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My top choices struck in 6 of the 10 races at Santa Anita Park on Feb. 24. I swept the rolling Picks 3’s and tabbed the Early Pick 5, Middle Pick 4, and the $5 Golden Hour Double. See the full card highlights and analysis below, and check out my daily full card analysis at Santa Anita Park on my Shop Page.

Santa Anita Full Card Highlights for Saturday (2-24-24)

Double (races 1-2, $24.40)
Double (races 2-3, $37.60)
Pick 3 (races 1-3, $181.20)
SA 4 MIDNIGHT LOVE ($12.60), Exacta ($36.80)
Double (races 3-4, $76.40)
Pick 3 (races 2-4, $161.89)
SA 5 KINGS RIVER KNIGHT ($3.20), Exacta ($6.80)
Double (races 4-5, $25.60)
Pick 3 (races 3-5, $134.40)
50 cent Early Pick 5 (races 1-5, $551.30)
Double (races 5-6, $25.00)
Pick 3 (races 4-6, $91.40)
Pick 3 (races 5-7, $21.00)
50 cent Middle Pick 4 (races 4-7, $57.90)
Double (races 7-8, $8.00)
Pick 3 (races 6-8, $39.20)
Double (races 8-9, $28.00)
Pick 3 (races 7-9, $50.20)
SA 10 JOHNNY DRAMA (SA Best Bet #2, $4.00), Trifecta ($75.20)
Double (races 9-10, $31.00)
Pick 3 (races 8-10, $58.20)
$5 Golden Hour Double (SA 10, GG 8) – $60.00
OP 10 Octane/Magic Tap Exacta ($40.20)
OP 11 TIMBERLAKE ($3.60)
*Full card highlights based on $2 wagers unless otherwise noted. 


February 24 Picks:

SA 1 (OC-100k/1x, 8T)
Primary – #4 TWIRLING POINT, #3 Rastaman Vibe
Secondary – #8 Uncle Truly, #5 Bandwagon, #7 Miracle Mark

Wagers: #4 to win, Trifecta 3-4-8/3-4-5-7-8/3-4-5-7-8, Superfecta 3-4/3-4/5-7-8/5-7-8

Comments: #4 Twirling Point (7-2) wired the field in an all-weather MSW route at WO last fall (first lasix). He was a clear runner-up finisher as the favorite in an all-weather route at TP on Dec. 1, and the show finisher won his next start. This one exits a rallying show finish in a slow early/fast late renewal of the Eddie Logan. He goes back on lasix and Dettori is his new pilot. #3 Rastaman Vibe (6-1) stretched back out for his new trainer Eurton on Dec. 3, and he sat in midpack and finished nicely to graduate by a half-length (2-3 finishers next-out winners). Hernandez got acquainted with him last time and Eurton shows a profit with this type of layoff runner. He had a relatively fast half-mile move on Feb. 18 (10th best of 128 works) and could easily move forward again and make it two straight. #8 Uncle Truly (4-1) rallied for the show in his KD debut. The runner-up was a next-out winner, and this one stalked and scored in a flat mile MSW event at WO second time out. He ran in the Central Park in New York in November, and he attended the pace and weakened to 11th of 12. The fresh Uncle Mo colt reconnects with his winning rider Kimura. The only time he had lasix was in his maiden win, and he goes back on that medication in this race. #5 Bandwagon (7-2) stalked from post 12 and finished a half-length behind Rastaman Vibe in December, and he picked up his first win from off the pace as the favorite in a local 9T affair on good ground Jan. 21. He added lasix last time and his winning rider Fresu stays put. #7 Miracle Mark (3-1) adds lasix and this is his first start as a gelding. He wired the field at this course and distanced last fall, and was 3rd and 4th in his last two stakes starts. He should attend the pace.

