From the east to the west, we have you covered on the racetrack at TheSportsGeek. We begin the day at Keeneland in Lexington where the running of the $800,000 Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. 2) is scheduled for 170 points. It’s the biggest race in the US on Saturday, but the only Grade 1 race can be found at Santa Anita Park. There are also 170 points up for grabs in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (Gr. 1) on Saturday on the west coast in Arcadia. To round out the top three races, Aqueduct Racetrack is presenting the $750,000 Wood Memorial (Gr. 2) this afternoon in Queens. There’s a lot of points to be had on Saturday. The Road to the Kentucky Derby is going to its apex today.
A total of 12 races for $2,196,000 in prize money is expected to be run at Santa Anita Park this afternoon. If you are looking for our Blue Grass and Keeneland picks on Saturday, then head over to our Keeneland page. The Santa Anita Derby won’t overlap with the Blue Grass, so no worries if you want to watch both events. Head below for our free Santa Anita Park selections and Santa Anita Derby pick for April 3, 2021.
Post Time: 1:06 p.m. PST
A $78,000 allowance race on the turf at Santa Anita Park will get us going on Saturday in Arcadia. Seven horses are expected to participate in this event. I would suggest looking at I Will Not and City Rage to get the win in this race. I Will Not is on a nice consistent run from December 18 after placing 2nd at Los Alamitos.
He has finished 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 2nd in his previous four performances. I Will Not was a winner on February 13 at Santa Anita with a $63,000 win. He topped Curry by 1 ½ lengths in that race for a clean win over the betting favorite. I Will Not couldn’t follow up in his next entry, though. He placed 2nd behind Canadian Proud by ¾ lengths in another $63,000 event.
City Rage has been in top form since August 30, 2020. He’s been rolling in consistency with five straight events in the top-3 and top-2 in four out of five races. City Rage won two of those races, including his most recent entry on March 5. He defeated One Flew South by ¾ lengths in a $33,000 event. Prior to that event, City Rage placed 2nd behind Coast of Roan by 1 ¼ lengths in a $33,000 race. I like City Rage, but like the value with I Will Not more.
Race 8 – Santa Anita Derby
Post Time: 4:15 p.m. PST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
The Santa Anita Derby (Gr. 1) is a $750,000 event and the only Grade 1 race in the country today. This is a talented field with ten runners expected to participate. Dream Shake has appeared in two events in his career, going 1st and 3rd with a decent showing in the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes (Gr. 2) on March 6. That was his stakes debut, and all things considered, it was an encouraging effort versus some tough runners.
He was 2 ¼ lengths behind Medina Spirit in that event. The good news for his connections is that Dream Shake is open to improvement. Expect to see more out of Dream Shake as he continues to develop. In his win on February 7, Dream Shake beat Harbored Memories by 4 ¾ lengths for a $61,000 purse. That was too easy. As he found out in the San Felipe, graded stakes races are a much bigger chore.
Medina Spirit has been a consistent force since debuting on December 11. He has finished 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd through four events. In the biggest win of his career, Medina Spirit beat Roman Centurian by by a neck in the $100,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Gr. 3) on January 30. In his next and most recent assignment, Medina Spirit placed 2nd behind a very talented Life Is Good on March 6 by 8 lengths. Medina Spirit was 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Dream Shake in that one. Bob Baffert appears to have a winner in the Santa Anita Derby at his home track on Saturday.
Race 9 – Royal Heroine Stakes
Post Time: 4:46 p.m. PST
The $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes (Gr. 2) is the feature turf race at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. Eight horses are expected at the gate for this event. I would put Raymundos Secret and Charmaine’s Mia in good standing going into Saturday. Raymundos Secret is a winner in 5 of 8 races in her career. She has graded experience, with appearances in the Del Mar Oaks (Gr. 1), Autumn Miss Stakes (Gr. 2), John C. Mabee Stakes (Gr. 2), and Goldikova Stakes (Gr. 2).
She’s won only one of them, and outside of the top-3 in all of the others. Raymundos Secret beat Lady Prancealot by a neck in the $150,000 John Mabee Stakes (Gr. 2) on September 5, but failed to stay in touch in her next and most recent performance. Raymundos Secret finished 4th on October 25 in the $200,000 Goldikova Stakes (Gr. 2). She went on a layoff, and has been trying to stay sharp in workouts.
Raymundos Secret was timed at 1:00.40 and 1:00.40 at 5 furlongs and 4 furlongs in 47.80 seconds in March. I think she can be somewhere close at the wire in this event. Her biggest threat is likely going to be Charmaine’s Mia. Charmaine’s Mia is 6 for 27 in her career. She is looking for a hat-trick after two graded wins. Charmaine’s Mia is in the form of her career right now.
She’s coming off a win in the $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes (Gr. 3) over Jolie Olimpica by 2 ½ lengths in a fairly big upset. To prove it wasn’t a fluke, Charmaine’s Mia defeated Mucho Unusual most recently in the $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes by a length as a favorite this time on February 20. I would put Charmaine’s Mia in the winner’s circle in the Royal Heroine on Saturday.