Santa Anita Monday: Astra Stakes Lone Monday Graded Race

Chris Adams

Typically there isn’t much going on in the racing world on Monday. However, Santa Anita will run a rare Monday card including a graded stakes.

Astra Stakes Preview

Neige Blanche looks to have a significant edge over the rest of the field in the Astra from Santa Anita.
Neige Blanche romps at Santa Anita in 2021.

Post: 3:45 PM PT; Purse: $125,000 Astra S., 1 1/2 Miles on Downhill turf; Entries: 5

French bred #1 NEIGE BLANCHE (2-5) looks tough to beat here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & class.

Other runners include #2 DISAPPEARING ACT (4-1) has to be respected based on the connections. #4 REIWA (5-1) could get a perfect pace scenario today. #5 SCHERZO (6-1) shouldn’t have any issue with the 6 1/2 furlong distance.

Selections: 1-2-4-5

Betting a Heavy Favorite

Often times horseplayers will look for ways to beat short priced vulnerable favorites. However, this horse does not appear that vulnerable. Sure, horse racing is a funny game and weird things happen, but are you willing to bet your money on that slim possibility?

Given the favorite is the almost conclusive winner, players have to make some decisions about how to play this one.

  • Win Bets: Not worth the small amount of money that will be returned
  • Vertical Exotics: Probably the best play with a heavy favorite like this if you are convinced that there is a horse deep on the odds board in with a chance to finish 2nd
  • Horizontal Exotics: Single this favorite and toss out at least 2 other favorites from other legs on your tickets. Based on the other runners in the Astra this is the approach I would prefer.

Monday Analysis and Selections

Santa Anita Park Race 1

Post: 12:30 PM PT; Purse: $69,000 Allowance, About 6 1/2 Furlongs on Downhill turf; Entries: 8

#5 GOLD PHOENIX (5-2) has to be respected based on the connections. #2 ELUSIVE TREAT (8-1) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & record at the distance. #3 TIGERHON (3-1) wouldn't be a huge surprise in the winner's circle. #4 MUCHO DEL ORO (5-1) is with a great chance based on the horse's stamina & power rating.

Selections: 5-2-3-4

Santa Anita Park Race 2

Post: 1:00 PM PT; Purse: $26,000 Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 5

#1 SCREAM AND SHOUT (4-5) is worth a look here given edges in race flow & power rating. #5 WILD ARCH (6-1) is a better price and makes total sense here based on class & record at the distance. #2 TIPPY TOP (15-1) is a nice price for a horse who has run top speed figures and could be on a form upcycle. #4 SEASON TO REMEMBER (3-1) has to be respected based on the connections.

Selections: 1-5-2-4

Santa Anita Park Race 3

Post: 1:33 PM PT; Purse: $39,000 Maiden Claiming, 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 6

#2 FLORAL ESSENCE (3-1) merits consideration in this spot given edges in speed & record at the distance. #5 WITCH MOON (7-2) is with a great chance based on the horse's class & pace numbers. #6 ACOUSTIC SHADOW (5-2) is with a great chance based on the horse's stamina & power rating. #4 TWIRLING GRACE (7-2) is another worthy of consideration, but there are others I like better.

Selections: 2-5-6-4

Santa Anita Park Race 4

Post: 2:08 PM PT; Purse: $24,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7

#3 CARELESS KITTEN (5-2) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & power rating. #1 THE BOSS HARTY (8-1) is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including stamina & pace numbers. #2 BIG WELL (3-1) is with a great chance based on the horse's record at the distance & form. #6 VERRAGIO (3-1) has competitive numbers, but I fear the price will be too short for inclusion on the tickets.

Selections: 3-1-2-6

Santa Anita Park Race 5

Post: 2:41 PM PT; Purse: $69,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 1 1/8 Miles on Turf; Entries: 8

#5 CIDER APPLE (4-1) is worth a look here given edges in class & record at the distance. #4 FEARLESS GIRL (6-1) has also been keeping good company & has pace numbers that make this runner live. #3 CLOSING REMARKS (5-2) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & form. #2 SOARING SKY (8-1) is a sneaky longshot that could pump value into the verticals, but wouldn’t be a total shock to upset the field. Turf racing can at times be extremely unpredictable.

Selections: 5-4-3-2

Santa Anita Park Race 6

Post: 3:15 PM PT; Purse: $26,000 Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7

#6 STORMINSIDE (3-1) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done. #4 SATANTA (5-1) is worth a look here given edges in connections & record at the distance. #7 STREET VISION (12-1) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & form. It is hard to argue with the price on this one. #5 STARSHIP CHEWBACCA (7-2) also makes sense on paper.

Selections: 6-4-7-5

Santa Anita Park Race 7

Post: 3:45 PM PT; Purse: $125,000 Astra S., 1 1/2 Miles on Downhill turf; Entries: 5

Analysis featured in the Astra Stakes Preview above.

Selections: 1-2-4-5

Santa Anita Park Race 8

Post: 4:15 PM PT; Purse: $34,000 Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 6

#1 UNBROKEN STAR (9-5) has a great shot in the race given the speed & class. #3 BIG BUZZ (6-1) should be competitive based on the overall power rating which has it tops in the group. #5 GOING WITH STYLE (5-1) has to be respected based on the connections. #6 SLY (5-1) is a fringe contender who would be worth throwing on backup tickets if the price stays around 5-1.

Selections: 1-3-5-6 (Best Bet: #1 UNBROKEN STAR)

Santa Anita Park Race 9

Post: 4:45 PM PT; Purse: $40,000 Starter Allowance, 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 9

#5 TRICKLE IN (5-1) could be primed to pull the slight upset in this spot based on the horse's speed & form. #7 NICE ICE (2-1) is with a great chance based on the horse's stamina & power rating. #1 BYE BYE BERTIE (4-1) and #2 CLEARLY GONE (5-2) also have competitive numbers on paper, but I wonder if the aren’t just a cut below the top 2 selections.

Selections: 5-7-1-2

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