Player Quick Pick: Santa Anita Park for 1/3/2015

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

January 2nd, 2015

The first Saturday of 2015 is upon us and there’s plenty of thoroughbred action for horseplayers to choose from. The best race to look for a winner might actually be the Grade 2 San Gabriel at 1 1/8 miles over the turf at Santa Anita. The morning line favorite, Tom’s Tribute, is at 5/2, but looks vulnerable in this spot.

Santa Anita 8 | 7:00 pm ET

G2 San Gabriel for 4&Up going 1-1/8 mi. (T)

3 – Dynamic Sky – 7/2 – There doesn’t appear to be a lot of speed in this race and even though Dynamic Sky is considered a closer, the five-year-old horse sired by Sky Mesa has an electric turn of foot that should allow him to get the jump on some others in here. Dynamic Sky finished second in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer in September and then finished third by .75 lengths in the Grade 1 Canadian International in October before winning the Grade 3 Red Smith at Aqueduct over a yielding turf course in November. His works look decent leading up to this and trainer Mark Casse is very good at spotting his horses. Dynamic Sky has won close to $940,000. He’s a classy animal in a race over the turf with one of the best turf jockeys in the nation, Corey Nakatani, taking the call. What’s not to like?

9-Tom’s Tribute – 5/2 – The morning line chalk has every reason to win the Grade 2 San Gabriel on Saturday. He’s one for one at the distance and has a terrific record of 3 wins, 1 second and 1 third place finish from 8 starts over the Santa Anita turf. Tom’s Tribute has an overall record of 6 wins, 3 second place and 2 third place finishes from 15 lifetime starts. Jockey Mike Smith is as good as it gets and the five-year-old sired by Lion Heart has enough early punch to stick with Skyring, the likely front-runner in this, from the outset. One thing to notice, though, is that Tom’s Tribute doesn’t always fire his best and Smith is going to have to make some choices as they break from the gate because of post-position 9. Still, the favorite is formidable in this.

1-Edge of Reality – 5/1 – When trainer Graham Motion sends an equine out west, horseplayers had better pay attention. Edge of Reality has raced at Parx, Gulfstream West, Saratoga, Aqueduct, Laurel, Indiana Downs and Presque Isle Downs. Shipping a horse all the way from the East Coast to the West Coast costs money, meaning that Motion must think he’s got a shot at a top three placing in this Grade 2. The horse has actually won 6 out of 17 and goes into this off of a 2.5 length loss to Lubash in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream West over the turf and at the 1-1/8 mile distance in his last. Jockey Flavien Prat, who has 1 win and a third place finish from 5 mounts at this meet, will be able to save all of the ground since the Motion trainee breaks from post-position 1. Don’t look past this likely overlay odds entrant in the San Gabriel on Saturday.