Santa Anita Opening Day (12/26) Featuring Malibu: Taiba Returns

By | December 24, 2022

The headline for opening day of the Classic Meet at Santa Anita is the return of Taiba. Undoubtedly talented, the horse seems to be rebounding off of a rough Derby.

Santa Anita Park- Race 1

Post: 11:00 AM PT; $200k Santa Anita Mathis Mile S. going 1 mile on turf; Entries: 7

  • #1 BALNIKHOV (2-1) gets the top selection. He goes out for the D’Amato barn and gets Gaffalione in the irons.
  • #7 SUMTER (3-1) appears to be a major player in this race. He seems to fit well enough here. This one has really consistent pace figures which should work well in a moderately paced race.
  • #6 HANDY DANDY (5-1) runs evenly and looks to get a very fair pace scenario here.
  • #2 ONE MORE BID (10-1) is a price horse and is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. He makes sense on speed figures.

Selections: 1 – 7 – 6 – 2

Santa Anita Park- Race 2

Post: 11:33 AM PT; $67k Maiden Special Weight going 1 mile on dirt; Entries: 6

  • #2 PURIFIED (2-1) is the top pick. He is a good bet to hit the board in this type of race. This one has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #6 PALAGIO (3-1) appears to be a major player in this race. He seems to fit well enough here. This one could get the right setup in this race.
  • #3 BLETCHLEY PARK (7-2) has to be respected going out for the combination of Baffert and Hernandez.
  • #5 MIGRATION (6-1) is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. He has run against some good ones in previous attempts.

Selections: 2 – 6 – 3 – 5

Santa Anita Park- Race 3

Post: 12:03 PM PT; $200k San Gabriel S. going 1 1/8 miles on turf; Entries: 7

  • #2 MASTEROFFOXHOUNDS (2-1) has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #6 PRINCE ABAMA (5-2) should be competitive in this spot. He runs evenly and looks to get a very fair pace scenario here.
  • #1 RIP CITY (10-1) makes sense on speed figures. This one is a good bet to hit the board in this type of race.
  • #3 DICEY MO CHARA (3-1) looks to be the class of the field. This one should be sitting in the second tier of runners and looking to make one well timed run at the leaders.

Selections: 2 – 6 – 1 – 3

Santa Anita Park- Race 4

Post: 12:32 PM PT; $67k Maiden Special Weight going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 8

  • #2 VEGAS BURNER (12-1) is a price horse and gets the top selection. He could be a dangerous threat to get loose on the front end. This one has the pedigree to be a major player in this spot.
  • #1 JAM SESSION (8-1) has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #3 FAUSTIN (2-1) debuts here and isn’t without hope. He goes out for the Baffert barn and gets Vazquez in the irons.
  • #7 WORCESTER (3-1) will get Hernandez in the saddle for his first start. This rider is often first call for the Baffert barn.

Selections: 2 – 1 – 3 – 7

Santa Anita Park- Race 5

Post: 1:02 PM PT; $67k Maiden Special Weight going 1 mile on turf; Entries: 14

  • #5 DANDY MAN SHINES (5-2) is the top pick. He goes out for the Mullins barn and gets Rispoli in the irons. This one has the pedigree to be a major player in this spot.
  • #13 FLEET FEET (6-1) makes sense on speed figures. This one will likely be out on or near the lead and will look to hold off the charge to the wire.
  • #12 ZIO JO (30-1) could hit the number going out for the combination of O’Neill and Hernandez.
  • #10 SMART CODE (8-1) is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. He goes out for the Glatt barn and gets Frey in the irons.

Selections: 5 – 13- 12- 10

Santa Anita Park- Race 6

Post: 1:32 PM PT; $200k San Antonio S. going 1 1/16 miles on dirt; Entries: 6

  • #6 COUNTRY GRAMMER (7-5) looks best here. He may benefit from a hot pace up front. This one looks to be the class of the field.
  • #2 STILLETO BOY (5-1) has tactical speed and can sit just off the leaders for a stalk and pounce trip.
  • #1 HOPKINS (6-1) could be in with a shot in this race. He makes sense on speed figures.
  • #5 HEYWOODS BEACH (7-2) has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here. This one seems to fit well enough here.

Selections: 6 – 2 – 1 – 5

Santa Anita Park- Race 7

Post: 2:05 PM PT; $72k Allowance going about 6 1/2 furlongs on downhill turf; Entries: 12

  • #8 BIG BEAUTY (7-2) shouldn’t have trouble with the about 6 1/2 furlong distance and looks like the one to beat.
  • #11 TRUE PATRIOT (6-1) has to be respected going out for the combination of Gaines and Hernandez.
  • #9 LA DEUXIEME ETOILE (5-1) should be sitting in the second tier of runners and looking to make one well timed run at the leaders.
  • #5 LADY MARYANN (12-1) is a price horse and has races good enough to beat this group.

Selections: 8 – 11- 9 – 5

Santa Anita Park- Race 8

Post: 2:35 PM PT; $300k La Brea S. going 7 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 8

  • #4 MIDNIGHT MEMORIES (5-2) is the top pick. She has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts.
  • #6 FUN TO DREAM (5-1) appears to be a major player in this race. She has to be respected going out for the combination of Baffert and Hernandez.
  • #1 UNDER THE STARS (7-2) should be competitive in this spot. This one has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #8 AWAKE AT MIDNYTE (8-1) could be in with a shot in this race. She comes into the race in really good form.

Selections: 4 – 6 – 1 – 8

Santa Anita Park- Race 9

Post: 3:08 PM PT; $72k Allowance going 1 1/8 miles on turf; Entries: 14

  • #3 BALLET DANCING (4-1) looks best here. She shouldn’t have trouble with the 1 1/8 mile distance. This one will be rolling late and has a good closing kick that could get the job done here.
  • #12 KARAKATSIE (5-1) appears to be a major player in this race. She has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here. This one makes sense on speed figures.
  • #14 ANNAGHLASA (7-2) looks to be the class of the field. This one should be part of the early pace in this spot.
  • #10 LEISUREWEAR (8-1) has to be respected going out for the combination of D’Amato and Hernandez.

Selections: 3 – 12- 14- 10

Santa Anita Park- Race 10

Post: 3:39 PM PT; $300k RUNHAPPY Malibu S. going 7 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 9

  • #6 TAIBA (6-5) gets the top selection. He shouldn’t have trouble with the 7 furlong distance. This one has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts. Simply the one to beat.
  • #2 MESSIER (6-1) was once the Derby favorite for Baffert. Velazquez will take the mount here.
  • #4 NAKATOMI (10-1) has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #7 PERFECT FLIGHT (12-1) is a price horse and seems to be running for the minor placings in this contest. He has run against solid company recently.

Selections: 6 – 2 – 4 – 7

Santa Anita Park- Race 11

Post: 4:11 PM PT; $300k American Oaks going 1 1/4 miles on downhill turf; Entries: 11

  • #6 MISE EN SCENE (4-1) is the top pick. She shouldn’t have trouble with the 1 1/4 mile distance. This one comes into the race in really good form.
  • #2 SPARKLE BLUE (8-1) has tactical speed and can sit just off the leaders for a stalk and pounce trip.
  • #8 PIZZA BIANCA (6-1) will be rolling late and has a good closing kick that could get the job done here.
  • #7 SKIMS (6-1) has solid early pace figures in a race that looks to lack a ton of front running speed.

Selections: 6 – 2 – 8 – 7

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