Leg 1, SA Race 10: 10,8,3
#10 Soul of Midnight (5/2) is the one to beat coming off a dominant wire-to-wire victory vs Cal-bred maidens where he earned a solid Beyer of 77. It was a full field of 14, yet he was able to clear that field with ease and it looks like he may be able to do that again today as there isn’t much speed lined up. Another outside draw ensures a good trip regardless of how well he breaks. #8 Big Hat Willie (5-1) is still a maiden, but he’s been facing much tougher competition and should be forwardly placed. He didn’t run a step last time but has had a bullet work since then that indicates he’ll return to his races two and three back that would be very competitive. I like the route to sprint angle for this 6.5 furlong distance and Prat picks up the mount. #3 Strut on Louie (15-1) is an interesting price horse that should be forwardly placed and isn’t all that far off on figures. He ran well enough at this level on the synthetic, we’ll see if he can be as competitive on the dirt getting a seven pound break in the weights.
Leg 2, GG Race 8: 2
Not much stood out to me in this race so I want to take a stand with #2 Miracle in Motion (8-1). She hasn’t done much running in her last couple starts sprinting, so Wright stretches her out for the first time today. Her pedigree suggests it shouldn’t be a problem, and she’s run evenly her last couple starts. The blinkers go on today so she should be forward, but she’s also shown the ability to pass horses which should let her rider adapt to the pace scenario. Her figures are pretty much on par with the rest of the field and I think she’ll be very competitive here. The only other I considered was the favorite #7 Zabava(2-1), but I don’t like that they dropped in her class and she didn’t run a step as the heavy favorite. Obviously if she runs back to those figures two and three back she’ll be very very tough, but I’m willing to bet she won’t and she hasn’t won in a long time.
Leg 3, SA Race 11: 11,1,6,4,8
Tough race in the Santa Anita finale, I need nearly half the field. #11 Circleofchampions (8-1) is camera shy, but gets a huge rider upgrade to Umberto Rispoli. I’m not too worried about the outside post with the long run to the first turn, especially at 8-1. #1 Mitad del Mundo (6-1) comes off a nice maiden victory where he came from off the pace. Dettori rides back for Gallagher and this horse should enjoy the nine furlongs. #6 Lottery Pick (6-1) is another who should be forwardly placed for the Eurton barn that has been heating up lately. #4 Ajaweed (5-1) would be competitive if he gets back to his race two back and gets some class relief today. #8 So I’m Told (15-1) is another who gets a rider upgrade to Ramon Vasquez(had a massive day yesterday). He’s usually right there at the wire, so maybe Vasquez can get him over the hump.
Leg 4, GG Race 9: 8,3,4
Another competitive race to finish the sequence, looks like there is a lot of speed lined up. #8 Mob Boss(6-1) is one of those speed horses. He didn’t do any running down south against tougher opponents last time, but that was his first start in over a year and at least he showed he still has his early speed. He now gets back to the surface he’s had success over and his outside draw will also allow him to get the pace pressing trip he had success with last year against better animals. Bonde does well second off the layoff and Espinoza bothers to ride back after the long layoff. #3 Thunder of Zion (4-1) is the one to fear most late. 5.5 furlongs might be a tad short for him, but the pace should be hot enough if he can navigate traffic. #4 Winter Falcon (8-1) is another making his second start off a long layoff who has had success at Golden Gate. His return was no bueno, but he’s shown the ability to sit off the pace and pass horses. Wright also is very good second off the layoff and he’ll be a solid price.
SA 1: 3,8,10
GG 1: 2
SA 2: 1,4,6,8,11
Gg 2: 3,4,8