We are back after a Derby week hiatus! I think the favorites at Santa Anita are difficult to get past in this sequence, so I want to get skinny with my tickets and try to hit it a few times.
Leg 1, SA Race 8: 1
There’s simply nothing to work with in this short field besides the two favorites so it has to be one or the other. CZ Rocket has probably lost a step or two and shows up here rather quickly after an unsuccessful trip to Dubai. He was also defeated by the favorite three times when CZ had better form than he does nowadays. Tough to endorse unless #1 Dr Schivel (6/5 ) doesn’t show up. That’s not impossible as he has bigger fish to fry down the road. But he was so good as a three year old, winning multiple graded stakes against older and ran a huge second in the Breeders Cup Sprint (my brother Lucas still complains to this day that he won the race, get over it bro!). UPDATE: This race has been reduced to three horses and neither of his rivals have his early foot. As long as he breaks he will make the lead and should win assuming he’s still the same horse.
Leg 2, GG Race 7: 3,5,7
Three deep in here and we’ll hope that gets us through. Top pick will be a price and that’s #7 Dulce Emma (12-1). I thought she ran better than it looks on paper in her first start of 2023. She was close to a hot pace, advanced into contention nearing the quarter pole, but had to wait for room at the top of the stretch. She didn’t have to steady or anything, but she did lose momentum and it allowed others to get the jump on her. I love that she still rallied to pass the front runners at the wire and she drew much better today where she shouldn’t have any trouble pressing the pace. Any move forward off that effort makes her a contender. #3 Candy Clone (2-1) is certainly the one to beat as this tactical, lightly raced 5 year old has done nothing wrong since returning to the races this year. She also has a pretty significant edge on Beyer figures based on that last performance and she’s improved with every start. Must use and can’t blame anyone who singles her too. #5 Tamantari (6-1)is the one to fear late. She finished third last time despite having nowhere to go in the final sixteenth. And she actually is the only horse to beat the favorite this year with her victory two back by just a neck. Candy Clone has definitely improved since then, but it’s something to keep in mind if the morning line odds hold up.
Leg 3, SA Race 9: 4
This is the other race where there’s not a whole lot to work with. #4 Offlee Naughty (8/5) will be tough to fend off in the stretch. He didn’t have a great trip last time out and the pace was slow, but it didn’t matter as he flew home to post the upset. The horse he caught was Dicey Mo Chara, who will probably be the second choice here. Dicey Mo has a big late kick, and he walked on the lead and STILL couldn’t hold off Offlee Naughty who made up several lengths on him. McCarthy is as good as anyone out here with these marathon types and he’s already proven that a mile and a half is right up his alley. A repeat of his last will get him into the Winner’s Circle.
Leg 4, GG Race 8: 7
I had planned on locking it up with two horses, but with the scratch of the Wong horse I’ll take another stand with a single. #7 Bobby’s Genie (12-1) was a filly that I made a case for a few weeks back even though she had a lot working against her. She drew the rail that day in a big field and her trainer is pretty bad with first time starters. I did like the fast workouts she had posted and that they paid a decent amount of money for her relative to her sire’s stud fee. She took some money getting bet down to 8-1 and ran fine to split the field in a fast paced race. Today she is getting off the rail and should be closer to the pace as she makes her second start for a barn that typically races their horses into shape. Ayuso stays put and I think she’ll provide some value to finish off a chalky sequence.
SA 1: 1
SA 2: 4
GG 2: 7
$20 Pick 4, $60 total