Spot Plays for Sunday and Monday at Santa Anita Park

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TwinSpires Staff

July 1st, 2017

by Scott Shapiro

Happy Independence Day weekend to you and yours!

Most folks have a lot more than horse racing going on as we approach the Fourth of July on Tuesday. Time spent with family and friends over the next couple days can be some of the more memorable moments of the summer.

Click to read Scott Shapiro's full card Daily Selections each and everyday for the Southern California circuit

Since many of you might be short on time I thought I would try to help out those still looking for a little action over the next couple of days with a few spot plays from closing weekend at Santa Anita Park. Hopefully we can get lucky and close the meet out in style.

Here are a few horses I will be keying over the next couple of days. Keep an eye out for my analysis of the late Pick 4 on closing day out later in the holiday weekend!


Race 1
#4 Placido

This three-year-old colt tries the turf for the first time after two even efforts over the main track to start his career. The son of Shackleford has taken support at the windows in two full field maiden special weight events and despite having just one third-place finish to show for it, he has shown the tactical speed that can be such a weapon down the hillside course for his initial attempt over the lawn.

Trainer Simon Callaghan legs up arguably the meet’s best turf rider in Flavian Prat for the first time on Sunday and this $250,000 EAS May 2016 purchase finds a group that is beatable if he can move forward on the grass. Given Callaghan’s 22% rate in a limited sample over the past five years when moving runners from dirt-to-turf that is more than possible.

Play him in the early Double to #2 Factorize and #3 Diamondsandpearls and consider a win wager at anything 7-2 or higher.

Race 7
#7 Kristi’s Copilot

This five-year-old gelding returns to the races after a much needed six-week freshening for young trainer Ian Kruljac.

Kruljac claimed the Cal-bred son of Lucky Pulpit back in February for just $16,000 after a win at one mile against non-winners of three foes. He then lost by a nose against open claimers before posting a career best 94 Brisnet Speed rating en route to a dominating 5 1/4-length score against state-bred allowance foes on March 16th.

He probably needed more time off than Kruljac gave him off the career best win, but instead he raced his new runner three more times over the next seven weeks where he did no better than third in those starts.

After the short break, Kristi’s Copilot returns to the races and draws well in this 6 1/2-furlong dash over the main track. Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. should be able to stalk what appears to be a contentious early pace and power home to his fifth lifetime victory.

Hopefully we can get at least his 3-1-morning-line price, which will make him worthy of a win wager. I also recommend playing him in exactas with #6 Papa Turf and price horse #4 Street Vision.


Race 9
#9 Kings River King

This Ken Black trainee returns to the state-bred special weight ranks after a failed voyage against open company stakes competition going 1 1/8 miles as a non-winner in June.

The son of Acclamation showed the ability to compete down the hill. Jockey Tyler Baze got caught behind a wall of horses at the top of the stretch when Kings River King was full of run, costing him all chance in his May debut.

The three-year-old colt has reportedly looked well in the mornings and finds a group he should handle in the Monday finale, where he draws to the outside in a full field of California-bred non-winners. I expect him to relish the turn back to one turn after being over spotted in the Rainbow Stakes.

Bet him to win and key him in your horizontals to close the nine-race slate.

Good luck!