Competitive Group of Cal Breds Go in Sensational Star

Sensational Star

A full field of Cal breds go in Sunday’s $100,000 Sensational Star at Santa Anita. (photo credit: © Cheryl Quigley |

A full field of 10 California breds line up in Sunday’s $100,000 Sensational Star at Santa Anita as racing goes on in Southern California despite the Coronavirus crisis.

When California Governor Gavin Newsome ordered a shelter in place mandate for California two days ago, I thought racing would end, but as of now we can still play the ponies.

Among the other tracks that are still running include Oaklawn Park, Tampa Bay Downs, Golden Gate Fields, Turfway Park, Charles Town, Los Alamitos, Will Rogers Downs and Fonner Park.

With Aqueduct and now Fair Grounds closed I did the full card for Santa Anita for Sunday and my Best Plays Report includes my eight strongest plays from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.

The Sensational Star drew 11, with 10 allowed to start. The Steven Miyadi trained Lieutenant Dan is the 7-2 morning line favorite but there are a couple of foes that have a good shot of beating him.

I landed on the Craig Dollase trainee Brandofthebartender (5-1), who appears to be sitting on a good one after a solid second against second level optional claimers.

As long as there is racing, I plan on handicapping, as it certainly gives me a diversion from watching the news or having the better half find things for me to do around the house.

Stay safe and check on your friends and loved ones.

$200 Risk Free Bet

Let’s head out to Santa Anita for Sunday’s featured race of the day:

Santa Anita

Santa Anita Race 8 The Sensational Star (Post time 4:09 PT)

3 Brandothebartender   5-1

4 Just Grazed Me   4-1

7 Lieutenant Dan   7-2

9 Stealthdiamonds   5-1


makes his third start off the bench here for the Dollase barn. The gelding was a decent third in the Cal Cup Sprint on the main track off the layoff. The winner Fashionably Fast came back to win the Tiznow on March 1.  Las out our top pick was back on turf was a game second against Alw-2 optional claimers. He has not won since ’18 where he beat state bred allowance foes and he also won the state bred California Flag that October. He should get a good tracking trip from mid pack and another move forward her he can be in the mix at a decent price.

Just Grazed Me

was off a beat slow last out in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint, tracked the early pace and finished gamely in a runner up finish behind our fourth choice in here. That snapped a three race winning streak that included winning the Maddy (G3) two back here with a good late rally. She takes on the boys here but her last three numbers make her a player.

Lieutenant Dan

returns off a two-month break and makes just his second start since last August. Last out he stalked the early pace and finished gamely to miss by just a neck in the Cal Cup Sprint at six furlongs on the main track behind repeater Fashionably Fast. He has just two career starts on turf and they were both going long. He handled the grass, both third place finishes in state bred company last spring. It looks as if he should be able to handle his first turf sprint of his career.


WIN: #3 to win at 9-2 or better.

EX: 3,4 / 3,4,7,9

TRI: 3,4 / 3,4,7,9 / 2,3,4,7,9

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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