Race 7 @ Santa Anita - PICKS: 5-3-2-1
The harsh month of February is complete (thank goodness!) and now the madness of March is upon us!
We head out to the West Coast to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California for the $100,000 Tiznow Stakes for state bred 4-year-olds and up over one mile on the dirt. The small field of five will go to gate for race 7 on the 8-race card with an approximate post time of 7:03 p.m. ET.
#5, Ernie Banks, Umberto Rispoli, 4-1 - Mr. Cub has finished in the money in seven straight starts (3-2-2) and in his last won an allowance optional claiming race by 1 ¾ lengths as the second choice at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 15. He is 5-4-4 in 22 career starts, but this will be his first graded stakes appearance. Let’s see how he does moving up the ranks. I’ll take a shot with Umberto Rispoli in the saddle for trainer Jonathan Wong. The pick.
#3, Fashionably Fast, Tiago Pereira, 7-5 - The morning line favorite enters today’s race on a five-race win streak, including a triumph in the California Cup Sprint Stakes by a neck over Lieutenant Dan at Santa Anita on Jan. 18. However, he also will be making his first graded stakes start and will be going a mile for the first time in his career. We shall see. Tiago Pereira has the mount for trainer Dean Pederson. Runner-up.
#2, Tiger Dad, Victor Espinoza, 5-2 - Also making his first graded stakes start will be Tiger Dad, who has finished in the money in eight straight races. In his last, he dominated by 6 ¼ lengths as the second choice in an allowance optional claiming race here on Feb. 2. This will be his sixth career start here (2-2-1) so you know he loves the place. Victor Espinoza in the saddle will be a plus for trainer Carla Gaines. A lot to like, but also moving up. Contender.
#1, Oliver, Abel Cedillo, 3-1 - Oliver has finished in the money in five of his last seven starts including a runner-up finish in an allowance optional claiming race at Santa Anita here on Feb. 8. His last win was by 1 ½ lengths as the second choice in the E.B. Johnston Stakes at Los Alamitos on Sept. 7. Another in today’s field that will be making his first graded stakes start. Abel Cedillo has the mount for trainer Doug O’Neill. In the mix.
By Lou Monaco