Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita picks for Sunday, Jan. 26 (updated)

Well that was a pretty bad job of handicapping Saturday’s card. Knew there would be bombers, just didn’t pick any of them.

I usually hone in on a jockey like Kent Desormeaux coming in to ride and I didn’t do that. At least, I hit the exacta where he finished second.

I sort of like Sunday’s card, which probably means ignore my picks, but we’ll do our best with a Pick 6 carryover of nearly $431,000.

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FIRST RACE: 1. Modern Empire, 2. Forest Boy, 3. Private Access. LONG SHOT: Mank.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Melanistic (best bet), 2. Proud Vixen, 3. Branding. LONG SHOT: Yahilwa.

Trainer Micahel Catalano, who normally races at Suffolk Downs, is wintering at Santa Anita and still looking for his for his first win at the Great Race Place. MELANISTIC, a 5-year-old mare, has won four races in Arcadia and Catalano goes to leading jockey Rafael Bejarano here.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Exclude, 2. Alsace, 3. Statman Jerry. LONG SHOT: Murmansk.

EXCLUDE, a $550,000 2-year-old purchase two years ago, hits rock maiden in a $20,000 maiden claimer for trainer Richard Mandella. He’s got some speed and a big work showing. Mandella is 27% with maiden claimers and this one could out-class them.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Black Spirit (SCRATCHED), 2. Horizontalyspeakin, 3. Den’s Legacy. LONG SHOT: Artic North (SCRATCHED). New picks: 1. Horizontalyspeakin, 2. Den’s Legacy, 3. Pure Loyalty. LONG SHOT: American Act.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Writer Fever, 2. Roman Express, 3. Q’ Viva. LONG SHOT: Bert’s Melody.

Trainer Ron Ellis drops this 3-year-old filly WRITER FEVER into a state-bred maiden claimer for the first time. She appears to have tactical speed. Jockey Victor Espinoza wins 37% of the time riding for Ellis at Santa Anita.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Pragmatical, 2. Bird In Love, 3. Diversy Harbor. LONG SHOT: Tizmiss.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Sawyer’s Hill, 2. Chelios, 3. Superlooper. LONG SHOT: Surfer Moon.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Lakerville, 2. Drill, 3. El Commodore. LONG SHOT: Di Giorgio.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Warren’s Tyler S., 2. Tribal Smoke, 3. Fit to Rule. LONG SHOT: Ithoughtipaidyou.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Saturday’s top choice winners: 2 (Well Deserved $3.00, first race; Big Macher $6.20, eighth)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 0

Saturday’s third choice winners: 1 (California Chrome $7, 10th)

Saturday’s long shot winners: 0

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