Sunday's Best Bet: Waliyak catapults to the front in E. P. Taylor

Sunday’s 8th race from Woodbine is the Grade 1, $600,000 E. P. Taylor Stakes for fillies and mares traveling a mile and a quarter on the turf course (Post Time 4:37 p.m. EDT).

No. 1 WALIYAK (8-1) elevated her game recently in overseas turf routes including a victory in the Prix Bertrand de Tarragon (G3) Sept. 17. She figures to save ground behind the speed and Sunday’s rider Jack Mitchell guided her home at Haydock Park Aug. 17.

No. 4 Kalifornia Queen (6-1) improved with the addition of blinkers in her last three starts including back-to-back stakes placings under Sunday’s pilot Flavien Prat. She should be lurking in midpack and figures to offer a hint of value.

No. 8 Great Island (3-1) finished with a flourish to defeat her stablemate Kalifornia Queen in the Matchmaker (G3) July 17. She was last seen landing the place behind War Like Goddess in the Flower Bowl (G1), and show finisher My Sister Nat captured the Waya Stakes (G3) Oct. 3. Chad Brown’s lightly raced mare never runs a bad race.

No. 2 Etoile (5-2) won this event last year and exits a closing runner-up finish as the favorite in the Dance Smartly (G2) Aug. 22. Chad Brown’s fresh mare likes this course and distance.

No. 7 Merveilleux (15-1) ran well in both local stakes starts at this distance. She won two stakes last year and was right with some of these in the Dance Smartly (G2). She has the ability to spice up the exotics if she has her mind on running.

No. 10 La Dragontea (8-1) exits back-to-back wins including the Canadian (G2) vs. four opponents. Joel Rosario rides her well and she will have to avoid a wide trip from the outside post.

No. 6 Mutamakina (5-1) tracked from 2nd, pulled clear, and held on in the Dance Smartly (G2) Aug. 22. She will need to show more late in this deeper event.

No. 3 Court Return (15-1) exits a runner-up finish in the Dance Smartly (G2). This is a tougher spot.

No. 5 Family Way (15-1) stalked and scored in a slow early/fast late turf stakes route at Kentucky Downs Sept. 12. She needs to run faster to threaten these.

No. 9 Keyflower (20-1) invades from France and the sophomore filly brings improving form to the table. The distance of this race is not a problem but the class hike might be too big a hurdle. 

Get my Expert Santa Anita Park picks for today’s races

Wagers:

No. 1 to win

Exacta 1/2-4-8

Exacta 2-4-8/1

Trifecta 1-2-4-8/ALL/7

Recent Best Bet Winners

Oct. 2 - Going To Vegas/Luck/Dogtag Trifecta ($38.00)
Oct. 3 - Mackinnon/Silver Surfer/Picota Trifecta ($100.80)
Oct. 5 - RESIST THE DEVIL ($9.00)
Oct. 6 - FAVORABLE OUTCOME ($4.60)
Oct. 8 - Special Reserve/Aloha West Exacta ($12.60)
Oct. 16 - Shantisara/Technical Analysis Exacta ($22.40)

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