Player Quick Pick: Santa Anita Park for 1/18/2015

D.S. Williamson

January 18th, 2015

In the Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, Fanticola went gate-to-wire over the turf to beat some decent horses like Nashoba’s Gold and Rusty Slipper. In the feature on Saturday, the 1 ½ mile Astra Stakes over the turf, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of speed, meaning horses that have an ability to stay close early might have the upper hand.

Santa Anita Park 8 7:09 pm ET

Astra Stakes for 4&Up F&M going 1-1/2 mi. (T)

2 – Kitten’s Point – 5/2 – This five-year-old mare sired by Kitten’s Joy is another trained by Graham Motion that has a huge shot to win the Astra Stakes on Sunday. Kitten’s Point might be too far off the pace early, but she could be the class of this field and since she’s never raced at 1 ½ miles in her life, even though every horseplayer who remembers Kitten’s Joy knows that she’ll handle the distance, she could be much, much closer to the pace than any might think. Hopefully, jockey Flavien Prat knows that, gets her out of the gate quickly, and puts her only 2 to 3 lengths behind the speed in the early going. She’s been running in Grade 1 and Grade 2 races at Gulfstream Park and Keeneland. This is much softer. Her last, a stakes race at Del Mar, wasn’t very good, but that was in early November and Motion has put in some good works since then. The betting odds should rise since her running lines insist that she’ll be too far back to win this. If the win odds do get to 7/2 or higher, it will be tough not to consider her for the win money.

5 – Lady of Gold – 3/1 – This will be the third straight time that jockey Kent Desormeaux pilots Lady of Gold, a five-year-old mare sired by Medaglia D’Oro and trained by Graham Motion. Although morning line chalk Lady Pimpernel beat Lady of Gold last time out in the Grade 3 Robert J. Frankel, Desormeaux led Lady of Gold to a second place finish 2 races back in the Grade 3 Red Carpet, beating Lady Pimpernel by a neck. The two favorites appear evenly matched. The difference is that Desormeaux might put Lady of Gold closer to the pace, giving the Motion trainee first jump over her rival. Desormeaux has been hot at Santa Anita this meet with a 10-5-6 record from 47 mounts.

7- Lady Pimpernel – 9/5 – The morning line chalk should fill in the last spot in the chalky trifecta box that figures to occur in the Astra Stakes on Sunday. Lady Pimpernel is .75 lengths short of having gone 4 for 4 in her last 4 races. She finished third in the Red Carpet behind Lady of Gold by less than a length. But she only beat Diversy Harbor by a nose in the Robert J. Frankel, though, which means that she hasn’t exactly been tearing up her competition. The odds will be short and both Kitten’s Point and Lady of Gold should be right there with her at the end. She could definitely win this, but at what odds and will those odds be worth the risk considering her competition?