SA 2 (Clm-12.5k/3L, 6f)
Primary – #6 LA PALOMA BLANCA, #2 Dancing Dana
Secondary – #5 Magic Oops, #4 Vulin

Wagers: #6 to win, Trifecta key 6/2-4-5, Trifecta 4-5-6/4-5-6/2

$1 Early Pick 4 (races 2-5): 6/5/3-4-6/1-5-6 ($9)
$1 Early Pick 4 (races 2-5): 2-4-5-6/5/3/1-5-6 ($12)
$2 Early Pick 4 (races 2-5): 2-4-5-6/5/3-4-6/5 ($24)

Comments: #6 La Paloma Blanca (5-2) should work out a comfortable tactical trip from the outside post. She has never raced for a tag this low and Knapp shows a profit with his second after the claim starters. Rispoli hops aboard and he is 3-for-4 with this outfit. #2 Dancing Dana (2-1) is a logical contender but its tough to back on the win end at low odds (no wins since April 2022). She is 2-for-21 with a dozen minor placings, and she completed the trifecta on nine occasions. #5 Magic Oops (4-1) shipped from GG to SA and ended up a length and a quarter behind Dancing Dana Jan. 13. She has won on dirt before and might go a bit better in her second start after a short layoff. #4 Vulin (5-1) graduated in her 12th career start in November, and added blinkers and won again in December. She turned back and broke slow, raced wide, and weakened after stalking the pace for a half-mile in an extended sprint Jan. 13.

SA 3 (MSW, CA-bred, 8T)
Primary – #5 SNEAKER
Secondary – #2 Princess Snow, #1 Beautiful Janet

Wagers: Exacta 5-2, Trifecta key 5/1-2

Comments: #5 Sneaker (4-5) stalked the pace, moved up, and held the show in her 8T bow Dec. 30. She stalked the pace and came after heavy favorite Lamporghini Jan. 26, but the latter was a bit too much and scored by a length and a quarter. This one was 6 1/2 lengths in front of the show finisher last time, and she made up multiple lengths on Lamporghini after finishing finished 5+ lengths behind that one in her debut. She reunites with Rispoli and will probably graduate at low odds. #2 Princess Snow (7-2) ended up fourth in both starts. She stretches out after two sprints and figures to attend the pace. #1 Beautiful Janet (4-1) stalked the pace and finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Princess Snow last time. She should be forwardly placed from the inside post under Maldonado.

SA 4 (Clm-32k, 6f)
Primary – #3 MIDNIGHT LOVE, #6 Mr. Dreamcycle
Secondary – #4 Running Tiger

Wagers: #3 to win, Exacta 3-6, Trifecta 3-6/3-4-6/3-4-6

50 cent Middle Pick 4 (races 4-7): 3-6/5/2-3-6-7/1-2-3-5-6-7 ($24)
50 cent Middle Pick 4 (races 4-7): 3-6/1-5/2/1-2-3-5-6-7 ($12)
50 cent Middle Pick 4 (races 4-7): 3-6/1-5/2-7/1-5 ($8)

Comments: #3 Midnight Love (5-2) can go much better after racing wide and weakening on a wet track Feb. 2. He finished 1-2 in three straight prior to his last including a 6 1/2 length maiden win at one mile under Fresu Jan. 14. #6 Mr. Dreamcycle (8-5) is a logical early-pressing contender but might take too much action on the win end. He beat three rivals at 6 1/2 furlongs in a local $25k claimer Jan. 26. I like the outside draw. #4 Running Tiger (8-1) stalked, pounced, and graduated by a length and a half in a CA-bred maiden claiming $50k affair second time out Jan. 12, and the show finisher was a next-out winner. He was up the track in the same race my top choice exits, and he might show more on fast ground for profitable conditioner Periban.

