Friday, 15 May 2020 00:37

Santa Anita Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, May 16, 2020

Written by Ellis Starr

Key Horse Races & Free Expert Picks For May, 16 2020

Echo Eddie Stakes - Race 6 at Santa Anita - Post Time 6:06 PM Eastern/ 3:06 Pacific

Although Big Sweep (a filly entered against males in this race) won her career debut and only start leading from start to finish, there is evidence she is not a need-the-lead type and won’t get caught up in the likely early pace battle between Stir the Pot, Project Leader and Bettor Trip Nick. Outside of that trio in the gate, Big Sweep may find herself in a great spot in fourth as the field moves down the backstretch, enabling her to take over on the turn and hold off any closers. In that debut Big Sweep earned a field high 99 Equibase Speed Figure and should improve in her second career start. It’s interesting to note trainer Glatt entered her in the race instead of the filly version of this stakes later on the card, likely because he had an idea of who was going to run in that race including a multiple stakes winner in Warren’s Showtime, rather than a number of horses not nearly as proven in stakes. Better still, as a filly Big Sweep gets to carry from five to nine pounds less in jockey and saddle weight then the rest of the field.

Club Aspen is proven in stakes, around one turn and around two turns. He won at six furlongs last August in the second start of his career then last December he won the King Glorious Stakes around two turns. Jockey Velez has been aboard for both wins and rides today. Club Aspen earned a career-best 95 figure when second in a dirt sprint in November before a 93 figure in the King Glorious and could run even better as a more mature three year old.

Summer Fire and Rookie Mistake get honorable mention. Rookie Mistake won a turf sprint in his most recent start on March 6, with Summer Fire a fast closing fourth, beaten a neck for third. While Rookie Mistake eared a higher 96 figure, he is winless in three starts on dirt although he did finish second in one of them. Summer Fire beat him that day and earned his only win in a dirt sprint. Both have a closing style to benefit from the likely contested early pace scenario in this race.

Bets:
Win: Big Sweep to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more AND Club Aspen to win ad odds of 5 to 2 or more

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas:
Big Sweep and Club Aspen over ALL
Big Sweep and Club Aspen over Big Sweep, Club Aspen, Summer Fire and Rookie Mistake

Pick 3:
Race 6: Big Sweep, Club Aspen
Race 7: Strike at Dawn, Desert Oasis, Dogtag
Race 8: Smiling Shirlee, Belle Vita, Been Studying Her, Florentine Diamond, Warren’s Showtime, Homehome
At the $0.50 minimum the cost of the bet is $18

Optionally, you can also play the double from race six to race seven using the horses above in those races.


Race 7 at Santa Anita - Post Time 6:37 PM Eastern/ 3:37 Pacific

Desert Oasis is one of three beneficiaries from a sizzling pace battle between need the lead types She’s Our Charm and Sold It. She moved right through the first allowance condition in February after breaking her maiden the previous July and as she won fresh off a six month layoff there’s no real problem coming back from a three month layoff. Prat taking the call is a big signal she’s ready to pick up where she left off, with a win.

Dogtag finished second with no excuse when last seen on March 8 at the level and distance. She did make the lead between the eighth and 16th poles but was beaten on the square by a length and one-half at the end. However, she had been off since August and changed trainers since then and her workouts in the past month have been solid so this gal who won a stakes last year on Preakness weekend at the trip can get the job done.

Strike at Dawn drops out of graded stakes and returns from six months off. She wasn’t disgraced in the Grade 3 Red Carpet Handicap last fall when leading at the 1 ¼ mile mark then fading to be beaten a nose and head for second. She won at the first allowance condition last July very nicely and has been working well.

Bets:
Win: Desert Oasis at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Pick 3:
Race 7: Strike at Dawn, Desert Oasis, Dogtag
Race 8: Smiling Shirlee, Belle Vita, Been Studying Her, Florentine Diamond, Warren’s Showtime, Homehome
Race 9: Heywoods Beach, Lemonade Stand, Dominant Soul
At the $0.50 minimum the cost of the bet is $27

Optionally, you can also play the double from race seven to race eight using the horses above in those races.

