By Joe Quillen
Saturday 1/13/24 – Santa Anita Races 7 & 9
Albert Hammond Jr. says it never rains in southern California, and at least for now, there is no rain there as we head to Santa Anita for two races today. We will take a look at two different California-bred races here as we will look at race 7, which is the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mire Turf Sprint, and race 9, the Unusual Heat Turf Classic. The turf should be firm for the card, and the two turf races that is part of today’s Quills Picks Winners.
Race 7, the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mart Turf Sprint is a six and a half furlong turf race starting from the top of the unique hill that some of the races on the turf start. It is one of the few tracks in North America, if at all that actually has a right turn in the race. The races also come up faster off this part of the course obviously because of the downward momentum.
One thing I look for when I see a race like this where the horses are going to cross over the main dirt track to finish this sprint race is familiarity with the course. The 1 Madiha (6/1 morning line) prepped for this in a 1000 yard quarter horse race at Los Alamitos. It’s not an ideal prep, but she has been on the board the last two times on the turf at this distance. Something to remember.
Also with the 1 horse, she will actually be on outside when the field makes a slight turn to the right after about a furlong or so into the race.
Rose Maddox (#2, 3/1) ran well last time out in November in an open stakes race on Breeders’ Cup weekend and does run very well at this unique distance. Going back to Cal-breds will be to her liking and should be flying late.
Things will get confusing in this race, as right next to the 2 is #3 Rose Dawson (6/1 ML). She hasn’t been as successful at this distance and dynamic.
The 6 Stay and Scam (5/2 ML favorite) has run very well on turf both at Santa Anita and Del Mar. She’s definitely the horse to beat here.
With that, my pick in the seventh is the 6, and I am calling this race 6-1-2 in the Filly and Mare Turf Sprint. My play is $20 to win on the 6.
Race 9 is the Unusual Heat Turf Classic where 10 horses will go 9 furlongs to end the Saturday card. There looks like there is a ton of speed in this race. The 3 Bally’s Charm (4/1 ML), the favored Kings River Knight (#5, 6/5 ML) will be gunning for the lead, or so I think. Silent Heat (#6, 20/1 ML) and the 9 Catalina Eddy (20/1 ML) could add to the pace coming off sprint races.
This sets up nicely for #2 Carmelita’s Man (5/1 ML) won his last Cal-bred race in August at Del Mar, and was not far off back in November. It also looks good for the 1 None Above the Law (8/1 ML) looks like he will need speed up front and things to fall apart like I think it will. Aligato (#7, 6/1 ML) barely lost last week, and will avenge that loss today.
My pick here is the 7, and yes, my play here is $20 on the 7 to win. I’ll call this race 7-2-1-5 in the final race of the day at Santa Anita, the Unusual Heat Turf Classic. Good luck everyone, and hopefully the sun shines on us!
QPW Update Desk
- Heywoods Beach dropped back on the final turn and finished fifth in Friday’s QPW race. I’m still up $291 so far this year.