A lot of happenings at Bob Baffert’s home track over the past few days. Baffert was delivered two vicious blows in the same week. Triple Crown hopefuls, Charlatan and Nadal, who have both gotten plenty of attention over the past may not race in the Belmont Stakes. As far as Nadal is concerned, he’s done and will retire.
There is no maybe when it comes to Nadal. He suffered a career-ending ankle injury while training at Santa Anita Park. There will be no more racing for Nadal in his career. The debate between Charlatan and Nadal was heating up after both looked sharp in Arkansas not that long ago.
Along with Nadal returning, Charlatan failed a drug test at the Arkansas Derby, which was recently revealed to the public. Not just Charlatan, but Gamine, another Baffert trainee failed a test on that day. Baffert has talked about running Charlatan in the Woody Stephens, so it might be a moot point anyway.
He didn’t want to put Nadal and Charlatan in the same race, and discussed signing Charlatan up for the Woody Stephens. There are several storylines that could play out here. Charlatan may not be allowed to race in the Belmont Stakes, though he might not race it in any way if he gets the greenlight.
However, now with Nadal out of the Belmont Stakes, Baffert might want to go with Charlatan. Baffert’s Triple Crown hopes have been dashed pretty fast, though. He is going to be stacked with 3-year-old hopefuls next year, so I wouldn’t feel too bad for the guy. Tiz the Law would see serious money without Charlatan in the Belmont Stakes, and would be the leading candidate to win the Triple Crown.
We have a stakes race at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. The running of the Honeymoon Stakes (Gr. 3) will take place in Race 7. It’s not the biggest race in the world, but the $100,000 purse makes it one of three races in the US with prize money that large. Head below for our free Santa Anita Park Pick 3 selections for May 30, 2020.
Post Time: 3:06 p.m. PST
Distance: 7 Furlongs
Race 6 features a $51,000 purse in a small field of five horses running for 7 furlongs. The way I’m reading it, there are three serious contenders in this race, with Eternal Endeavour, She’s a Dime, and Rather Nosy ready to compete for a win in this one. She’s a Dime is going into Saturday in good form.
She has finished in the top-3 in four straight events, with wins on March 22 and April 24. In those wins, She’s a Dime won by 5 ¼ lengths and a half length. Since the win at Oaklawn Park on April 24, She’s a Dime showed on May 2 in her final race at Oaklawn before transferring to Santa Anita. Overall, She’s a Dime is a winner in 3 of 11 races in her career.
Rather Nosy has won 2 of 16 races in her career and has been in the top-3 in 11 of her previous 13 outings. That’s some solid consistency for Rather Nosy, but it has been nine races since going to the winner’s circle. Some extra kick in the stretch will be required to get over the hump today at Santa Anita.
British born Eternal Endeavour is a winner in 3 of 10 races for a decent win percentage of 30% in her career. Eternal Endeavour has placed in 6 of her previous 7 races. She won back-to-back outings on September 7, 2019 and November 15, 2019, and has since finished 2nd, 2nd, 4th. The race she finished 4th in was a bit above her usual class, so falling out of the top-3 wasn’t too surprising. This is a more than attainable assignment for Eternal Endeavour. Running at her full potential will certainly result in a trip to the winner’s circle.
Race 7 – Honeymoon Stakes
Post Time: 3:37 p.m. PST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
This is the main event of the afternoon at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. Nine horses are registered to run in the Honeymoon Stakes. It will take 1 ⅛ miles to get the win in this event. Stela Star, Parkour, and Laura’s Light are likely going to present strong efforts for a win in this one. Parkour has raced in just five races, but already has two wins in her career.
Not bad at all, with Parkour winning in 2 of her previous 3 races. She won in her most recent outing on March 22 by 3 ¼ lengths over Mind Out. In the three races that Parkour didn’t win, she finished 2nd, 4th, 4th. Parkour is definitely capable of pressing hard and winning here.
Laura’s Light will have a good run at the top prize in Race 7 as well. She has stakes experience and has raced in harder races than Parkour has been involved in. Laura’s Light finished 2nd in the Jimmy Durante Stakes (Gr. 3), won the Blue Norther Stakes (Listed) and Sweet Life Stakes (Gr. 3), and 4th in the Maxim Crane Works Bourbonette Oaks (Listed) on March 14. That’s 2 wins in 5 career races for Laura’s Light. Absolutely cannot be ignored either.
Stela Star has experience in graded races as well. She won the Killavullan Stakes (Gr. 3) in the UK before heading to the US and almost winning the China Doll Stakes (Listed) on March 7. That was a tough race, but Stelar Star came just a half length from winning that race. Note Stelar Star won back-to-back events and then came a half length away from a hat-trick. She can make up for the loss with a win in the Honeymoon Stakes on Saturday.
Post Time: 4:08 p.m. PST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
This certainly isn’t the easiest race to pick of the day, but I think there’s still some value that could help build the odds on our Pick 3 ticket. This will be a 5 ½ furlong race for $32,000. It’s a considerable drop down in class. Tiz a Unicorn and Traffic Stopper are likely going to duel in this one. Rain Diva could catch a break and keep up, but I’m looking at Tiz a Unicorn and Traffic Stopper on my shortlist. Traffic Stopper is winless in the first eight races of her career, though she’s placed in three outings, including her most recent on February 23.
Traffic Stopper finished 5 ½ lengths behind Lucky Long Legs. She was 8th at the ½ pole and showed tremendous drive late, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a deficit like that. In any event, it was good to see that Traffic Stopper was fine at 6 ½ furlongs. 5 ½ furlongs should not be a problem for her at all. Traffic Stopper has finished 4th, 6th, 4th, 2nd in her previous four races. Consistency has been a problem for her, but if she’s in the same form as her most recent performance, then she will be fine in this race.
Tiz a Unicorn is making her debut on Saturday and is going to be a horse to watch throughout her career. It might be her first race at the race course, though I wouldn’t ignore her because of the inexperience. Tiz a Unicorn heads into Saturday off some impressive workouts and should be good to go for this race.
She completed 4 furlongs at 48.40 seconds, 48.60 seconds, and 48.60 seconds all with urging. Conversely, Traffic Stopper was clocked at 49 seconds twice and 50.40 seconds in recent 4-furlong workouts. That doesn’t necessarily equate to what’s going to happen when the gate is open and they’re off. However, Tiz a Unicorn is no slouch despite being a first-time starter. The morning-line looks like good value on Tiz a Unicorn.