Santa Anita Park Fast Choices

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D.S. Williamson

May 10th, 2015

After yesterday's awesome day at Belmont Park, you'd think that the stakes racing wouldn't be as good today. Although that's probably true overall, the G3 Laz Barrera at Santa Anita Park has come up tough. Odds abound with one horse in particular standing out above the rest.

Santa Anita Park - Race 7 at 3:40 pm ET

G3 Laz Barrera for 3-year-olds going 7f

7-Kentuckian, 5/2 - Jockey Mike Smith jumps aboard this highly touted son of Tiznow that saw all sorts of trouble in his last, the $75K San Pedro Stakes. Kentuckian finished third after steadying badly. Overall, it wasn't Rafael Bejarano's best ride of the meet. The jockey change to Smith might help. Smith can be very tough on speedster's like this guy. The cozy outside draw should keep Kentuckian from getting into trouble while all of the speed on the inside no doubt will land the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee in the garden spot, about 2 to 3 lengths off, during the early going. Expect Smith to get Kentuckian home first.

5-The Gomper, 4/1 - This is where Rafa lands. Jerry Hollendorfer also trains this horse, who goes first time for Hollendorfer after being under the care of Ron Ellis. The Gomper looked like a Kentucky Derby contender after breaking his maiden at 5 1/2 furlongs at Los Alamitos back in December. He hasn't improved much since then. Expect him to improve big time in this since he's cutting back in distance and there's plenty of speed to set up his late kick. Rafa's style is perfectly suited for a horse like this and he and Hollendorfer have paired up plenty of times to take down stakes scores. The Gomper could win first time going for Hollendorfer in the Laz Barrera.

1-Yiannis, 3/1 - It's tough to look past this Midshipmen, John Sadler trained, roan that Victor Espinoza rides. Yiannis is as fast as they get. Victor's going to dare any of the other speed to go with him. They'll try. Just to Yiannis' outside is the Bob Baffert trained The Man, who has plenty of lick himself, but nobody figures to last in a duel with this :44 half speedster. Will Yiannis slow down in the stretch?  Yes, he should but only Kentuckian and The Gomper look capable of catching him. Using Yiannis as the key in your trifectas and supers might not be a bad idea.