SA 5 (OC-50k/2x, 8T)
Primary – #5 KINGS RIVER KNIGHT, #1 Cathkin Peak
Secondary – #6 Carmelita’s Man

Wagers: #5 to win, Exacta 5-1, Trifecta 1-5/1-5-6/1-5-6

$1 Pick 6 Ticket (Races 5-10): 5/2-6-7/1-5-6-7/4/5-7/2-9 ($48)

Comments: #5 Kings River Knight (5-2) is a consistent CA-bred gelding with early-pressing speed. He won his last three state bred stakes races and is 3-for-3 at 8T. Hernandez has ridden him five times and he won all of those races. It looks like he has the tactical edge. #1 Cathkin Peak (3-1) drops out of the graded ranks in his first start since September. The last time he raced in an optional-claiming turf route, he won. D’Amato shows a profit with this type of layoff runner and he is entered for the $80k tag. He reunites with Fresu and drilled a bullet for this Feb. 13. The stalker/closer likes this course and distance. #6 Carmelita’s Man (4-1) is every bit as good as Kings River Knight when the pace is honest. He beat that foe in the California Dreamin’ at DMR last summer, and rallied to finish a half-length behind his rival in the Unusual Heat Turf Classic Jan. 13. The veteran CA-bred gelding needs pace help.

SA 6 (MSW, 7f)
Primary – #2 DURAN, #7 Appreciate Today
Secondary – #6 Vegas Burner, #3 Yellow Brick

Wagers: #2 to win, Exacta box 2-7, Trifecta 2-7/2-3-6-7/2-3-6-7

Comments: #2 Duran (5-2) moved to dirt and stalked wide, led, and missed by a half-length at 9-1 odds in a relatively fast flat mile race at LRC in December, and the show finisher was a next-out winner. Rispoli knows him now and he could easily get the job done in this extended sprint. #7 Appreciate Today (4-1) chased, led, and was best of the rest in third in his 6f bow at 9-1 odds Jan. 21. The $200k Nyquist gelding drew the comfortable outside post and Miller shows a profit with second timers. Hernandez is his new pilot and he is 1-for-11 with this barn. #6 Vegas Burner (8-5) is 0-for-11 with four runner-up finishes. He pressed, led, and was second best at this distance Dec. 26, and rallied to miss by a head at 6f as the beaten favorite Jan. 21. #3 Yellow Brick (4-1) finished 2nd or 3rd in his first six starts, and went to the sidelines after a wide, well-beaten 4th last summer. This is his first start in more than half a year and he adds blinkers and turns back. Mandella shows a profit with this type of layoff runner.

SA 7 (G3 Santa Ana, 10T)
Primary – #5 KHINJANI, #1 Queens Command
Secondary – #7 Duvet Day, #6 Linda’s Gift, #2 Leisurewear, #3 Musical Rhapsody

Wagers: #5 to win, Trifecta 1-5/1-5-6-7/1-2-3-5-6-7

$1 Late Pick 4 (races 7-10): 1-2-3-5-6-7/4/5-7/2-3-9 ($36)
50 cent Late Pick 4 (races 7-10): 1-5/4-5/5-7/2-9 ($8)

$3 Turf Pick 3 (races 7, 9, 10): 5/7/2-3-6-9 ($12)
$3 Turf Pick 3 (races 7, 9, 10): 5/5-6-7-9/2 ($12)
$3 Turf Pick 3 (races 7, 9, 10): 1-2-3-5-6-7/7/2 ($18)

Comments: #5 Khinjani (3-1) shipped to the US and smartly went last-to-first in a ten panel optional-claiming turf race Jan. 21. Dettori rides back and she should make an impact in the lane. #1 Queens Command (6-1) passed them all in her US bow at one mile on turf Jan. 7. D’Amato’s mare meets better company at a longer distance, and Fresu is her new pilot. #7 Duvet Day (6-1) finished 4th in the G3 San Juan Capistrano at 1 3/4 miles last June and did not resurface until the Astra Stakes on Jan. 21. She showed decent late interest in her 12T return last time. She rallied to win the Astra last year under Kimura, and was 3rd in the Santa Ana (G3) and a close 2nd in the Santa Barbara. #6 Linda’s Gift (5-2) stole the Red Carpet (G3) at 11T at DMR Nov. 23, and got out there and controlled the pace again as the 3-2 chalk in the Astra Jan. 21. Can she run the same quality race without a lonely early lead? #2 Leisurewear (5-1) had her 7-race trifecta streak snapped when finishing up the track after chasing the pace in a flat mile turf race (June 2023). She returned in the Astra and chased Linda’s Gift and weakened to 5th of 7. Hernandez takes the call and she should be fitter for this engagement. #3 Musical Rhapsody (4-1) completed the exacta behind Linda’s Gift in the Red Carpet (G3) and Astra. She can hit the board again.

