SECOND RACE (Evening Jewel): 1. Sneaking Out, 2. Tim for Kisses, 3. Ruby Bradley. LONG SHOT: Violette Szabo.
THIRD RACE (Grade I Santa Anita Oaks): 1. Flor de La Mar, 2. Bellafina, 3. Chasing Yesterday. LONG SHOT: Slewgoodtobetrue.
Obviously Bellafina is the filly to beat as the 2-5 favorite and trainer Bob Baffert tries to do it with Flor de La Mar and Chasing Yesterday. Flor de La Mar makes her first start around two turns and Baffert is 28 percent with this move and she’s bred to do so. Chasing Yesterday is coming back a little soon after a win in the March 24 Sunland Park Oaks and that’s not a normal Baffert move.
FIFTH RACE (Grade II Royal Heroine): 1. Space Talk, 2. Vasilika, 3. Meal Ticket. LONG SHOT: Ms Bad Behavior.
Vasilika is 3-5 on the morning-line favorite and deservedly so with nine wins over the course. Space Talk is making her second start in the U.S. and is bred to run all day. Her last looks like a prep to me and huge jockey change to Rafael Bejarano.
SIXTH RACE (Echo Eddie): 1. Tap the Wire, 2. Foster Boi, 3. Lieutenant Dan. LONG SHOT: Midnight Special.
EIGHTH RACE (Grade I Santa Anita Derby): 1. Roadster, 2. Game Winner, 3. Instagrand. LONG SHOT: Nolo Contesto.
If any of these four won the race, it wouldn’t surprise me. Roadster needs the points the most to get into the Kentucky Derby and maybe Baffert has him cranked up more than stablemate Game Winner, who is in the Derby and appears to be racing himself into shape after that huge second in a division of the Rebel. Instagrand also needs a first or second to get into the Derby and he figures to improve off that third in the Gotham.
NINTH RACE (Grade III Providencia): 1. Hostess, 2. Miss Flawless, 3. Lady Prancealot. LONG SHOT: Truffalino.
Hostess (12-1) and Miss Flawless (6-1) are both making their first starts in the U.S. after European campaigns and they are bred to run all day. Trainer Simon Callaghan is 24 percent first time in the U.S. so I lean to her. Miss Flawless is trained by Peter Miller, who is 21 percent with a horse off a 90-plus day layoff.
10TH RACE (Grade I Santa Anita Handicap): 1. Gift Box, 2. McKinzie, 3. Campaign. LONG SHOT: Mongolian Groom.
It certain looks like a two-horse race and the odds suggest that: 4-5 on McKinzie and 6-5 on Gift Box. Loved Gift Box when he beat the ill-fated Battle of Midway in the San Antonio and he has been training well for John Sadler in this spot.
RACE 10 (Grade II Wood Memorial): 1. Haikal, 2. Final Jeopardy, 3. Tax. LONG SHOT: Hoffa’s Union.
RACE 11 (Blue Grass): 1. Market King, 2. Dream Maker, 3. Signalman. LONG SHOT: So Alive.
THURSDAY’S RESULTS (Santa Anita races 2-7)
Top choice winners: 1 (Monydontspenitself $13.60, second race)
Second choice winners: 3 (Railman $2.80, third; Lomu $5.40, fourth; Cinnamon Twist $6.40, fifth)
Third choice winners: 0
Long shot winners: 0