We have a big day of racing on Saturday and it’s not just true for Churchill Downs. All eyes will be on Churchill Downs on Saturday afternoon in Louisville, but don’t lose sight of the other options elsewhere in the country. There are a total of 19 racecourses operating on Derby Day. Everywhere from the east coast, midwest, deep south, and west coast are involved on the first day of May on Saturday. We have the festivities covered at Churchill Downs with three selections, including the running of the 147th Kentucky Derby. Remember to use smart bankroll management skills and do not go crazy beyond what you can afford. Handicappers tend to go overboard just because it’s a big event, but they’re all the same in the eyes of your bankroll.
Santa Anita Park is involved on Saturday with two small stakes races. There are ten races on the card at Santa Anita this afternoon. A total of $548,000 in prize money is scheduled to be available in Arcadia, California in this one. For our Kentucky Derby pick and the rest of our Derby Day picks, head on over to our Churchill Downs page. Head below for our free Santa Anita Park picks for May 1, 2021.
Post Time: 1:34 p.m. PST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
In our first selection at Santa Anita Park, six runners are expected to run 1 1/16 miles for a $47,000 purse. Expect a good run out of Shadow Sphinx and Two Thirty Five here. Shadow Sphinx is 9 for 23 in his career, with a win on January 23 most recently.
That was two appearances ago, with Shadow Sphinx beating Lure Him In by 1 length in a $47,000 race. In his previous six attempts, Shadow Sphinx has finished 1st, 1st, 1st, 3rd, 1st, 4th for a nice run. He finished 4th in his most recent showing on February 20 in a $47,000 event.
That performance was discouraging, but he has the potential to bounce back in strong form on Saturday. He’s gone on a small layoff since February, and has been running well in workouts. He was timed at 1:00.80 at 4 furlongs on April 18. That was a nice workout from Shadow Sphinx.
Two Thirty Five is 7 for 32 in his career, with his most recent win on January 24 in a $39,000 event. He nipped Synthesis at the wire by a head for a wire-to-wire win. SInce then, Two Thirty Five has gone 2nd, 5th, 2nd. In his recent display, Two Thirty Five placed 2nd behind Magic On Tap by 1 ½ lengths in a $63,000 event. He’s continuing to show improvement as showcased in that race. Down to a $47,000 assignment on Saturday, expect a winning run from Two Thirty Five.
Race 5 – Angels Flight Stakes
Post Time: 2:46 p.m. PST
Race 5 is the first of two small stakes races at Santa Anita Park. The $75,000 Angels Flight Stakes goes for 7 furlongs on the dirt for a small field of four runners. Missy P. and Astute have the potential of turning this race into a duel. Astute is a two-time winner in three attempts. She has finished 1st, 1st, 4th with back-to-back wins to open her career.
Astute beat Evoo by a neck in a $55,000 race as a rookie on October 12, and then he followed up to beat Queengol by 7 ½ lengths in the $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes on November 14. That was an impressive showing for Astute, very progressive performance after just winning in a $55,000 race. That prompted a class jump to a Grade 1 race in the $300,000 Starlet Stakes on December 5. She failed to keep up, finishing 4th as the second favorite in that event.
Missy P. made her debut on March 12 for a $61,000 purse. That was incredibly impressive with Missy P. jumping all over the competition for a 9 ½ length win. She was ahead going into the stretch by 1 ½ lengths and then took off for a mighty nice kick. Missy P. doesn’t have a stakes win, but this assignment on Saturday should do. Astute is a willing challenger, but the future is very bright for Missy P. if she runs how she did on March 12.
Race 10 – Senorita Stakes
Post Time: 6:10 p.m. PST
The feature event at Santa Anita is a $100,000 event covering a mile on the dirt. Closing Remarks and Madone should have a strong presence in Race 10. Closing Remarks is a two-time winner through six entries, with her most recent win on January 16 in the $200,000 Leigh Ann Howard California Cup Oaks.
She placed 2nd in back-to-back events on March 6 and April 3. In her most recent attempt, Closing Remarks placed 2nd behind Going Global by a neck in the $100,000 Providencia Stakes (Gr. 3). That was a nice effort in the second graded race of her career. Closing Remarks finished 10th in the Jimmy Durante Stakes (Gr. 3) on November 28.
Madone will likely be the biggest threat to Closing Remarks on Saturday. She has finished 1st, 1st, 1st, 8th and is down in class after going 8th in the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Gr. 1). That was much too tough. Prior to that loss, Madone won the $75,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes by a half length on September 6, and then followed up for a win by a neck in the $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes. Down in class after faltering in a Breeders’ Cup race, look for Madone to be good value on Saturday.