Normally a jackpot wager, the 20-cent minimum Pick 6 at Santa Anita Park will feature a mandatory payout on Saturday, California Cup day. All races in the sequence are for California-bred or sired horses.
The carryover was $418,628 heading into Friday’s card, meaning the added money for Saturday’s sextet could approach $500,000. This could help spur a mandatory payout pool upwards of millions of dollars.
Race 5 (Leg 1): The Pick 6 begins in this six-furlong race for maiden claimers in for a $45,000-$50,000 tag. No. 8 Arthur Spooner (3-1 ML) makes the most sense among those with racing experience. This gelding switches from turf to dirt, drops in class, and gets back to sprinting again for the first time since Sept. 25. Interesting first-time starters on my ticket include No. 5 Smiling Goodbye (5-2 ML), No. 3 Make Mine Wine (7-2 ML), and No. 7 Don Daniel (12-1 ML). All three have winning siblings. Smiling Goodbye goes out for trainer Dean Pederson who has a win among his last 4 debut runners. Make Mine Wine debuts for trainer Jonathan Wong who is 21-percent with his firsters. All six of Don Daniel’s siblings are winners.
Picks: 5, 3, 8, 7
Race 6 (Leg 2): This is my opportunity to single, and I’ll be “all in” on No. 8 Indian Peak (3-1 ML) in the Unusual Heat Turf Classic Stakes at 1 1/8 miles. His dirt race last time out in the off-the-turf San Gabriel Stakes can be tossed. An early big move in his second-place finish in the California Dreamin’ Stakes on July 25 at Del Mar caught my eye, and I cashed a win bet on him when he was 16-1 in the California Flag Handicap on October 17. John Velazquez gets aboard, and the Racing Hall of Fame jockey is 4-for-7 for trainer Ruben Alvarado. If you haven’t been convinced yet, Indian Peak also has the best Beyer Speed Figures (courtesy of Daily Racing Form) in the field and is the number 1 Horse Racing Nation Power Pick as well.
Race 7 (Leg 3): Three horses will be on my ticket for this Allowance Optional Claiming event for 4-year-olds-and-up going six furlongs. No. 8 Crash Corrigan (7-2 ML) is the number 1 Horse Racing Nation Power Pick and should benefit from a little less trouble at the gate this time out. Coming out of the same race at a generous 20-1 ML is No. 7 Alpine Thunder. This horse stalked a quick pace and still was around near the wire. Watching the replay of their last race at Los Alamitos, Alpine Thunder seems to have a bigger stride than Crash Corrigan and with the odds differential on the two, I have to include them both. No. 1 Admirably (4-1 ML) ran an 87 Beyer Speed Figure last time out at Del Mar at 6F which is the highest last out of anyone else in the field.
Picks: 8, 7, 1
Race 8 (Leg 4): As discussed on the Ron Flatter Racing Pod , the rivalry continues between No. 9 Warren’s Showtime (5-2 ML) and No. 12 Leggs Galore (3-1 ML) in this Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint. On the downhill turf course at about 6 1/2 furlongs, these two mares make the most sense and they are also both in the top 3 Horse Racing Nation Power Picks. For some opportunities to outrun their odds I’m going to add both No. 1 Alice Marble (8-1 ML) and No. 2 California Kook (8-1 ML). Jockeys Flavien Prat and John Velazquez are each winning at greater than 35 percent and they have the respective mounts on these two mares. For more info, check out the Horse Racing Nation Hot Jockey Report.
Picks: 9, 12, 1, 2
Race 9 (Leg 5): The return of No. 3 Brickyard Ride (9-5 ML) in the California Cup Sprint Stakes provides another chance to single. Trainer Craig Lewis fires at just a 6 percent with horses coming in off 61-180 day layoffs. However, the sample size is only 18. Brickyard Ride has faced the likes of Ginobili, C Z Rocket, Dr. Schivel, Eight Rings, and Flagstaff. He gets significant class relief here and this may be just the starting point of what could be an exciting year for this 5-year old.
Race 10 (Leg 6): Two singles afford the ability to spread in the last leg of the sequence: the California Cup Oaks going one mile on the turf. Several promising fillies are either still maidens or trying turf for the first time. Many have a chance to win so I’m using No. 3 Vivacious Vanessa (4-1 ML), No. 6 Eleuthera (15-1 ML), No. 7 Professors’ Pride (5-2 ML), No. 8 Dendera (12-1 ML), No. 10 - La Deuxième Etoile (20-1 ML), No. 11 Rose Dawson (7-2 ML), and No. 12 Vaping Angel (15-1 ML). A price would be nice here to cash in on what will be a $67.20 ticket (see below).
Picks: 3, 6-8, 10-12
R5:3, 5, 7, 8
R7:1, 7, 8
R8:1, 2, 9, 12
R10:3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12
Looking for even more Santa Antita insight? The Paddock Prince has you covered with full-card selections, analysis, and suggested wagers!