Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM
Sunday's Horse Racing Picks and Odds from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita on Sunday March 22
My second choice Wells Choice took the field gate to wire to win Saturday’s $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) and earn a ticket in the starting gate on the first Saturday of September for the Kentucky Derby (G1).
I will never get used to saying, “first Saturday of September.”
For the third time in a week, within an hour after I finished handicapping, a track announced it was closing. First it was Gulfstream Park closing Friday (although just for a day), then Aqueduct, and then yesterday afternoon Fair Grounds announced that Saturday’s Louisiana Derby card would be the final card of the meeting.
Yesterday morning I actually looked over the remining tracks and thought to myself we would stick to Fair Grounds as I rated that track the least likely to close. Wrong.
There is still plenty of horse racing action and for today I did the full card from Santa Anita and my Best Plays Report includes Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.
Among the other tracks that are still running include Oaklawn Park, Tampa Bay Downs, Golden Gate Fields, Turfway Park, Charles Town, Los Alamitos, Will Rogers Downs and Fonner Park.
There is still racing in Hong Kong and Australia, and don’t forget next Saturday is the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1). I plan on handicapping that full card which features plenty of U.S. based runners who made the trip.
With so many around the country not working and forced to stay home, horse racing has given us a nice diversion and I hope it continues.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.
To purchase my Santa Anita and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here.
Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Aqueduct or Santa Anita Reports daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday which will include all of the major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races.
Here is the second race from Gulfstream Park to get the day off to a good start:
GP Race 2 Md Sp Wt (1:34 ET)
7 Just for One Day 2-1
1 Groundbreaking 10-1
2 Boss Onthe Horizon 4-1
3 Shared Legacy 3-1
Analysis: Just for One Day makes his first starts since his debut last June where he showed good early speed pressing the early pace before weakening to finish fifth. The colt looks well prepared at Payson for a barn that is 17% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. The $210,000 purchase is out of the stakes winner Mother Ruth ($288,943) who has dropped two other foals to race including stakes winner Yuvetski ($259,888).
Groundbreaking dueled for the early lead and faded to fish sixth in his debut here going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. The runner up and third place finisher both came back to graduate in their next starts. Wilkes does not usually have them fully cranked first time out and this guy figures to move forward off his debut effort. He is by Tapit out of an End Sweep mare that has dropped four winners including one turf winner. The barn hits at a 10% clip (with a +ROI) with second out maidens.
WIN: #7 to win
EX: 1,7 / 1,2,3,7
TRI: 1,7 / 1,2,3,7 / 1,2,3,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 8 OClm $25,000N1X (4:43 ET)
3 With Herself 9-2
6 On the Town 7-2
5 Dyna Passer 6-5
4 Bo's Image 8-1
Analysis: With Herself bumped coming out of the gate, saved ground much of the trip, was in a bit tight nearing the 1/8 pole and weakened to finish seventh while beaten 3 1/2 lengths. She regressed off her number two back off the break, but she looks as if she may appreciate the stretch out to 1 1/2 miles. She is by Lilbourne out of a Danehill Dancer mare. She picks up Rosario and Motion is adept at getting turf runners to go long. She looks primed for a top effort third off the bench here.
On the Town was bumped coming out of the gate and raced near the back of the pack, made a good middle move and then weakened while lugging in and finished fifth beaten 2 3/4 lengths going 1 3/16 miles. She broke her maiden going nine furlongs and missed by just a neck at this level at the same distance in her first start against winners. Saez picks up the call and pedigree wise 1 1/2 miles is pushing it, but she is going to offer a bit more value than the chalk in here.
WIN: #3 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,4,5,6
TRI: 3,6 / 3,4,5,6 / 3,4,5,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:
SA Race 8 The Sensational Star (4:09 PT)
3 Brandothebartender 5-1
4 Just Grazed Me 4-1
7 Lieutenant Dan 7-2
9 Stealthdiamonds 5-1
Analysis: Brandothebartender makes his third start off the bench here for the Dollase barn. The gelding was a decent third in the Cal Cup Sprint on the main track off the layoff. The winner Fashionably Fast came back to win the Tiznow on March 1. Las out our top pick was back on turf was a game second against Alw-2 optional claimers. He has not won since '18 where he beat state bred allowance foes and he also won the state bred California Flag that October. He should get a good tracking trip from mid pack and another move forward her he can be in the mix at a decent price.
Just Grazed Me was off a beat slow last out in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint, tracked the early pace and finished gamely in a runner up finish behind our fourth choice in here. That snapped a three race winning streak that included winning the Maddy (G3) two back here with a good late rally. She takes on the boys here but her last three numbers make her a player.
Lieutenant Dan returns off a two-month break and makes just his second start since last August. Last out he stalked the early pace and finished gamely to miss by just a neck in the Cal Cup Sprint at six furlongs on the main track behind repeater Fashionably Fast. He has just two career starts on turf and they were both going long. He handled the grass, both third place finishes in state bred company last spring. It looks as if he should be able to handle his first turf sprint of his career.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,7,9
TRI: 3,4 / 3,4,7,9 / 2,3,4,7,9
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R4: #2 Tailback 8-1
R5: #5 Uno Dancer 10-1
R7: #6 Fast as Cass 8-1
Good luck today!