The racing continues on Friday with a lot of racing to get to if you’re a serious horse racing handicapper. There is no shortage of action to be had from the east to the west coast. We have you covered at TheSportsGeek with east coast racing from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach and at Santa Anita Park on the west coast in California.
The running of the $200,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita (Gr. 3) on Saturday is the biggest race of the weekend. It’s not much, but that’s typically the case when it comes to horse racing in December and early January. The Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park later in the month will get the stakes scene swinging into action again.
Charlatan might be the most recognizable horse that has been invited to the $3,000,000 event. Santa Anita Park has nine races scheduled with a total of $435,000 in prize money on Friday. A couple of winners to make it a winning day on the west coast would make for a good day at Santa Anita. Head below for our free Santa Anita Park picks for January 8, 2021.
Post Time: 12:30 p.m. PST
A mile on the turf course will get us going on Friday afternoon at Santa Anita Park. This event is worth $61,000 for a pretty nice payday to get the day started in Santa Anita. Discretionary Day and Big Flint are expected to run well for the top prize in Race 1. Discretionary Day has finished 6th, 3rd, 3rd in three career races.
He has been in good form since his debut, showing in back-to-back races on October 17 and November 14. In his most recent effort, Discretionary Day finished well to show 3rd in a $57,000 event. If Discretionary Day can show improvement on Friday afternoon, then a win shouldn’t be too far away. He looked good in the morning of January 2, with a 4-furlong workout completed with a time of 48.40 seconds.
Big Flint placed 2nd on his debut on November 14, which was a $57,000 assignment at Del Mar. He showed some terrific kick in the stretch to overtake most of the field and nip Discretionary Day at the wire by a neck. Another big effort is likely in the cards for Big Flint on Friday. If he runs a similar race, then a win should be expected.
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Our second pick at Santa Anita Park comes from Race 4. This race has a mile of racing on the dirt for a $61,000 purse. Agreetodisagree and Peachtree Road will likely be involved in the stretch. Agreetodisagree came on stronger in her second race on November 7. It wasn’t magical, but improvement was noted at least. Agreetodissagree finished 6th on September 5 in a $55,000 event.
She was expected to run better than that, but did improve in the next outing. Agreetodisagree finished 4th in a $57,000 race in her following entry. She was bought for $155,000 in September of 2019, and is expected to have a serviceable career. I think she has to be considered in an event like this. Peachtree Road came on really strong after struggling as a rookie on August 22.
She finished 7th in the summer in a $55,000 event as a first-time runner. Note that Peachtree Road crossed the wire in 4th, but was disqualified because of interference. The $290,000 Peachtree Road held well to show 3rd in a $57,000 race after a decent run. Peachtree Road is coming off a nice workout on January 2 to complete 5 furlongs at 1:00.60. I’m getting in on Peachtree Road to score the win from the outside.
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We’ll finish the day off at Santa Anita with Race 8. Race 8 covers a mile on the dirt for a $42,000 prize. It should be a good one between Pubilius Syrus and Zestful should give a strong go at the top prize. Pubilius Syrus is off a hat-trick and looking for three wins in a row. He completed the trifecta at Santa Anita, Del Mar, and Los Alamitos.
To get the streak started, Pubilius Syrus beat Bitter Ring Home by 3 ¾ lengths in a $22,000 event, and then most recently won in a $26,000 event by 1 ¾ lengths. He takes the class jump to a $42,000 event following the hat-trick. This will be tougher, but is likely going to run a solid race with a chance to score the win.
Zestful is 10 for 29 in his career with plenty of stakes experience. He went on a whopping six-race winning streak from April 21, 2019 to September 15, 2019. Since then, Zestful has gone 2nd, 10th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, with a win in his most recent appearance. Zestful beat Potantico by 2 ½ lengths in a bigger race than this assignment on Friday. That was for a $62,500 purse.
On November 1, 2019, Zestful placed 2nd behind Itsinthepost by ¾ lengths in the $200,000 Marathon Stakes (Gr. 2), so he’s more than capable of running well in a $42,000 assignment. A long as Zestful avoids an off day on the track, expect the No. 1 horse to get the win here