We have our pick up the litter on Saturday throughout the US. There are 12 race tracks available for wagering at BetOnline. There aren’t really any notable races to point out besides the $200,000 Holy Bull Stakes (Gr. 3) at Gulfstream Park and $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes (Gr. 2) at Santa Anita Park. There is one other $200,000 stakes race today at Oaklawn Park, the running of the Martha Washington Stakes (Black Type). We have Aqueduct Racetrack covered with three selections on Saturday, and a few more at Santa Anita Park. Bob Baffert is represented today at his home track. Baffert has three entries, including Speed Pass, along with Medina Spirit and Spielberg in the $100,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Gr. 3).
The Robert B. Lewis Stakes is one of two stakes events at Santa Anita Park. The other I noted above, the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes. In total, there are eight races at Santa Anita Park on Saturday with a total of $549,000 in prize money available. Head below for our free Santa Anita Park picks for January 30, 2021.
Post Time: 2:01 p.m. PST
Race 4 is a mile race for a $35,000 purse on the main track. Lookintogeteven and This Tea should run well in this event on Saturday afternoon in California. Lookintogeteven is winless in ten races in her career, but could strike in this class. For a $300,000 horse, her career has largely been a disappointment so far. There is still time for her to turn things around, though, and has looked better recently.
Lookintogeteven finished 3rd, 6th, 3rd in her previous three entries. She showed 3rd three races ago on July 3 in a $40,000 event, and did the same in her most recent outing on January 3. Lookintogeteven finished 3rd behind the winner by 2 ½ lengths in a $61,000 event. This Tea has been a consistent runner, but coming up short repeatedly since August.
In her last two outings, she placed 2nd behind Rocking Redhead by 4 ½ lengths in a $57,000 event on November 14, and then returned to the track on January 17 and placed 2nd behind As Time Goes By by 9 lengths in a $63,000 race. Note that this is a much easier assignment and it should show on Saturday afternoon.
Race 5 – San Pasqual Stakes
Post Time: 2:33 p.m. PST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
The San Pasqual Stakes is one of three $200,000 races in the US on Saturday. This is the most highly ranked at a Grade 2. Express Train and Idol are on my shortlist, but Victor Martinez’s King Guillermo can’t be ignored.
Yes, the former Major League Baseball League player from the Red Sox and Tigers. King Guillermo was scheduled to run in the Kentucky Derby, but couldn’t because of an injury. Since then, he finished 4th in the $250,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (Gr. 1) on December 5.
That wasn’t totally unexpected for King Guillermo, but after missing the Derby, certainly a win would have been nice to show he’s in good form. He was an unlikely winner of the $400,000 South Tampa Derby (Gr. 2) on March 7 as a huge underdog, and then ran well in the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (Gr. 1) to place behind Nadal by 3 lengths.
That solidified a spot for him in the Derby. If you recall, Nadal was one of the favorites at the time for the Derby, so that was a decent performance from King Guillermo. Since the injury, though, he didn’t look the same in the Cigar Mile. He will likely have trouble with Express Train and Idol. Express Train has gone 2 for 7 and is coming off a nice run in the $300,000 Malibu Stakes on December 26.
Express Train placed 2nd behind only Charlatan by 4 ½ lengths. No horse was beating Charlatan in that race. His only question is that he hasn’t won a stakes race yet, though. Idol doesn’t either, but has only ran in four races. He has gone 2 for 4, with his most recent win on November 8 in a $87,000 assignment by 5 ¾ lengths.
Kiss Today Goodbye beat Idol by a half length in the $200,000 San Antonio Stakes (Gr. 2) on December 26. It stopped a hat-trick bid by Idolafter winning a $75,000 and $87,000 event. For a $375,000 horse, he is expected to win at this level. If King Guillermo didn’t get injured and fall out of form, I’d probably lean him. However, Idol is in the best shape right now.
Race 7 – Robert B. Lewis Stakes
Post Time: 3:37 p.m. PST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
A mile will close out our day at Santa Anita Park on Saturday afternoon. Bob Baffert has two entries vying for the top prize in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. Spielberg has been a disappointment in spots, but carries enough talent to do damage on Saturday against this field. He and Baffert’s other trainee, Medina’s Spirit, is likely going to have a chance to win this event.
Spielberg didn’t look too impressive from what I saw on November 15 in the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes (Gr. 3). He finished 4th and was regarded as a disappointment in that performance. Spielberg came back on December 19 to win the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Gr. 2) over The Great One by a nose. He needed the bob to get the win, and while it was for $200,000, I find this even tougher on Saturday.
Medina Spirit has gone 1st and 2nd in his career. He won as a first-time winner on December 11 in a $42,000 assignment by 3 lengths, and then did well in the $100,000 Sham Stakes (Gr. 3) on January 2. It was a pleasant surprise for Media Spirit, as she could have very easily won that race as a sizable underdog. She was gaining and just ran out of real estate in the stretch against Life is Good. Baffert has been doing a lot of good work with her in the morning.
Note that Medina Spirit is expected to be a contender for the Kentucky Derby. If Medina Spirit continues along the path he’s on, it isn’t out of the question that he will reach the Derby in May. For a $35,000 horse, his owners might have a serious bargain and investment on their hands. I would lean towards a strong run from Medina Spirit to clear this field and nip Hot Rod Charlie and Spielberg at the wire.