Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita opinions for Saturday, April 15 (Plus Oaklawn stakes)

Preview: Not a good card for a Saturday and barely a good weekday card. That’s why Santa Anita should have let Los Alamitos have three weeks of all dirt racing in this spot. Today, Santa Anita has the turf rails at 30 feet. Seriously, 30 feet. That means only 8 horses get in the race and 4 others are scratched. On a weekend? Really? Do that on a Thursday or Friday but not a Saturday when you probably have your highest handle. It makes no sense. Beside, it compromises closers on the grass with the rails at 30 feet. Speed has the edge so beware. But hey, remember, Frank Stronach is a genius.

Race 2 – SA
#7 Champagne Charley (6-1) TURF ONLY ****
Our Eyes: Now just forget everything I just said about the closers. I like this gelding making his second start off the layoff and the fact that Gary Stevens takes the mount with many of the top jockeys out of town riding in Arkansas and Keeneland.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 7 – SA
#2 Crimson and Gold (10-1) TURF ONLY (10-1) ****
Our Eyes: Think this one is a little underrated. The filly is coming out of a key race and trainer Paddy Gallagher 20% with horses off a 31 to 60-day layoff. Grass specialist Brice Blanc rides.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Race 10 – SA
#9 Water Down (8-1) TURF ONLY ****
Our Eyes: Interesting move by jockey Stewart Elliott and his agent here. They could have ridden Insubordination (7-2) or Hi Heat Boy (10-1), but instead they get on this first-timer. The sire Good Journey wins 11% of the time first out on the grass.
Jeff’s Playbook: 4 units to win, 5 units to place and 6 units to show.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

OAKLAWN PARK STAKES RACES

Seventh race (Grade III Count Fleet): 1. Wabel, 2. Whitmore, 3. Moe Candy. LONG SHOT: Holy Boss.

Whitmore is the horse to beat at 4-5 on the morning line. I like Wabel to close down the lane and will bet to win plus play a big exacta with Whitmore.

Eighth race (Northern Spur): 1. Warrior’s Club, 2. Love That Lute, 3. Cistron. LONG SHOT: Total Tap.

Ninth race (Grade II Oaklawn Handicap): 1. Madefromlucky, 2. Midnight Storm, 3. Domain’s Rap. LONG SHOT: Texas Chrome.

Mightnight Storm should win for fun at 1-2 or less but if you know me I don’t pick odds on horses. I’ll bet we see a “show” plunge in this race.

11th race (Grade I Arkansas Derby): 1. Rockin Rudy, 2. Sonneteer, 3. Malagacy, 4. Conquest Mo Money. LONG SHOT: Untrapped.

Doug O’Neill in a Derby prep with a long-odds horse, hmmm, where have we seen this before? Oh yeah last weekend. Rockin Rudy makes his two turn debut and it should be interesting. Sonneteer is still a maiden, but closed like a freight train in the Rebel and Untrapped has Big Money Mike Smith aboard. Watch out.

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