A big weekend of racing across the US is nearly upon us. There are eight race tracks racing on Friday, and Saturday will be an even bigger day with stakes racing heating up at Churchill Downs. Santa Anita Park is back to racing on Friday and will have a full card on Saturday and Sunday as well. The Triple Crown picture is complete now. The Belmont Stakes will take place on June 20, hence acting as the first race of the Triple Crown. The 146th Kentucky Derby will be the second leg of the Triple Crown on Labor Day Weekend, and the Preakness Stakes will follow on October 3 as the final leg.
In the meantime, we have a lot of racing to get to before the Belmont Stakes. It’s supposed to be a beautiful day in Santa Anita with sunny skies and a high of 81F. Most horses will appreciate the perfect weather over the weekend at Santa Anita Park. We will get started with the Santa Anita Pick 5 and Rainbow Pick 6 card on Friday. Head below for our free Santa Anita Pick 5 and Rainbow Pick 6 selections for May 22, 2020.
Post Time: 2:05 p.m. PST
Distance: 1 1/16 Miles
Race 4 is the first race of the Pick 6 card at Santa Anita Park on Friday. This event is 1 1/16 miles for a $17,000 purse. Manresa, Diva in Charge, and Suezaaana are all going to have a good run at the top prize in this one. Suezaaana is looking for her first win on Friday. It’s possible it comes today. She’s been close recently, having finished in the top-3 in 4 of her previous 5 outings. In 5 of 7 career races, Suezaaana has either shown or placed.
Diva in Charge has gone 9th, 5th, 3rd in her previous three races and has been showing plenty of strides in the right direction. In her most recent performance, Diva in Charge 4 ¾ lengths behind Palm d’Oro for 2nd in that race. This is an easier ask for her, so 3rd might turn into the first win of her career in Race 4 at Santa Anita Park on Friday.
Her biggest threat is going to be from the No. 1 post position in this race. Manresa has been showing improvements as well. Since finishing 2nd as a first-timer starter on November 3, 2019, she responded to finish 5 on January 3. However, Manresa got right back on track to go 3rd and then 2nd in her most recent race on March 8. She barely lost to get edged out by Pasito by a neck. A similar performance is all she will need for a win today.
Post Time: 2:37 p.m. PST
Off to Race 5 we go, where 1-mile will be raced for a $53,000 purse. Proud Pedro and Odysseus are my favorite horses in this event, with King of Speed with a potential upset selection. King of Speed is a stakes racer that is trying an easier event on Friday. He’s a winner in 2 of 14 races in his career.
It’s been a while since he found the winner’s circle, with his most recent win on October 8, 2018. He’s gone without a win in eight outings. However, he’s competed against some tough competition and should be ready to go against this field. King of Speed has gone 4th, 3rd, 11th, 8th, 4th in his previous five outings. He has raced in ten straight stakes events.
Proud Pedro is coming off a win on February 23 by ¾ lengths over Farquhar. He’s been in the top-3 in each of his previous two races and has been in good form. Proud Pedro has a win in 2 of 10 races so far in his career. Certainly has the potential to be a back-to-back winner on Friday after winning back on February 23. He will likely be tested by Odysseus in this race.
Odysseus is gunning for a hat-trick in this race and opening his career a perfect 3 for 3. He won on January 17 by 1 ¼ lengths after rallying hard in the stretch, as Odysseus rode hard from the top of the stretch to the wire for a win. He followed that up with another win on March 8 by 1 length over Coast of Roan. Odysseus has yet to face a strong field like King of Speed and Proud Pedro have in stakes races, though. I’m leaning towards the value on King of Speed to win.
Post Time: 3:09 p.m. PST
Race 6 features a $19,000 purse in a ten-horse field that is likely going to be a close contest between Papa Turf, Short of Ez, and Fast Cotton. Papa Turf is coming off a win on March 8 by the length of a neck over Burn Me Twice. He has won 2 of his previous 4 races and placed in the other outings. Prior to that win, Papa Turf finished 2 ½ lengths behind Short of Ez. He did edge out Fast Cotton before that race, but failed to beat Twirling Tiger, who got the win by 3 lengths on November 9, 2019. Overa, Papa Turf has won 8 of 63 races in his career.
Fast Cotton is a winner in 4 out of 20 races in his career. He was 3rd in that race we just talked about in November and hasn’t been seen racing since. After somewhat of a lengthy layoff, Fast Cotton will be back out looking for a win on Friday. Before showing in November, Fast Cotton won in October over Desert General by 3 ½ lengths. That was only the second time in seven races that Fast Cotton finished in the top-3. Short of Ez has won 2 of his previous 3 races on December 29, 2019 and February 16.
