Friday's Best Bet: Clooney joins the chase at Santa Anita

Friday’s fifth race at Santa Anita is a starter optional-claiming event for 3-year-olds and up traveling one mile on the main track. The scheduled post time is 6:08 p.m. EDT.

Click here for Santa Anita entries and results. 

No. 1 Clooney (5-2) returned to dirt and picked up his maiden win as a 13-1 longshot at this course and distance on April 7, and the show finisher was a next-out winner. John Sadler claimed this one for $40k on Jan. 8 and he almost matched the winning par for this last time. This one was a $760k Keeneland sales grad in 2021 so somebody saw something they liked. This barn shows a profit with recent grads trying winners for the first time and Juan Hernandez got acquainted with him last time. He figures to save ground stalking the pace and could easily make it two straight.

No. 2 Trusty Rusty (8-1) can compete with these if he runs back to his romping maiden sprint win on April 29. He came back six days later and finished an even fourth at seven panels on May 5. He disappointed in his lone route try on May 18 but is faster now and might work out a decent stalking trip behind lively fractions.

No. 7 Soul of Midnight (5-1) got to the front and aired in a California-bred maiden claiming sprint on March 18. He was the favorite in his first start vs. winners and chased the pace and held the show. He stretches out for strong short layoff trainer Dean Pederson and he should attend the pace along with some others.

No. 4 Deservedly (3-1) improved in his last three sprints and he set the pace in all three. He was a close second in his final 2022 start and kept on going in his March 17 return. He held the place as the beaten chalk at seven panels on May 5 and Kent Desormeaux rides him well. He should have company on the front end.

No. 6 Quick Buck (4-1) chased the pace and finished a half-length behind Deservedly on May 5, and that was his first start since September 2022. His new rider Kyle Frey has been winning races with Mark Glatt recently and he will probably stalk the pace.  

Get Jarrod’s Santa Anita analysis.

Wagers

No. 1 to win

Exacta Box 1-2

Trifecta Key 1/2-4-6-7

Recent Best Bet winners

May 2 – Prove Worthy ($9.90)
May 3 – Warrant ($8.62)
May 4 – Bango/Miles Ahead exacta ($26.40), trifecta ($86.84)
May 6 – General Jim ($12.04), exacta ($75.02)
May 12 – Drew’s Gold/Squire Creek/Joey Freshwater trifecta ($62)
May 14 - Anarchist ($7.70)
May 16 - Templet ($19.60), exacta ($36)
Last Thursday - Montauk Point/Luigi's Spirit exacta ($43.80)
Monday - Do You Love Me ($5.60)
Thursday - Alogon ($10)

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