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Santa Anita Recap (Sept 28 -30)

Santa Anita Recap for Friday (9-28-18)

Fast main track and firm turf course. One front running winner at six furlongs on dirt. The winning turf course running styles were a patient runner at one mile (placed first via DQ), a stalker at one mile, a downhill stalker, and a front runner down the hill (rail at 10 feet).

Mike Smith booted home a pair.

Sept 28 Claims: Race 3 - Discatsonthesquare ($16k, John Martin), Bobbie Lincoln ($16k, Reed Saldana). Race 5 - Alvaaro ($40k, Doug O’Neill).

Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes Recap (9-28-18) - Winner: Stormy Liberal

Stormy Liberal sure knows where the wire is located, and he tagged his front running stablemate Conquest Tsunami right on the line to win by a head. My value top choice Caribou Club flew late to finish 3rd at 7.80-1.

Stormy Liberal Horse Racing Handicapping Past Performances 
Santa Anita Recap for Saturday (9-29-18)

Fast main track and firm turf course. One front running winner at 6.5f on dirt. The winning turf course running styles were a patient runner at five furlongs, an outside presser at one mile, an outside stalker at one mile, a stalker at a mile and a quarter, and a dueling front runner down the hill.

Hat trick for Joel Rosario. Riding doubles for Tyler Baze and Flavien Prat. Training doubles for Bob Baffert, Jack Carava, and Jerry Hollendorfer.

Sept 29 Claims: Race 5 - Fire to the Wire ($16k, Andrew Lerner), Spokane Eagle ($16k, Paul Aguirre).

Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes Recap (9-29-18) - Winner: Game Winner

Rowayton got the early lead as expected, but Game Winner and Joel Rosario never allowed him any breathing room. The latter finally inched clear by a 1/2 length in the lane, and he was more than four to the good on the line in a solid effort throughout. Gunmetal Gray was in a good spot in third from the outset, and he got past Rowayton by a length in the late stages. Jefe and Sigalert trailed throughout. The pace was contested but controlled, and final time for the 8.5 trip was 1:43.77.

Game Winner Horse Racing Handicapping Past Performances 

Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes Recap (9-29-18) - Winner: Bellafina

The 2-year-old fillies in California continue to go fast early and slow late, and they will be vulnerable to route oriented runners in the coming weeks and months. Bellafina took blinkers off and sat behind Vibrance early, but they were rolling along through fractions of 22.88 and 46.51. Bellafina took over after six furlongs and won by 6+ lengths over early runner and clear place finisher Vibrance. Brill was well clear of Der Lu in 3rd, and maiden Del Mar May was the distant trailer. They slowed down considerably and stopped the clock in 1:44.59.

Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes Recap (9-29-18) - Winner: Vasilika

Win machine Vasilika stalked, pounced, and scored again under Flavien Prat, and she proved that she could handle ten furlongs in the process. Sophomore filly Paved finished nicely for the place, and Cambodia did all of the pace dirty work and was best of the rest in 3rd. Beau Recall rallied to finish 4th, and was followed by Amboseli, Sophie P, and fading early runners Queen Blossom and Tisbutadream.

Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes Recap (9-29-18) - Winner: Accelerate

Accelerate was fractious in the gate and did not have a great start from the outside post, and he was wide around the first turn. In the meantime, West Coast was eager to run early off a layoff, and he ran hard from start to finish. Accelerate advanced steadily outside and his class was the telling factor in a 2-1/4 length victory under Joel Rosario. I thought West Coast ran great in his first start since the Dubai World Cup. He needed a stiff BC Classic prep, and this race definitely served that purpose. He gamely held the place over Isotherm, followed by Prime Attraction, The Lieutenant, and a fading Shades of Victory.

Accelerate Horse Racing Handicapping Past Performances 

Unzip Me Stakes Recap (9-29-18) - Winner: Travieza

Longshot Travieza ($44.40) dueled on the pace, opened up a clear lead in the lane, and won by a comfortable 1-1/4 over post time favorite Ms Bad Behavior. Spiced Perfection nipped Hey Negrita and Out of the Flames for the show. All three of those runners ran okay, and the top five were clear of the other seven entrants.

Santa Anita Recap for Sunday (9-30-18)

Fast main track and firm turf course. Four front running winners on dirt (3 @ 6f, 1 @ 7f). The winning turf course running styles were a patient runner at nine furlongs, a front runner down the hill, a patient runner at a mile and a quarter, and a downhill front runner to end the card (rail at 20 feet).

Heriberto Figueroa booted home a pair. Tyler Gaffalione and Mike McCarthy teamed up for two wins including Liam the Charmer in the G2 John Henry Turf Championship. Mike Smith and Jerry Hollendorfer teamed up for two dirt sprint maiden wins.

Sept 30 Claims: Race 7 - Spectacular Move ($25k, William Morey). Race 8 - Old Indian Trick ($25k, Jack Carava), Catch Fire ($25k, Paul Aguirre).

Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes Recap (9-30-18) - Winner: Vale Dori

It was not a surprise to see a Bob Baffert runner win the G1 Zenyatta, but almost everyone was expecting it to be overwhelming favorite Abel Tasman. However, her stablemate Vale Dori stole the show and returned to form in a game 3/4ths of a length tally over late runner La Force. Shenandoah Queen set the pace and was best of the rest in 3rd, and Lemoona was 6+ lengths clear of Abel Tasman in 4th. The latter broke slow and never got involved, and the show payoffs went through the roof. Subsequent blood tests revealed an illness, and she is still expected to compete in the BC Distaff at Churchill Downs next month. 60-1 longshot Fool’s Paradise was the distant trailer.

Grade II John Henry Turf Championship (9-30-18) - Winner: Liam the Charmer

Morning line favorite Fashion Business scratched, and that left a field of six evenly matched runners. There was not much pace in the race, but that did not stop Liam the Charmer from a rallying last-to-first score over front runner Ashleyluvssugar. Ya Gotta Wanna edged Ann Arbor Eddie for 3rd, and was followed by Secretary At War and a tiring A. P. Ritzy.

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