SA 8 (OC-50k/1x, 8f)
Primary – #4 JUDGE MILLER
Secondary – #5 Clouseau, #3 Hawker

Wagers: Exacta 4-5, Trifecta key 4/3-5

Comments: #4 Judge Miller (6-5) was the 3-2 favorite in his 6f bow at DMR in November, and he stalked wide from the outside post and was second best. He was less than even money in a local extended sprint Dec. 26, and he dueled and prevailed by 3/4ths of a length (show finisher next-out winner). He stretches out after two sprints and Glatt shows a profit with his first route starters. Dettori hops aboard the Curlin colt and he is 3-for-9 with this barn. #5 Clouseau (5-2) stalked slow fractions and was second best in a similar local race at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 27. He is 3-for-7 at SA and figures to stalk the pace in his third start after a short layoff. #3 Hawker (8-1) adds blinkers and this is his first start as a gelding. Sadler has good stats with his turf/dirt starters and Berrios shows a profit with this barn. He handled dirt in a neck defeat in his career bow.

SA 9 (Alw-1x, 6.5T hillside) – SA Best Bet
Primary – #7 GRAZED, #5 Virat
Secondary – #6 King Apollo, #9 Catalina Eddy

Wagers: #7 to win, Trifecta 5-7/5-6-7-9/5-6-7-9, Trifecta 5-7/all/6

$1 Golden Hour Pick 4 (SA 9, GG 7, SA 10, GG 8): 7/1-3-5-7/2-3-6-9/2 ($16)
$1 Golden Hour Pick 4 (SA 9, GG 7, SA 10, GG 8): 5-6-7-9/3/2-3-6-9/2 ($16)
$1 Golden Hour Pick 4 (SA 9, GG 7, SA 10, GG 8): 5-6-7-9/1-3-5-7/2/2 ($16) 

Comments: #7 Grazed (4-1) fired trifecta shots in his last eight starts, and the consistent gelding owns early-pressing versatility. Herrera is 2-for-8 with Glatt and this one drew an advantageous post. #5 Virat (5-2) won his last two turf sprints. He moved to the Blacker barn and went all the way at this course/distance in November, and stalked and scored at 6T Jan. 5. Dettori sticks and he is 2-for-2 with this outfit recently. I frequently consider #6 King Apollo (5-1) an exotics contender in turf sprints, especially at this trip (6 0-3-2). He should be running in the lane and can get a piece of the purse. #9 Catalina Eddy (10-1) turns back for profitable route/sprint trainer Craig Lewis, and he also shows a profit with his allowance turf starters. He wired the field as the favorite vs. CA-bred MSW foes second time out last year, and chased from the outside post and was a competitive 4th of 10 in a similar turf sprint in December. He should be forwardly placed from the outside post.

SA 10 (Clm-25k, 6.5T) – SA Best Bet
Primary – #2 JOHNNY DRAMA, #9 National Generaux
Secondary – #3 Mars On Fire, #6 Derecho Dandy

Wagers: #2 to win, Exacta box 2-9, Trifecta 2-9/2-3-6-9/2-3-6-9

$5 Golden Hour Double (SA 10, GG 8): 2/2-5-8 ($15)
$5 Golden Hour Double (SA 10, GG 8): 2-3-6-9/2 ($20)

