Betting trifectas in the Santa Anita stakes Jan. 16

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

January 14th, 2021

California-bred racehorses will take center stage Saturday at Santa Anita for a quintet of stakes races worth a combined $900,000.

The competition looks fierce, with at least nine horses entered in each race.

Payoffs for exotic wagers should be lucrative, so let’s analyze three of the most intriguing races and play trifecta tickets on a $75 budget.

Race 4: Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint S. (4:30 p.m. ET)

Autumn Miss (G3) winner #5 Warren’s Showtime is the most accomplished runner in this 6-furlong sprint, but she has done her best running at a mile or farther, so the cut back in distance is a question mark.

In contrast, #2 Leggs Galore is undefeated in three sprints on turf and most recently employed tracking tactics to win a 5 1/2-furlong dash at Santa Anita. Trained by Phil D’Amato, Leggs Galore will stretch out another sixteenth of a mile Saturday but looks like the “speed of the speed” and will be tough to catch if she shakes loose up front.

Let’s play Leggs Galore over Warren’s Showtime for the top two slots.

$3 trifecta: 2 with 5 with 1,3,4,6,9 ($15)

Race 7: California Cup Derby (6 p.m. ET)

Two horses interest me in this 1 1/16-mile dirt race for 3-year-olds.

#1 The Chosen Vron will be a popular play, after he dominated his debut at Santa Anita by 6 3/4 lengths and earned a field-best 94 Brisnet Speed rating. Trained by Eric Kruljac (who has four wins from seven starts at the meet), The Chosen Vron has excellent tactical speed and looms as a major threat in his two-turn debut.

#3 Big Fish has plenty of experience running long but on turf. The winner of the Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. during the summer, Big Fish has competed against open company and should enjoy the drop into state-bred ranks Saturday. The surface switch is a question mark, but he hit the board in a pair of dirt sprints last summer, and the addition of blinkers may sharpen his speed enough to work out a clean trip and avoid kickback under jockey Juan Hernandez.

Let’s key The Chosen Vron and Big Fish in the trifecta.

$2.50 trifecta: 1,3 with 1,3 with 2,5,7 ($15)
$2.50 trifecta: 1,3 with 2,5,7 with 1,3 ($15)
Total: $30

Race 9: Don Valpredo California Cup Sprint S. (7 p.m. ET)

#3 Fashionably Fast won this race last year, as part of a six-race win streak compiled primarily against fellow California-breds.

The son of Lucky Pulpit proved his worth against much tougher company when he battled to a runner-up effort in the Triple Bend (G2) and was beaten just 1 1/2 lengths by four-time Grade 1 winner McKinzie.

Fashionably Fast hasn’t raced since he finished sixth in the Bing Crosby (G1) in August, but he has trained sharply for his return and should be formidable in his return to state-bred company. We’ll key him on top in the trifecta.

Underneath, we’ll emphasize recent Cary Grant S. winner #6 Loud Mouth, four-time allowance victor #8 Brickyard Ride, and the improving #1 Tigre Di Slugo, who boasts three wins from four starts on dirt.

$2 trifecta: 3 with 1,6,8 with 1,5,6,8,9,10 ($30)

Good luck!