by Dustin Fabian
November 2, 2018
Breeders’ Cup hangover? Not this year! Santa Anita’s Closing Day care on Sunday, November 4 is loaded with great races and exciting betting opportunities. None is better than the Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout, however. The carryover there, into Friday’s races, is $992,979 and if nobody claims the pool on Friday or Saturday, we’re looking at a multi-million dollar pool on Sunday.
Here’s my stab at the sequence, which starts with Race 5 at 4:00PM ET.
Race 5 – $30K Maiden Claiming – 5 1/2 Furlongs Dirt (2YO)
VIOLENT BEHAVIOR (6/1) takes the big drop in class from MSW to Maiden Claiming and that’s a huge angle. The son of Violence didn’t do much running at that level, but he’ll wake up when the others aren’t running away from him. IRISH POLO (6/1) isn’t necessarily bred to be a crack sprinter – by Drosselmeyer out of a A.P. Indy mare – but Peter Miller does great with first time starters and this one makes a lot of sense. MAYAN WARRIOR (3/1) takes a class drop from a slightly higher level and is running decent races. I’d like to see more stretch punch, though. I’ll try to get by with those three.
Race 6 - $50K Claiming – 6 1/2 Furlongs Downhill Turf (3YO+)
TIZ A BILLY (5/2) put forth a monster performance last out on the downhill course, winning by 7 1/2-lengths in a race that was just 0.6 seconds off the track record. That said, that effort was so big he may bounce and it’s also a little concerning he’s still offered for a tag (albeit a bigger one) despite that huge performance. PERFECTLY MAJESTIC (3/1) is the best of the closers. He doesn’t love to win races (he’s winless in 14 starts since November 2016) but he’s always in the hunt. CASTLE (8/1) had a tough go of it in his last. He broke through the gate early and that’s never a plus. HITTERS PARK (8/1) should get a nice trip stalking the pace.
Race 7 - $20K Maiden Claiming – 6 1/2 Furlongs Dirt (3YO+)
There isn’t a ton of talent in this field, but the first horse that jumps off the page is FOR THE HUSTLE (7/2), who has finished second or third in 4-of-7 starts and they’ll probably have him to catch. He’s been beaten three times at this level, but he always tries. PASTORELLI (4/1) drops in class from a tougher race at Del Mar and Joel Rosario gets aboard. Very logical horse. CONVERSATE (6/1) should move forward off a decent debut at this level on October 8 and FLYNN (10/1) is always well backed. The jockey change on BARTLETT HALL (6/1) may wake him up and EMOTIONAL RIDE (6/1) looks like the best of the debut horses.
Race 8 - $200K Twilight Derby (G2) – 1 1/8 Miles Turf (3YO)
I think RIVER BOYNE (5/2) is the best single in the sequence and is the horse I’m going to make the keystone of my bet. He’s a perfect 4-for-4 at Santa Anita and ran a strong race in defeat in the G2 Del Mar Derby last out. Maybe he moved to the lead a little soon that day, but I trust Flavien Prat to give him a top ride on Sunday.
Race 9 - $40K Optional Claiming – 1 Mile Dirt (3YO+)
This is a field of horses that you love to hate. They all do one thing consistently and that’s refuse to win. JUNGLE WARFARE (6/1) is too talented to be 1-for-12 in his career, but that’s exactly what he is. The last time he went around two turns on dirt he won, so that’s a plus. PLEASANT D’ORO (6/1) enters this off a dominant maiden win while SURFING STAR (7/2) looks like a very nice horse. LORD GUINNESS (4/1) will take plenty of cash, too.
Race 10 – Maiden Special Weight – 1 Mile Turf (2YO)
The nightcap features a lackluster field of 2YO maidens and those that have started to not inspire confidence. I’m putting a ton of stock into NORTHWESTERN (6/1), a first-time starter for Glen Hill Farm, Tom Proctor and Gary Stevens. This colt is well bred, by Medaglia d’Oro and out of a stakes-winning daughter of Storm Cat. A half-brother, Young and Hungry, was briefly good on the lawn at Santa Anita, breaking his maiden on the downhill course in 2015. Of those who have started, NEPTUNE’S STORM (4/1) looks like the likeliest. He was gelded after his last start and exits a race that was probably better than it looked.
Race 5: 1, 3, 8
Race 6: 1, 3, 5, 10
Race 7: 1, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14
Race 8: 8
Race 9: 2, 3, 4, 6
Race 10: 2, 10
Ticket Cost: $115.20