Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 16

• Santa Anita Park started the second half of their long six month racing season this past Friday. The main track is playing slow and tiring with times about five to eight lengths slower than normal, but is pretty much free of any bias with both front runners and closers winning their fair share of the races, both short and long. The turf course continues to favor off the pace runners for the most part. Last Saturday was the lone exception, where the course played fair, but most winners are coming from off the pace, both down the hill and going two turns. A $45 horse in the finale Sunday triggered a pick six c/o into this Friday’s program of $68,739, with the single ticket jackpot at $43,252. Santa Anita will only race 3 days this week, but then will return to their normal Thursday through Sunday race week starting

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 15

• Santa Anita Park concluded their 15 week Winter/Spring meet this past Sunday. They start their Spring/Summer meet this Friday, no racing this Thursday, and race through Sunday June 24. One lucky ticket holder, and only one, hit the pick six on Sunday and it paid out at $730,315. The lone c/o into Friday’s racing is the Super Hi Five at $13,617. The main track played fair for the most part over the weekend but on Saturday, the inside lanes were deep and tiring. In fact, the entire surface played that way with the times a good 5 to 8 lengths slower than normal, even though the surface was rated as fast. The turf course continues to favor off the pace runners, even when the rails are 20 or 30 feet out. That scenario can change quickly, especially with most of the winter rains in our rear view mirror. They

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 14

• For the first time in five weeks a weekend was fast and firm at the Great Race Place, as sunny skies and warm temps returned to Southern California. The main track played fair for the most part but did favor early speed on Saturday. The turf course has gone back to favoring off the pace runners, going both short and long, regardless of the placement of the rails. The lone winner over the weekend that was near the pace on the turf was Vasilika, and he was even money in the March Madness Starter Handicap on Sunday. But the good priced horses still prevailed as the pick six carried over Saturday, and then once again on Sunday, as no one had the pick six alive after just four races. Racing resumes on Thursday with the pick six carryover at $339,082, the single ticket jackpot at $245,751, and even the

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 13

• The rains finally ended this past Friday and the main track dried out at Santa Anita over the weekend. The track was rated good Saturday and fast for Sunday, but the surface was tiring and the times were on the slow side, with the exception being Selcourt’s win in the Santa Monica Saturday. The track did play fair except the inside was very good Friday and the outside lanes were the place to be on Saturday. They didn’t use the turf Friday and only for the one stakes on Saturday. They ran two over the course Sunday and the surface was rated “good.” No rain is expected this week so we should be back to fast and firm for the weekend. Racing resumes on Thursday with the lone c/o being the single ticket jackpot of the pick six, which now stands at $144,104. • They ran 3 stakes over

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 12

• There was hardly any rain at all at Santa Anita in January or February, but the gods are making up for it in the month of March. More races off the turf and late scratches this past week for the third consecutive week, and the weatherman shoots for the superfecta this week with rain on Thursday and Friday, then tapering off for the weekend. They have started earlier post times for all race days but that hasn’t worked out very well for the first couple of weeks. Early handle in the wagering card is way off in pick fours and pick fives, and though part of that is due to the weather, most of it is due to the early post times. And most of the trainers dislike it as well as it cuts into training hours and messes with the time constrictions of giving a horse Lasix on

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 11

• For the second consecutive weekend we had rain at Santa Anita Park, and they are going to go for the trifecta next week with rain in the forecast for Thursday through Saturday. In spite of the sloppy/muddy conditions the main track played fair with a good assortment of runners winning on the pace, near the pace, or from well off the pace. The key is whether the horse handles the footing, and due to the lack of rain over the years, it’s difficult to find the mud larks in the past performances. One can go on breeding and the Tomlinson number, but that’s a gamble at best. The key is if they performed well over an off track in the past, they probably will again, regardless of their current form. The races will probably be off the turf most of next week and maybe all of it. The pick

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 10

• We had our first meaningful rain of the meet in week 10 at Santa Anita with both Friday and Saturday conducted on wet fast/sloppy surfaces and no turf racing. But the sun came out Sunday morning, the main track was rated “fast” for race one, and though the turf course was rated as “soft”, it was very close to firm for both turf races. They were both won on or near the lead with the rails 30 feet out. In spite of the rain, the main track played fair the entire week with a good mixture of horses winning on the lead and coming from off the pace. Racing resumes this Thursday and the lone c/o is the single ticket jackpot of the pick six which now stands at $119,746. One of the signature days of the meet is this Saturday with five graded stakes on Big Cap Day.

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Horse Racing News and Notes Santa Anita Week 9

• Week nine is in the books at the Great Race Place where the pleasant Southern California weather continues. However, things change this week with an 80% chance of rain for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, which means an off track and turf races switching to the main track. The main track has played mostly fair the last few weeks, though there have been days where early speed has dominated, especially when the temps got up around 80 degrees. The turf course continues to play fair with an edge to off the pace runners in two turn affairs, regardless of where the inner rails are placed. The track maintenance crew has been changing the rail placement within the day’s card. The rails may start out 20 feet from normal and midway through the card be switched to just 10 feet out, so be aware of this as it is happening more

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Horse Racing News and Notes Santa Anita Week 8

• Week 8 was completed at the Great Race Place with a dry, fast track and a firm turf course and no precipitation in sight for the next 8 days. February may very well go down as one of the driest in many, many years and it’s no better up in the northern half of the state. After a very wet winter in 2017, we are back to “drought” conditions in the Golden State. After a five day race week, the main track favored early speed the last 3 days. It was very difficult to come from very far back unless you just had much the best horse and dominated in class over your rivals. The track has picked up speed and the times have finally returned to normal after being quite slow the first 7 weeks of the meet. The turf course continues to play fair, both long and

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Horse Racing Handicapping Santa Anita News And Notes Week 7

• The temps have cooled off and it feels more like Southern California winter weather with highs in the low sixties instead of the low eighties. There is rain in the forecast this week but it should all be gone by Thursday when racing resumes with a five day week due to President’s Day on Monday, the 19th. The main track was favoring speed to a large degree when the temps got warm but it is now back to a fair race track. The turf continues to play fair and speed has been holding on very well coming down the hill in those unique sprint races. Sunday was a very “chalky” day with only one winner on the card over $10 and that was in the finale with the winner paying $11.20. Six winners on the card paid $4.60 or less and the pick six paid $1027. The only c/o

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