Santa Anita Analysis & Selections May, 19 2018 By: Paul Hundley(@vapaul67)

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Saturday of 5MTP providing you coast to coast coverage. While the main focus of the Horse Racing World is on Pimlico and the Preakness Stakes, Santa Anita has a 12 race card. Let’s see if we can decipher some winners today, shall we?

RACE 1: 6-4
6-RED LIVY gets a nice post on the outside of just a field of 6 in this 6 1/2 furlong downhill turf event leading off the card. Has a 6-3-1-1 record at the distance, which includes her last out effort of a 3rd beaten less than 3 lengths at the $50K level. Have to believe Tyler Baze will gun her to the lead, but again, breaking from the outside gives him options. Trainer Phillip D’Amato 22% 2nd off layoff. 4-Lori’s Attitude won a n2L last out on this course and will probably be stalking whoever the early leader is. Rafael Bejarano climbs aboard for the first time for Carla Gaines. Really any of the 6 could win this race and not be a shock.
RACE 2: 3-1-2
Another race hard to gauge. 3-CARNIVOROUS is a FTS by Square Eddie (16%) for Doug O’Neill. His Dam Charred Rare has had 2 runners make the track, and both have won. Nice 3 furlong work 2 weeks ago followed by a routine maintenance drill last Friday. O’Neill’s go to guy Mario Gutierrez in the irons. 1-Luck’s Royal Flush was midpack of 7 in debut as the 6/5 favorite. Puts Blinkers On today for Jeff Bonde. Has big advantage over the FTS in here with the experience of a race.
RACE 3: 2-4
2-INSUBORDINATION broke his maiden 2 back versus Cal bred $50K MC’s, then last out was put on the downhill turf vs OC’s, setting pace before finishing 5th. While is in a protected race again today, is only facing horses with 1 victory each. Pretty sure he has the early lead as he’s been first at the 1st call the last 6 races. If 4-Catfish Hunter repeats his November 23rd race at Del Mar everyone else is running for 2nd. Has been off since but has a Trainer in D’Amato 21% with long layoffs.
RACE 4: 1-10-2
1-FLUORESCENT has been off slow in both career starts, including last out when making first turf start. Rebounded nicely making up 7 lengths in the stretch to finish middle of the pack in 5th. Should appreciate the 9 furlongs today, and Trainer Jerry Hollandorfer is 19% 1st route. 10-Brandon’s Law could be the early pacesetter, just missing by 1/2 length last out vs level going a mile. Maldonado and Cerin are 4 of last 5 together.
RACE 5: 6-2-3
6-OH SCATTY OH has been going turf and/or routing for most of her 16 race career, now tries this Sprint distance for the first time. Trainer Steve Miyadi is 22% route to Sprint, and 35% down 2 or more class levels. 2-Trap Queen drops to lowest tag of her racing career after trying starter allowance company the last couple of tries. Will be showing early speed and could be on the lead early.
RACE 6: 10-4-9
While Bob Baffert unveils yet another potential three year old monster in 3-Explorer, thinking the experience 10-BENEFICENT got in his race a couple of months ago will be the difference here. Was sent out from the inside and led a hotly contested pace going into stretch before being able to hold on for the place spot. Has worked extremely well since. Trainer Art Sherman 7 of last 17 with beaten favorites. 4-Explorer was a $1.25 million purchase at the Ocala 2 year old in training sale last year but is just now making debut. Working very well in the mornings as most of Baffert’s horses do. His unraced Dam, Remember, is a perfect 3 for 3 so far with her racing progeny.
RACE 7: 4-11-8
Another on the downhill. 4-JIMMY CHILA hasn’t been on turf since debut, a promising 3rd at Del Mar beaten less than a length. For whatever reason, switched to dirt where he was somewhat competitive but unable to break maiden before being thrown in the deepest of ends in Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby versus likes of eventual Kentucky Derby winner Justify, Bolt d’Oro, and Instilled Regard. Drowned, figuratively speaking, that day, beaten nearly 30 lengths. Apparently the light bulb went off above either Paul Reddam’s or Doug O’Neill’s heads with an idea of “HEY! This horse ran well in his only turf run. Let’s try him there again!” Better late than never I guess. 11-Englander closed nicely in turf debut on downhill last out, making up nearly 4 lengths. D’Amato is 19% 2nd turf race.
RACE 8: 5-4-3
5-KOCHEES was 2nd at this level last out, of course that was on the downhill turf, and this is on dirt. However did have a 2 1/2 length win vs $8K claimers 2 back on dirt. Jonathan Wong is a spectacular 41% going turf to dirt, and this 8 year old gelding’s record at the 6 furlong distance is 17-7-3-3. 4-Bargaining was a half length winner last out versus $12.5K level in first start under David Jacobson, running highest speed figure(tied for) of career. While the assumption might be that he bounces, Jacobson is 21% with winners, showing he can keep horses in good form for longer than 1 race.
RACE 9: 6-11-7
The Fran’s Valentine, that used to be run at Hollywood Park on Gold Rush Day. 6-MOONLESS SKY hasn’t been seen since January when she finished an uninspiring 7th in an OC, but 2 back did register a win at today’s 1 mile distance. Was 2nd in this race last year, placing 1st via DQ. Has a 8-5-1-1 record at the distance, and is 4 of 6 at Santa Anita. Kent Desormeaux, who has been aboard for all 5 of her career wins, retains the mount today. 11-Barbara Beatrice has been alternating between dirt and the downhill turf, but has been competitive in several statebred stakes, including a win in the California Distaff last October.
RACE 10: 4-1-8
I HATE this race, no seriously. If this race were an actual person I would punch it in the face…. IN THE FACE! Anyways, 4-POISE TO STRIKE makes 2nd career start,  was 3rd of 9 versus this level back in August ’17, now switches to Val Brinkerhoff as trainer. While new trainer is 0 for 17 in 2nd career starts, is 20% off a long layoff of 90 days or more. Place horse in debut came back to win next out. 1-Perfect Wagerdrops into MC ranks for first time for Jeff Mullins(21% doing so) and is breaking from the rail 2nd consecutive race. Last time out showed more speed early, battling until fading in stretch. Perhaps class drop will help speed to hold.
RACE 11: 3-9-10
3-TWO THIRTY FIVE was 4th finishing behind both 9-Ike Walker and 7-Kid Charming, but gets Franklin Ceballos back and loses Rajiv Maragh. Two back scored a length and a quarter win with the 5lb apprentice on. 9-Ike Walker after that win vs similar, tried OC $62.5K level to not so good results, now goes back to a level proven at. Is 4-2-0-1 at today’s 8.5 furlong distance. Baffert’s charge in here faces winners for the first time and will probably be bet down.
RACE 12: PASS, my brain hurts from the Royal Wedding this morning. See ya next Saturday everyone!

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