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Santa Anita Preview: 5 Things to Watch

by Jeremy Plonk

September 22, 2020

We drove the 1/ST Technologies database at Betmix to look at the last 5 autumn meetings at Santa Anita. Here are the stats and trends to put you on a winning path, beginning with opening day, Friday. The 2020 autumn meeting runs Friday-Saturday-Sunday through October 25.

1. Peter Miller tops active trainers with a $1.33 ROI for every $1 bet, and ranks second in wins (54) and win percentage (21%). Miller hits almost 31% with maiden claimers and 27% in claiming heats during the meet.

2. Trainer Doug O’Neill leads all conditioners with 63 wins, clicking at 19%, and sports a $1.17 ROI for every $1 bet. But his SA autumn turfers have been even better at 20% wins and a rousing $1.82 ROI (including $2.74 in maiden turf races). He and jockey Rafael Bejarano have teamed for 24% wins at this meet (30% on turf). O’Neill’s most successful classes have been in maiden special weights and stakes races.

3. Bob Baffert is 36: 21-7-2 with his 2-year-old favorites during SA autumn. That’s 58% wins and 77% in the exacta; that jumps to 62% wins in maiden special weight races.

4. Jockey Abel Cedillo was a Santa Anita autumn stakes whiz last year with a 16: 6-3-2 record. Those 6 wins came for 6 different trainers and produced a whopping $3.44 ROI for every $1 bet ($6, $9, $12, $12, $20, $52 winners).

5. Maiden turf races have been the place to search for prices. The average winner from the 101 races has been more than 7.3-1 odds. Favorites have underperformed at 27%.