Santa Anita Park’s feature race on Saturday is the San Carlos Stakes (G2), a seven-furlong affair for 3-year-olds and upward that lured American Anthem. The Bob Baffert trainee, who was once among the favorites for the 2017 Kentucky Derby before back-to-back dismal performances in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1), seems to have found his niche as a longer-distance sprinter, notching wins in the Laz Barrera Stakes (G3) and the Woody Stephens (G2), both at seven panels.
He’s the 9-5 morning line favorite.
I’m also intrigued by a John Sadler-trained longshot named Horse Greedy (15-1 on the morning line). The son of Horse Greeley was just claimed by Sadler for $40,000 after one of the best performances of his career. True, he’s been blitzed in both of his stakes tries, but they were both in Grade I company.
But the horse I’m most excited about on Saturday’s Santa Anita card runs in the 10th race — right before the San Carlos.
Although his speed figures are a little light, Premium Forest recorded an outstanding +1 late speed ration (LSR) in his last race on the grass and previously earned a 0 LSR in a main-track affair at Golden Gate Fields (which has a synthetic surface).
The projected early speed ration (ESR) in the 10th race — a one-mile, $16,000 optional claiming affair on the turf — is a -6, just a tick slower (relatively speaking) than the projected ESR in the San Carlos.
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I’d play the 10th and 11th races as follows:
- Place on 2-Premium Forest.
- Daily Double 2 with 4,5,6,8.
- Daily Double 2,5,8 with 4,5.