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Santa Anita Recap for Friday (9-29-23)

Fast main track and firm turf course. One front running winner at seven panels on dirt. On the turf course, (rail at 20 feet).

Hat trick for Juan Hernandez (2 turf wins). Mark Glatt saddled a pair of maiden sprint winners.

Santa Anita Stakes Recaps for 9-29-23

Grade 3 Chillingworth (6.5f): The pace was contested. Home Cooking and Elm Drive hooked up through a rapid quarter in 21.66. They reached the half in 43.69 and Clearly Unhinged emerged as the new leader from the inside post. Heavy favorite Eda chased from fourth and started to move up wide, and my value top choice Kirstenbosch was gathering momentum from off the pace. Clearly Unhinged got clear in the stretch by 2 1/2 lengths but could not hold off Kirstenbosch ($15). The latter was always moving smartly under Hector Berrios and she kicked away late to score by 1 3/4 lengths. Clearly Unhinged was second best and Eda was well clear of the rest in third. Elm Drive, Violent Runner. Last T, and Home Cooking also ran. The final time was 1:15.37.

The $1 Pick 6 pool was $190,207 and multiple tickets with six winners paid $5,248.20. The 5 out of 6 consolation payout was $97.30.

Sept. 29 Claims: Race 1 – Inch ($32k, Steve Knapp). Race 9 – Six Magpies ($62.5k, Mike Puype).

Santa Anita Full Card Highlights for Friday (9-29-23)
SA 1 Give Me the Lute/Inch Exacta ($26.20)
SA 4 Sweet Hello/Miss Kaline Exacta ($8.40)
SA 5 POTITO (SA Best Bet #1, $5.20)
Double (races 4-5, $9.20)
Pick 3 (races 3-5, $40.20)
SA 6 Shes Just Fluffy/Rosie Ann Rules/Eltonsingsanother Trifecta ($133.00)
Double (races 5-6, $19.40)
Pick 3 (races 4-6, $39.80)
Double (races 8-9, $58.60)

*Full card highlights based on $2 wagers unless otherwise noted.


​Santa Anita Recap for Saturday (9-30-23)

Wet fast main track and good turf course. Four front running winners on a speed favoring main track (6f, 6f, 6.5f, 9f). Stalkers won the other four dirt races. On the turf course, stalking favorite Lane Way won the Eddie D (G2) at 6 1/2 furlongs (originally scheduled for downhill course). The City of Hope Mile at one mile on turf was the finale, and post time favorite Hong Kong Harry (IRE) stalked the pace got the job done by a neck.

Hat trick for Juan Hernandez (2 stakes wins). Riding double for Mike Smith (sprints). Phil D’Amato and Peter Miller (dirt sprints) both saddled two winners.

Santa Anita Stakes Recaps for 9-30-23

Grade 2 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (6f): The main track was wet and speed favoring on Saturday, and there was no closing happening in this BC Sprint prep. Dr. Schivel $6.80) was the favorite, and he was all over the pace while taking the shortest path home, and he edged outside presser Speed Boat Beach to prevail by a head. Fort Bragg stalked outside and gathered his momentum belatedly to pick up the show, and Sir Atticus set a pressured pace and weakened to fourth late. Those four were were clear of the American Theorem and the rest. Arabian Lion was the big disappointment. He was just spinning his wheels and never got into serious contention. The final time was 1:08.49. Dr. Schivel was my top choice in the 2021 BC Sprint and he lost a heartbreaker by a nose that year. He is versatile and is back in top form.

Grade 1 Awesome Again (9f): There was not much early zip in this race and that is why I picked Slow Down Andy on top. Not because I thought he would wire the field, but he was just so consistent and I believed his tactical speed would lead to a comfortable trip from an inner draw. National Treasure was the most likely early runner, but he hopped slightly at the start and was not able to secure the early lead, so Mario Gutierrez said thank you very much and got out there and controlled the pace aboard 2-1 favorite Slow Down Andy ($6.00). He stayed clear by a length for much of the running and was never seriously threatened. He kicked away and won by 2 1/2 lengths over Defunded. The latter stalked inside and was second best. Senor Buscador was the only closer making up any ground and he was best of the rest in third. National Treasure was next and he held off Skinner by a half-length to complete the superfecta. The others were far back. The final time was 1:47.62 and the winner received an automatic berth into the BC Classic. Here is the problem I have with Slow Down Andy. He is not a mile and a quarter horse. That was proven in the Pacific Classic when he failed to keep pace with Arabian Knight and Geaux Rocket Ride in the late going. He was third in the BC Dirt Mile last year and that is the race for him, but since he has qualified for the Classic, they will almost certainly go that route.

Grade 2 Eddie D (6.5T): This race was originally scheduled for the downhill course, but they have to cross the dirt and the track was wet, so they ran this event out of the turf chute instead. Lane Way was the favorite and he did not disappoint. He stalked the pace from a middle post and forged to the lead and held off Bran (FR) to win by a half-length for Mike Smith and Richard Mandella. Bran just got past front runner Noble Reflection to secure the runner-up spot by a nose, and my top choice I’m a Gambler (IRE) was an even fourth in the 11-horse field. As for the winner, he will now target the BC Turf Sprint but that race will be run at an abbreviated five panels. The BC might be too short for him. Bran is not expected to run in the BC. He will target winter stakes races at Santa Anita.

