Horse racing, Santa Anita

Updated Santa Anita picks for Thursday, Feb. 27 (OFF THE TURF)

According to Steve Andersen of the Daily Racing Form, Santa Anita began sealing the track after training hours in anticipation of rain beginning late Wednesday/early Thursday so I think you can pretty much forget about turf racing this week at the Great Race Place. Just pretend they are racing at Los Alamitos this week (no grass).

Be careful in your handicapping with rain in the forecast and get those mud ratings out. We handicapped the grass races as is and will make changes on Thursday morning, if and when they are taken off the turf.

FIRST RACE: 1. Belonging, 2. Silk in Silver, 3. Sheza Eyeopener. LONG SHOT: Perfect Tango.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Pray Hard, 2. Oh Daddy Oh, 3. Well Measured. LONG SHOT: Image of Joplin.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Arctic Code, 2. Zackos My Man, 3. Sudden Rumor. LONG SHOT: This Cat’s Awesome.

THIS RACE IS OFF THE TURF. Up grade the chances of Sudden Rumor and This Cat’s Awesome.

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FOURTH RACE:  1. Change of Plan, 2. Londinium, 3. Anabaa Premium. LONG SHOT: Tuckers Point.

This gelding, CHANGE OF PLAN, is dropping in class for red-hot trainer Peter Miller and apprentice jockey Drayden Van Dyke. He has speed and Van Dyke used that speed to win one back. The 4-year-old tries two turns for the first time in a year, but broke his maiden going a distance of ground. Plus if it rains, he has decent mud breeding.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Readyforhercloseup (SCRATCHED), 2. Love Tale (SCRATCHED), 3. Hard Buns. LONG SHOT: Lilly’s Perfect.

THIS RACE IS OFF THE TURF

New selections: 1. Fiesta Express, 2. Lilly’s Perfect, 3. Four Better. LONG SHOT: Gittel.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Onna Bugeisha, 2. Sheza Dish, 3. Dreamy Blues (SCRATCHED). LONG SHOT: Fleet Causeway.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. American Act, 2. El Commodore (SCRATCHED), 3. Stoney Fleece (SCRATCHED). LONG SHOT: Jonny’s Choice (SCRATCHED).

THIS RACE IS OFF THE TURF

New picks: 1. Batti Man, 2. American Act, 3. County Lineman. LONG SHOT: Royal F J.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. New Nature (best bet), 2. Divine Way, 3. Very Thankful. LONG SHOT: Tiz But a Dream.

That old long shot team of jockey Omar Berrio and trainer A C Avila might not get big a price here, but this 3-year-old filly NEW NATURE has a big shot. After a two-month layoff, she ran a decent third at this level and depending on the first-time starters could be the speed of the race. She has a nice cozy outside post plus she has good mud breeding, if it rains.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 2 (Key Vista $3.80, third race; Indygo Andy $5, ninth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 2 (Hog’s Hollow $5.20, second; Pathway to Yes $12, sixth)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (Buckingham Bull $30.60, fifth)

Sunday’s long shot winners: 3 (Jetbird $5.80, first; Presiding Justice $11.80, seventh; Street Swap $8.60, eighth)

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