Santa Anita Race Analysis (12/26)


Race 9 at Santa Anita is loaded with value. No doubt, the 5, Spanish Hombre, and the 11, Lazzam are worthy of their favored morning line odds. That said, most of us play exotics and rolling pick 3s or 4s. So, who do you add in for value? Who has the potential to beat the favorites? Why?

Relevant Formulas:
Final Figure – 6 F = Turf Spread for Routes
Final Figure – 4 F= Turf Spread for Sprints

A quick review for studying grass figures: turf is a measure in acceleration. Look for patterns of widening, or larger spreads with competitive final figures. It indicates that a horse essentially ‘jogs' the beginning, then sprints at the end. Horses who ‘jog' slower at the beginning and then finish with the rest of the group will logically have more energy to use in the next race and more room for improvement, should they start using their energy more wisely.


#7, Ice Kat, 20/1

This is the top pick, a true contender who could beat the favorites. Ice Kat has a very enticing, competitive pattern. Not only has he triggered a PLOW designation, he also has the widest 4F turf spread of the group, meaning he should move forward in a big way off his last race.

A quick examination of his 6F spread over the last four races shows some improvement; the spread is widening from 8, to 9, and 11 in the last race which stands among the best of the field today.

However, his 4F figures are what make him a standout candidate to possibly win. His pattern has been improving by huge leaps: 1, 9, and then he finished with an 18 point spread in his last race. That is an incredibly wide spread for any horse. But wait…there's more.
The last time he had a large 4F spread was last January, also at Santa Anita, where his spread was 12 points, with a final figure of 71. His next race out, he improved his final to 74 and won.

This race, he is starting with a final figure of 75. So, by that logic, if he hit a PLOW with a final of 75 and a spread of 18, it indicates that he conserved considerable energy in the beginning and is certainly due for a large move forward.

All of his figures indicate a form cycle where has the potential to run a monster race.

#6, Temple Keys, 6/1
This horse is all-around sound. Note the wide turf spreads and excellent final figures. If Temple Keys does not finish in the mix, it would be surprising. Final figures are high almost every race, and wide spreads show consistent energy conservation.

Note the impressive final figure of 77 coming off the PLOW a few races back. The value is there; the ability is real. Do not ignore. Include in exotics.

#9, Chris and Dave, 10/1
Chris and Dave have my attention as a worthy wildcard. If you black out all of his last four dirt figures (reminder to never compare dirt figures to grass), and examine the last time out on turf, he scored an impressive final figure of 77 which allowed him to win by a length and a half. This win came in August and it seems like the repertoire of dirt races since then will add a bit of speed to his talents.
My only two knocks against him are 1) I would like to see him more rested before attempting a turf route and 2) his spread with a final of 77 was small. However, a final figure of 77 still puts him in the game.

Expect him to run early and push the 5, Spanish Hombre. While Chris and Dave's older turf figures are not as impressive, that one figure alone shows us a glimpse of his true turf ability. Give this horse a shot. If he comes ready to fire, he's dangerous.

Ice Kat
Final 75 70 74 71
4F 57 61 73 59
4F Spread 18 9 1 12
6F 64 61 66 58
6F Spread 11 9 8 13
Temple Keys
Final 76 77 72 74
4F 63 66 52 61
4F Spread 13 11 20 13
6F 64 65 54 60
6F Spread 12 12 18 14
Chris and Dave
Final 77
4F 74
4F Spread 3
6F 69
6F Spread 8

My Overall Picks:
5, 7, 11
6, 9
3, 10, 12

About the Author
Carol Sutton is a handicapper from Lincoln, Nebraska. Her favorite surface is turf, favorite distance is a mile, and favorite tracks are Del Mar, Santa Anita, Gulfstream, Saratoga, and Thistledown. She regularly competes in handicapping contests around the Midwest.
While relatively new to the sport, she aims to integrate technology into handicapping to provide an edge against other betters. Ultimately, she wants to invigorate the horse racing industry by generating interest in the sport among women and millennials.


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