Grade 2 City of Hope Mile (8T): The was the final stakes race on Saturday, and favorites won all four. In this flat mile turf prep for the BC Mile, Astronomer controlled the pace and solid favorite Hong Kong Harry (IRE) stalked, pounced, and wore down the longtime leader to score by a neck. Astronomer almost stole this one under Antonio Fresu but had to settle for the place. My top choice Twist (FR) did not have the race flow in his favor and ran on for the show in a solid effort. The final time was 1:33.37 and Juan Hernandez guided home the winner for Phil D’Amato. Hong Kong Harry paid $4.20 to win. As for the BC Mile, he would have to be supplemented to that race, and the owners have decided take a pass. He will target the Seabiscuit at Del Mar on Nov. 25. Astronomer’s connections would like to run him in the BC but he is unlikely to get a berth. His main winter goal is the Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 27.

The $1 Pick 6 pool was $297,826 and multiple tickets with six winners paid $2,608.30. The 5 out of 6 consolation payout was $53.30.

Sept. 30 Claims: Race 2 – Park City ($16k, Martin Valenzuela Jr).

Santa Anita Full Card Highlights for Saturday (9-30-23)
SA 2 PARK CITY ($7.00)
Double (races 1-2, $16.80)
Double (races 2-3, $19.80)
Pick 3 (races 1-3, $44.20)
Pick 3 (races 2-4, $66.20)
SA 8 SLOW DOWN ANDY (SA Best Bet #2, $6.00), Exacta ($27.00)
Double (races 8-9, $17.40)
Pick 3 (races 8-10, $77.00)
$1 Golden Hour Pick 4 (SA 9, GG 8, SA 10, GG 9) – $101.80
$5 Golden Hour Double (SA 10, GG 9) – $22.00)

*Full card highlights based on $2 wagers unless otherwise noted.


Santa Anita Recap for Sunday (10-1-23)

Fast main track and firm turf course. One front running winner at 1 1/15 miles on dirt. On the turf course, a front running favorite got in from the AE list and graduated from post 11 at one mile, a last-to-first closer pulled off an 87-1 shocker in a MSW affair at 6f for Drayden Van Dyke and Ron Ellis, a closing favorite won the Unzip Me on the downhill course, a 6-1 front runner stole the John Henry Turf Championship (G2) at 1 1/4 miles, and a 9-2 front runner captured the flat mile finale (rail at 10 feet).

No riding or training doubles on Sunday.

Santa Anita Stakes Recaps for 10-1-23

Grade 2 Zenyatta (8.5f dirt): Adare Manor was 10 cents on the dollar vs. three opponents, and this was nothing more than a public workout. She went straight to the front under Juan Hernandez through splits of 23.71, 47.91, and 1:11.96. She was in complete command throughout. The flat mile split was 1:37.04 and she coasted across the wire to score by 5 1/4 lengths. Baffert’s filly stopped the clock in 1:43.70 and paid $2.20 to win. Desert Dawn was clearly second best and Micro Share was third. Window Shopping trailed throughout, eased in the lane, and walked off. Adare Manor loves Santa Anita and is probably going to target the BC Distaff. She should be a pace player in that event but would probably need everything easy up front in that event. As I said in my Zenyatta analysis, she keeps hooking short fields with favorable race shapes, and that probably won’t be the case in the BC.

Unzip Me (6.5f downhill turf): Ruby Nell was the solid favorite in this downhill sprint. The way the race played out, all she had to do was catch pace presser Fast and Shiny. The latter put the pressure on Wide West (IRE), and she led briefly, but Ruby Nell ($5.20) moved up while stalking wide, got on even terms, and edged away to win by a length. Fast and Shiny was clearly second best and Free and Humble rallied for the show in the 10-horse field. Justique was the big disappointment. She broke last from the tricky inside post and ended up splitting the field. She is best as a late running dirt sprinter, and Del Mar is her preferred track. Edwin Maldonado rode the winner for Richard Mandella.

Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup (12f dirt): The scratch of Donner Lake left a field of four. Missed the Cut looked like the best horse on paper and that is how it played out in real time. Azul Coast was pressed by Kiss Today Goodbye and Missed the Cut ($3.20) was in a good stalking spot in third. The latter saved ground for quite some time before angling out around the final turn. He struck the front and widened from there to score by 5 1/2 lengths for Umberto Rispoli and John Sadler. Kiss Today Goodbye was clearly second best and Azul Coast weakened to third. Order and Law trailed throughout. The final time was 2:32.78.

Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship (10f turf): This one was over early. Balladeer lugged out early but straightened up and got clear through fractions of 23.36, 47.41, and 1:12.07. Masteroffoxhounds was contend to chase from second under Edwin Maldonado, but Balladeer had a nice cushion up front under Victor Espinoza. Masteroffoxhounds was 4 1/2 lengths behind after a half but but into that margin and was only a length back with a quarter of a mile to go. Balladeer ($15) kept to his task and would not let Masteroffoxhoundfs go by. He stayed in front throughout and prevailed by a half-length. Speaking Scout rallied for the show and Planetario was a half-length behind that one in fourth. Beaten favorite Gold Phoenix (IRE) never got involved in the 8-horse field. The final time was 1:58.94.

The $1 Pick 6 pool was $262,642 and multiple tickets with six winners paid $1,439.30. The 5 out of 6 consolation prize was $28.10.

Santa Anita Full Card Highlights for Sunday (10-1-23)
Double (races 1-2, $24.80)
SA 4 ADARE MANOR ($2.20)
SA 5 RUBY NELL ($5.20)
Double (races 4-5, $7.40)
SA 6 MISSED THE CUT (SA Best Bet #1, $3.20)
Double (races 5-6, $9.00)
Pick 3 (races 4-6, $12.20)
SA 8 POSITIVITY (SA Best Bet #2, $11.40), Trifecta ($288.60)
Double (races 8-9, $82.00)
$5 Golden Hour Double (SA 9, GG 9) – $67.00)

*Full card highlights based on $2 wagers unless otherwise noted.

Article by Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak posts stakes recaps from Del Mar and Santa Anita Park, along with full card recaps and free stakes picks from Southern and/or Northern California.