Comments: #2 Johnny Drama (5-2) dropped from MSW to Mcl-50k at this course/distance Jan. 12, and he dueled, opened up, and held on by a neck at 6-1 odds. He should be forwardly placed under his winning pilot Fresu. #9 National Generaux (3-1) stalked the pace and was second best at 8T Feb. 11, and Papaprodromou claimed him for $25k that day and has strong overall stats with his first after the claim starters. He turns back and should be finishing. Rispoli is 0-for-7 with this outfit and six of those runners hit the board. This one is 1-for-17 with eight minor awards. #3 Mars On Fire (4-1) improved his speed ratings in his first four starts. He was no threat in his dirt sprint bow for D’Amato, and moved to the Miyadi barn and wired the field in his 5T maiden win at GG last spring. He was a wide 5th of 8 from the outside post at 6.5T in his first start vs. winners, and bounced back with a rallying runner-up finish at 5T Nov. 25. The Straight Fire gelding removed blinkers as my top choice Jan. 19, and he was a flat 6th of 7 at 6T that day. #6 Derecho Dandy (6-1) might be worth using underneath. He is 1-for-17 with six minor placings, and he turns back and returns to turf. Moger Jr. shows a profit with horses making their second start under his care.

Rolling Daily Double & Pick 3 Contenders – in order of preference:

1   (4-3-8-5-7)
2   (6-2-5-4)
3   (5-2-1)
4   (3-6-4)
5   (5-1-6)
6   (2-7-6-3)
7   (5-1-7-6-2-3)
8   (4-5-3)
9   (7-5-6-9)
10 (2-9-3-6)


For Rolling Doubles and Pick 3 tickets, key the top choice in each race to all other contenders. See examples below:

Double (Race 1-2):
Ticket 1 (4-6)
Ticket 2 (4/2-4-5-6)
Ticket 3 (3-4-5-7-8/6)

Double (Races 2-3):
Ticket 1 (6-5)
Ticket 2 (6/1-2-5)
Ticket 3 (2-4-5-6/5)

Pick 3 (Race 1-3):
Ticket 1 (4-6-5)
Ticket 2 (4/2-4-5-6/1-2-5)
Ticket 3 (3-4-5-7-8/6/1-2-5)
Ticket 4 (3-4-5-7-8/2-4-5-6/5)


GG 7 (Str-Alw-50k, 5.5f)
Primary – #3 KIKI KRAZY, #5 Sing a Happy Song
Secondary – #1 Soo Brooklyn, #7 Honorable Gal

Wagers: #3 to win, Exacta box 3-5, Trifecta 3-5/1-3-5-7/1-3-5-7

Comments: #3 Kiki Krazy (6-1) exits a sharp $8k maiden win as the even money favorite and runner-up Soo Brooklyn was a next-out winner. This one was nabbed out of her last start by Leobardo Rivera and this conditioner is an impressive 7-for-18 first after the claim. The early-pressing filly might offer value. #5 Sing a Happy Song (2-1) is 1-for-5 with four show finishes. She dropped from MSW to Mcl-25 and cruised by 5 1/2 lengths as the chalk Dec. 3, and set the pace and was a clear third in a similar local sprint Jan. 14. She should be all over the pace.

GG 8 (Mcl-8k, 5f)
Secondary – #5 Capo Sorello, #8 Jazzy Empress

Wagers: #2 to win, Exacta 2-5, Trifecta key 2/5-8

Comments: #2 Mystical Candy (2-1) shows three local gate works for this, and Tamayo’s Danzing Candy filly is probably ready to roll in her career debut. This is not a strong race and this filly would not have to be much to win this one.


OP 8 (Carousel, 6f)
Primary – #7 MUCHO MACHO GIRL, #8 Zeitlos
Secondary – #9 I’m the Boss of Me

Wagers: Exacta 7-8, Trifecta 7-8/7-8-9/7-8-9

$1 Pick 4 (races 8-11): 7-8-9/6/5-8-11/7 ($9)
50 cent Pick 4 (races 8-11): 7-8-9/6/5-8-11/6-7-11 ($13.50)
50 cent Pick 4 (races 8-11): 7-8-9/2-6-10/5-8-11/7 ($13.50)
50 cent Pick 4 (races 8-11): 7-8/6-10/5-8/6-7 ($8)

Comments: #7 Mucho Macho Girl (8-5) is 3-for-4 overall for Dallas Stewart. She exits back-to-back wins as the favorite at FG. The early-pressing filly is fresh and still has upside. #8 Zeitlos (7-5) ducked in and dumped the rider in her bow, and fired trifecta shots in all eight starts since (3 wins). The tactical type won her last two starts at this distance including an easy local win in the slop Feb. 3. She should maintain sharp form in her second start after a layoff. #9 I’m the Boss of Me (10-1) was part of the trifecta in 7 of her last 9 starts. She exits back-to-back show finishes and might have a bit more to offer in her third start after a layoff.

