There are a few reasons to take a look at the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.
First, the race is part of the late pick 4 and 5 sequence. Second, the race might give us a little preview of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Third, once the better two-year-olds start sorting themselves out, we can start with the early Kentucky Derby thoughts.
I found the race ripe for an upset. I’ll run down the 8 horses;
1- Touchdown Brown comes in this off 3 sprints. Even with blinkers off I have to think will add to the pace.
2- Rombauer, turf to dirt and has some bottom to him. I think he gets a pace to run into and is a contender I would not discourage anyone from using, though he is not where I landed.
3- Dyn O Mite is still a maiden and looks a cut below these to me, was close to Rombauer on the grass, but I don’t see him in here.
4- Notable Exception is intriguing and looks fast. If there was not so much pace, I see in here, I could have easily landed here. He should be out winging if he handles the dirt, and I think he will, but I think there is too much heat for him. He will also be overlooked off the one synthetic start.
5- Spielberg is a Grade 1 placed maiden from Bob Baffert, and you have to consider anything Bob brings over. While I respect him, I think he too is up against it pace-wise.
6- Get Her Number is a must use for me. Peter Miller brings them ready, and this turf to dirt runner is bred for dirt and has some bottom off the route. He will be coming off the pace in here, and that is a big plus. Very dangerous, but not my go-to in here.
7- Weston, three sprints, two stakes, and speed. Another who adds to the pace.
8- Waspirant is where I land, only narrowly over Get Her Number. He will be able to close into a hot pace and should like this distance. I think the blinkers will have him focused and sharp but won’t change the off the pace style. Rispoli helps, and he should be running when at least some of these are stopping. He is 6-1 on the morning line, and while that is fair, all things considered, I think he will go higher than that.
I’ll single Waspirant in the late sequences and play him to win and in some exactas. Of course, I’ll be taking notes on these and see if we have any Derby types or any clues into the Juvenile, which will be here before we know it.
Without getting too into the Awesome Again, Maximum Security has looked really good to me on the racetrack. I think he looks better than I have ever seen him, and I saw in when he began his career in Florida. I won’t be surprised if we see his A race and a big effort on Saturday.
Enjoy the races this weekend!