Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Santa Anita Park
There’s a ten-race card today at Santa Anita Park, headlined by two stakes races: the Daytona Stakes, and the Wishing Well Stakes! The first race is scheduled for 12:30 PM PST.
To help you out with all the action, we’re happy to have Robert Criscola (@itsgood2beking) providing FREE picks & analysis of the card! Robert’s been a Southern California handicapper on Danonymous Racing for a while now; be sure to give him a follow on twitter.
Good luck to everyone playing along!
There’s a ten-race card lined up for Saturday at Santa Anita, led by two stakes over the downhill turf course. First post is 3:30 p.m. Eastern; here’s my analysis for every race on the afternoon.
Race 1: 5-9-4-3
#5 FIBONACCI rallied smartly in his second career start and gets an extra furlong to work with here; top preference. #9 CONCUR, a length behind the top pick with a smoother trip last time out, is the logical alternative. #4 PHOENIX FIRE is impeccably-bred and cost over $1 million at auction but debuts in a weird spot for Baffert. The works say this one is talented though and top pilot Van Dyke is in the irons. #3 MAJESTIC EAGLE moves up if there’s a scratch.
Race 2: 2-5-3-6
#2 GIFT OF A STAR is 4-for-5 ITM on fast dirt with two wins, including her last try at Los Al, and lures Prat; the pick. #5 ROSIE MY ROSIE was Roman’s choice and was just a nose behind GIFT OF A STAR when these two met at Los Al in early December. #3 LEA’S REWARD could take these a long way on the class drop. #6 LUCKY STUDENT should be forwardly-placed; could last for a share despite the class hike.
Race 3: 6-3-5-4
#6 CLASSICO probably needed his last off the bench, so toss it. He takes a big class drop today while racing as a first-time gelding, so he’s probably more well-meant here despite Bejarano jumping off. New pilot Giovanni Franco has ridden well at Santa Anita of late. #3 CHROMIUM offered little in his last start but cuts back to a more suitable distance going first off the Glatt claim (22%) and gets a rider upgrade to Roman. Race favorites #5 HERE AND THERE and #4 FULL ACCESS don’t amaze on credentials but their trainers (Falcone and Cerin, respectively) have been hard to exclude this meet.
Race 4: 5-7-2-6
The Grade III Daytona Stakes
#5 CALCULATOR was most impressive in the Clocker’s Corner Stakes last time out, winning despite blazing the way early for his third score in as many starts on the downhill course. He’s been working bullets for Miller, who also sends out #7 STORMY LIBERAL and #4 CONQUEST TSUNAMI for this, and maintains Prat. Speed has been good down the hill all meet long, and Miller has been lethal in these races too (https://twitter.com/ScottShap34/status/966439295513911298). STORMY LIBERAL holds solid credentials, as he won last year’s Daytona Stakes two starts before pulling a massive upset in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar. His Hong Kong flop can be dismissed, and the two-month vacation should be no problem based on his Breeders’ Cup effort off a June layoff. STORMY LIBERAL loves the downhill course at Santa Anita (7-for-12) and should receive his usual trip just off the speed. #2 TOMBELAINE was too far back going five furlongs at Gulfstream, so he should appreciate stretching back out. Smith sees fit to stay on this live longshot with solid form to run back to from last year. #6 PERFECTLY MAJESTIC will roll late, but a minor share appears to be his ceiling.
Race 5: 4-8-2
#4 MONDAYMORNINGBLUES will pair up starts for the first time in her brief career while getting dramatic class relief; gate-to-wire threat at a short price. #8 ALLIE’S LOVE has burned money in two straight at this level but may improve cutting back. #2 SOUTH BOOT SHIRLEY’s works are fair and her dam has produced three winners from three starters.
Race 6: 8-9-7
#8 CONDI has the best figures and the speed to put herself in the race early; should get it done second off the bench. #9 WAMPUS tries a new low and cuts back; should also be toward the front. #7 MARIANA’S GIRL will be the one to watch for late if there’s a pace meltdown.
Race 7: 1-5-6
#1 CONQUEST SABRE CAT has hit the board in each of his last three starts at a mile, including a win at twice this claiming price; versatile gelding can win from anywhere. #5 TRIFECTA could make a late impact with a ground-saving trip. #6 FOR GREATER GLORY won at this level two-back and has Roman this time as he looks to replicate that effort.
Race 8: 2-10-4
#2 GET YOURSELF HOME wisely returns to dirt, where she was a respectable second on debut despite an awkward beginning. The four-year-old has the age advantage on key younger foe #10 KARMIC AFFINITY. ‘AFFINITY was off toward the rear in her only start to date and rushed up inside of a lively speed duel but still managed to hold for second. She’ll get a rider upgrade to Desormeaux as well. #4 MADAM SOPHIA is a half to the immensely talented Sircat Sally; we’ll see what she offers in her unveiling after showing steady works for Hollendorfer.
Race 9: 2-7-5-6
#2 BAR SCENE was dueled into defeat in her initial try at this level, which was her first start in almost a year. A change in tactics may be in order with the switch to Baze, and with the rust shaken off there’s a chance she may run a career best at a square price. #7 LIFE’S BLESSINGS was the beneficiary of the contentious pace that BAR SCENE was involved in last time out. LIFE’S BLESSINGS may have needed one in her first try since May, but she probably should’ve won with that setup and now cuts back a furlong; worth playing against if she’s hammered at the windows. #5 POWDER had won three straight before flopping on turf; Nakatani stays in the saddle. #6 PHANTOM PROTON is best of the rest.
Race 10: 5-4-10-2-6
The Wishing Well Stakes
#5 SAMBA INC showed great promise at three in her native Argentina, winning consecutive graded stakes by open lengths before going on the shelf. Her worktab for Baffert is spectacular and Prat sees fit to take the assignment. #4 BENDABLE put in a solid rally for second in the Las Cienegas last time out; tune up was quick and Smith sticks. #10 ALGORHYTHMIC picks a tough spot for her first start since July, but it’s hard to knock her four straight open-length victories over this course. #2 MISS SOUTHERN MISS is 1-for-2 down the hill, with the fifth-place finish she suffered coming off a layoff. She’ll be heard from late. #6 ANITA PARTNER may have needed her last off the bench; live longshot had solid form on the hillside course in 2017.
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