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Santa Anita Park Picks and Plays Saturday, April 4, 2015

Santa Anita Park Picks and Plays Saturday, April 4, 2015: The races at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, April 4, will be a big party for people who love horse racing and will be highlighted by a duo of Grade I races, the Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks. Santa Anita Park offers big incentives for bettors, like the Late Pick 4 that guarantees $750,000. This week we’re analyzing a few of the races on Saturday’s card, including some Late Pick 4 races for those people looking for the big prize!

Santa Anita Park Picks and Plays April 4, 2015

A one-two punch from the Bob Baffert barn drew the one-two post positions, and barring the rarity of a dead-heat for first, the Hall of Fame trainer would settle for a one-two finish from his two 3-year-olds in Saturday’s Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, undefeated Dortmund and impressive 9 ¾-length last out winner One Lucky Dane. Photo: Zoe Metz

Race #3: 7,9,6
Grazen Sky is moving up in class, and his last race indicates that as more distance is added, he will run increasingly well. In that race, Grazen Sky covered more ground than the rest of the field and was able to win very easily while also recording the best final furlong time. This horse will appreciate the added distance, and if he does not give ground advantage to any of his rivals, he will be very tough to beat. Gimme Da Lute looked very promising in breaking his maiden over 6½ furlongs. He has high speed figures, enough to beat this field if Grazen Sky does not fire. The Garcia/Baffert combo has been hot lately, so with those connections you can’t miss this race. Chief of Staff faced tougher competition in his last race and did not look too bad in finishing third as he gave the impression that he had some gas left in the tank.

Santa Anita Oaks (GI)
Race #7: 6,5
Stellar Wind ran slowly at the start of the Santa Ysabel (GIII), but she was still able to come off the pace and win very easily. She likes the distance here, and if she does well in this race, she could blow over into the Kentucky Oaks starting gate as one of the favorites. Luminance remains unbeaten in two starts and, according to her workouts, should be ready to run big in this race. Luminance has been considered a superstar since her debut, and this is her chance to demonstrate her talent.

Santa Anita Derby (GI)
Race #8: 1,4
The unbeaten Dortmund is certainly all heart. He has won all of his battles and never given up, a huge advantage for a Derby-minded colt. He will be the warranted heavy favorite in this race. If you’re trying to beat him, you can use Bolo, a horse that ran pretty well in his first race on the dirt in the San Felipe Stakes (GII). His chances will drastically increase if he tries to run more relaxedly in the early stages. Also, Mike Smith in the saddle is a plus.

Providencia Stakes (GIII)
Race #9: 8,9,4,7
The Providencia Stake (GIII) is a wide open race with each member of the field having a chance to win. In spite of that, we’re trying to hit this race by focusing on four fillies. Prize Exhibit was a runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, 5½ lengths behind Lady Eli. Three months later, she returned in an $80K optional claiming event to win after running hard in the stretch. She has been training very well and should be fit for this race. Havanna Belle made her U.S. debut at Santa Anita over 6½ furlongs on the downhill track, and she ran like she needed the race. This filly should appreciate the stretch out to a mile, and after her last decent race, she’s eligible to turn the tables. on the rest of the field. Entrechat is moving up in class, and the way she smashed the field when she broke her maiden indicates she is a serious filly. When Frosty Friday broke her maiden, she behaved like a filly who truly loves the grass. Now with Mike Smith in the saddle, she’s capable of both continuing her improvement and beating this field.

Thunder Road Stakes
Race #11: 4
The Argentinean Winning Prize returned to racing on March 7, 2015, after a long layoff. In that race, he did not show speed and just sat in fourth position while stalking the pace, just waiting for some racing room away from the rail. Winning Prize ran evenly in the stretch and finished fifth. Winning Prize needed the race, and now we should see him showing more speed. If all goes well, this horse could handily win this race, probably in gate-to-wire fashion. There are also some other South American horses running here. Ganesh is a Brazilian-bred who had a good campaign in Argentina, but the mile distance here is too short for him. The same goes for Quick Casablanca, a Chilean horse who might need more ground. In a one-mile race, a healthy Winning Prize is very tough to beat, so I’ll be using him as a single.

Picks & Plays
In Race #3, I’m playing Grazen Sky to win and place.
Pick 3 starting in Race #7:
7) 6,5
8) 1
9) 8, 9, 4, 7
In the finale, race #11, I’m playing Winning Prize to win. He’s really the best bet of the day.

Related Links:
Santa Anita Oaks 2015; Who Will Prevail on Kentucky Oaks Trail?
Dortmund Expected to Score Again in Santa Anita Derby
Santa Anita Derby 2015: Line Maker Places Odds on 5k Jockeys