Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, October 21, 2017
We’re just two 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 Flag Stakes.
To help you out with all the action, we’re happy to have Robert Criscola (@itsgood2beking) providing FREE picks & analysis of all 9 races on the card! Be sure to give him a follow on twitter.
Take it away, Robert!
The California Flag Handicap is the feature on another intriguing Saturday card at Santa Anita. The first of nine races will go off at 3:30 p.m. Eastern; let’s dive in!
Race 1: 1-3-5
#1 INDAVIDUALIST crushed a slightly lesser field last week and returns on short notice as the obvious controlling speed. He’s strictly the one to beat. #3 GIRO CANDITO should be rolling late on the cutback and is 1-for-1 at Santa Anita; consider. #5 GENTRIFIED drops in class for connections that are usually reliable but in the midst of a cold streak (Sadler and Prat); we’ll see what he has to offer.
Race 2: 8-7-5-4
#8 CURLY’S ROCKET, a $130k son of Into Mischief, shows some solid drills for his debut for Baffert, who names Van Dyke to ride. That tandem has scored in four of their last five races. #7 CRAZY UNCLE RICK showed good speed on debut going longer at Los Al before tiring late; eligible to improve. #5 CONCUR, a $500k Curlin firster, has worked exceptionally for D’Amato; watch the board. #4 ITALIANO moves up if there’s a scratch.
Race 3: 6-7-1-5
#6 CONQUEST SABRE CAT consistently fires speed figures capable of winning this and is 5-2-1-0 over this course. The only times he was off the board at Santa Anita came at 1 1/2-miles and when he faced much tougher, including the likes of Blackjackcat. #7 GENERAL IKE could take them a long way up front. He faded a bit on the downhill course when last seen but was involved in a spirited duel. #1 EXCESSIVE KID and #5 SPANISH HOMBRE give Baltas a strong one-two punch, but they do have their flaws. EXCESSIVE KID typically needs a fast pace, which he is unlikely to receive today, while SPANISH HOMBRE has missed the board in all four tries over this course.
Race 4: 3-7-8
#3 WILLOWS BABE sheds weight with Solis as she attempts to break a streak of four straight seconds to begin her career. The speed figures say she should wallop this group. #7 MISS KITAEN was well-bet on debut but bobbled at the start and had to settle for second. Roman takes over, and the late bid she put forth in her unveiling suggests she’ll improve today. #8 LA CHEPIS seems well-bred but didn’t cost much at auction and debuts for low-profile connections. However, the workouts are too strong to ignore.
Race 5: 2-7-5-3
The California Flag Handicap
#2 GOLD RUSH DANCER has had an up-and-down year and gives the downhill course a shot for the first time. He’s shown ability on the turf before (two wins in two starts before finding the graded level too difficult) and gets a key rider change to Nakatani. #7 TRIBALIST’s career has been full of stops-and-starts but this will be his third straight start without a layoff line in the middle. He nearly won the Grade III Eddie D but had to settle for second behind huge longshot Mr. Roary. TRIBALIST seems to fit well with these. #5 RICHARD’S BOY has hit the board in all but one try in eight career starts over this course; logical underneath. #3 DR. TROUTMAN’s only career win came in his lone downhill effort; will be rolling late at a price.
Race 6: 8-7-5
#8 FRACAS takes a precipitous drop in class and returns to dirt, where her first two career starts stamp her as the one to beat. #7 MISCHIEVOUS SONG flashes some solid works for her debut and Into Mischiefs typically run well early. #5 ANGELINA’S HEAVEN was buried by a much-the-best winner in her unveiling; eligible to improve with a ground-saving trip.
Race 7: 7-1-3
#7 GUY CODE took part in a suicidal speed duel when last seen at Los Al but was only beaten a neck by #3 SWEETWATER GAL. He should have things his own way up front today, so he gets the nod to atone. #1 FRAC CANDY goes first off the claim for Spawr (26%) but doesn’t always run his best race and returns off yet another layoff. SWEETWATER GAL will be going by the tired ones in the lane.
Race 8: 1-5-3
#1 PACIFIC WIND gets the call trying the dirt for the first time. She’s drilled well over it and is bred to handle it; she just needs to put that miserable Del Mar Oaks behind her. #5 SPOOKY WOODS typically settles for minor awards and is in the running for another one today. #3 LA FORCE is best of the rest.
Race 9: 5-10-12-7
#5 IPPODAMIA’S GIRL showed potential in her turf debut at Ellis going 5.5 furlongs. She should appreciate stretching out based on pedigree and is the tepid pick in the finale. #10 TEMPLE PRINCESS outran her odds on debut, rallying into a fast pace for third behind stakes-placed Retro. If she takes a step forward and gets another clean trip she’ll be hard to hold off. #12 PAVED has some decent works to report and has a solid turf pedigree; we’ll see if Prat can work out a decent trip from this post. #7 SCAT HOME LADY drops back in with maidens, must-use underneath.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE. PICKS & ANALYSIS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE MERELY OPINIONS BASED ON SUBJECTIVE ANALYSIS. PICKS DO NOT GUARANTEE ANY SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES WHATSOEVER. PICKS ARE PROVIDED TO GUIDE YOUR STRATEGY TO PLAYING THE RACES. MATERIALS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE IN NO WAY INTENDED TO ENCOURAGE GAMBLING. WHERE LEGAL, ALL WAGERS SHOULD BE MADE RESPONSIBLY AND ARE DONE SO AT YOUR OWN RISK.