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Saturday Racing Picks: Santa Anita

TVG's Emily Shields previews Santa Anita's races on Saturday
Emily Shields
Sat, January 16, 10:11 AM

The annual California Cup Day at Santa Anita Park features 10 races exclusively for horses who were bred or foaled in the Golden State. Five of those races are stakes, and they are wide open, giving bettors plenty of opportunity to cash a big ticket.

Santa Anita, Race 4 - $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint - Click here to bet with TVG

A well-matched contest of nine runners sprinting six furlongs on the grass includes #2 Leggs Galore (4-1), who is unbeaten in three starts since switching to the turf. It will be hard to beat #5 Warren’s Showtime (5-2), the favorite who is four for six over the track, but she has yet to win going this short. #7 Mo Seel Cal (3-1) and #4 Sheza Girly Girl (20-1) can be used underneath the top two.

Santa Anita, Race 6 - $200,000 California Cup Oaks - Click here to bet with TVG

Another undeniably wide-open race, this one over a mile on the grass for sophomore fillies. #7 Sensible Cat is coming off two straight wins, one on the turf (her maiden) and then a stakes race on the dirt. #6 Closing Remarks (5-2) drops out of graded stakes company and hasn’t won since August. #5 I’m So Anna (6-1) offers value as she comes out of a dirt race that she didn’t like, and was a stakes winner on the grass two back.

Santa Anita, Race 7 - $200,000 California Cup Derby - Click here to bet with TVG

All eyes will be on #1 The Chosen Vron (8-5), who was a smashing maiden winner here on December 27 for trainer Eric Kruljac. He has to stretch out from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, and there are plenty of other horses to consider here including #3 Big Fish (5-1), who is a stakes winner trying two turns on the dirt for the first time, #4 Good With People (7-2), and then the horse that beat him last out #5 Play Chicken (4-1). Longshot Play of the Day: #7 Positivity (10-1) ran very well in his first three starts, then faced some of the best horses in the division in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity last out, running last. He gets class relief here.

Santa Anita, Race 8 - $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic - Click here to bet with TVG

Best Bet of the Day: #8 Acclimate (5-2) in a race that is also pretty contentious. This multiple graded winner returned off a one-year layoff to run fourth, beaten just two lengths, against better company. He has always been a class act and trainer Phil D’Amato is doing well at the meet. #2 Ward ‘n Jerry (4-1) is four for 13 on this course and is a game old campaigner that will draw money, but he has yet to win in four tries at the distance which is a concern. Popular runner #1 Brandothebartender (6-1) takes the blinkers off.

Santa Anita, Race 9 - $150,000 California Cup Sprint - Click here to bet with TVG

Defending champion #3 Fashionably Fast (5-2) was on a six race win streak last year when he tried much tougher company and struggled. He returns to his friends now but is coming off a long layoff from August 1. #1 Tigre Di Slugo (5-1) has had a prep race and has won three of five overall.

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