Santa Anita Handicap Horse Racing Picks – Saturday, March 7, 2015

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SEABISCUIT, ACK ACK, SPECTACULAR BID, JOHN HENRY, ALYSHEBA, TIZNOW and GAME ON DUDE are just some of the legendary horses to have won the prestigious Santa Anita Handicap Picks (G1). This year’s edition of the Big Cap features one of the best horses in the world, future legend #5 SHARED BELIEF, and 12 other equine athletes, making for a full starting gate:

Santa Anita Handicap Picks who will win#1 COOL SAMURAI was second behind San Carlos (G2) contender MIDNIGHT HAWK in an allowance race going a mile. He stretches out an extra quarter of a mile and faces tougher competition in this spot.

#2 DIAMOND BACHELOR will be part of the early pace, which is expected to be fast. He has won twice in his career, both wins coming over turf, but is 0-for-6 on dirt and is extremely inconsistent. Not seeing it.

#3 SR. QUISQUEYANO ships in from Florida for high percentage trainer Peter Walder. He was last seen winning the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park while earning a triple digit Beyer Speed Figure (102). If he can run that fast again, he has a chance to hit the board.

#4 DYNAMIC SKY is one of two in here trained by Mark Casse. This son by SKY MESA has run two decent races going a mile-and-a-quarter on turf and switches to dirt for this effort, which he has won on before, which is good to see.

#5 SHARED BELIEF beat 2014 Horse of the Year CALIFORNIA CHROME in the San Antonio (G2) last time out and has only lost once in his career, that being in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), where he was severely hindered at the start. It would be a surprise (to most) if he loses this race.

#6 MORENO was last seen in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) but was also adversely effected at the start. If he’s allowed to set the early pace, he may be able to hold on for second or third, but with #2 DIAMOND BACHELOR in the race, a speed duel is likely.

#7 PATRIOTICANDPROUD is the other Mark Casse trainee and like his stablemate #4 DYNAMIC SKY, is also transferring his form from turf to dirt. However, he has not won since June and will need to improve just to hit the board.

#8 YOU KNOW I KNOW was a distant third in the 2013 Pacific Classic (G1) at 40/1 odds. He’ll have to run a big race to even hit the board today.

#9 CRIMSON GIANT is 1 for 66 lifetime.

#10 IMPERATIVE has lost by double digit margins in his last three starts and is 0-for-7 at Santa Anita. I’ll look elsewhere.

#11 BRONZO beat #8 YOU KNOW I KNOW for fourth in the San Antonio (G2) and was narrowly defeated for third by Grade 1 winner HOPPERTUNITY. The extra furlong should suit this one well and he could pick up the pieces late.

#12 CATCH A FLIGHT won by a neck against a weak allowance field last time out at low odds (4/5). Hall-of-Famer Gary Stevens, who rode this colt in that win, returns to ride. Needs to step it up.

#13 HARD ACES was privately purchased by John Sadler specifically for this race after he won the Louisiana Handicap at the Fair Grounds, where he earned a triple digit Beyer Speed Figure (104). Last weekend, Sadler won the Santa Ysabel (G3) with a filly he purchased privately (STELLAR WIND).

Santa Anita Handicap Picks

1. #5 SHARED BELIEF – Arguably, the best horse in the world right now.
2. #11 BRONZO – Will enjoy going the mile and a quarter.
3. #3 SR. QUISQUEYANO – Coming off the win of his life.

LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY- #13 HARD ACES – Purchased specifically for this race.
Let’s face it, most handicappers expect SHARED BELIEF to win (rightfully so). Problem is, he’ll be underlaid in the win pool and every exotic pool. So while I’ll be rooting for him with my heart, I’ll be rooting against him with my wallet by playing $25 to win on two horses I believe have a chance to upset him.

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