(Note: updated after Saturday’s early scratches.)
The racing year is coming to a close, but our team is still looking for value from coast to coast.
Saturday’s racing action is highlighted by a great card at Santa Anita. It’s so strong, in fact, that it was suggested to Eclipse Award voters to not finalize their ballots until after today’s races.
I have three price plays at Santa Anita, Ed Sehon has two plays at Gulfstream and also tackles the Late Pick 5 at Santa Anita, while Duane Colucci has a long shot at Santa Anita and offers a Late Pick 4 ticket. Note: John Lauro also has a bonus play for us on Sunday.
Good luck today (and every day!).
Gulfstream Race No. 4 (1:35 p.m. ET/10:35 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #6 Swirling Candy (8-1 morning line). “Five-furlong turf sprint is loaded with speed -- and our top choice is no exception. Returning to Gulfstream sod after pair of dull off-the-turf tries at GP West, 3-year-old daughter of multi-stakes winner Twirling Candy appears ready for maximum effort after recent four-furlong bullet work at Palm Meadows. Top journeyman rider Edgar Zayas stays aboard for conditioner Jose D’Angelo. Wager: Win & Place.”
Gulfstream Race No. 6 (2:38 p.m. ET/11:38 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #9 Treasure Trove (8-1 morning line). “There’s nothing quite like a marathon at about two miles to highlight an 11-race Boxing Day card in south Florida. Tip-top young rider Tyler Gaffalione stays aboard consistent (11-4-4 in 2020) 4-year-old gelding for 20%-win trainer Michael Maker after being brushed at the start and losing all chance in prep earlier this month. Look for son of Tapizar to be near front before leading field to the wire. Wager: Win & Place.”
Santa Anita Race No. 4 (3:36 p.m. ET/12:36 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #2 Strongconstitution (12-1 morning line) in the Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Miles Stakes. “Trainer Doug O’Neill thought enough of this 3-year-colt to put him in a pretty ambitious spot in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby last month but now drops him to a more reasonable level (note the Grade 3 runner-up finish last November. Abel Cedillo, who rode Strongcontitution to a minor stakes victory at Del Mar on Nov. 1, will look to repeat that ride just off the pace with a chance to run down the pacesetters in the stretch. Wager: Win & Place.”
Santa Anita Races Nos. 7-11 (5:09 p.m. ET/2:09 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the following $0.50 all-stakes Pick 5 (cost $48)
Race 7: 8
Race 8: 3,4,8,9
Race 9: 1,3,8,9
Race 10: 2,3,6
Race 11: 7,8
Santa Anita Races Nos. 8-11 (5:43 p.m. ET/2:43 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes the following $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $72)
Race 8: 2,3,4,5,6,8
Race 9: 3,4,6,9
Race 10: 3,4
Race 11: 1,4,9
Santa Anita Race No. 9 (6:17 p.m. ET/3:17 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #10 Neige Blanche (12-1 morning line) in the Grade 1 American Oaks. “Noted turf rider Umberto Rispoli picks up the mount on this well-traveled 3-year old filly who campaigned in France, winning the Group 3 Prix Cleopatre back in June before running at Del Mar and Belmont and now returning to California for this spot at Santa Anita. Rispoli should be able to have her off the pace and ready for a late stretch run in this race at a mile and a quarter. Wager: Win & Place.”
Duane Colucci likes #6 Guitty (20-1 morning line) in the Grade 1 American Oaks. “Deep closer broke terribly back in October, compromising her chances. Coming off a slight break with two really nice workouts. Jockey Juan Hernandez has had a fabulous year and should get a clean trip for her closing run. Bet #6 to Win and Place and key 6 over 3,4 & 9 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.
Santa Anita Race No. 11 (7:25 p.m. ET/4:25 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #6 Last First Kiss (20-1 morning line) in the $75,000 Lady Shamrock Stakes. “There’s not much speed in this minor stakes race at a mile on a turf, so I’m taking a flier on this 3-year-old filly to be the controlling pace under Tyler Baze despite the step up in class, and steal this race. Wager: Win & Place..”
Santa Anita Race No. 7 (5:43 p.m. ET/2:43 p.m. PT)
John Lauro likes #11 Single Me Out (12-1 morning line). Dave Tuley note: “Lauro gave us this 5-year-old gelding on Dec. 5 when he ran third. Unfortunately, we didn’t post his play on Single Me Out on Friday, Dec. 18, when he won an allowance optional claiming race at 9-1, but he likes him again as he’s taking another step up in class on Sunday.”