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TVG racing expert Emily Shields is back and bringing us her predictions for Saturday at Churchill Downs and Santa Anita.

Racing continues in California at both Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields this weekend. There is one stakes race for fillies or mares at each track both Saturday and Sunday, topped by the $200,000 Santa Maria (G2).

Santa Anita

Santa Anita Saturday - $100,000 Honeymoon Stakes (G3)

Best Bet: #9 Stela Star ran huge when second behind Warren’s Showtime in her American debut on March 7. A Group 3 winner in Ireland, Stela Star was transferred to the barn of John Sadler and rallied from second-last in a 13-horse field to miss by less than a length.

Longshot: #7 Red Lark broke her maiden over this 1 1/8-mile trip on February 9 after shipping in from Ireland as well. Patrick Gallagher trains the filly, who did run fifth in the China Doll at a mile here March 7 but was beaten less than two lengths for the win.

Santa Anita Sunday - $200,000 Santa Maria (G2)

Best Bet of the Day: #2 Ce Ce is coming off two straight Grade 1 wins and is a likely winner over this group, including Hard Not to Love who she has beaten before. The lightly-raced filly shipped to Oaklawn Park to defeat a huge field from the outside post in the Apple Blossom (G1). Michael McCarthy trains.

Longshot: #3 Fighting Mad was a sharp stakes winner at Del Mar last summer and at the time was three for five lifetime, then was off from August 17 until May 17. The Bob Baffert-trainee did not run terribly in her comeback, finishing third but being disqualified to fourth for drifting. She has had one half-mile work since then.

Golden Gate Fields

Golden Gate Saturday – $75,000 Camilla Urso

The five-furlong turf sprint drew a huge field of 10, with four also-eligible entries trying to get in. Although there will be a lot of support for #5 Princess Vivian off two straight wins, she has never tried grass. #6 Fantasy Heat has won three of five at the distance, but makes her first start since September 28. This is her first run in Northern California after all her early success has come down south.

Longshot: #8 Red Livy is unbeaten on this turf course. Although those races came against claiming company, she has speed figures that compete with this field, and more experience on the course than almost anyone else.

Golden Gate Sunday - $75,000 California Oaks

Best Bet: Mind Out was stakes placed at Santa Anita last year after breaking her maiden on the grass at Del Mar. Turf form often transfers and Simon Callaghan will have her primed for this off a second place finish in her 2020 debut.

Longshot: Paige Anne was fourth against graded company last out, but won impressively here in her only try by six lengths. That was over a mile, this is 1 1/16, but she is bred to handle it.


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