Picks and Plays as Horse Racing Returns to Santa Anita
Racing at Santa Anita is back! The Arcadia, California track opened its gates to racing on Friday as the industry emerges into the new normal; that is no fans in the stands and only essential personnel on the grounds.
The Southern California track attracts the top west coast horses and runs the highest quality races. Saturday is no exception. We’ll focus our handicapping hat on races 6 through 10, which includes the Pick 5 and late pick 4 wagers.
Hopefully, we’ll nail some nice winners along the way. That’s the plan anyway.
Santa Anita Racing Picks - Saturday May 16th
Race 6 is the $150,000 Echo Eddie Stakes. A field of nine will run 6 furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track. The distance and dirt surface favors early speed horses in a big way, winning 35 of 49 races. An amazing 41% never trail.
With that big of an advantage, horseplayers must identify the fastest horses in the group.
#8 BIG SWEEP (ML 5/2)
#9 PHANTOM BOSS (ML 4-1)
Exacta: 8,9/7,8,9 (need to have the winner and second place horse in order.)
Trifecta: 8,9/7,8,9/2,5,7,8,9 (need to have the winner, second and third place horses in order.)
Daily Double: 8,9/7 and/or 8,9/3,6,7 (need the winner in this race and the next)
Pick 3: 8,9/3,6,7/2,4,5,9 (need to have the winner in this race and the winner of the next two.)
Pick 5: 8,9/6,7/2,5,9/1,8,10,11/5,11 (need to have the winner in this race and the next four winners.)
Race 7 is 1 mile on the turf for a share of the $53,000 purse. Once again, speed is the preferred running style; although, not as significantly as 6 furlongs on dirt. Frontrunners win at 57% with 24% winning wire to wire.
We see a standout, one of our favorite handicapping angles and a value play.
Standout: #7 DOGTAG (ML 5/2)
Favorite handicapping play: #3 STRIKE AT DAWN (PP: 3 ML 3-1) is dropping in class after posting the highest last race speed figure.
Value plays: #6 OUT OF BALANCE (ML 8-1) One of Santa Anita’s top jockeys, Drayden Van Dyke, gets off #1 DON’T BLAME JUDY (ML 6-1) and STRIKE AT DAWN to ride OUT OF BALANCE. Van Dyke made his pick and we noticed.
Exacta: 3,6,7 Box
Daily Double: 7/2,4,5,9
Pick 4: 6,7/2,5,9/1,8,10,11/5,11 (need the winner in this race and the winner in the next three races.)
Race 8 is the $150,000 Evening Jewel Stakes. It’s another 6 furlong dirt race where the horses with the quickest first steps have a major advantage, like in race 6.
BULLETPROOF ONE (PP: 5 ML 5/2)
#2 BELLA VITA (ML 6-1)
They will likely get some company from longshot #4 DIM LIGHTS (ML 15-1). If they go too fast, #9 WARREN’S SHOWTIME (ML 3-1) will try to track them down late.
Exacta 2,4,5,9 Box
Race 9 is a deep field of 12 horses looking for their first win a $50,000 Maiden race. They’ll run 1 mile over the turf course seeking the win and many times these races produce surprise winners.
OUR TOP FOUR PICKS:
#1 HEYWOODS BEACH (ML 7/2)
#10 ISTANBUL (ML 6-1)
#8 CAPITAL CALL (ML 8-1)
#11 FIRE POLISH (ML 12-1)
We aren’t fans of investing too much into maiden races without seeing a few that separate themselves from the rest. That’s not the case here; so, we’ll limit our outlay and hope for a longshot.
Exacta: 1,8,10,11 Box
Race 10 is another race where a dozen will look to score for the first time. They’ll be racing 5 ½ furlongs on dirt and early speed will be the key once again. Despite the crazy nature of maiden races, we have our eye on two horses.
#5 SORRISO (ML 7/2)
#11 DESERT SWARM (ML 4-1)
Both are dropping in class and tied for the highest, last race speed figure. One of our favorite combos, as we mentioned up top.
Dutch Win Bet: 50% to win on #5 and 50% to win on #11 (If either wins at morning line odds, you’ll make a profit.)
With any luck, we’ll be celebrating our picks and plays along with horse racing’s return to Santa Anita, the world’s most beautiful track!