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Check out my Santa Anita Handicap (race 8) analysis for 3-3-24 below.  

SA 8 (G1 SA Handicap. 10f)
Primary – #2 HIGHLAND FALLS, #5 Newgate
Secondary – #7 Newgrange, #3 Mixto

Wagers: #2 to win, Trifecta key 2/3-5-7, Trifecta 2-5-7/2-5-7/3, Superfecta 2-5/2-5/3-7/3-7

Comments: #2 Highland Falls (3-1) is 3-for-4 with a show finish for Brad Cox, and he still has upside. This conditioner saddled Fair Grounds shipper Warrant to a runner-up finish as my top choice in this race in 2022. This colt owns quality late pace ratings and Geroux is 2-for-2 with him. His sire Curlin was a multiple G1 winner and dam Round Pond won multiple graded races including the BC Distaff. He probably fits with these and might offer a hint of value. #5 Newgate (4-1) should be coming up to a top effort in his third start after a long layoff. He needed his return vs. crack sprinter Big City Lights, and he stalked the pace and finished a solid second as the beaten favorite in the San Pasqual (G2) at a mile and an eighth last time. Newgrange got loose through slow splits last time and this one was only beaten a length. He reconnects with his winning rider Dettori and he should work out a decent tactical trip. #7 Newgrange (5-2) has some things to like but I am not sure about the 1 1/4 miles distance. He was in similar form and came up empty in last year’s Big ‘Cap after winning the San Pasqual (G2). He is 5-for-7 at SA and won the San Antonio (G2) and San Pasqual (G2) in his last two local stakes starts. He should be forwardly placed from the outside post under Victor Espinoza. #3 Mixto (6-1) finally picked up his maiden win in his seventh career start in a flat mile race at DMR last November. He rallied for the place in the G2 San Antonio in his first start vs. winners, and showed decent stretch energy in a show finish in the San Pasqual last time. Fresu rides him well and he wins races with O’Neill, and this one should be within striking range throughout. He is just 1-for-9 and win would be a bit of a surprise, but I can see him hitting the board at a price. 

Recent Free Pick Winners
Feb. 10 – Endlessly ($3.40)
Feb. 11 – Cali Bay ($4.20)
Feb. 16 – Prancingthroughparis ($14.20), Trifecta ($397.40)
Feb. 18 – Firsttimeinforever ($6.00)
Feb. 24 – Johnny Drama ($4.00), Trifecta ($75.20)
Feb. 25 – Clements Ride ($3.20), Trifecta ($49.60)

Please visit The Runaway Horse Shop to purchase my Santa Anita Park full cards.  

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.