by Jerry Shottenkirk
May 15, 2020
As Slowhand put it, “Hello, old friend, it’s really good to see you once again.”
Clapton probably didn’t have Santa Anita in mind, but WE do. It’s a reunion with a familiar companion, and it’s back to business in Arcadia.
It’s the first Saturday back, and the late Pick 5 includes a couple of solid stakes races for California-breds. The exotic play begins in the sixth race and ends in the 10th.
The $150,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for 3-year-old Cal-breds opens the sequence, and the $150,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies is the 8th.
Here’s a capsule look at each of the races:
Race 6 (Echo Eddie S., 6:06PM ET)
Hopefully good fortune comes to those that drew toward the outside in this sprint. Big Sweep (5/2) and Phantom Boss (4/1) have enough speed to get into the pace-setting mix right off the bat. Big Sweep is taking on male rivals, but her only appearance was accomplished with flair, as she cleared after a half-mile and coasted. It’s interesting that her connections opted for this spot instead of the Evening Jewel for fillies. Phantom Boss won the G3 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs from just off the pace, and a repeat of that would make him a solid player. He ended last year with a disappointing 7th at the favorite in the I’m Smokin at Del Mar.
Race 7 (Optional Claiming, 6:30PM ET)
Easy choice in Race 7: ALL. Such an evenly matched group of turf distaffers, and every last one of them requires some positive handicapping attention.
Race 8 (Evening Jewel S., 7:08PM ET)
This is a good example of having to decide when to get take a couple or go all in with many. Since the all button already has been utilized, that eliminates that choice in my way of doing things. Warrior’s Moon (12/1) is the price play as she’s been very close to similar company, turns back in distance and can benefit from the pace coming back to her. Warren’s Showtime (3/1) is in fine form with stakes wins in three of last four. Those were on turf but she’s hit the board on dirt as well and looks to have a class edge.
Race 9 (Maiden, 7:38PM ET)
The last two races are whistled down to two in each. In this one, it’s Leprino (5/1) and Dominant Soul (8/1). Leprino has been out just twice and showed major improvement from his 1st to 2nd start. In his latest, he faltered after setting a fast pace and still finished 4th. He’s clearly moving in the right direction in his career. A maiden win should not be far away – and there’s a good chance of it happening today. Dominant Soul an even 3rd through fast fractions, comes off his best effort and turns back to a mile from nine furlongs.
Race 10 (Maiden Claiming, 8:08PM ET)
Handsome Cat (6/1) and Desert Swarm (4/1) round out the ticket in this state-bred maiden-claiming event. Handsome Cat was 4th against maiden specials in a fast turf races, moves back to the dirt and should bein a good stalking position. He had a recent bullet work of 1:14 4-5 for six furlongs and looms a strong threat. Desert Swarm ran an even 4th last out but improved enough to warrant attention. He’s back to the dirt and drops out of maiden specials. The drop could be enough to send him home a winner.
Here’s a suggested $56 Late Pick 5 ticket Saturday at Santa Anita:
Race 6: #8 Big Sweep, #9 Phantom Boss
Race 7: ALL (7 horses)
Race 8: #7 Warrior’s Moon, #9 Warren’s Showtime
Race 9: #4 Leprino, #9 Dominant Soul
Race 10: #4 Handsome Cat, #11 Desert Swarm
50-cent Pick 5 suggestion: 8-9 with ALL (7 horses) with 7-9 with 4-9 with 4-11 ($56)