Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, October 14, 2017
We’re just three weeks away from the biggest Saturday in SoCal racing: the Breeders’ Cup! In the meantime, Santa Anita has a great nine-race card on the schedule, headlined by the California Distaff Handicap.
To help you out with all the action, we’re happy to have Robert Criscola (@itsgood2beking) providing FREE picks & analysis of all 11 races on the card! Robert did an excellent job with his thoughts on Del Mar racing on Saturdays throughout the meet, and we’re glad to have him back at Santa Anita. Be sure to give him a follow on twitter!
Take it away, Robert!
We have a solid nine-race card to go over from “The Great Race Place” this Saturday, which is headlined by the California Distaff Handicap. The Breeders’ Cup will be here before we know it, so let’s get that bankroll built up starting this weekend.
Race 1: 7-4-1-5
#7 ROYAL SEEKER looks poised to pull off a minor upset in the opener as he makes his second start off a January layoff. He was a decent third in a five-furlong maiden heat at Los Al in his first start at this level and has two prior ITM finishes vs. tougher at this track to run back to. #4 CLIFTON BEACH was DQ’d from a win three starts ago before running a game second two-back and losing the rider early in his latest outing. He’s a highly-logical alternative with Roman climbing back aboard. #1 SIXES beat the top pick by four when they met last time out; consider. #5 TIZ INDY should be winging it up front early on the switch to Gonzalez; best of the rest.
Race 2: 1-6-5
#1 SMART KNOWS SMART, a rare Asmussen trainee at Santa Anita, finds a softer spot than the one she debuted in at Indiana and lures Nakatani; top preference. #6 JUMP THE TRACKS moved too soon after starting slowly in his unveiling; expect improvement. #5 CAMPAIGNER has run fast enough in three prior starts to merit consideration for minor spoils against these.
Race 3: 6-4-1-3
#6 MAKE IT A TRIPLE encountered some early trouble from the rail post last time out; expect more initial speed from him and a short-priced win as he drops in class. #4 BRADDOCK has lost as the favorite in two straight at this level but fits on speed figures. #1 I CRUSHED IT tries winners after living up to his name on debut; consider. #3 FIRE TO THE WIRE was beaten less than two lengths by BRADDOCK when last seen; fringe player.
Race 4: 4-2-6
#4 AMPLE SUFFICIENCY might have made it two straight wins last time but was unable to shake free in the stretch. He should have plenty of pace to close into today, so as long as Stevens keeps him in the clear he should deliver. #2 HARBOR MASTER faces what appears to be his easiest assignment since coming to the states late last year and lures the red-hot Desormeaux; a serious threat. #6 RECORD HIGHS was nosed out of a win by a next-out winner when last seen at this course and class level; Baze’s pick.
Race 5: 12-2-3
#12 BIG DAY TOMORROW gets a key rider change to Roman, who will probably look to send this class-dropper in a race lacking early pace. A repeat of his two-back effort would be good enough. #2 TOPGALLANT tries a new low after delivering mixed results at Del Mar this summer; consider. #3 SECOND GEAR has been as good as his name of late, finishing second in his last three tries; should be involved late.
Race 6: 5-8-9
The California Distaff Handicap
#5 MISS SUNSET loses Smith for Stevens but has plenty going for her today. She’s crushed state-breds in back-to-back starts on dirt and has prior turf form, including a stakes win over this downhill course. Her last workout says it’s ‘all systems go.’ #8 MOONLESS SKY has never tried the downhill course but is too sharp to ignore. She was a nose away from winning a stake at Del Mar last time out and is 4-for-4 all-time at Santa Anita. #9 READY TO HULA LULA exits a strong state-bred allowance win going five furlongs on the lawn at Del Mar; possible live longshot in her downhill debut.
Race 7: 5-7-1
#5 SLASHER gets a needed cutback and class drop and sheds weight with Roman climbing on; the pick. #7 PICK ONE makes sense as he fits on speed figures and tries a new low. #1 INDAVIDUALIST takes what might be considered a suspicious class drop for his first start since May; wild card.
Race 8: 3-9-10
#3 LUCKY J LANE won his last start at this level back in July at Los Al and should have plenty of pace to close into; watch for him late. #9 MAGICAL MYSTERY was beaten less than a length by the mighty West Coast as recently as May before tailing off at Del Mar. He’s working well after getting a brief freshening; we’ll see what he can do at square odds here. #10 SENATOR ROBERT has hit the exacta in three straight, one coming at this level; consider.
Race 9: 8-5-4-10-9
#8 BATTLEGROUND STATE gets Prat on after an encouraging second start in which he made up plenty of ground while racing wide into the stretch. He’s the tepid pick in a contentious finale. #5 PROMNESIA loses Desormeaux but showed promise in her turf debut last time out, rallying for third despite a five-wide trip. #4 HALO AHEAD, who bettered PROMNESIA by a half-length when they last met, has lost as the favorite in her last two starts but is a contender based on speed figures. #10 ROLLING SHADOW and #9 GEE STREET, separated by just a head when they faced each other last time out, should be used underneath.
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