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Horses To Watch Week 2 Santa Anita

•     The Great Race Place completed the second week of their five week Fall meet this past Monday, and for the most part, they have had full fields and good racing. The main track has played fair although the times have been on the slow side while the temps have been warm, reaching 98 degrees on Saturday. The turf course started out the meet favoring late runners but that changed dramatically this past week with many wire to wire winners, both going long and short. The times are fast on the turf. Jockey Kent Desormeaux has been on fire, winning two stakes on Saturday and both of the juvenile stakes on Monday. On Monday, the prices were $11.60 and $16.60. After racing five days this past week, racing resumes this Friday with just three days. The single ticket jackpot of the pick six is now at $305,935.                                                      
•    They had just two graded stakes over the weekend and favorites won both races. In the Grade 1 Sprint Championship on Saturday, Roy H ($3.80) got some revenge from not winning the Bing Crosby at Del Mar, when he was carried wide by a loose horse (Drefong), and got the money in a fast 1:08.68 over the stubborn Cal bred, Mr. Hinx. The winner is four for five this year and his only loss came in the Bing Crosby where he was best. Desormeaux was on the winner and he’s going to be tough in the B/C Sprint November 4th. Ransom the Moon drew the rail and didn’t fire in this race and the 3 year old for Baffert, American Anthem who ran third, just wasn’t good enough. However, Mr. Hinx ran a big race for Steve Miyadi and he was only beaten a length at the wire. He is one solid sprinter and is a bit underrated. On Sunday Unique Bella returned to the races in the Grade 3 L.A. Woman stakes and made short work of the group at 1 to 5. She broke slowly under Mike Smith, but he didn’t rush her early, and she went to the lead on her own into the far turn and simply outclassed the field to win by three and a half under a hand ride. Her target is the B/C  filly and mare sprint on November 3rd and she’s the one to beat. It was tough on Hollendorfer to lose the great filly Songbird to retirement but “Bella” is an ample replacement. Then on Monday, Desormeaux won both the two year old stakes, both a mile on the grass, coming from well off the pace with My Boy Jack in the male division and Fatale Bere with the fillies. Both had exciting finishes with juveniles who hope to run in the B/C turf races in four weeks.
•    With all the Breeders Cup prep races out of the way now, stakes action is pretty slim heading into this weekend. The best race is probably going to be on Saturday when older fillies and mares come down the hill in the California Distaff Handicap for Cal breds. They should have a full field headed up by Long Hot Summer and Moonless Sky. The former has ran 17 times and Joe Talamo has ridden her in all 17 races, but he’s off to Keeneland this week to ride Beau Recall in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth so Flavian Prat has picked up the mount. Others who figure to have a shot in the race are Barbara Beatrice, Chad Chom, Princess Ashlyn, Ready to Hula Lula, and Starlite Style. Then on Sunday, two year olds run six furlongs in the ungraded Speakeasy stakes for $75K.
•    Be careful what you wish for: This past Saturday, Blackjackcat easily won the ungraded Obviously Mile for his 4th win in a row. He grinded out the victory in workmanlike fashion as the odds on favorite and his connections are hoping he will be invited to the Breeders Cup Mile, which is usually oversubscribed. They will allow 14 runners for this race but will probably have 18 wanting to go. Now Blackjackcat is a nice horse, has already won a Grade 2 on this circuit, but he has very little chance in the Mile. He’s a grinder and doesn’t possess that quick turn of foot that it takes to win this type of race. Even if he does get in, he may very well be 50/1 in a race that is usually dominated by European runners.                                                 
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