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The Sunday program begins with a $20,000 claiming miler that should be won by either #3 Bluegrass Reward or #4 Prime Issue and both are worth using in rolling exotic play. The former is solid in the speed figure department and likes this track, while the latter is a sharp Bay Area invader with plenty of zip and will take them as far as he can.
A nice Pick-6 carryover of $54,472awaits Saturday players on an excellent nine race program.
In the opener, #2 Divine Way resurfaces for $16,000 on the one-level drop following a Diodoro claim, so her condition is a question and she loses Bejarano. However, even without the healthiest of patterns she is good enough off her best effort to warrant consideration. #4 Time for Angie is a huge class dropper (from $50,000) but retains Bejarano so perhaps she may be a tad more trustworthy. At any rate, this is not a race we’re planning to play with any degree of confidence.
Maiden claimers sprint six furlongs in the Friday opener, a race we don’t plan on getting too heavily involved with. #3 Grand Humor has plenty of zip but so far hasn’t shown any great desire to finish, while #4 Bad Behavior drops into a claimer for the first time for Baffert but his speed figures are dwindling. We suspect the winner might be a closer, and #2 Superboot, an English invader making his U.S. debut, has trained like he has the type of style for Hollendorfer.
A new week begins with an eight-race Thursday program that contains four maiden races. Our work is cut out for us, so let’s see what we can come up with.
In the opener, both #2 Newfound Gold and #4 Road Ready are coming off all-out, taxing wins, so there’s no guarantee either will run as well today. However, in a lackluster bottom-rung claimer, it will be something of a surprise if the winner isn’t either one or the other. Neither offers much in the way of value, so this is a race we’ll probably stay clear of.
The Sunday nine-race program begins with a restricted $12,500 nine furlong claimer. Pace handicappers will notice the quick fractions that #2 Trouble X Two has encountered recently and at this distance the early pace should be much more manageable for the recent Chew claim. We like him on top but will also use #6 Crusher, the beaten choice in the same race ‘Two exits but today going for Hess off the claim and switching to Garcia. He has back numbers that can win.
First post on Santa Anita Derby day is Noon and there’s a spectacular 11 race program that includes five stakes races for horseplayers to attack.
On the eve of Santa Anita Derby day, the eight race Friday program offers a few attractive wagering opportunities.
Santa Anita Derby week opens with a solid eight-race Thursday program but with a very tough opener. #2 Indian Fields didn’t show a thing in her debut after a rugged start but she continues to train decently and probably is much better than shown. In our rolling exotics we’ll use her along with the Pomona shipper #3 Swan Street Lady, a Street Boss filly with decent works. A little will go a very long way in this soft maiden claimer.Sunday’s program offers a $96,562 Pick-6 carryover and it’s worth going after.
The opener is a five-runner field with a 3/5 morning line favorite, #5 Kafister. First off the claim for Hollendorfer, switching to Bejarano and landing the cozy outside post, the Kafwain gelding loves this track and is simply faster than his four rivals. There’s no value here so let’s pass.
The Saturday program begins with a stronger-than-average maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies. #5 Big Break has trained quite well for her debut and looks extremely live for Sherman. We’ll prefer her on top but in rolling exotic play we’ll also include #2 Roman Wild, another first-timer with a solid series of drills for a stable (Mullins) that does quite well with debut runners.
The second race, a downhill turf sprint for 3-year-old fillies, appears to be an ideal spot for #2 Suchi Empire.