Saturday's Santa Anita Picks: Eclipse Thoroughbreds Celebrates its Independence in the Californian S. (G2)
SANTA ANITA PARK Picks
Santa Anita Park now exclusively runs on Saturday and Sunday after cancelling its Friday cards. Still, another great group of races forms this action-packed 9-race Saturday program.
Our turf-man has delved deeply into the card and has provided picks for the whole shebang, as well as, an analysis of the featured Grade II $200k Californian Stakes.
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.
1 1/8th (Dirt) Californian S. (G2), $200k, 3+:
Ownership group Eclipse Thoroughbreds has a stellar runner in Independence Hall #5, a 4-yr-old colt out of Constitution who already has major experience at such a relatively young age. He commands respect, especially after running gamely in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) back in early March. For at least a portion of that well-known fixture on "The Great Race Place" schedule, trainer Mike McCarthy was forced to watch jockey Flavien Prat deal with a fairly rank mount. Now, coming into this spot, against a short field, he should be the prohibitive favorite. With works like these, coupled with a nice fitness component, I do not see anyone in this spot that can best him.
Of course, we cannot have a major "Graded" event without the presence of HOF trainer Bob Baffert. He has a pair entered into this spot in Magic On Tap #2 and Country Grammar #3, and he is hoping one of those can win the day. Baffert's older horses seem pretty weak after some major defections last year because of retirement. The former has only OC40k types to be measured against, and the latter is a claim from the barn of Chad Brown. How they will do against a runner like McCarthy's just does not seem fair. Eclipse-McCarthy-Prat for the win!
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win #5