Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, October 7, 2017
It can’t compare to last Saturday, but this week’s program at the Great Race Place is strong. Ten races are on tap, including three stakes: the Obviously Stakes, the Swingtime Stakes, and the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, each of which drew a field of six. First post time is 12:30 PM EDT.
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. He started off the meet last week with a five-win Saturday. Be sure to give him a follow on twitter!
Take it away, Robert!
The Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship is the headliner at “The Great Race Place” this Saturday. Two supporting stakes, the Swingtime Stakes and the inaugural Obviously Mile, are also on the 10-race program. Let’s dig in!
Race 1: 9-4-3
#9 IMA TAKE CHARGE gets needed class relief and cuts back in distance; the one to beat. #4 FABRICATION lures Bejarano off a hard-fought loss at Los Al; logical alternative. #3 CAUSE FOR PARDON is best of the rest.
Race 2: 1-6-5
The Obviously Mile
#1 BLACKJACKCAT has won three straight and looks like a standout off his Grade II Del Mar Mile win; should boss these. #6 TEQUILA JOE was much improved when last seen (second off a layoff); exacta threat if he can replicate that. #5 CISTRON will try to take them as far as he can.
Race 3: 6-2-3
#6 NEW DANCER showed good speed last time out but was no match for runaway winner City of Light (Race 4’s top choice); better post and switch to Talamo pegs him as a viable longshot. #2 PUIG makes sense off his solid, runner-up debut at Del Mar at a big price; his latest work was sharp. #3 CATALINA CRUISER, a half to classy $700k+ earner Eagle, has flashed several good works for Sadler and lures Van Dyke.
Race 4: 6-2-1
#6 CITY OF LIGHT buried a group of maidens last time out and earned an impressive speed figure in the process; looks imposing. #2 AMERICANIZE has five runner-up finishes in seven career starts and seems due for another one here. #1 COILS GOLD steps up for Baffert off a big win vs. state-breds; Prat’s pick.
Race 5: 14-3-7-6
#14 GREAT MA NERI looms large if she gets the required scratches to draw in. She nearly wired a similar group going five furlongs at Del Mar. #3 SILKEN SPY, third on debut behind the top choice when they met on Aug. 24, is a logical alternative. #7 SAPPHO ships in from Ireland for D’Amato off a solid second-place finish and lures Desormeaux; consider. #6 BUNNY YOGURT goes first time out for Sadler (20%) and is bred to handle the lawn (by Scat Daddy).
Race 6: 6-4-1
The Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship
#6 ROY H was much the best in the True North two-back and was probably best in the Bing Crosby last time out. A riderless Drefong forced him six-wide in that heat while RANSOM THE MOON rode the rail. The outside draw gives newly-appointed rider Desormeaux options, which is crucial to winning this rematch. #4 AMERICAN ANTHEM was not disgraced in the H. Allen Jerkens, running third behind Practical Joke and next-out winner Takaful. He’s a win threat facing older as he loves this course, evidenced by his sensational worktab. #1 RANSOM THE MOON is a neck short of being 4-for-4 (3-for-3 in stakes) this year; respect.
Race 7: 3-4-9
#3 RUN JEANNE RUN switches to Bejarano off a slow start and four-wide trip in his debut at Los Al; moving out from the rail could aid her cause. #4 LIPSTER, who finished a half-length ahead of the top pick in that Los Al heat, profiles as the one to catch but picks up plenty of weight today. #9 BUTTE CITY drops in for a tag while switching surfaces; watch the board for a clue.
Race 8: 6-1-3
The Swingtime Stakes
#6 INSTA ERMA isn’t offering the price I hoped she would when I mentioned her in my trips column last month (http://www.danonymousracing.com/trip-notes-robert-criscola-tuesday-september-5-2017/) but looks like the one to beat with a smooth journey today. The rider switch to Nakatani should help. #1 MADAME STRIPES fits on speed figures but tends to settle for minor awards, particularly on this course (6-1-4-1), and may want a bit more ground than this. #3 MRS MCDOUGAL has the versatility to work out a good trip for herself and should appreciate the turnback in distance.
Race 9: 4-6-1
#4 BLANKET OF ICE intrigues returning to his favorite course (4-for-5 at Santa Anita) with Bejarano taking over; 8-1 is very appealing in a wide-open race. #6 INDYGO BO, immensely popular at the claim box, fought on willingly after chasing a fast pace in his last dirt start; consider. #1 TRIBAL JEWEL threw in a clunker when last seen at Del Mar but was in the money five straight times prior to that; must respect as he gets class relief.
Race 10: 5-4-7
#5 MIDNIGHT SWINGER found herself up front in her first start of the year before tiring late. Assuming she returns to her customary off-the-pace tactics, she should dispatch these in her second off a long layoff. #4 SHAZARA caught and passed the top choice when they met on Aug. 24 but her 1-for-15 record makes her tough to trust on top. #7 ROAD TEST didn’t get the greatest trip in her lone turf start; eligible to improve off that switching to Roman.
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