start this year as Baffet builds his stamina, don’t think he will be cranked but will be making his usual late run. No. 5 California Chrome is the now horse and at the top of almost everyone’s Kentucky Derby list, this Cal Bred is one tough hombre. We have been waiting for the return of No. 6 Candy Boy who needs points to make the Kentucky Derby field, he has solid works for Sadler and believe he is the one to beat today. If these three get upset look for a pick sixcarryover. 3-5-6
Exacta and trifecta box 3-5-6 and win and place 6
No. 3 Gallant Charm had a tough trip last time out, he will find a hot early pace today and that could get him home on top and give trainer Avila a needed win. No. 6 Red N Black Attack exits our HTW. He gets stretched out today and the hard trying Saul Arias gets the call, we look for a big effort. Tiago Pereira gets on the Sadler colt No. 12 Indygo Andy who will be a good one to use in the exotics at a price.
No. 1 Toledo Eddie is a perfect 3-for-3 here at Santa Anita, he has a real good last work. It took awhile for No. 5 Airfoil to figure things out but it looks like he is finally putting it all together, he will be making a big late run. No. 9 Chief Lion had a bad trip last time out, he gets Bejarano today so look for better. 1-5-9
As the people try and get out of the traffic jam we will be hoping our late pick four is still afloat going into this 6½ furlong downhill turf sprint. No. 10 Joeandbetty’sbaby who won 3 times going down the hill, she drops and gets Bejarano in this her 3rd start off the Vann Belvoir claim. This looks to be the money run, we will single in the late pick four. 10
None of these have any will to win. No. 6 Call Him Paddy who is 1-for-15 may have the best shot. No. 3 Excessive Tequila is what we need to bet this race, he has speed and exits the same race ad Paddy.
No. 2 Saint Terrell took some action in her first start but was squeezed off at the start, she will be there today with a clean break. No. 5 Bequick Donthurry ran a nice even race in her first start when taking some action and can only move forward. No. 6 Star Image gets the big drop and that makes her a player.
No. 1 Blazen All Star ships in from Santa Anita, gets off the grass and moves back to a synthetic surface a surface that she won two of her starts on. No. 5 Mia Isabel who has won 2 of her 3 starts here drops to back to the level of her last win. 1-5
No. 2 The Gray Hound gets his second start and is the one to bet at what will be a short price. 2
Baze jumps on No. 2 Sarazua for this his second start. No. 3 In Summary is a first time starter out of the dam Pleasant Music (Pleasant Tap) who has dropped 5 winners from 5 starters including a stakes winner. 2-3
They go a mile on the grass in this race. The blinkers go on No. 2 Hillside Select who will like the grass. No. 3 Smiley Eagle will be the one that will be running them all down. No. 6 Bodrum is the stablemate of the Smiley Eagle, he has been facing much better on the turf down South. 2-3-6
No. 3 Lady Fifty Two won huge off the layoff when breaking her maiden. Craig Dollase who ships here to win sends out No. 6 Tacit Approval off the 6 month layoff. 3-6
Exacta box 3-6
No. 6 English Lace gets back on the grass and is a main player with these. Ron McAnally makes a very rare ship here with No. 7 Special Charm, she could wake up. 6-7
No. 3 This Souls for You exits our HTW list, he is a 4yo gelding who looks ready to pop at a price. He has been banging heads with No. 1 Splendini and No. 6 Bullet Mobile. 1-3**-6
Exacta box 1-3-6 and win and place 3
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 GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].