by Jeremy Plonk
October 12, 2020
Santa Anita’s special holiday Monday program features 8 races beginning at 4 pm ET. Whether you’re a regular to the circuit or dropping by for the Columbus Day card, the 1/ST BET app can help you bridge the gap with a data-driven process.
Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer.
Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for Santa Anita’s Monday program.
RACE 1 (4:00PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF)
#1 Freedom Flyer (5/2) // 23% Win
#7 Brilliant Cut (4/1) // 17% Win
#4 Map to My Heart (3/1) // 16% Win
#8 I’m the Boss of Me (10/1) // 12% Win
Jeremy’s Take: The 1/ST INDEX always will skew toward the experienced horses with more data to crunch, but in this case it looks like they’re the right ones. Freedom Flyer’s debut against a big field will come in handy against a smaller group from the rail draw. Prefer Map to My Heart slightly over Brilliant Cut. Pick five try to get by with the 1,4.
RACE 2 (4:36PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE
#1 Suezanna (5/2) // 32% Win
#5 True Mischief (4/5) // 24% Win
#3 Tiz a Unicorn (2/1) // 20% Win
#4 Turkish Angel (30/1) // 14% Win
Jeremy’s Take: The 8-point spread is co-second largest on the card, as is the 32% win offering on Suezanna. That’s notable when you consider True Mischief is 4-5 and Suezanna is 5-2 morning line in a 5-horse field. But trainer Richard Baltas has the top two ML choices against 3 trainers who have combined to win 3 races in 2020. The public likely will be singling True Mischief, so you could get multi-race value with Suezanna if able to connect.
RACE 3 (5:07PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#2 Stone’s River (4/1) // 25% Win
#1 From the Get Go (5/2) // 19% Win
#3 Emperor’s Fisc (5/1) // 19% Win
#4 Uncle Boogie (5/2) // 19% Win
Jeremy’s Take: Of these 5 entrants, only Stone’s River has started and it was a terrible effort against a debatably higher class level. Tough to embrace anyone with confidence in this spot. Trainer Luis Mendez has had a very good year with 2-year-olds at Santa Anita and has From the Get Go and Superduty Justice. I’d default to those 2 if no one stood out in the paddock on looks.
RACE 4 (5:40PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF)
#2 You’re All Talk (30/1) // 23% Win
#7 Evoo (4/1) // 17% Win
#9 Astute (9/5) // 16% Win
#4 Magical Thought (8/1) // 12% Win
Jeremy’s Take: Don’t get too wild on this 30-1 pick as You’re All Talk is the only 2-year-old in this race with a start and that has titled the algorithm. She didn’t show much on dirt in her debut, but jockey Ricardo Gonzalez is riding turf sprints with great success. She’s not impossible at a price, but not as likely as the computer considers. It’s Astute who looks most primed to win among the debut runners for Richard Mandella. I’ll include Magical Thought and Chevelita, first-timers for the always potent turf sprint barn of Peter Miller.
RACE 5 (6:11PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE
#4 Caymans Cobra (2/1) // 28% Win
#5 Colosi (8/5) // 24% Win
#1 Lead Star (12/1) // 19% Win
#2 Little No Way (2/1) // 16% Win
Jeremy’s Take: Five-horse field with a trio of runners clumped in the morning line between 8-5 and 2-1, making for a trickier puzzle perhaps than the field size suggests. With the way the Richard Baltas and Doug O’Neill barns have been struggling at the meet that might make Little No Way the play to upend the other favorites…and give longshot Lead Star a chance to wake up at a price with blinkers on.
RACE 6 (6:42PM ET) // ALLOWANCE-OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF)
#2 Grit and Curiosity (9/5) // 30% Win
#3 Little Juanito (8/1) // 22% Win
#5 Calexman (3/1) // 20% Win
#1 Titled Flowers (5/2) // 14% Win
Jeremy’s Take: The 8-point spread is co-second largest on the card and pretty significant margin when you consider it’s a 5-horse field. Grit and Curiosity drops in class out of the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes, the meet’s premier turf sprint, and should have these handled for turf sprint ace trainer Peter Miller. Disregard the last effort on dirt for Little Juanito and you could see that price horse as the potential back end of the exacta. For multi-race bets, I’ll single Grit and Curiosity.
RACE 7 (7:13PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS
#5 Shady Empire (5/1) // 34% Win
#2 Press Briefing (8/1) // 20% Win
#1 Uncaptured Hero (2/1) // 18% Win
#4 Race Home (4/1) // 16% Win
Jeremy’s Take: The 34% rate and 14-point spread are the biggest on the card in what the 1/ST INDEX identifies as a potential single and best bet. The kicker for Shady Empire is that it will be his first start since August 2019. He’s now a gelding, outfitted with blinkers and dropped in for a claiming tag for the first time. Meanwhile, 6-5 morning line favorite Carpe Victorium is tabbed last of the 5 by the algorithm, and I can’t necessarily argue against tossing John Sadler runners the way they’ve underperformed the last few months. If Jeff Bonde has Shady Empire ready, you’re sitting on a good one here. Demand around 4-1 to find out. Looking at the rest of the field, why not?
RACE 8 (7:44PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF)
#8 Invictatatus (5/2) // 25% Win
#9 Most Satisfactory (8/1) // 24% Win
#2 Silent Musketier (8/1) // 14% Win
#5 Afleeting Life (4/1) // 13% Win
Jeremy’s Take: The 1-point spread is the smallest on the card, but there’s a sizable shift to the rest and the 1/ST INDEX deems this a two-horse affair. Given the difference in likely prices, Most Satisfactory at 8-1 ML is quite appealing despite 8 second or third-place finishes in 10 starts. She’s best on turf and is back on the grass today, though Doug O’Neill’s struggles have been real at the meet. Invictatatus has not raced on grass to date. Fire Polish appears underappreciated by the 1/ST INDEX to this eye and should be considered a big contender. I’ll take my chances with Most Satisfactory and Fire Polish to close it out.