OP 9 (G3 Honeybee, 8.5f)
Primary – #6 WEST OMAHA
Secondary – #10 Midshipman’s Dance, #2 Band of Gold

Wagers: Trifecta key 6/2-10, Trifecta 6/2-10/all, Trifecta 6/all/2-10

Comments: #6 West Omaha (7-5) was my top pick in her last two Kentucky Oaks points races and she ran well both times. She stalked the pace and was clearly second best in the Untapable Stakes on Dec. 23, and chased outside and kicked clear in the Silverbulletday on Jan. 20. She scratched out of last weekend’s Rachel Alexandra (G2) and looks like a strong tactical contender in this event for Brad Cox. #10 Midshipman’s Dance (12-1) captured both dirt sprints including the local Mockingbird Stakes on Jan. 13. She improved her speed rating last time and stretches out after two sprints. #2 Band of Gold (2-1) elevated her game in the slop at 24-1 odds in the Martha Washington on Feb. 3. West Omaha finished far in front of her in the Untapable Stakes, and I do not trust her to run two alike at less than appealing odds on the win end.

OP 10 (G3 Razorback, 8.5f)
Primary – #8 MAGIC TAP, #5 Octane
Secondary – #11 Notary

Wagers: #8 to win, Exacta 8/5-11, Exacta 5-11/8

Comments: #8 Magic Tap (9-2) still has upside for Asmussen. He romped in his dirt route maiden win at CD last June, and was a head behind decent sort Tapit’s Conquest in his first start vs. winners. He beat Film Star by a neck in a 9f allowance race at SAR last summer and that runner won two allowance events after that. This one was a respectable 4th of 11 in the PA Derby (G1), and ended his 2023 campaign with an okay show finish as the beaten favorite in an optional-claiming route at CD. He tuned up for this with a professional NW3L allowance win on a good track at OP Jan. 13. #5 Octane (5-1) is a Florida shipper with some quality speed ratings. He set the pace and missed by a head in the Sunshine Classic Jan. 20. He fired a bullet for this Feb. 11 and should make his presence felt from the outset. #11 Notary (10-1) was part of the exacta in 8 of his last 10 starts. He stalked, pounced, and scored by 5 lengths in a local optional-claiming race in the mud Jan. 26, and he earned a competitive number that day.

OP 11 (G2 Rebel, 8.5f)
Primary – #7 TIMBERLAKE
Secondary – #6 Dimatic, #11 Just Steel

Wagers: Trifecta key 7/6-11, Trifecta 7/6-11/all, Trifecta 7/all/6-11

Comments: #7 Timberlake (6-5) added blinkers and romped in his second career start at Ellis Park last summer. He had an uncomfortable trip when landing the place in the Hopeful (G1), and removed blinkers and rolled to a big win in the Grade 1 Champagne in the slop last fall. He ended 2023 with an even effort in the BC Juvenile. Brad Cox’s $350k Into Mischief colt fired a bullet for this on Feb. 10 and appears poised to run a big race in his first start as a sophomore. #6 Dimatic (8-1) raced wide from the outside post and finished 6th of 11 in his extended sprint bow. He stretched out and was a clear show finisher at Fair Grounds second time out, and rallied for the win as the favorite in a local special weight route in the slop on Feb. 3. Steve Asmussen’s improving colt adds blinkers and Tyler Gaffalione is his new rider. #11 Just Steel (7-2) ran well in his last three stakes starts. He stalked and scored in the Ed Brown at 6 1/2 furlongs at Churchill last fall, and landed the place in the Smarty Jones and Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn. The $500k Justify colt figures to stalked the pace from an outer post.

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.