Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Sunday, Jan. 3

Preview: Not a bad card. The smallest field is seven horses. Peter Miller leads the trainer standings (through Friday) with 4 winners from 18 starters. Stalwarts Jerry Hollendorfer, Bob Baffert, John Sadler and Doug O’Neill are a combined 3-for-54. Ouch, that’s lots of money burned.

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Race 5: #3 Frac Candy (8-1)

Jockey Santiago Gonzalez could have ridden another horse in this race, but he decided to stay with this son of Twirling Candy for trainer Peter Miller. The 3-year-old is cutting back and should be plenty fit for this race.

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Race 7: #6 Shrinking Violet (4-1)

This mare is 1-for-1 over this hill course and has won 7 of 13 races on grass for trainer Wesley Ward. Jockey Kent Desormeaux keeps the mount and he’s 18% with Ward.

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Race 9: #10 Hobbits Hero (3-1) BEST BET

Trainer Richard Baltas is playing poker here as he drops this gelding down a level even though the 5-year-old is 4-for-5 on this course and 4-for-6 at the distance. Baltas and jockey Rafael Bejarano are a 34% combo at Santa Anita.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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