Evening Jewel Stakes – Race 8 at Santa Anita - Post Time 7:08 PM Eastern/4:08 Pacific

Smiling Shirlee is very interesting in this Cal-Bred sprint stakes for fillies, particularly anywhere near her 10/1 starting odds. With as many “early” speed types signed on as in the colt version of this stakes (the Echo Eddie, Race 6), the closers should have a field day. Dim Lights (who just won wire-to-wire in a sprint on grass), Speedy Gigi (wire-to-wire winner in both starts, dirt sprints) and absolute need-the-lead type Bulletproof One can’t keep out of each other’s way here and considering Bulletproof One opens as the 5/2 morning line favorite that makes the race very playable. Additionally, Warren’s Showtime (who opens as the second choice at 3/1) has earned ALL four wins in turf routes and may not be nearly as good on dirt.

Smiling Shirlee won in her debut last July at five furlongs, then finished third to Been Studying Her in a similar Cal-Bred Stakes in August. Two more runner-up efforts in stakes like this one followed. Then came two IRRELEVANT turf tries. When she moved back to dirt for her most recent start in March, Smiling Shirlee rallied nicely from fourth early to draw off easily later. The fact Smith gets on is another plus.

Been Studying Her is three for six in her career but the significant part is she’s a perfect three-for-three in dirt sprints. She won her debut last July then the similar stakes in August as well as another Cal-Bred stakes in November. She returns freshened off a four month layoff and gets Prat so is very likely ready to run big.

You’ll note there are four others listed on the pick 3 (and optional double) tickets above. Of that group there’s one horse I am likely to put a couple of dollars on to win at high odds, and that is Florentine Diamond. She won in her debut in December on dirt by seven lengths then was third in a turf sprint, also against Cal-Breds, before being way overmatched in an open (not Cal-bred) stakes on turf. She’s back with her friends today and a three of her last four works as sensational.

Bets:
Win: Smiling Shirlee and Been Studying Her at odds of 5 to 2 or more.
Bet a couple dollars to win on Florentine Diamond at 8 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exacta: Smiling Shirlee and Been Studying Her over Smiling Shirlee, Been Studying Her, Bella Vita, Florentine Diamond, Warren’s Showtime and Homehome.

For half the amount you play the exacta above (for example the $1 minimum if you played the above for $2), play the opposite of the above exacta, which is Smiling Shirlee, Been Studying Her, Bella Vita, Florentine Diamond, Warren’s Showtime and Homehome over Smiling Shirlee and Been Studying Her.

Optional Double:
Race 8: Smiling Shirlee, Belle Vita, Been Studying Her, Florentine Diamond, Warren’s Showtime, Homehome
Race 9: Heywoods Beach, Lemonade Stand, Dominant Soul

Race 9 at Santa Anita - Post Time 7:38 PM Eastern/ 4:38 Pacific

Lemonade Stand is likely to be LIVE in his career debut, at a mile on grass. I was surprised his morning line is 6 to 1 but there are a few reasons why Jon White didn’t set his starting odds at double digits like the other two first timers. First, Prat takes the call and that means his sharp agent likely figures the colt is talented and ready to show that talent. The sire is Lemon Drop Kid, a decent enough sire of turf route winners. Better still, the dam (out of a War Front mare) has produced two horses which debuted in two-turn turf races, both at the maiden special weight level, and BOTH won. Another plus is even though he doesn’t start many first timers in turf routes, trainer Tim Yakteen (former assistant to Hall-of-Fame trainer Charles Whittingham) has a strong 4 for 11 record going back five years with this type. Considering only one of those which has run has run well enough to win, Lemonade Stand has a big shot in this race.

Heywoods Beach is that one referred to above, as he tipped his hand in his first turf route try, when last seen in March. He rallied from nearly 10 lengths back to miss by a neck in that race and from the rail today he’s going to get a great trip and could improve to win.

Dominant Soul opens at 8/1 and is interesting as a potential upsetter. His odds should drift up as he went to post at odds between 46 to 1 and 89/1 in his four turf routes to date. He had BIG trouble in one of those but in two of his other last three he showed some ability. In one he led from the start and tired to fourth and in the other he finished third of eight. Sire Dominus is a strong sire of turf route winners and the colt’s owner/trainer (Paula Capestro) is a good horseperson who wins with some nice prices once in a while.

Bets:
Win: Heywoods Beach and Lemonade Stand at odds of 7 to 2 or more.
Bet a couple dollars to win on Dominant Soul at 5 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exacta: Heywoods Beach, Lemonade Stand and Dominant Soul over Heywoods Beach, Lemonade Stand, Dominant Soul, Eastern Ocean, No Slo Mo, Leprino, Istanbul and Summer Invasion.