Horse Racing – Santa Anita Santa Maria Stakes Saturday, February 16, 2013

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A compact field of six insures that pace will make the race in this graded stakes event. Who’s got the early foot & who’s got the late kick? Here’s how I see the race unfolding:

Horse Racing#1 GREAT HOT is one of only two runners in here that has any semblance of early speed. I have a hunch that with the rail draw, the bullet work since raced and the jockey upgrade all could lead to this winless mare in her last 13 starts to be up on the early pace.

#2 BOOK REVIEW makes just her third start in the Bob Baffert barn, which automatically means she is still eligible for continued improvement. But now she faces her elders and seems susceptible to a potentially slowly run race.

#3 PRIVATE AFFAIR has won exclusively on turf. This race is on dirt.

#4 GOING FOR A SPIN is the first of three consecutive runners trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who has had a very solid Santa Anita meet. However, she is a Cal-bred who looks to be the least talented of the three.

#5 LADY OF FIFTY is a graded stakes winner who has won exactly half of her career starts. Automatic contender.

#6 SNOW FALL possess early speed, something in short commodity in this race. A winner of four of seven races contested on fast dirt tracks, I expect her to dictate the pace under relatively soft fractions.

SELECTIONS
1. #6 SNOW FALL – Rapidly improving under King Jerry’s tutelage.

2. #2 BOOK REVIEW – Beat the favorite.

3. #5 LADY FIFTY – Has a nose for the wire.

LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #1 GREAT HOT – Could get brave if my top pick falters.

WAGERING STRATEGY
I’m confident about one thing, and one thing only in this race, and that’s that #6 SNOW FALL should control the early pace. So rather than try to get fancy and go outside my comfort zone, let’s keep it simple and play $50 to win on her.

BANKROLL PLAY
$50 Win #6 SNOW FALL

THE RACE
$200,000 Santa Maria Stakes (G2)
Santa Anita
Race 4 (Saturday, February 16, 2013: post time: 5:03 p.m./ET; 2:03 p.m./PT)
1 mile and one sixteenth on the main track (fillies and mares, four-year-olds and up)

 

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