Santa Anita oddsmaker Jon White has installed Fascinating, a maiden, as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for a Grade I race, Saturday’s Chandelier Stakes.
“It was an extremely difficult decision whether to go with Fascinating or She’s a Tiger. I really think favoritism could go either way,” said White, whose morning-line choice was sent off as the actual betting favorite at an impressive 79.6% success rate at Santa Anita’s winter-spring meet. “But my gut tells me there is a good chance the favorite is going to be Fascinating.”
White, who also provides pre-race television commentary from the paddock for Santa Anita’s simulcast network in addition to his morning line duties, has made Fascinating a 2-1 favorite, with She’s a Tiger listed at 5-2.
“The main reason I gave the nod to Fascinating as the favorite is she had such a strong late kick when she ran second in the Del Mar Debutante,” White explained. “She lost by just a half-length to She’s a Tiger that day. And in that race, even though Fascinating was a maiden and She’s a Tiger already was a stakes winner, they were pretty close in the wagering. She’s a Tiger was 9-2 and Fascinating was 6-1.
“Based on Fascinating’s strong late charge in the seven-furlong Debutante around one turn, I expect a lot of people to bet on her in the Chandelier in the belief she can turn the tables on She’s a Tiger going a mile and sixteenth around two turns. And even though Fascinating is still a maiden, she is a maiden who was a $1.3 million yearling. Something else to keep in mind is that Fascinating is a half-sister to Bodemister, who ran so splendidly when he was the runner-up to I’ll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness last year.
“As for She’s a Tiger, I think some people are going to be a bit concerned about her at a mile and sixteenth because of her pedigree in that she’s a half-sister to Smiling Tiger, a terrific sprinter. That’s another reason I believe Fascinating might end up being the favorite. But, look, She’s a Tiger does appear to be a very talented filly. Another indication of that was her dandy five-eighths drill the other morning in 58 and change. There is no doubt She’s a Tiger will get a lot of respect in the wagering Saturday, as she should.”
Later this year, White, as Santa Anita’s oddsmaker, will once again be crafting the official morning lines for all the Breeders’ Cup races.