Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 24

TEXAS WEDGE ( June 8): Three year old colt for Peter Miller, off since last November, tried the second allowance condition on Friday down the hill for 3 and up. Off at 7/2 and bet down from a m/l of 6/1 in a field of 10, he broke well and sat in fifth down the hill about 4 lengths off the pace. He fell back on the dirt crossover, then got floated six wide into the lane, yet still rallied late out in the middle of the course to nail down third beaten a length and a half. All in all, an excellent race considering the speed held on early in this race and finished one/two at the wire. “Wedge” had an excellent juvenile season winning 3 of 4 races and has come back as good as ever. He can handle dirt or turf and should be a cinch to

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 23

EL HUERFANO ( May 28): Six year old gelding for Peter Miller, who was just prepping when entered in a sprint for the second allowance condition on Monday, ran a superb race nonetheless for a good second vs. a salty field. Off at 6/1 in a field of 7 sprinting six and a half on the main track, he stalked the leaders from the 3 hole down the back side, stuck his head in front at the top of the lane, then couldn’t hold off the razor sharp favorite late, and was beaten two at the wire. They ran fast early with fractions of 21.89 and 44.60 for the half and he held together well in the drive. He had been off since November and had already won this condition (he was protected while in for the tag), and is best going two turns. This race sets him up perfectly

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 22

CISTRON ( May 25): Four year old colt for John Sadler, away from the races for almost 7 months, returned in Friday’s third for the third allowance condition down the hill for older runners. Off at 2/1 and the second choice in the wagering, he broke well enough from the outside and tracked the leader down the hill just a length off the pace. The leader went wide at the top of the lane and Cistron got floated out five wide, which may have cost him the race. He settled back in and made a strong run through the lane, but couldn’t hold off the favorite and lost by a neck. He galloped out well ahead of the winner just past the wire. He is best on the turf and his best distance is a mile, and this race sets him up perfectly for that next time out. He was

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 21

G Q COVERGIRL ( May 18): Five year old mare for Phil D’Amato has had her fair share of health issues as this was just her 8th career start on Friday, but she is very quick early and can carry her speed over a distance of ground. Off at 6/5 in Friday’s third for the first allowance condition down the hill, she went right to the front under Maldonado and scooted two in front early. She maintained that lead into the lane and re-broke again inside the 1/8th pole for a comfortable two length win, while hand ridden down much of the lane. This was her 4th win in just 8 starts and first on the grass. She looks like she can get at least a mile and is very capable of knocking out the second condition. If D’Amato can keep her sound and happy, she has stakes potential as

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 20

SPARKY VILLE ( May 11): Two year old colt for Jeff Bonde made his debut in Friday’s second for special weights at four and a half on the main. Off at 3/1 in a field of 8 he was totally void of any early speed and fell back to last early, a good dozen lengths off the pace. That was surprising as Bonde works his horses fast, and this one came into the race with quick drills. Nonetheless, Smith didn’t panic and let this baby settle, then put in a good run from the ¼ pole on home, got up for third and was only beaten about 3 lengths at the wire. The gallop out was particularly strong and he went by the wire to wire favorite quickly after the wire. This son of Candy Ride is a soon winner for a barn that does very well with juveniles. SOUTHERN

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 19

MEAL TICKET ( May 4): Four year old Malibu Moon filly for Matt Chew put it all together in Friday’s second, a maiden special weight affair at 9 furlongs on the lawn for 3 and up. Off at 6/1 in a field of 8, she lagged early and was last into the clubhouse turn about 8 lengths off the pace. She started her rally at the ¼ pole, came five wide into the stretch, then just exploded late to win off by five under a hand ride. She got fast fractions to chase in here of 22.50 and 46.60, but it was still a very impressive turn of foot. The second and third place finishers were both finishing strong, but she went by them like they were standing still. Up the ladder.LEROY (May 4): Four year old gelding for Phil Oviedo made start #2 in his brief career in Friday’s

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 18

BAKERSFIELD SOUND ( April 27): Four year old gelding for Neil Drysdale made his long awaited debut in Friday’s opener, a Cal bred maiden special weight event at a flat mile on the turf. Off at 7/1 in a field of 10, he showed surprising speed and went right to the front from the 3 hole and stole away with quick fractions of 23.11 and 46.74. Van Dyke gave him a breather at the 3/8th pole, then he found another gear at the top of the lane, and zipped away to win by four under a hand ride down the stretch. Just like his father, Acclimation, this one has good speed and can carry it over a good parcel of ground on the grass. He debuted without Lasix and was dead fit for a Hall of Fame trainer. Up the ladder. TOUCHING RAINBOWS (April 27): Five year old gelding for

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 17

YUVETSI ( April 20): Four year old filly for John Sadler had a horrible trip in Friday’s 4th, a second condition allowance sprint on the main track for 3 and up. Off at 7/2 in just a six horse field, she was tracking the pace setters down the back side when the jock ran her up on a horse’s heels at the 5/8, she checked badly, and it pretty much knocked her out of the race. She dove to the inside at the top of the lane and finished on the dead rail to get up for third, but she was beaten a good 7 lengths. This filly showed her true talent the race before when she lost by just a neck to D’Amato’s good filly, Spectator. This daughter of Bodemeister is good enough to knock out this condition, so just draw a line through this race. She can handle

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 16

QUEEN BEE TO YOU ( April 13): Four year old filly for Mike Pender, who had not been to the post since last September at Los Al, came out running in Friday’s finale, a Cal bred first allowance race at six and a half down the hill. Off at 21/1 in a field of 9, she led by two down the hill setting reasonable fractions, re-broke again at the top of the lane, battled gamely down to the end and got nailed late to lose by two and a half at the wire. She had never shown this kind of speed in the past and her style has always been to stalk, whether going short or long. That is a good sign for this filly and she is very versatile, capable of winning short or long, turf or dirt. It doesn’t take a lot of horse to win these Cal

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 15

LONTANI ( April 6): Three year old colt for Bob Baffert made his debut in Friday’s opener, a five and a half furlong sprint on the main for maiden special weight sophomores. Off at 9/2 in a field of six, he broke running under Garcia from the rail, then got shuffled back to last around the half mile pole. Yet he had the courage to come back on again at the top of the lane, dove to the inside and finished well to get second, although beaten by five by his much heralded stable mate, who was off at 1 to 5 and had a perfect trip from the outside. Lontani is bred to go long and I’m not even sure they were really trying to win this race. They needed to get a race into him and they did. They will probably try two turns next out and he

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