The holidays are officially over following New Year’s Day yesterday, so it’s back to work. Fortunately the holidays roll right into the weekend, though. What am I saying, it’s work for me everyday. The odds never sleep and I am always looking for an advantage, whether that’s on the field, court, ice, or racetrack. We are back on the racetrack on Saturday. BetOnline has seven racecourses available for betting today.
Santa Anita Park has the biggest race on the schedule again on Saturday. The running of the San Gabriel Stakes (Gr. 2) is the second of three $200,000 stakes races at Santa Anita in this three-day period. Hembree, who was recently claimed, won the Joe Hernandez Stakes (Gr. 2) on New Year’s Day. The San Gabriel Stakes (Gr. 2) will wrap up the stakes racing weekend at Santa Anita on Sunday. We will begin the day at Tampa Bay Downs in Florida on Saturday. Tampa Bay Downs has 11 races scheduled for a total pool of $155,150 in prize money. Head below for our free Tampa Bay Downs picks for January 2, 2021.
Post Time: 2:12 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
We will get started at Tampa Bay Downs with a 1 1/16 mile event on the dirt. Eight horses are expected to take to the track for this race. Brandt and Papa Joel should run a strong race and be involved in the stretch. Papa Joel is 5 for 38 in his career and coming off a solid run on December 20.
He’s looking for his first win since September 21, 2019, having lost 13 straight races, but came close in his most recent. Papa Joel placed 2nd behind Philo by 2 lengths for a $11,200 purse. Prior to that outing, Papa Joel struggled in a $10,000 event, finishing 7th on November 27. Which Papa Joel shows up today? At his best he can win this race. Brandt and Papa Joel will meet again on Saturday.
Papa Joel beat Brandt by a nose in that December 20 race. Brandt came on too late in that race and didn’t have enough room to catch up. Papa Joel was a big underdog in that race, so the run was not expected at this level. Brandt on the other hand was expected to run better. Look for him to bounce back into form on Saturday afternoon against a relatively weak field.
Post Time: 3:15 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 7 is our next stop at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday afternoon. The race will cover 1 1/16 miles on the dirt for a $14,850 purse. Darlindiva is 4 for 22 in her career, with her most recent win on December 11 just a few weeks ago. That was her first win since January 24. In her most recent win, Darlindiva beat Big Base by 2 ½ lengths in a $13,850 event. It was the fifth race on her previous seven outings that she was in the top-3.
Prior to that win, Darlindiva finished 5th for a $17,000 purse, so the class drop was helpful. Inedatequila was coming off a hat-trick with wins from September 27 to November 15. In his latest win, Inedatequila beat Broadway Cat by 8 ¼ lengths on November 15 for a $17,000 purse. He was unable to follow through for four straight wins in his most recent showing. Inedatequila was 4th in a $33,000 purse. He drops back down in class and should get right back to his winning ways in a $14,850 assignment.
Post Time: 3:46 p.m. EST
Race 8 is the second last selection at Tampa Bay Downs and our final selection. The race covers a mile on the dirt for a $19,000 purse. Shendam and The Boss Factor are likely to hang around in the stretch. Shendam is 3 for 18 in his career with a recent win two outings ago on October 18 at Gulfstream Park West.
He defeated Devoted Kitten by 2 lengths for a $19,000 purse in a nice performance. It was his first win on US soil and first since July of 2019. Shendam went winless in ten straight races before arriving back in the winner’s circle.
Shendam came back on December 4 searching for back-to-back wins but came up well short. He finished 5th in the $22,250 race and quickly discovered that a race worth more than $20,000 isn’t worth his time at this point. Down in class from that outing, expect Shendam to run a better race on Saturday afternoon.
His biggest threat has to be The Boss Factor from the No. 6 post position. The Boss Factor is 5 for 19 in his career and in search of a hat-trick on Saturday. He was a winner on November 6 at Woodbine over Silent Jet by 3 lengths in a $33400 event. That was a dominant wire-to-wire victory for The Boss Factor.
The Boss Factor came back on November 20 with another win, this time by 1 length over Coleyville in a $50,000 race. That was another wire-to-wire clinic for The Boss Factor. In other words, he hasn’t trailed in a race in more than two starts. He’s coming off a solid 48.40 second workout at 4 furlongs on December 13. As long as he didn’t lose any form since his last win, The Boss Factor should cruise here.