Santa Anita: Playing the late Pick 5 on Jan. 15
Four stakes races are included in the late Pick 5 wager at Santa Anita on Saturday. Here is how I view the California-bred races, followed by my affordable ticket.
Race 6 – Unusual Heat Turf Classic S.
A tough turf endeavor at 1 1/8 miles for the boys kicks off the sequence, and if I can move past the opening leg, then my confidence level will skyrocket. #8 Indian Peak (3-1) ran a few excellent races on the green in 2021, including a fast-closing third in the Seabiscuit H. (G2) at Del Mar two back. The Comic Strip gelding will be tough to upend with a repeat of that performance under Johnnie V.
In addition, I will take a shot with #7 Ferrariano (12-1) at big odds for Brian Koriner. The gelded chestnut took a nice move forward since moving to route racing four back, and if the removal of blinkers does the same, the son of Mshawish could be in with an upset chance late. Regular pilot Abel Cedillo stays.
Race 7 – Allowance/Optional Claiming
This six-furlong dash on the main oval for the boys attracted a competitive field of eight. My top pick is #8 Crash Corrigan (7-2), who has shown solid improvement since having the blinkers removed three back.
#4 Gate of Heaven (3-1) with Flavien Prat, and Mark Glatt’s #2 Scary Fast Smile (7-2), will be included in a tricky heat.
Race 8 – Filly and Mare Turf S.
An overflow field of 13 fillies and mares will take aim at this grassy dash. #12 Leggs Galore (3-1) is five-for-six sprinting on the green and draws well for Phil D’Amato. The fleet five-year-old will make her presence felt from the start in hopes of defending her title.
#9 Warren’s Showtime (5-2) always fires and is a must use for trainer Craig Lewis. The Clubhouse Ride five-year-old is six-for-12 at Santa Anita, and she is a winner from her lone try at the distance.
Two longshots that I will also toss in are #4 Nardini (12-1), who was runner-up in the race in 2021, and Ben Cecil’s #11 Eddie’s New Dream (15-1), who is dangerous at a huge price on the cutback in distance.
Race 9 – California Cup Sprint S.
A total of eight California-bred sprinters will vie in this heat. #3 Brickyard Ride (9-5) will relish both the class drop and return to Santa Anita in this endeavor. The Craig Lewis trainee is six-for-nine on the surface, which includes a daylight victory in the race last season. He’s no cinch, but the son of Clubhouse Ride is a logical wire-to-wire threat.
Race 10 – California Cup Oaks
The finale attracted a dozen three-year-old fillies going one-mile on the turf. #1 Big Novel (4-1) has never raced on turf, but if the John Sadler pupil runs to her pedigree, she will be a major factor from the rail. The talented gray has been training like a filly sitting on a career-best effort.
#3 Vivacious Vanessa (4-1) and #11 Rose Dawson (7-2) also makes the ticket.
Santa Anita Pick 5 Wager
- 50-cent Pick 5: 7, 8 with 2, 4, 8 with 4, 9, 11, 12 with 3 with 1, 3, 11 ($36)