Race 1: Maiden Special Weight
– Mile High Magic (KY) – He’ll be in the first race, which is a maiden special weight for three-year old colts going a distance of six furlongs. The race features six first time starters and three that have only ran one time. Mile High Magic is one of those first-timers, and I just have a feeling he may be a good one. His workouts have been pretty solid, and the Baffert-Garcia combination can be deadly at Santa Anita.
Race 3: The Arcadia (Grade 3)
– Mr. Commons (KY) – He was simply awesome in his last race; a win in the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort Stakes. Now he’ll try to dominate again in the Grade 3 Arcadia Stakes against a field of seven other rivals. I look for him to kick clear of this field without much problem as he moves forward on his way to bigger and better things. Could he be developing into one of the best turf milers in the country?
Race 6: Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Grade 2)
– Rousing Sermon (CA) – Even though Liaison has beaten him twice, I still think Rousing Sermon is going to win the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. His only start over the Santa Anita surface was flawless, so I think the dirt surface will give him enough of an edge to turn the tables on Liaison.
– Liaison (KY) – This is Bafferts best shot at the Kentucky Derby at the moment. Event though he’s won 3 of 4 races, I still need him to prove a little more to me. He’ll go itno this race as the favorite, but this won’t be an easy spot for him. Several of these look ready to run a big race.
– Sky Kingdom (KY) – Another horse that I’ll be watching closely in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. Sky Kingdom is a real sleeper in my opinion as far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned. His pedigree suggests distance will not be an issue, and I think he might be a late developer who could sneak up on a lot of people.
– Isn’t He Clever (KY) – Here is a horse that will probably be a long shot in the Robert B. Lewis, but he provides a little interest to me. He hasn’t faced much, but he’s won 3 of 4, with his last being an easy win in the Riley Allison Stakes at Sunland Park. The trainer is basically using this as a test run for Isn’t He Clever, as he’s yet to go around two turns. If he can get the distance, I think he has a decent shot.
Race 8: The Strub Stakes (Grade 2)
– Tapizar (KY) – California’s up and coming star will try to duplicate his big performance last time out this Saturday in the Strub Stakes. There has been a few grumblings about Tapizar not being able to run longer distances, so this will be an interesting race for him considering it’s at one and one eight of a mile. Expect him to go off at very low odds and if you want to try to beat him this might be a good spot. If he does win this race the Santa Anita Handicap will be where he’s headed next.
– Jaycito (KY) – Never has a horse done so little, but been hyped so much! Jaycito once again is on the comeback trail, and hopefully this time he’s going to make an impact. Injuries have wrecked his career, but there is still a lot of interest in what this horse can do. Who knows what could have been for Jaycito. Hopefully Bob Baffert can keep him together long enough for him to show his stuff.
– Prayer for Relief (KY) – I think he could be the horse that can take advantage if Tapizar struggles with the distance. Prayer For Relief has already proven he can go long, so the only concern here is if he’s talented enough to beat this bunch. I’m not sure he is, but you know what you’re going to get out of him, which is an honest and consistent effort. He’ll be around towards the end, and it’s going to take a good performance to beat him.