Santa Anita Park Picks: Swiss Skydiver Rules the Air in the Beholder Mile (G1) Race 8

Who doesn't love a Santa Anita Saturday? With the Grade I Beholder Mile as the feature, it is sure to be a great day! Check out J.N. Campbell's selections...
Who doesn't love a Santa Anita Saturday? With the Grade I Beholder Mile as the feature, it is sure to be a great day! Check out J.N. Campbell's selections...

Santa Anita Park, known as "The Great Race Place," cranks up again for what promises to be a wonderful weekend of racing under the mountain range. As customary, our turf-man is along throughout the Meet making picks for the entire card and providing select analysis of some of the key races. Enjoy!

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Thursday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks

LATE PICK 5…

LEG 1: (Race 5: Turf, 1 ¼, ALLW63k, 4+)

The 1st Leg of the Late Pick 5 is one of my favorite types of races, but with only 5 horses entered, this is hardly a challenging contest. Still, handicappers cannot sleep on sequences that begin like this one. My sense is that after Flavien Prat won 6 of 8 races yesterday, including the event at this distance, that we need to single Big Buzz #2. His mount, trained by Adam Kitchingman, is coming from the Del Mar summer bench, making the first start of his 6-yr-old campaign. Even though last year, he was with Art Sherman for most of it, making the move to a more aggressive barn proved the right one. Still, the layoff is a concern, and for that reason, I am shifting my focus to James Cassidy’s Tropical Terror #4. This gelding is out of a moderate-level turf sire, Golden Balls (IRE). What I especially like is the recency on the grass in what amounts to 3 runs already at Santa Anita. Getting Abel Cedillo to ride is perfectly adequate. I am taking a shot on a “Single” right out of the gate, spurning the benchwarmers. Here we go…  

Selections: 4 (Single)

 

LEG 2: (Race 6: Dirt, 7F, Clm12.5k, 4+)

I know I have another “Single” in me, but I am saving it for later. I think this race, a 1-turn affair that is playing from the “Pro” tees, looks like it needs the “All” button. Granted Steve Knapp has an ace in Oil Can Knight #5 who is dropping down from higher claiming company. That move is not necessarily suspicious, since it might have a number of warranted explanations. Still, just in case there are issues, I want to have max cover-2, and that will help give us a chance, especially if a long shot comes through.   

Selections: All (10 Deep)

 

LEG 3: (Race 7: Turf, 6F, San Simeon (G3), $100k, 4+)

As if we did not have enough of a rough go in the previous race, we are right back into the soup in this turf sprint, that happens to be a Grade III contest. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving this, especially since this is a grass event. You folks in Thoroughbred land are going to think I am crazy, but I think Shashashakemeup #6 is going to win this contest. Even though the colt has not tried turf since last year at this time, I am undeterred. First and foremost, she is a sprinter, through and through. So, with bloodlines in Shackleford, I am hopeful that Ricardo Gonzalez can get him to the lead for the score. Just in case this high-priced Peter Miller speedster fails me, I want to add a few others that should assist. Let’s include, Barristan The Bold #1, Gregorian Chant #2, Bob and Jackie #3, Sombeyay #4, and Joile Olimpica #7. With top jocks aboard, that should give us a good chance to move on!

Selections: 1/2/3/4/6/7 (6 Deep)

 

LEG 4: (Race 8: Dirt, 1 Mile, Beholder Mile (G1), $300k, F&M 4+)

After interviewing Robby Albarado this week, the jockey for Swiss Skydiver #1, I am convinced that she is one fast horse. I kinda already knew that though… Still, a veteran rider like him knows his stuff, and people thought he had no chance in the Preakness. They were wrong… Without a doubt, his mount is a loaded “Single” in this Grade I, coming from off the bench. Easily, the classiest filly in all of North America, she set the world on fire in 2020, winning the Eclipse Award. Albarado, trainer Kenny McPeek, and owner Peter Callahan, along with “Skydiver,” beat the best horse in all the land in the Preakness--Authentic. It wasn’t easy beating the boys, never is, and I am looking forward to watching her 2021 campaign unfold. Nobody in here even comes close. This is the start of the march back to the Breeders’ Cup. Should be fun, to say the least.  

Selections: 1 (Single)

 

LEG 5: (Race 9: Turf, 6F, ALLW63k, 4+)

I have saved some dough and placed it under the mattress for just this kind of occasion. I know this is not going to be a cheap .50 ticket, so I am going for the gusto and spending some money in this last leg. Boxcar prices are aplenty, and with such a large field, maybe we can get some really long-priced runner home. My sense is that choosing Flavien Prat is just too easy, but you have to respect Phil D’Amato’s first entry Table for Ten #1 because not only does she get the celebrated rider, he is cutting back after 2-3rd place finishes. I am going to use this one, but also add some spice with several bigger prices. I like John Sadler’s Luvluv #6, especially after he exhibited some nice turn-of-foot down the lane at 6½ on the grass. Others that entice, include Steve Knapp’s Afternoon Heat #8 who is bred well, and Mysterious Stones #10, who happens to be Phil D’Amato’s other entry. Papering over the cracks, I can also use Bench Judge #5, Beaudacious #7, and Caerulean #9. Those 3 may not be over 5/1, but I want some insurance as we round out this fine-looking ticket! See you at the window!

Selections: 1/5/6/7/8/9/10 (7 Deep)

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.50 LP5 TICKET COST: $210.00

Enjoy the action from “The Great Race Place!” Best of Luck!

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