Small Fields, Big Action Highlight Santa Anita Saturday

Chris Adams

Over the past several years there has been a concerning trend of small fields at Santa Anita. Opening weekend suggest the problem persists.

Santa Anita Park- Race 1

Post: 12:30 PM PT; $61k Maiden Special Weight going 1 mile on turf; Entries: 8

  • #4 DANCING RINCA (5-1) makes sense on speed figures and has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts.
  • #3 ONE MORE BID (7-2) looks to be the class of the field. This one has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #1 QUINTECENTS (3-1) appears to be a major player in this race. He seems to fit well enough here. This one shouldn't have trouble with the 1 mile distance.
  • #7 CHICAGO SOLDIER (5-1) comes into the race in solid form.

Selections: 4 – 3 – 1 – 7

Santa Anita Park- Race 2

Post: 1:03 PM PT; $31k Claiming going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 6

  • #4 ANNIE GRAHAM (6-5) is the top pick. She has races good enough to beat this group. This one has tactical speed and can sit just off the leaders for a stalk and pounce trip.
  • #2 SATURDAY HEIST (6-1) runs evenly and looks to get a very fair pace scenario here.
  • #5 LITTLE RACHEL (3-1) feels like one that should be a factor in this race.
  • #1 EQUILOVE (12-1) is a price horse and will likely be in the first flight of runners and should be in with a chance late.

Selections: 4 – 2 – 5 – 1

Santa Anita Park- Race 3

Post: 1:34 PM PT; $200k John Henry Turf Championship S. going 1 1/4 miles on downhill turf; Entries: 6

  • #1 GOLD PHOENIX (2-1) looks best here. He gets JJ Hernandez in the irons who is one of the top turf riders anywhere in the country.
  • #4 MASTEROFFOXHOUNDS (5-2) appears to be a major player in this race. He has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #3 DICEY MO CHARA (3-1) has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #5 TROPICAL TERROR (20-1) is a price horse and projects to sit mid pack and come with one run.

Selections: 1 – 4 – 3 – 5

Santa Anita Park- Race 4

Post: 2:06 PM PT; $63k Allowance Optional Claiming going 1 1/16 miles on dirt; Entries: 6

  • #4 FUN TO DREAM (6-5) gets the top selection. She shouldn't have trouble with the 1 1/16 mile distance. This one has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #2 SMOOTHLIKEBUTTAH (4-1) will likely have a lot to do in the lane, but could get up with a competitive run. This one may benefit from a hot pace up front.
  • #6 KRISTI'S TIGER (6-1) seems to fit well enough here. She’ll want things moving on the front end.
  • #5 ANACAPA (4-1) should be part of the early pace in this spot.

Selections: 4 – 2 – 6 – 5

Santa Anita Park- Race 5

Post: 2:38 PM PT; $200k City of Hope Mile S. going 1 mile on turf; Entries: 6

  • #3 BEYOND BRILLIANT (6-5) is the top pick. He looks to be the class of the field. This one has really consistent pace figures which should work well in a moderately paced race.
  • #1 CATHKIN PEAK (5-2) makes sense on speed figures. This one goes out for the D'Amato barn and gets Rispoli in the irons.
  • #2 IRIDEO (5-2) should be competitive in this spot. He comes into the race in really good form. This one will be rolling late and has a good closing kick that could get the job done here.
  • #5 PRINCE ABAMA (6-1) could be in with a shot in this race. He seems to fit well enough here.

Selections: 3 – 1 – 2 – 5

Santa Anita Park- Race 6

Post: 3:08 PM PT; $200k Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 7

  • #3 HOWBEIT (8-1) looks best here. He has really consistent pace figures which should work well in a moderately paced race.
  • #1 C Z ROCKET (7-2) goes out for the Miller barn and gets Vazquez in the irons. This one has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #7 TODO FINO (4-1) will likely be out on or near the lead and will look to hold off the charge to the wire.
  • #2 FORBIDDEN KINGDOM (9-5) has kept really good company. At one point this one was a Derby contender and should enjoy returning to sprints.

Selections: 3 – 1 – 7 – 2

Santa Anita Park- Race 7

Post: 3:38 PM PT; $200k Eddie D S. going about 6 1/2 furlongs on downhill turf; Entries: 9

  • #4 GREGORIAN CHANT (5-2) gets the top selection. He makes sense on speed figures.
  • #7 WHATMAKESSAMMYRUN (8-1) really seems to relish the extended turf sprint.
  • #6 BARRISTAN THE BOLD (30-1) is a bomb but the speed figures aren’t that far off.
  • #1 LANE WAY (4-1) has the top overall power rating in the group. This one goes out for the Mandella barn and gets Smith in the irons.

Selections: 4 – 7 – 6 – 1

Santa Anita Park- Race 8

Post: 4:08 PM PT; $300k Awesome Again S. going 1 1/8 miles on dirt; Entries: 8

Country Grammar | ABR
  • #4 COUNTRY GRAMMER (8-5) is the top pick. He has to be respected going out for the combination of Baffert and Hernandez.
  • #2 ROYAL SHIP (3-1) appears to be a major player in this race. He makes sense on speed figures. This one could get the right setup in this race.
  • #7 EXPRESS TRAIN (7-2) shouldn't have trouble with the 1 1/8 mile distance.
  • #5 TRIPOLI (8-1) seems to fit well enough here and always seems to run solid in big races.

Selections: 4 – 2 – 7 – 5

Santa Anita Park- Race 9

Post: 4:38 PM PT; $85k Unzip Me S. going about 6 1/2 furlongs on downhill turf; Entries: 11

  • #5 CONNIE SWINGLE (3-1) looks best here. She has tactical speed and can sit just off the leaders for a stalk and pounce trip.
  • #8 TEZZARAY (12-1) is a price horse and runs evenly and looks to get a very fair pace scenario here.
  • #2 DELMONA (6-1) should be competitive in this spot. She will likely be in the first flight of runners and should be in with a chance late.
  • #9 ISLAND OF LOVE (5-1) has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here. This one makes sense on speed figures.

Selections: 5 – 8 – 2 – 9

Santa Anita Park- Race 10

Post: 5:08 PM PT; $61k Maiden Special Weight going 6 furlongs on turf; Entries: 13

  • #9 CANDY CARAMEL (7-2) gets the top selection. She has solid early pace figures in a race that looks to lack a ton of front running speed.
  • #7 THE DANCE BETWEEN (6-1) should improve off the first start and should be competitive in this spot.
  • #6 CAHUILLA (8-1) could be in with a shot in this race. She goes out for the O'Neill barn and gets Baze in the irons. This one looks to be the class of the field.
  • #13 KANTHARA (10-1) is a price horse and is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. She comes into the race in really good form. She’s hit the board in these races before.

Selections: 9 – 7 – 6 – 13

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Chris Adams
Chris Adams

Chris first got introduced to horse racing in 2009 at Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN). Along with handicapping and betting, Chris has worked as a teller at his local track and participated in ownership partnerships. He now enjoys sharing his passion with his wife and two young daughters who love going out to the track each and every summer.

Chris first got introduced to horse racing in 2009 at Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN). Along with handicapping and betting, Chris has worked as a teller at his local track and participated in ownership partnerships. He now enjoys sharing his passion with his wife and two young daughters who love going out to the track each and every summer.