Sunday Santa Anita Picks: Del Mar Drama's Curtain Rises in Race 4

The Santa Anita Sunday card has a pair of Stakes races coming your way, plus a slew of other wagering options. Check them out!
The Santa Anita Sunday card has a pair of Stakes races coming your way, plus a slew of other wagering options. Check them out!

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.

Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner: (Race 8: Brickyard Ride #4, 3/5):

It seems like a rather sad state of affairs at “The Great Race Place,” when you have a Grade III contest like the $100k Kona Gold Stakes with only 4 drawn in. I suppose trainer Craig Lewis had to find some track for his star pupil, Brickyard Ride #4, to run. Last out in the San Carlos (G2), this son of Clubhouse Ride was brilliant. Now, the owned and bred 4-yr-old colt of Al Pais looks to defend the homeland. He should do it in fine fashion. The question is, where does he go next? Hmm . . .

Wager: $100 Win, #4


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 4: Del Mar Drama #8, 15/1):

Today’s major play comes from an AOC40k race, as these fillies are sprinting on the Santa Anita turf course. The new chute has received some mixed reviews from punters, but that probably has to do more with the fact that most miss the Downhill. I am looking for a major value play among these 4-yr-olds, and I found one in Del Mar Drama #8. This daughter of Shackleford is coming off a major break for trainer Eric Kruljac. It will be interesting to see how she has matured since running in 2020 in primarily the MSW Division. Her works look promising, and with this conditioner, you can bank on that being an asset on the grass. Let’s see if she can fire a bullet off the bench!  

Wager: $2 Exacta Wheel, 8 w 1/2/3/4/5/6


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 3: Dirt, 1½, Tokyo City Cup S., $100k, 4+):

Over the years, the Grade III Tokyo City S. has provided fans with some thrilling victors. Remember Majestic Harbor? How about Sky Kingdom? Or Big John B? Two of my favs were Hard Aces and Hoppertunity! This time around we have a short field of 5 that will be going “long.”

The 4/5 M/L “lead dog” will be Richard Mandella’s Tizamagician #3, who is now a horse for the people. He is not only owned by Spendthrift Farm, but also has MyRacehorse shareholders backing him. Flavien Prat rides him for the first time, now that jockey Drayden Van Dyke has escaped to eastern borders. Good chance to win for this one, yet again, especially after a miss in the Big ‘Cap.

Another one of the favorites who will take significant money based on his record will be Mark Glatt’s Zestful #5. Here is a 6-yr-old out of Ghostzapper that has a remarkable record: 32/10-6-4. His weakness might be that he hasn’t gone this far in a race since 2019. Conclusion . . . he could be vulnerable.

If you want some more value that entices at a much better price, then look no further than trainer Bob Hess’ Lure Him In #4. This gelding gets JJ Hernandez aboard, and is stepping up from ALLW Co. His record during a series of long-distance turf races is excellent, though there were not any definable wins. His price should drift up from 4/1 by the time the call to the post is uttered.

I am going to play a straight Trifecta, and hope to see the pair of favs fail. No offense to them, mind you . . . I just want to cash a tasty ticket!

Wager: $2 Trifecta Cold, 4-3-5


Enjoy Sunday card at “The Great Race Place!” Best of Luck!

Horse Racing Results
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