Santa Anita Park should be a popular bet on Memorial Day today. With stakes racing taking place in California, Santa Anita is likely going to accept the biggest betting handle. There are three stakes races today, including a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Race, the Shoemaker Mile. The Shoemaker Mile is worth $300,000, while the Gamely Stakes has a $300,000 purse as well.
It isn’t quite as big, but the Gamely Stakes has a big purse of $200,000. That’s a total of $800,000 on the line between three stakes races at Santa Anita Park on Memorial Day. My stakes picks have been terrific this year, and I hope that we can keep things rolling today at Santa Anita Park. For our Santa Anita Park Pick 5 and Rainbow Pick 6 selections for May 25, 2020 head below.
Post Time: 3:05 p.m. PST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
Race 6 will get our Rainbow Pick 6 card started at Santa Anita Park on Memorial Day. This is a small five-horse race with a $51,000 purse. Scarto, Ragtime Blues, and Mo Hawk have a good opportunity at getting the top prize in Race 6. Scarto has finished 2nd, 1st, 1st in his three-race career.
He’s coming off back-to-back wins and looking for the hat-trick on Monday. He won on January 5 by a neck over Khozy My Boy and 1 ¼ lengths over Disc Jockey on February 17. That was an impressive run, as Scarto took over the lead at the ¼ pole by a length and cruised the rest of the way.
Mo Hawk made an impressive debut on September 6, 2019 with a win at Los Alamitos. He 3 won by 3 lengths over Moon Mischief. After that performance, Mo Hawk entered a stakes race in his second ever outing. That didn’t go as well, but decent enough for 4th in the Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita Park on October 20, 2019.
Mo Hawk has been absent from racing since that performance. He should be fresh for this event. Ragtime Blues debuted on September 21, 2019 at Los Alamitos, and had a decent run to place behind Howbelt by 3 lengths. His next performance saw improved form, as he won wire-to-wire by a head over Backshot. Another leap forward in form will signal a win for Ragtime Blues today.
Post Time: 3:36 p.m. PST
Race 7 has a $51,000 purse to offer ten horses at Santa Anita Park on Monday. Sea of Liberty and Three Ay Em should be involved in the stretch in this event. Sea of Liberty is a back-to-back winner on February 9 and February 21. He was a half length winner over Bud Knight, and then a neck over Order and Law for two wins. In seven career races, Sea of Liberty has finished in the top-3 in six races. He absolutely cannot be ignored in this race.
Sea of Liberty is going to be pushed by Three Ay Em in this race, though. Three Ay Em is easily the most consistent performer in this race. He has finished in the top-3 in five straight outings, with his most recent race on December 1 at Del Mar. Three Ay Em showed in that race for 3rd, running better than eight other horses in that outing. Prior to that race Three Ay Em was a winner by a half length over Cono. He has 3 wins in 12 races in his career. Three Ay Em should be good to go in this one and push the favorite in this race to the limit. I prefer him over Sea of Liberty in Race 7.
Post Time: 4:07 p.m. PST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Race 8 has a purse of $50,000 on offer. Ten horses will run 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt for the top prize. The field is likely going to be most concerned with Fierce for Sul and Buyer’s Remorse in this event. Via Angelica has decent value odds at +600 to win this race as well. Her morning workouts have been okay as she gets ready to make the first start in her career. This is a Bob Baffert trained horse that might surprise in her debut. Competing with her stablemate, who is also under Baffert’s watch, Fierce for Sul, is not going to be an easy chore.
The 1-2 punch of Drayden Van Dyke on top of Fierce for Sul and Baffert training the 3-year-old is going to make her a tough horse to beat. Fierce for Sul, another first-time starter, has looked excellent in morning workouts. She completed 5 furlongs in 1:00.40, 4 furlongs in 47 seconds, and 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 in three May workouts. This was a 3-year-old purchased at auction in March for $650,000. She is expected to produce and expected to produce now.
Buyer’s Remorse’s experience as a stakes racer might give Van Dyke issues in this one, however. After finishing 2nd in her debut on August 18th, Buyer Remorse signed up for the Chandelier Stakes (Gr. 1) and Anoakia Stakes (Black Type). Those went relatively well against stiff competition, finishing 5th and 4th in 2019. Buyer’s Remorse has been sidelined since the Anoakia Stakes on October 13, 2019. She has a chance here, but is likely going to be another victim of Van Dyke and Baffert on Monday.
Race 9 – Shoemaker Mile Stakes
Post Time: 4:38 p.m. PST
The Shoemaker Mile should be a thriller at Santa Anita Park on Memorial Day. There are four horses with great chances to get the win in this one, but is somebody being overvalued just a bit? The Shoemaker Mile features a hefty purse of $300,000. It’s always a big race that draws attention. If you’re rooting for a tight, exciting race and don’t care about a winner, then this might be the event for you.
