The Saturday card at Santa Anita Park turned out to be a good one, nine total races, five of them on the turf, two of them Stakes and a contentious running of the San Luis Rey Stakes going a mile and a half. For Saturday's play I will go to the nightcap, a maiden special weight event on the turf going a mile. The favorite on the rail is Miss Tokyo for trainer Richard Baltas and jockey Umberto Rispoli, but my selection will be the horse just to his outside, Still In Love for trainer Richard Mandella and jockey Jorge Velez with a morning line of 12-1, who has proven to be quite good on the turf, especially when riding for Mandella, the duo hitting at a 30% clip this meet, and winning last weekend at 11-1 with Odysseus.
Still In Love is going route-to-sprint, a move in which trainer Mandella is 17%, so he should show some speed early and be near the pace, perhaps even setting it if he beats Miss Tokyo out of the gate. Aside from the obvious reasons to like Still In Love, he possesses a move on the Sheets that has cashed me many a tickets, pairing up/ running a new top off of a layoff and 4-6 weeks till the horses next start.
Aside from the 0-2-X move, the strongest on the Sheets, I believe this is the strongest play you can find when using the best handicapping tool one can find, the Ragozin Sheets.
Still In Love's 19 on the Sheets is not the highest figure in the field, but with the good showing off of a layoff and time in between starts, I believe she is ready to run a vastly improved number this time around, one that would put him right there with the numbers Miss Tokyo has recently run. If so, the 12-1 morning line on Still In Love could end up being a gift because I believe we will get something close to that.
Madison Parc for trainer Don Chatlos is 6-1 and may get some money based off of her solid work pattern and fantastic breeding, not to mention he attracts the services of Santa Anita's best turf jockey, Flavien Prat.
Saving Sophie, second choice at 3-1 on the morning line, will also presumably get some play, but her figures have been pretty consistent and I don't see any reason to project a huge figure increase in this start, thus making her a toss in my opinion. Although I usually do not play exactas, I will do so in this instance because of the fact that Still In Love may be setting the pace and might have to go faster than desired to do so. On the other hand, if Miss Tokyo grabs an easy lead from the rail, I can see her slowing things down and wiring the field.
With the expected odds of 8-1 or higher, an exacta with Still In Love underneath of Miss Tokyo, Tagline and Madison Parc should still pay well if it turns out she is second best in this spot.