Santa Anita Picks: Cal Cup Turf Edition for January 15

Saturday's Cal Cup has a number of turf options ... of the stakes variety ... Check out these selections, plus some targeted analysis!
Saturday's Cal Cup has a number of turf options ... of the stakes variety ... Check out these selections, plus some targeted analysis!

Santa Anita Picks – Saturday, January 15, 2022

  • Race 1: 3-5-2-1
  • Race 2: 7-3-1-2
  • Race 3: 5-1-4-3
  • Race 4: 7-4-1-2
  • Race 5: 2-5-3-4
  • Race 6: 3-2-8-6
  • Race 7: 2-4-1-8
  • Race 8: 3-9-12-2
  • Race 9: 8-3-4-1
  • Race 10: 9-11-7-1
  • **Most Likely Winner: Colt Fiction #8 (Race 9)**
  • **Best Value: Precious Insight #9 (Race 10)**

Opening Day at Santa Anita seems a distant memory ... As we head into January, while the East Coast and Upper South are being hit by a cold blast, it is warm in sunny SoCal for the Cal Cup!

At we have you covered, including all of the action from what is known as "The Great Race Place." It is a good time for some of the best that North American racing has to offer. Stay tuned! 

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Saturday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Do not forget to follow us on Twitter ... @Horseracing_USA ...

Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner: (Race 6: Aligato #3, 7/2):

While this race has its share of experienced turfers, I would not say that there is an overt amount of class afoot here. That is precisely why I would like to back Mark Glatt’s ladder-climbing gelding by Kitten’s Joy. Last out, this gelding just missed by a whisker in a turf sprint at the OC20k level on New Year’s Day at Santa Anita. That kind of late kick that he exhibited was something to behold. Now, on the “step up,” Glatt gets Flavien Prat to take over the riding chores from JJ Hernandez. I do not see why a distance test like this one at the “Non-G” level cannot turn into a signature “win.” At odds hovering around 7/2, that sounds like a wager to me!

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #3


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 8: Super Game #3, 10/1):

With a large field, this race is going to be one to handicap. If you get a nice price, then it could yield a major payoff. For my money, I am going to turn to a rider who once dominated … I mean dominated … the Hillside Turf Course at Santa Anita. I can remember when then bug boy Drayden Van Dyke ruled the roost. He was aggressive, creative, and when it counted, he was there in the end. Trainer Brian Koriner has kept this filly by Super Saver fit throughout the year, and the best news … she has a win down one of the most unique courses in the world. Maybe Van Dyke can channel some of that old magic … if he can, it might be a great score for these connections at odds that are sure to be double-digits.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #8 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 10: Turf, 1 Mile, Leigh Ann Howard California Cup Oaks, $200k, 3F):

The “spotlight” race on this Cal Cup afternoon is this $200k race, which is sure to be a good one for turf enthusiasts who like to wager on races. Of course, Eddie Truman will probably have the favorite in Professor’s Pride #7. This filly by Bayern is undefeated, and most will be impressed by her last effort over the dirt at Los Al. Her pedigree speaks to turf, but let’s face it, she may not care for the green. I know Umberto Rispoli is a fine actor in the saddle in SoCal, but that does not assure this one of a victory. The same could be said for Phil D’Amato’s Rose Dawson #11. Even though she gets Flavien Prat, you might need to be wary of her abilities on this new surface. She did well in her debut at Los Al, breaking her maiden 1st out. As for a top selection, I am going with a rank outsider from the Solis Barn. No, it is not Madiha #5. That filly has promise; rather, I like the look of Precious Insight #9. This daughter of Mohaymen has turf experience dating back to the summer at Del Mar, but one of her efforts did come at this distance at Santa Anita. She rated well in that event (losing to Vivacious Vanessa #3), and then came back to win in a MSW 70k @DMR. The class hike is going to be a challenge, but it is not impossible. The veteran, Victor Espinoza gets the call, and he has had his share of turf racing upsets over the years (I was thinking of Astronaut this past year who made it to the Breeders’ Cup). Let’s put this one on a ticket, and hope she ends up on top!

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 7/9/11


Enjoy some racing from “The Great Race Place!” Best of luck on another run at Santa Anita!

Horse Racing Results