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Feel free to write your picks or analysis of the Santa Anita Opening Day action:
This race is loaded with early speed in here that there are number of them that will scrambling for the early lead in here. There could be a number of these that can win in here. I think 2 horses can win from far back. SIR BOND comes off a 4th in the Damascus in the most recent start. I think the rider had the horse too close to the pace last time and since there's speed in here the rider can take back and win from come from behind. MACHO DORADO was a close 2nd in the On Trust at Hollywood last time and made a premature move that day. He's tough in here too and with a speed duel it will help him wait patiently and make that move but at the right time.
DRIFT KING comes off a troubled trip in the most recent start. The horse was so loaded in the stretch that the rider that day had to take up. 2 races back made a premature move and hopefully the rider for this race will be more patient and timing it just right. The class drop should help it too in tough company in here as it drops from 32K to 25K.
TIME TO DOUBLETOWN is coming off a year layoff in here. Taking a drop in class in here and may probably need the race but if you get a rider who's the leading rider at Gulfstream Park in Joel Rosario aboard then you know you're gonna probably have a shot in here to win.
This race is loaded with early speed from the inside horses like MAMA KIMBO and NECHEZ DAWN in here. Bob Baffert always is a key player in these kind of races as he has 3 horses in here as we mentioned Mama Kimbo, CANDREA and BOOK REVIEW. Mama Kimbo is coming off a 2nd place finish beaten by stablemate Candrea in the most recent start. Needed the last start so 2nd time off long layoff maybe the charm but it's such a tough spot in here that her win she was known for in the G2 Fantasy Stakes back in April was questionable IMO since it seemed like she beat weak competition that day. Candrea ran well beating her stablemate last time out but when she runs in stakes company she seems to always be a no threat at all. So I'd say pass on Candrea IMO. Book Review is a horse coming from the East Coast that use to be under the care of Chad Brown and has only ran in 2 G1's so far and both have been disappointments including her most recent one in the G1 Gazelle. She seems to be tough on paper but if she runs to her Charles Town Oaks performance she wins this race which she won CT Oaks.
Well this is the race that I thought was the easiest race to handicap IMO. All day it was very tough that I thought you can make a good case for several of them in the races. The Eclipse Award for 3 year old Filly of the Year is on the line if MY MISS AURELIA wins it and it would be her 2nd G1 of the year which her lone G1 win was beating her rival and candidate for 3 year old filly of the year Questing. MMA is gonna shoot for her 2nd consecutive award as she was the 2 year old filly champion last year. She comes off a 2nd to Royal Delta in the BC Ladies Classic last time out. She tried hard and she was just affected by the speed bias that day. She'll be a standout in here and should win as I think she'll be 3 year old filly of the year.
REENEESGOTZIP won a minor stakes race going six furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 1, which followed an outstanding third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. She'll be the main threat to MMA if she's not tired or her minor stakes win took a lot game out of her or not. Nechez Dawn could not hold off Reneesgotzip on Dec. 1. This will be her first attempt at seven furlongs, and her first race ever on dirt and may likely be part of the speed with the Baffert horses and is IMO a pass in here.
This race has no speed in here and the only one who has speed is FIT TO RULE in here as he's going to be facing winners for the 1st time in here. I generally don't really like to pick horses facing winners for the 1st time really but this one has a shot in here to steal it. Am gonna try and beat him in here but must use on tickets though. Am gonna go on top with BIG BANE THEORY. He disappointed in the most recent start in the Hollywood Derby but I liked his performance on BC Friday winning an Allowance n1 2 races back. The 2nd place finisher in that race when on to win again so it has turned out to be a productive race. He seems to have a liking to this turf course here and the cutback in distance may help too.
2 year olds are often a mystery sometimes IMO. You never know how they'll be like until they mature more and more a 3 year olds and in each and every race. Both Bob Baffert horses are tough BELVIN and first timer ALEANDER. I think the best Baffert is the experienced Belvin in here. Comes off a 2nd in the debut last time out and maybe 2nd time out will be better for him and draws a perfect post too. Aleander will be making the debut in here and is firing some bullets in the morning. Never discount Baffert always in here. The Steve Asmussen first timer looks good too MASARU which has had nice works for the debut and the trainer isn't particularly known for firing fast works really.
WINDS OF DUBAI was 6th in the most recent start for 50K claimers that day going 1 1/16 on the turf course at Hollywood Park. 2 races back ran in a starter allowance similar company to what he'll be facing in here running a mile on the turf and ran a flying 3rd that day. Back to the SA turf will help this one get a better performance and hopefully a win too against winners.
This race is so tough and it's loaded with early speed in here. Bob Baffert enters 4 horses in here and FED BIZ maybe his best shot to win in here since he comes off a disappointment in the BC Dirt Mile last time out. His race 3 races back wins this race which was the El Cajon at Del Mar and remember he likes the SA surface. DRILL and his stablemate CASTAWAY come off long layoffs in here but DRILL holds an advantage because he's always been sprinter IMO and never a 2-turn horse IMO. He won the G2 San Vicente earlier in the year last time he ran at SA. He won his last race in May in the Laz Berrea at Hollywood last time out. I think he's gonna need the race but never discount a Baffert horse in here. CASTAWAY won the G3 Southwest but has been running backwards in the last 2 races and I think needs this one so he can run better for the next start so no bet for me on that one. I actually think the best Baffert horse in here is GUILT TRIP in here. He was in Chad Brown's barn all year and will be making the CA debut here and has had nice trips going one turn mile races at Belmont and the surface at Belmont is similar to SA's surface from my understanding. I like his 2 lifetime wins and I think he can win this race with a nice speed duel and can pick up the pieces at the end.
