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2019 Santa Anita Autumn Meet Opening Day Picks and Analysis

2019 Santa Anita Autumn Meet Opening Day Picks and Analysis

Santa Anita Park opens for its 23-day Autumn Meet today, September 27. The meet, which will be highlighted by a record 10th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 1 & 2, will conclude on Nov. 3. 

Today, some of the top 2-year-old colts and fillies will face off in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) and Chandelier Stakes (G1). The winners will receive an all-expenses-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Juvenile at Santa Anita Park in early November. Also on the card is the Eddie D. Stakes (G2) featuring a field of 8 going 5 furlongs on the turf.

A total of three graded stakes races will be held today at Santa Anita on opening day. Take a closer look at each one:

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Race 5: $300,000 Chandelier Stakes (G1), 2YO Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles

Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke in both of her Del Mar starts, Bob Baffert’s Bast will be handled on Friday by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, as Van Dyke is coming off an injury and Baffert was uncertain to his status as recently as last week. Out of the Arch mare Laffina, Bast should have little difficulty stretching out from seven furlongs to a mile and one sixteenth as she continues her march to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies here on Nov. 1.

The Chandelier field: Been Studying, Mike Smith, 9-2; K P Dreamin, Ruben Fuentes, 6-1; Comical, Abel Cedillo, 8-1; Bast, John Velazquez, 3-5; Buyer’s Remorse, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; and Leucothea, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 5-1.

TOP PICK: #4 Bast (3/5)

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Race 6: $200,000 Eddie D Stakes (G2), 3YO+, 5 Furlongs

Trainer Brian Koriner’s upstart Mr Vargas and Peter Miller’s two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion Stormy Liberal head a field of eight 3-year-olds and up going 5 furlongs on turf.

The Eddie D field: Eddie Haskell, Joel Rosario, 3-1; Pee Wee Reese, Flavien Prat, 3-1; Lombo, Geovanni Franco, 30-1; Boa Nova, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; Stormy Liberal, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 4-1; Mr Vargas, Joe Talamo, 5-2; Double Touch, John Velazquez, 12-1; and Tribalist, Victor Espinoza, 5-1.

TOP PICK: #1 Eddie Haskell (3/1)

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Race 8: $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes (G1), 2YO, 1 1/16 Miles

Bob Baffert’s Eight Rings, Mark Glatt’s Collusion Illusion, John Shirreffs’ Express Train and Steve Asmussen’s Shoplifted head a strong field of nine juveniles.

“I would have liked to seen Eight Rings a little further out,” said Baffert. “But all the horses are doing well and we’ll see what happens.

“You’ve got to break from the gate and get into it. The American Pharoah is a really competitive race, probably as competitive as I’ve ever seen it.”

The American Pharoah field: American Theorum, Tiago Periera, 5-1; Fore Left, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; Eight Rings, John Velazquez, 9-5; Express Train, Mike Smith, 4-1; Storm the Court, Flavien Prat, 15-1; Defense Wins, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; Shoplifted, Joel Rosario, 6-1; Nucky, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 10-1; and Collusion Illusion, Joe Talamo, 5-1.

TOP PICK: #3 Eight Rings (9/5)

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Get our FREE PICKS for the rest of the Santa Anita card here. Plus get PREMIUM PICKS Friday for Santa Anita and an additional 16 tracks all for one low price here.

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