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Homeracing

Chasin’ Big ‘Cap Day Pick 5

Profile Picture: James Scully

March 7th, 2015

The $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (Race 11) is Saturday’s premiere event at “The Great Race Place,” featuring America’s best horse, Shared Belief, who is expected to roll against an uninspiring cast of 12 challengers.

Saturday’s Santa Anita program also features the San Felipe for three-year-olds, with unbeaten Dortmund headlining an excellent field of nine Kentucky Derby hopefuls, as well as three other stakes races.

But before the stakes action begins, I’ll be playing the Pick 5, the popular 50-cent wager that encompasses Races 1-5.   

TwinSpires is offering players the chance to win a share of 2 million TSC Elite Points for hitting the Pick 5 on the ‘Big Cap undercard, and all TwinSpires players who place $100 or more in Pick 5 wagers Saturday and fail to cash a winning ticket will split 1 million TSC Elite Points.

I’ve got a key horse in Race 5 in Chasintheaces (#3).

Every year, Bob Baffert is looking to bring a horse to Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby weekend to win a race on the undercard. It’s often a maiden or allowance race, and that horse is called the “Beer-Money Horse.”

The same philosophy applies to events like the Pacific Classic, Travers etc – Baffert likes to put his clients in the winner’s circle on the biggest days in Thoroughbred racing.

Chasintheaces hasn’t run since June 1 and it looks like Baffert has been waiting to run the five-year-old on the Big ‘Cap undercard. Four of the horse’s five works since late January have been at six furlongs.

He’s fast enough here, registering a 97 BRIS Speed rating for a 6 ¼-length maiden romp two starts back, and the well-bred colt (third dam is Broodmare of the Year Courtly Dee) appears talented but fragile, making only three career starts.

Baffert appears to have him ready to go in this non-winners of one “other than” allowance/optional claiming race and I’ll single Chasintheaces in my Pick 5 wagers.

Here’s a brief look at the other for four races:

Race 1: A good race to spread. Triunfo (#3) is stepping up in form & a threat on the front end. American Act (#2) and Sheer Talent (#9) both appear capable, and Tiz Futurity (#5) offers some appeal at a possible price moving back to a dirt sprint.

Race 2: Marry’s Tribal (#2) will show speed and gets blinkers off – a high-percentage move for John Sadler. Alfiero (#5) and Tizapalooza (#10) are logical contenders and Cat for Iraq (#6) could be ready to fire strong first-out for Art Sherman.

Race 3: Emyvale Court (#4) ran a huge race first-out finishing second to Curlin’s Fox, who I like in the China Doll later on the program. Whisk (#2) and Revenue Virginius (#9) are back-ups.

Race 4: Miss Centerfold (#9) exits a good second, splitting stakes performers last out at Del Mar, and I like her better than short-priced stablemate Never Ends (#5), who is listed at 9-5 after facing much weaker last time. Miss Bliss (#8) was bet down to favoritism against a nice field last time and is eligible to improve significantly in this spot at possible price. Won’t completely dismiss Sweet Promises (#1) and Cafetiere (#2) as well.

Tickets

I’ll recommend multiple tickets, with the first being suited for smaller bankrolls and meeting the $100 threshold with all four plays combined.

Tix #1 - $24

2,3,5,9
2,5,6,10
4
5,8,9
3

Tix #2 - $48

2,3,5,9
2,5,6,10
2,9
5,8,9
3

Tix #3 - $18

1,6,8
2,5,6,10
4
5,8,9
3

Tix #4 –$16

2,3,5,9
2,5,6,10
4
1,2
3

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