Leg 1, SA Race 7: 8
Tough sequence today and we’re gonna take a stand in the first leg with #8 Big Swede (3-1). He is coming off a horrific trip last time out when he finished 3rd against many of these same rivals. He broke well but was taken off the pace, then got floated wide into the first and rushed up into contention down the backside. He then had nowhere to go from the half mile pole to the final furlong as the rider couldn’t decide which gap to go through. He finally got clear but it was too late as other rivals got the jump on him and he closed to finish third beaten less than two lengths. Rider switch and outside draw should help his cause today, if he can sit just off the pace in the clear he should be very tough to beat.
Leg 2, GG Race 7: 1,8,10
This is the first of two very tough turf races in this sequence. #8 Rivendell (8-1) will be my top choice here. She doesn’t have much recent form to go off of, but her two turn races at Saratoga a couple years back would put her in the hunt. I think those sprint races might dirty up her form a bit and she seems to be working well for a trainer that typically only ships live horses to this circuit. #10 Derrygoolin (12-1) is another that hasn’t run well in awhile, but she’s clearly a filly that prefers the turf as her form improved greatly once she switched to this surface and disappeared just as quickly when turf racing ended for the winter. They’ve rested her up for a summer campaign and she has the speed to be close throughout, which is usually a big advantage at Golden Gate. #1 Agreetodisagree (4-1) is going the wrong way on figures, but she has plenty of back class that makes her the one to beat. I think you can make excuses for her last few races though, since the last two came on the synthetic and three back featured a wicked pace against tougher animals. She should save all the ground and is the one to fear late.
Leg 3, SA Race 8: 1,3,6,8,9
Another very competitive race to close out the Santa Anita card, my top pick will be #9 Sapadilla (12-1). There doesn’t appear to be a lot of speed lined up despite the large field so I think she can be a threat to steal it on the front end. She stretches out to a mile for today’s race and will be getting back to the turf for just the second time even though she’s certainly bred for it. Papaprodromou has been a little chilly lately but he does very well with the surface switch and it’s not like there’s any superstars in this field. #8 Warrior Lady(8-1) is an interesting second time back after a two year layoff. Her last start was clearly a prep as Eurton has fantastic numbers with this angle. Her form as a three year old fits pretty well here and if she’s improved at all as an older runner she’ll be the one to beat. #1 Timely Luck(5/2) is a must use off that effort last time where she earned the highest last out figure. She had dead aim though and couldn’t get the job done so she’s not one to lean on at a short price. I thought the last race was better than it appears for the huge longshot #3 Tapit Rocks(30-1). She made a big middle move entering the far turn while extremely wide and flattened out in the stretch. The speed held together pretty well that day and the ground loss didn’t help her. Inside draw today and rider change should work to her advantage, if she can just race a little more efficiently I won’t be surprised if she runs well. And finally #6 Yvett’s Surprise(10-1) hasn’t done a whole lot of running to this point, but she’s lightly raced and has paired up Beyer tops so improvement is expected today. Rider upgrade to Kent on the turf can’t hurt her chances.
Leg 4, GG Race 8: 2,5,8
Top choice to close out the sequence is #8 Awesome Summer (10-1). He returned off a long layoff and won impressively after dueling through fast fractions and he earned a big number doing it. There looks like there’s more speed lined up here but his outside draw should allow him to press the pace in the clear if he can’t make the lead. The bounce is obviously a concern, but if this price holds up I’m much more willing to take a chance with him. #5 Robie (8-1) finished just behind the top choice last time and was really the only runner to male up any ground that day. He gets away from the inside and receives an extra half furlong today to work with. #2 Talbot Bay (6-1) is yet another coming out of the same race so hopefully that race turns out to be a live one. He tried new tactics last out by going to the front. He couldn’t win the battle against the top choice, but did well to hang on for third. I think getting back to a stalking position could make him much more dangerous and he’s paired up Beyer tops so this lightly raced 4 year old could take a big step forward today at a solid price.
SA 1: 8
SA 2: 1,3,6,8,9