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Homeracing

Horses to count on while betting Santa Anita's $94,556 Rainbow Pick 6 sequence

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

February 14th, 2021

Rain… snow… sleet… hail… it seems like Mother Nature has something against horse racing this week. Racetracks across the country have been battered by challenging weather events, with cancellations cropping up at a number of venues over the past few days.

But as the famous song says, it never rains in Southern California, so we should be able to count on racing taking place at Santa Anita on Sunday. The weather forecasts are clear, and there’s a $94,556 Rainbow Pick 6 carryover on the horizon. Want to play along? We’ve identified a couple of reliable favorites (and potential singles) to build your tickets around:

Race 4: #4 Royal Blend (8-5)

There are a couple of potentially capable first-time starters in this $40,000 maiden claiming sprint, but they’ll have to be sharp to upset Royal Blend. Three starts back, the daughter of Into Mischief was beaten just half a length for a $50,000 tag at Del Mar, a performance flattered when third-place finisher Yellow Dress came right back to beat winners in a starter allowance race.

Royal Blend didn’t fare quite as well when stepping up in class and distances for the Blue Norther S. and a one-mile allowance race, but she was hardly disgraced in the latter event, coming home fourth by 5 1/2 lengths. Cutting back in distance and returning to the maiden claiming ranks should make Royal Blend tough to beat for trainer Bob Hess, who wins at a 27% rate with horses beaten as the favorite in their previous start.

Race 7: #9 Majestic Steps (7-2)

Trainer Phil D’Amato strikes at a 22% rate with last-out maiden winners, stamping Majestic Steps as a logical contender to win Sunday’s six-furlong Sweet Life (G3). Formerly based in Ireland, Majestic Steps relished this course and distance in a Jan. 2 maiden special weight at Santa Anita, settling behind a modest pace before rocketing the final two furlongs in :11.60 apiece to beat next-out winner Bleu Ballon by 1 1/2 lengths.

This effort produced a sharp 91 Brisnet Speed rating, tied for the highest figure earned by any filly in the Sweet Life field. Top turf jockey Umberto Rispoli retains the mount, and if Majestic Steps improves at all in her second U.S. start, her rivals may be running for second place.

Good luck!

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