Horse Racing Picks Santa Anita – Saturday, February 8, 2014

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The San Antonio is one of the major Horse Racing Picks stakes races at The Great Race Place for older males and serves as a major prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) next month, a race that could attract 2013 Breeders Cup Classic (G1) first and second place finishers MUCHO MACHO MAN and WILL TAKE CHARGE.

Horse Racing PicksGAME ON DUDE, top handicap horse in California last year who lost to those two in the Breeders Cup, looks to win this race for a third consecutive year. Here’s what I think of him and the rest of the field:

#1 WILLYCONKER has never run on a fast dirt track before. In the past year, he has run in five stakes races on the turf and was a non-factor in each. Pass.

#2 AMERICAN BLEND beat a decent group of second level allowance horses on January 1st. He does his best running on dirt, which helps his cause, but will need to improve significantly to beat the likes of #5 GAME ON DUDE and #3 BLUESKIESANDRAINBOWS.

#3 BLUESKIESANDRAINBOWS has gotten hot in his past few starts. He won with more in the tank when winning the San Pasqual (G2) last time out and before that, he wired the field in the Native Diver (G3).

#4 MAJESTIC HARBOR came off a seven month layoff to run his eyeballs out in the San Pasqual. Second off the layoff, he may be even more fit. That being said, he will need to improve significantly to be able to win this race.

#5 GAME ON DUDE looks to start off his seven-year-old campaign in winning fashion. Earner of $5.7 million, he is seven-for-nine at Santa Anita and seven-for-ten at this mile-and-an-eighth distance. I expect him to go right to the front and say, “Catch me if you can.”

#6 BLINGO has failed to hit the board in the majority of his races and faces arguably the toughest field of his career.

#7 IMPERATIVE has not won a race since March but has managed to hit the board in his last three starts against much weaker. Not seeing it.

Horse Racing Picks

1. #5 GAME ON DUDE – If he runs his race, “Game Over, Dude.”
2. #3 BLUESKIESANDRAINBOWS – Great recent form.
3. #2 AMERICAN BLEND – Good chance he’ll clunk up for a minor award.

LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #4 MAJESTIC HARBOR – Could be more fit this time around.

WAGERING STRATEGY
I would love to beat GAME ON DUDE at his expected short odds, but he appears to be in another class compared to the others in this race. BLUESKIESANDRAINBOWS, his main challenger, also appears to be doing better than the rest. I’ll key these two 1-2 in trifectas and use my third choice, AMERICAN BLEND, and my longshot value play, MAJESTIC HARBOR, to complete the bet in an attempt to extract maximum value out of the race.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$25 Trifectas: #5 GAME ON DUDE over #3 BLUESKIESANDRAINBOWS over #2 AMERICAN BLEND and #4 MAJESTIC HARBOR

 

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