Richard Mandella has JIMMY CREED who comes off a disappointing 9th in the BC Sprint last time out and was just affected by the speed bias that day. He ran a close 3rd 2 races back in the SA Sprint Championship. That race and the El Cajon performance win this one. POLITICALLYCORRECT has come off 2 monster performances in the recent starts. Both wins include the Oklahoma Derby 2 races back and had a nice patient trip. The most recent start was a win in the Damascus Stakes on Breeders Cup Saturday. Had patient come from behind trip again last time out over a speed bias track that day. With a lot of speed in here I think he can be a serious threat in here. Steve Asmussen has UNBRIDLED'S NOTE in here who will be returning to the dirt after running in turf sprints in the last 2 races. He was a winner against older horses in the G3 Eddie D. 2 races back and was a close 2nd in the G1 BC Turf Sprint last time out. With a lot of speed in here I think he can be dangerous in this race.
Am gonna go for my top pick in here which is THE LUMBER GUY in here. Comes off a close 2nd in the BC Sprint last time out and was affected by the speed bias that day. He was known this year with the G1 win in the Vosburgh and G2 Jerome this year. He really is a super horse for trying and win from come from behind. With a lot of speed in here I think he can run down this field.
WILD MEDIA comes off a nice 3rd in his debut last time out over at Hollywood. Nice 84 Beyer number figure would make him a legit contender in here. This race is a very tough spot IMO in a race like this wrap up the Opening Day action at Santa Anita in here that even the 2 Bob Baffert horses have a shot too but I think the inside Baffert is the best one IMO.
Best Bet: Race 4: My Miss Aurelia (4-5)
What do you think of my rundown of the races?
The Sir Beaufort is wide open the that you can make a good case for 7-8 horses in there. SMART ELLIS comes off a disappointing effort in the G1 Hollywood Derby in the most recent start. If he runs to his 3rd place effort in the G2 Twilight Derby on Breeders Cup Friday then he'll be the winner in here. BATTLE FORCE comes off a 2nd coming off a year and needed the last race. He was a 3rd last year in the G3 Generous at Hollywood. 2nd time off long layoff will help and could be worth a look. SILENTIO was a 3rd in the most recent start a few months ago on this turf course and won first 2 starts of his lifetime starts. I think he's a contender in here and expect this one to be flying late.
MIDNIGHT CROONER is one of 2 Bob Baffert horses and hasn't been seen since his disappointing performance in the G2 Del Mar Derby last time out. He's actually had experience at winning turf stakes races and he'll be tough in here. I actually prefer the other Baffert in here in CONSPIRACY who use to be in the Chad Brown barn and will returning to turf after last 2 starts on dirt. Broke the maiden on dirt 2 races back and was 3rd against winners for the 1st time and 3 races back ran on turf and ran a flying 3rd. The pedigree is bred for turf and I will give it another chance for turf and will see if this one is really a turf horse or not.
Nice write up. I have taken my first spin over the card and I think the 1st race is tough, especially not knowing how the track will play. I think Garcia sends the 5, and itll be interesting to see if the 6 goes with him or not. If speed is playing like it did last month at Santa Anita, Garcia could steal. Have to use the 7 and I really like the 9, but I will likely spread a bit in here on pick 5 since its hard to know how the track will play.
Race 2 I will just go with the horse for course angle on the hill, and use the 6 and 12 only. I think there are a few contenders in here, but since I will be spreading a bit in the 1st, for cost purposes on a pick 5, i will stick with those 2.
Race 3 is a clunker and will use 3,5,7,9,12 on the pick 5. Id lean on 3 and 5 as the top picks, but I dont like this race.
MMA is a single in the pick 5 and should roll easily here. I will possibly play a back up pick 4 and use Renee and another horse or 2, but MMA should romp.
In the 5th, many of these guys are stepping up and not many established graded stakes horses. I think the 7 is ready to roll, and agree that it is likely Maldonado sends the 1 and could steal on his 1st turf race. 1,4,5,7 on the pick 5.
Havent really gotten into the 2nd half yet, but I enjoyed reading your analysis. Good luck to you.
4th) The danger could be the shipper #7 Book Review, 6-1. Forget the mile and an eighth Gazelle (Gr I) last out, this is her best distance here and she doesn't seem to like crowded fields, which she won't get here. Working a hole thru the air, :58.6 on 12/20. Three horses are going to the front, even Smith probably can't hold back Mamma Kimbo, should be MMA & Book Review running down the speed for the exacta, with #3 Reneesgotzip hanging on for a piece. The way the track has been playing during workouts these last 2 weeks it could be lightening fast. They should break 1:22 easily.
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There's the tri.
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