by Dustin Fabian
January 31, 2019
It’s another great Saturday in the racing world and, at Xpressbet, we’re especially excited for Santa Anita’s Saturday slate. It includes a number of great reasons to play, including a Pick 6 Mandatory Payout, Money-Back Guarantee, 1 Million Point Split and a pair of great stakes races.
First post Saturday is 3:00PM ET and the Rainbow Pick 6 starts with Race 5, at 5:23PM ET. The Late Pick 4 starts with Race 7 at 6:23PM ET.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring track condition into things. Santa Anita is expecting rain this weekend, so keep an eye out for scratches and changes. Saturday’s 10-race card was (smartly) void of any turf races, but conditions are still worth watching. I recommend following @SAPublicity, @Quigleys_Corner and @FrankMirahmadi on Twitter for the latest.
Santa Anita’s Rainbow 6 has been growing for the entirety of the meet and track officials received permission to host a mandatory payout this Saturday, February 2. That means ‘everything must go’ in Arcadia! Heading into Thursday’s card the Pick 6 carryover was $1,469,847 (with a $2 Million Guaranteed Single Winner Payout) and, assuming nobody hits it Thursday or Friday, the pool should come close to $10 Million on Saturday. For those collecting XB Rewards Points, we’re offering 6X Points on Saturday’s Santa Anita Rainbow 6.
Here’s my ticket. I’ve handicapped for a wet track.
Race 5 – Maiden Special Weight
#5 OMAHA BEACH is impossible to trust. He’s been a heavy favorite in all four of his races and he’s managed to lose every time. Some tickets will single him here, but I can’t. He’s burned way too much money. #1 POLAR drew the rail and is a first-time-starter going 7 furlongs (never easy) but I love the workouts and like that Mike McCarthy named Drayden Van Dyke to ride. Plus, McCarthy hasn’t had a good horse for about a week, so he’s due. #8 ONE BAD BOY should improve off his first start and looks to be capable enough to win here. By the way, keep an eye on the odds here. If #2 KOA or #6 AIR BOSS is taking money, you should probably throw them in.
Race 6 – Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Gr III)
I wasn’t overly impressed with #4 GUNMETAL GRAY in the G3 Sham Stakes on January 5. Succinctly, I thought that was a bad field and the race turned upside down when Coliseum didn’t fire. I needed to see more form ‘GRAY, though, as he lagged well behind and grinded out the win. #5 MUCHO GUSTO is yet another Baffert horse. They're everywhere. He was no match for Improbable in the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity, but he’ll be the one to catch turning for home.
Race 7 – Maiden Claiming
Hard to make heads or tails of this $30K Maiden Claiming race so I’ll ensure my way through by hitting the ALL button. The established horses haven’t shown much, but none of the first-time-starters come from aggressive ‘win early’ barns. Tough race.
Race 8 – Maiden Special Weight
#5 MY MANDATE was beaten a nose sprinting on the turf on January 5 and, despite that being his best race to date, I don’t think needs to be on the turf to win. He’s run decent races on the dirt, but just not winning ones. #1 TIME IS NOW goes out for Mandella/Prat and while the barn is conservative I like that they’ve gone to a go-to jock. A half-sister, Wemissfrankie, won multiple G1s as a juvenile and set a track record at Del Mar on debut. #3 SCALPER is a second-tier Baffert horse but this field isn’t too salty. Use him. Also worth taking a shot with #9 YOUNG PHILLIP, a firster for Phil D’Amato. He drew outside, which is a plus.
Race 9 – San Pasqual Stakes (Gr II)
Need a single on the ticket and #7 MCKINZIE is it for me. I respect #8 BATTLE OF MIDWAY and #3 DABSTER but when MCKINZIE is right, he’s one of the premier horses in the world. I’m going to put a line through his 12th place Breeders’ Cup Classic finish. He was put through the grinder early with quick opening fractions on a tiring track and the race just fell apart. I thought Mike Smith was a little more aggressive than necessary that day, but it was also just MCKINZIE’s second start since March, so he was liable to get tired. BATTLE OF MIDWAY’s reputation was inflated when he won the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Dirt mile at 14/1 odds, but, outside of that race, he’s been more of a G3 performer.
Race 10 – Claiming N2L
The nightcap is a cheap claiming race and in events like this I like to identify horses plummeting in class. #10 CAYATE drops from a $25K tag to a $12K tag, adds Joel Rosario and is strictly the horse to beat. His 1-for-19 record makes him impossible to single but he’s never run against a field this weak. #1 CANDYMAN GARRET goes first out for Jeff Mullins and I expect Tyler Baze to gun him from the rail post. They’ll have to pass him. #5 ISEE IT IN HIS EYES ran a strong race at this level last out and was just in against a buzzsaw. No harm in finishing second that day.
Race 5: 1, 5, 8
Race 6: 4, 5
Race 7: ALL
Race 8: 1, 3, 5, 9
Race 9: 7
Race 10: 1, 5, 10
Ticket Cost: $144
I realize $144 is an expensive ticket and I don’t blame anyone who tries to pare it down from there. The obvious place to cut is from Race 7 (where I hit the All button), but also look at Race 6. If you can build a strong opinion between Gunmetal Gray and Mucho Gusto, you can cut your ticket in half by just removing one horse.
Can’t split hair between Gunmetal Gray and Mucho Gusto? Or maybe you like a longshot, such as Nolo Contesto or Magnificent McCool? Guess what…for our Money-Back Guarantee, it almost doesn’t matter! That’s because we’re giving your money back, up to $10, if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd in 23 key Triple Crown prep races this year. This weekend’s ‘Money-Back’ races are the Lewis, the Withers at Aqueduct and the Holy Bull at Gulfstream. Check out our Money-Back Guarantee page for all the details.
You know we love our 1 Million Point Splits at Xpressbet and this Saturday is no different. We’re offering a ‘Million Point Split’ to anyone who cashes on the Late Pick 4, which covers Races 7 – 10. Based on my above Pick 6 ticket, I’m recommending a $60 play. Let’s try to get a price home in the first leg!