Santa Anita: Stakes spot plays for Oct. 2

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

October 1st, 2021

Stakes spot plays for Santa Anita on October 2

A bevy of stakes action will help fill an outstanding Saturday card at The Great Race Place. The Awesome Again S. (G1) is the headliner, but four accompanying graded tilts are also carded for the superb day of racing.

Race 3 -- City of Hope Mile S. (G2)

Dan Blacker’s #3 Hit the Road ran well off the bench to be a length back in third in the recent Del Mar Mile (G2), and I expect him to build off of that and get it done on Saturday. The Grade-1 winning son of More Than Ready is four-for-five on the Santa Anita green, and he possesses the versatility to be well positioned to take command turning for home under Florent Geroux.

Race 8 -- Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. (G2)

The winner of this dash will receive an automatic entry to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Del Mar on November 6. Six will go postward in the ultra-competitive sprint and I will tab #2 Vertical Threat for the upset. Trained by Richard Baltas, the Tapiture colt is not overly consistent to this stage of his development, but he has a good chance to lead this field from the break at a fair number. Cedillo will guide the three-time stakes winner.

Race 9 -- Rodeo Drive S. (G1)

A berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Del Mar on November 6 is on the line in the grassy affair. #7 Magic Attitude covets firm turf and should get her preferred surface on Saturday. The Arnaud Delacour pupil has a potent turn of foot on her best day, and the Galileo filly appears to be rounding up to a major effort in this affair. John Velazquez riding is a plus.

Race 11 -- John Henry Turf Championship S. (G2)

A dozen will go postward in the 1 ¼-mile endeavor on the green. I am not sure if #8 Count of Amazonia has the quality to top this deep field, but the four-year-old is very intriguing to me as an exotics piece at a big number. The Lope de Vega four-year-old stretches out following two tries at one-mile since arriving in the U. S., and I expect big improvement from the Irish-bred with two additional furlongs with which to work with. Victor Espinoza will be up aboard the longshot.