Santa Anita Park Report (Jan. 1-5)

Santa Anita Recap for Wednesday (1-1-20)

Fast main track and firm turf course. Three front running winners on dirt (6f, 8f, 6f). The winning turf course running styles were a stalker sitting in 2nd at one mile, a pace prompter at one mile, an outside stalker sitting in 3rd at one mile, a stalker at 5.5 panels, and a stalker from the inside post at a mile and an eighth (rail at 10 feet).

Tiago Pereira booted home a pair. Richard Baltas saddled three turf route winners. Peter Miller saddled two winners.     

The Rainbow 6 pool was $191,479, and multiple winning tickets paid $6,819.48 each. There will be a jackpot carryover of $161,456 when live racing resumes on Friday, Jan. 3.

Joe Hernandez Stakes (G2) Recap (1-1-20) – Winner: Texas Wedge ($6.20)

Bay Musik was sent to the lead from the outside post, and surface switcher Captain Scotty chased him intently. Texas Wedge stalked from post 4 and was in tight between horses on the backstretch. Flavien Prat did not panic, and he rallied and surged to the lead in the stretch, and he scored by a bit less than a length. Double Touch got past Bay Musik very late to land the place. Blitzkrieg was along for 4th in a race he probably needed. Captain Scotty weakened to 5th, and was followed by Grinning Tiger, Tribalist, True Valour, Legends of War, and Carnivorous.   

Jan. 1 Claims: Race 5 – Love a Honeybadger ($25k, Brian Koriner), Nomizar ($25k, Hector Palma), Tapitha Bonita ($25k, Steve Miyadi). Race 7 – Winning Element ($40k, Andrew Lerner).

Horses To Watch:

Race 7 (Boogalute) – I thought Boogalute was the controlling speed, but he lost his early advantage after a bad start under Flavien Prat. He rallied for the show in a better than appears effort.

Race 10 (Southern King) – Musawaat beat Southern King by a 1/2 length in Sunday’s finale at Santa Anita, and trips made all the difference. The winner saved ground stalking the pace from the inside post, and the runner-up stalked wide throughout, and was pushed out in the stretch when Golden Birthday took a bad step. Southern King could have easily scored with a different trip.

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Santa Anita Recap for Friday (1-3-20)

Fast main track and firm turf course. One front running winner at six furlongs on dirt. The winning turf course running styles were a stalker at a mile and an eighth, an outside midpack stalker at one mile, a dueling front runner at 5.5 panels, and a front runner at one mile (rail at 20 feet).

Ruben Fuentes booted home a pair.

The Rainbow 6 pool was $142,632 and multiple winning tickets paid $510.20 each. There will be a jackpot carryover of $194,110 when live racing resumes on Saturday, Jan. 4.

Jan. 3 Claims: Race 2 – Black Storm ($16k, Gary Stute), Roaring Fork ($16k, Peter Miller), Toothless Wonder ($16k, Sean McCarthy). Race 8 – Katsaros ($20k, Jeff Bonde).

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Santa Anita Recap for Saturday (1-4-20)

Fast main track and firm turf course. One front running winner at six furlongs on dirt (8f, 8.5f). The winning turf course running styles were two stalkers at 5.5 panels, a midpack stalker at one mile, a closer at one mile, and a last-to-first closer at nine furlongs.

Riding doubles for Flavien PratJoel Rosario, and Drayden Van Dyke. Training double for Bob Baffert.

The Rainbow 6 pool was $234,562 and multiple winning tickets paid $1,632,18 each. There will be a jackpot carryover of $247,811 when live racing resumes on Sunday, Jan. 5.

Sham Stakes (G3) Recap (1-4-20) – Winner: Authentic ($4.40)


Authentic was my top pick in my TRD video for Jan. 4, and he made short work of this field. He seized control early from the rail under Drayden Van Dyke, and he was clear throughout. He was green in the stretch but it did not matter in this spot. He won by more than seven lengths over stablemate Azul Coast. The latter had no speed and wants all the ground he can get. Zimba  Warrior held off Taishan for 3rd. Scoring was another 8+ back in 5th, and Uncaptured Hero stalked and retreated to last. This was only the second career start for Authentic, and he clearly has speed and talent. He needs to work on some things and we will find out if he is a legit Derby contender in the near future.

San Gabriel Stakes (G2) Recap (1-4-20) – Winner: Desert Stone ($16.20)


I have been a fan of Desert Stone for quite some time, and it was nice to see him return with a graded victory. He broke slow from the inside post, but that was nothing new. Meanwhile, Overdue controlled the pace but was outfinished. Majestic Eagle assumed a short lead in the lane but Cleopatra’s Strike was on the move, and Desert Stone started to get involved from the back of the pack. Cleopatra’s Strike was almost home free but Desert Stone had the outside momentum and surged late to score by a neck. Cleopatra was a solid 2nd as the chalk and Majestic Eagle held 3rd over Chosen Vessel. North County Guy, Overdue, and Acker trailed.

Jan. 4 Claims: Race 9 – Hot Sean ($40k, Mike Puype).

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Santa Anita Recap for Sunday (1-5-20)

Fast main track and firm turf course. Two front running winners at one mile on dirt. The winning turf course running styles were a front runner at one mile, a closer at 5.5 panels, a stalker at 5.5 panels, and a stalker at one mile (rail at 10 feet).

Unberto Rispoli booted home a pair of turf route winners. Drayden Van Dyke and Bob Baffert teamed up for two wins.

The Rainbow 6 pool was $195,296 and multiple winning tickets paid $34,773.60 each. There will be a jackpot carryover of $292,520 when live racing resumes on Friday, Jan. 10.

Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) Recap (1-5-20) – Winner: Bast ($3.20)


Bast towered over her rivals from a class standpoint, and she drew the perfect outside post in this extended sprint. Auberge and Golden Principal battled on the lead from the two inside posts, and Bast tracked them from the outside. Those three dominated throughout and Bast was able to wear down her two inexperienced stablemates to score by a bit less than two lengths. Auberge was second best and Golden Principal finished more than nine lengths in front of Orquidias Biz. K P Dreamin and Lovely Lilia trailed. This was a Kentucky Oaks 2020 points race and Bast is the new leader with 34 points.

Jan. 5 Claims: Race 3 – General Interest ($20k, Peter Miller), Midnight Special ($20k, Bob Hess Jr). Race 8 – Bird ($25k, Steve Knapp), Canadian Game ($25k, Andrew Lerner), Factorial ($25k, Doug O’Neill), Go for a Ride ($25k, Anna Meah).