War of Will immediately jumps off the page on Monday. He was scratched from an earlier start a few weeks ago to get ready for the Shoemaker Mile. Mark Casse has to be confidence in War of Will to get the job done by doing that. However, he probably didn’t want to see Chad Brown put Raging Bull and Without Parole. War of Will was the winner of the 2019 Preakness Stakes on May 18, 2019, but has been winless since then.
He’s gone 9th, 5th, 3rd, 9th in four stakes races since capturing the Preakness Stakes last year. In his most recent effort, War of Will was outmatched severely in the Breeders’ Cup Class (Gr. 1). He finished 9th in that outing to get nowhere close to the winner, Vino Rosso. The layoff to give Casse plenty of time with War of Will should help, though he is going to be under a lot of pressure from Brown’s Raging Bull and Without Parole.
The french Raging Bull is a winner in 5 of 12 races, with his most recent victory notched on December 1, 2018 at the Hollywood Derby (Gr. 1). This lightly raced 5-year-old has been involved in most races since then, finishing 4th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd in Gr. 1 races. In his most recent appearance, Raging Bull was just under 2 lengths away from a win, with El Tormenta getting the win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on September 14, 2019 at Woodbine.
Without Parole is Chad Brown’s other weapon in the Shoemaker Mile today. He was a winner in four straight races to open his career and has been looking for his first win in the US. Without Parole was 3rd in his US debut on November 2, 2019 in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Solid run by Without Parole, but didn’t show much in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (Gr. 1) on January 25 to finish 11th. His best win to date was the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Gr. 1) at the Royal Ascot.
Despite 11th in the Pegasus World Cup Turf, Without Parole was never able to get going, as he got stuck in traffic early and was playing from behind throughout. He draws the inside rail and should be able to jump out and avoid traffic in this one. Without Parole is much better than that race indicated, and I think we’re getting value because of that finish. I’m on Without Parole to win the Shoemaker Mile.
Post Time: 5:09 p.m. PST
This is the sandwich race between the two stakes events. Race 10 features a $19,000 purse with nine participants. Fire When Ready looks like my horse in this race. He has a good chance here against a beatable field. He was unsuccessful in his previous two outings, but that kind of form might be good enough to win here. Fire When Ready placed 2nd behind Conquest Cobra by a head on January 25.
Solid run, but he was barely beaten out by a horse that was a half stride better than Fire When Ready on that day. He followed that up to finish 3rd on March 1 after faltering late. Both of those outings could have been wins for Fire When Ready, but he just couldn’t finish the deal. Overall, Fire When Ready is a winner in 4 out of 17 races in his career. He hasn’t found the winner’s circle since a performance on August 14, 2019.
This might be the easiest competition he has seen since then. If not Fire When Ready, consider the No. 1 horse, Studly Perfection, who is a winner in 7 of 23 races in his career, but wasn’t in top form in his last two races. He finished 6th and 4th at Golden Gate, though this was coming off back-to-back wins. If he reverts back to the form from January and February, Studly Perfection will be a willing participant here.
Race 11 – Gamely Stakes
Post Time: 5:39 p.m. PST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
The Gamely Stakes comes with a $300,000 purse as well. It might not have the brand names like in the Shoemaker Mile, but this is still a big race with a wealthy prize on the line. Chad Brown is once again going to be involved in this one. She may very well be able to sweep the Shoemaker Mile and Gamely Stakes today. Brown has two horses running in this one, with Beautiful Lover and Etoile getting the nod.
Beautiful Lover is entering this race with plenty of confidence after placing in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Stakes (Black Type) and Hillsborough Stakes (Gr. 2). He was on a hot run from February 20, 2019 to May 25, 2019 with three straight wins. Her biggest win was in the Boiling Springs Stakes (Black Type) on May 25, 2019. The company in this race might be a bit too much for her to handle, but worth noting.
Ollie’s Candy and Etoile are going to be two participants to watch as well. Ollie’s Candy has won 4 of 12 races in her career. She has finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 2nd in her previous five races and should be a player in the Gamely Stakes. The highlight of her career was a win in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (Gr. 1) on July 28, 2019. She came close in her most recent performance on April 18 in the Apple Blossom Handicap (Gr. 1), but lost to Ce Ce by a head. Nice effort nonetheless despite coming up short.
Etoile has been in top form in workouts and will attract attention for the Gamely Stakes. This will be her first race on US soil after struggling to compete before leaving France. She finished 4th, 6th, 9th after winning the Prix Cleopatre (Gr. 3) on May 20, 2019. That will scare people away. However, her morning workouts lineup with the odds, and while this is a tough race, it isn’t anything she hasn’t seen before in France, certainly easier than her previous three outings. Overall, Etoile has won 3 of 7 races in her career. Look for her to challenge late to grab a close win for a tremendous debut across the pond in the US on Memorial Day. Chad Brown sweeps Memorial Day with wins in the Shoemaker Mile and Gamely Stakes.