Below is my early Pick 5 ticket for the return of racing at Santa Anita Park on Friday! This economical ticket comes in at just $18. Good luck to all!
Rager (#3, 7-2) received a strange ride against a tough field at Oaklawn Park and now gets back to doing what he does best, sprinting on the turf. The last time he tried this surface, he was a good second to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Billy Bats.
Curvaceous (#2, 8-1): seems a bit sneaky in here. Her works at San Luis Rey were extremely slow until she recorded 4 furlongs in :47.40 in her only gate work on paper. Espinoza gets the call and this runner could try to steal it on debut.
Miss Ryleigh (#4, 7-2) ran a troubled 2nd against arguably tougher in her debut at Golden Gate Fields and appears to be working well after being pulled up in start number two. She drops in class and adds blinkers for the dangerous Peter Miller barn.
Galilean (#3, 2-1) needed his last start and did not receive the cleanest of trips from the rail. This classy Cal-Bred could be set for a peak effort in his second start in the John Sadler barn.
Tale of Union (#9, 8-5) destroyed a strong field on debut looking like a star in the making in the process. Just one problem; that was in August 2018. This talented colt has not been seen since and Baffert does not sit out a three-year-old campaign for nothing. He is likely the best horse in this field, but this is just a starting point.
Silken Prince (#1, 6-1) blitzed a field of Cal-Breds last time out and would be the biggest beneficiary if the two top choices hook up on the lead early. He must prove his last win was not a fluke, but he is razor sharp and should get the perfect setup.
Polar Route (#9, 12-1) draws beautifully after being stuck on the inside in her first two races. I expect her to run much better while sitting off of horses instead of having to force the issue early on.
Elemental (#10, 4-1) offers upside and speed on the class drop and if she can run at all she will show it today against this modest bunch.
Christmas Pickles (#3, 10-1) like Elemental, only had one start against tougher. She did not run a step, but she has been freshened, drops to a claim and trainer Michael McCarthy has been red hot.
Gypsy Spirit (#11, 7-2) invades from Europe for the strong duo of Prat and Powell. She was win shy overseas, but ran competitive races against tougher and the change of scenery and Lasix may just do the trick.
Hollywood Girl (#5, 6-1) is bred to be a star and did something that only the best John Shirreffs horses do, win on debut. I think that race took a lot out of her and I love the idea of her being freshened up for her first start as a four-year-old. Talented and proven fresh, watch out!
$0.50 Pick 5 Ticket: 3 – 2,4 – 1,3,9 – 3,9,10 – 5,11 = $18