A best bet, 51-to-1 debut runner, and a favorite produce 413-1 cold trifecta in Santa Anita Daily Selections

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TwinSpires Staff

April 19th, 2017


The first week of the spring meeting at Santa Anita Park is complete and I am off to a strong start in my Daily Selections analysis on

Unlike the final four days of the winter meeting, I was not able to provide any price horses on top in this week’s work. However, I put together three solid days and hit on 11 top pick winners over the 27-race sample size for a positive return on investment of 30% if you placed a two-dollar win wager on each of my selections.

The shortened racing week commenced on Friday and while only one race produced a winner over 5-1, there was certainly money to be made on the card.

7-2 shot Tattooed Kitty got me on the board for the week with an easy frontrunning score, but it was my “Best Bet” in the finale that made my week at “The Great Race Place.”

Atomic Action was the 5-2-second choice in the $50K maiden claimer to close the eight-race card and I loved his chances in this group of nine California-bred non-winners. He had the speed to clear, had been working well, and was cutting back from six and a half to five and a half furlongs.

In addition to my affinity for the Jeff Bonde runner, I also gave a big look to first-time starter Jerry’s Thunder. The Mark Rheinford-trained gelding had some sneaky pedigree on the dam’s side in a group where I felt that post-time favorite Cupid’s Beau was extremely vulnerable. I decided to be aggressive and pick the gelding for second, but little did I know he would go off at odds of 51-1 when all was said and done.

Jockey Kyle Frey got Atomic Action out of the gate perfectly leading to a length and a quarter victory. Jerry’s Thunder also broke sharply and was able to stalk and comfortably finish second. I begrudgingly picked 6-5-favorite Cupid’s Beau for third and the trial maiden came through landing me a cold trifecta that returned a juicy $414.10 on a one-dollar wager.

Saturday’s ten-race card did not produce anything as nice as that Friday late afternoon delight, but it did yield 4 of 10 top choice winners, including first-time starter Sutton Impact. The son of Tiznow popped the gate and won by five and a half lengths at odds of 3-1 for trainer Peter Miller and prominent owners Ike and Dawn Thrash.

The week concluded with a subpar nine-race Easter card full of small fields and mostly short priced winners. While it was disappointing that a top choice from last month Irish-bred Malko bounced back off a poor effort to pay $48.40 in the finale, at least I hit on 4 of 9 top choices, including second-time starter #8 Kid Charming who prevailed in a tight finish to capture maiden special weight at a mile and an eighth over the Santa Anita lawn.

I hope to keep things rolling as we get back to the normal schedule in Southern California this week with racing starting on Thursday and continuing through Sunday. As always, my full card analysis will be available on throughout the racing week.

Scott Shapiro is's Daily Selections handicapper for the California and Indiana circuits, and he writes about handicapping topics for Follow him on Twitter @ScottShap34