by Eddie Olczyk
May 28, 2020
Greetings racing fans! I've taken a look at Saturday’s Santa Anita slate and identified four ‘spot plays’ that I think are worth playing and can be included in your horizontal and vertical exotic tickets.
Let’s hope for good racing luck this weekend, and more importantly, I hope you continue to be safe and healthy as we navigate COVID-19. I’m excited to see you back at the track, whenever that may be.
Here are the four horses that caught my eye for this Saturday. Good luck if you’re playing!
Santa Anita – Race 1 (3:30PM ET)
#2 OH PRETTY WOMAN (2/1)
It is always nice to find a horse you like in the opener as it’s the kickoff leg of the low-takeout Early Pick 5 and - hopefully - an Abel Cedillo Early Double. In this race, #2 OH PRETTY WOMAN caught my eye. She is a five-year-old mare with just seven career starts, so we can assume she has had some issues. But she's working lights out for her return, has been in great form and should get a perfect trip from an inside post. Plus, you have to love that the hot riding Abel Cedillo, who won a combined seven races here on Sunday and Monday, has the mount.
Santa Anita – Race 2 (4:02PM ET)
#1 ROSSMAN (3/1)
Let's hope for an Abel Cedillo Early Daily Double! #1 ROSSMAN gets a big jockey upgrade to Cedillo and I'd like to see him ridden like he was three starts ago when he came from off the pace to miss by a little more than a length. I'm hoping that #3 Sensuous and #2 Shanghai Curly set the pace and ROSSMAN is able to follow them out of the gate and sit behind the speed. I don't think he's going to get hammered at the windows, so I'm hoping for him to go off at his morning line price of 3/1.
Santa Anita – Race 5 (5:35PM ET)
#6 COUNT ALEXEI (7/2)
This is a state-bred turf sprint maiden race and, honestly, I’m not overly impressed with any of the horses that have started. That leads me to look to a first time starter and #6 COUNT ALEXEI checks a bunch of boxes. He was an expensive auction purchase ($110,000) for a son of Vronsky (who stands for $4,500) and he seems to be working lights out in the mornings for Brian Koriner, who knows how to get horses ready to race on debut. And finally Umberto Rispoli is riding and he has been lights out at Santa Anita.
Santa Anita – Race 7 (6:37PM ET) – Honeymoon Stakes
#8 PARKOUR (7/2)
I’m hoping PARKOUR goes straight to the front and refuses to stop. There isn’t a lot of speed in this race and if Mike Smith is able to assert her on the front end early, they may never look back. I don’t think LAURA’S LIGHT has the speed to go with her early and that one might be challenged to get the 1 1/8-mile distance, which could put PARKOUR alone in front at the head of the lane.