Short of Ez won over Conquest Cobra by 5 lengths in December, and then 2 ½ lengths over Papa Turf in February. He has placed in the top-2 in 3 of his previous 4 races going into today. Overall in his career, Short of Ez has won 5 of 16 career starts. He has already proven he can be better than Papa Turf, and should be able to flex his muscles against him on Friday in Race 6 at Santa Anita Park.
Post Time: 4:21 p.m. PST
Race 7 has a $15,000 purse on offer in a ten-horse field. It will take a mile to complete this event, with Mayan Warrior and Music to My Ears likely getting into it at the top of the stretch. I think Capital Buzzkill could make a case for a winning run as well. Captain Buzzkill drops in class after finding no success against better competition. He tried and failed miserably, with finishes of 7th and 9th in his previous two outings. This came after placing and winning in two prior races.
Captain Buzzkill placed in 2nd to finish 3 ¾ lengths behind Lil Milo on November 29, 2019. He followed that up with a win on February 1 by 3 lengths over Sea’s Journey. That prompted his trainer to check out how Captain Buzzkill could do against better competition for bigger purses. Nope, that didn’t go well as Captain Buzzkill was a non-factor in his last two races. He will be back at a more manageable level in Race 7 on Friday and is likely going to have a bold bid. Captain Buzzkill has a win in 1 of 14 races in his career.
Music to My Ears is dropping a class, too, after finishing 8th, 5th, 5th in his last three races. He grabbed his first career win on November 29, 2019 by the length of a neck over Aggressivity. That was close to not happening, but Music to My Ears was able to hold on late. The most likely winner in this event goes to Mayan Warrior from the No. 10 post position, according to the morning lines, but hasn’t performed in the best form recently. He has finished 6th, 6th, 6th, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 4th in his previous seven races, and hasn’t won since November 4, 2018.
King Parker is being overlooked here from the No. 5 post position. He’s coming off a win and placed on February 15 as well. King Parker lost by 7 ½ lengths for 2nd in February behind Bowl of Spaghetti. He wasn’t satisfied with that performance and turned his next outing into a win on March 6. King Parker notched the win by 1 ¼ lengths to beat out 13 other horses. In 3 of his previous 4 races, King Parker has finished in the top-2. There is a lot of value there.
Post Time: 4:11 p.m. PST
The feature race of the day is Race 8 at Santa Anita Park on Friday. This event is worth $51,000 with more of the big money races taking place tomorrow. Tizamagician and Nolo Contesto are both likely going to have strong performances in this race. Nolo Contesto drops in class after struggling recently.
He tried his hand at stakes racing and didn’t make it very far, with finishes of 4th, 7th, 7th. Back down a class, Nolo Contesto finished 5th in his most recent outing on October 12, 2019. After a layoff to get things in order, Nolo Contesto is back and hopefully in better form. He completed a 5-furlong workout at 1:00.40 and 4-furlong at 49.20 seconds in May.
Tizamagician is coming off the first stakes races of his career and he didn’t do too bad. He finished ¾ lengths back of High Velocity to nearly show. Leading up to that race, Tizamagician was running well to finishing in the top-2 in four straight races, including a win on January 1. He’s been in the top-2 in 5 of 7 races in his career. In his victory in January, Tizamagician won by 2 ½ lengths after taking the lead over at the ¾ pole. This race is a very good chance of a win for Tizamagician.
Post Time: 4:41 p.m. PST
This may not be the feature race, but is just short a $1,000 of the pure offered in Race 8. Rockie Causeway, On Mars, Cassie Belle, Rose’s Crystal, and Goodtingscominpink are all potential winners in this event. On Mars and Goodtingscominpink are both on my shortlist, with the better value likely going to be found on Goodtingscominpink. On Mars has ran well in three races, finishing 4th, 3rd, 2nd in the first three races of her career. She placed behind Bella Vita by 5 ¼ lengths on February 16 for a nice rally at the end. On Mars was 10th at the ⅜ pole and rode hard to place 2nd in that event.
Goodtingscominpink has been coming close several times in her career. She has raced in six races and could very easily have a win or two on her mantle by now. Goodtingscominpink has been in the top-3 in 5 of 6 career races. She has been nearly off a year after finishing 4th on July 26, 2019, which was the worst performance of her career. Enters this one in good form and should be able to return to the racetrack and make some noise. Expect Goodtingscominpink to be involved in the stretch, with a good shot at the top prize in Race 9.