On this first day of the Santa Anita racing season, a interesting matchup faces off in this Awesome Again Grade 1 stakes race. As this is a fresh racetrack that they will be running on today, we need to be open minded regarding a possible track bias, but Santa Anita is the quintessential California track in that it usually pays off to be in the lead.
Interestingly enough, the favorite is always staying a bit behind and his main contender might be able to take advantage of that.
That being said, we are talking about a pretty classic distance and a short field competing for a guaranteed place at the Breeder’s Cup so we can expect a pretty tight bunch throughout.
This Awesome Again stakes pits two dominating racehorses who will face off for the first time but one of the two comes in fresh from a so far disappointing 2018. Can he rebound at interesting odds?
Analysis and picks for the 11th race at Santa Anita on September 29 2018:
Number 1, SHADES OF VICTORY is not picking an easy day to make a bold step up in class. In any graded stakes race, it would be tough to back a horse who ran in a cheap claimer less than 6 months ago but against the two beasts in the outside gates, it just feels impossible. SHADES OF VICTORY might try to spoil the pace, but I doubt he can even do that.
Number 2 ISOTHERM is also taking a step up but at least he has some history in the Graded Stakes class from last year. ISOTHERM manages to win and place in Grade 2 races on the turf but never did so well on dirt and so far in 2018, he has not managed to win at any class level. A couple of strong workouts are good signs, but it looks like ISOTHERM is not hot enough for this race.
Number 3, PRIME ATTRACTION is facing the favorite for the 5th time and he has never finished ahead of him in each of these races. PRIME ATTRACTION is a good horse but just completely outmatched by Accelerate and maybe his owners should find a way outside of these confrontations… PRIME ATTRACTION has a bit of early speed and there is not a ton of pace opposition so maybe he could try to go all the way but considering the past 5th attempts, I don’t think that PRIME ATTRACTION can finish on top today.
Number 4, THE LIEUTENANT is another horse who has been soundly beaten at the class level by today’s favourites, and others. In his last race, he finished 21 lengths behind the winner of that Grade 1, but THE LIEUTENANT managed to get on the podium of multiple lower graded stakes earlier in the year. His come from behind style is not likely to help win this affair but THE LIEUTENANT is more likely to grab a place than other longshots in my view.
Number 5 WEST COAST will be the main hurdle on the way to a win for the favorite. WEST COAST comes back to the American shores after an attempt at the Dubai World Cup where he disappointed with little excuses. You actually have to go back one year to find a winning race for WEST COAST but he did face some of the best since so maybe he can rebound. His trainer and Jockey are both in tremendous form and WEST COAST has been training well so those are all very good signs. WEST COAST has some early speed and if it happens that the Santa Anita track is speed favoring today he can take them all the way. If the offs are high enough, that might warrant a bet.
Number 6, ACCELERATE has been winning at this class level pretty steadily this year but his record shows that he is not unbeatable, especially not at Santa Anita where he has had more trouble than elsewhere for some reason. Still, ACCELERATE appears to be in tremendous form and comes off a romp of his opposition in his last couple of races. The weather is turning colder though and ACCELERATE has been doing his best running in the sun so that might be another element going against him today, his form cycle might be on the way down. ACCELERATE likes to sit behind the pace and there is not a ton of that today, so he will have to face some pretty fresh horses in the stretch too. Obviously, ACCELERATE is a massive threat but he will go out at tiny odds and I think that there are enough doubts to take a gamble against him.
The likely favorite is likely to win it, but I don’t think that the odds will be in line with the probabilities…
His main opponent, WEST COAST is running fresh, which he likes to do, and his last race was not too bad. He is reunited with his favorite jockey and the trainer is doing very well recently so WEST COAST is probably at his best and can do well at pretty interesting odds.
SEPTEMBER 29 SANTA ANITA RACE 11 BETTING PICKS:
WIN BET at 3-2 or more on Number 5 WEST COAST