Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sends out a pair of contenders in Saturday’s $100,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita, but it appears Roman Centurian may end up offering more bang for the buck.
The Simon Callaghan trainee was a good looking maiden winner in his second career start and is 8-1 on the morning line.
Baffert sends out 5-2 morning line favorite Medina Spirit, the runner up in the Sham (G3) in his last outing and Spielberg (7-2), winner of the Los Alamitos Derby (G2) in his last start.
For the silver haired trainer, he is seeking his third straight win in this race, a Road to the Kentucky Derby points affair. He won last year with Thousand Words and in 2019 with Mucho Gusto.
“I don’t like being stuck inside, and on the outside, you lose ground, but I think we’ll learn more about both horses,” Baffert said. “Right now, we’re just trying to figure out their styles and how good they are. They’ll start separating themselves. Until they go a mile and an eighth, that’s when you’ll really know.”
Trainer Doug O’Neill also sends out a pair of runners. Hot Rod Charlie (3-1) makes his first start since running second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at odds of 94-1. Wipe the Slate (4-1) was an impressive maiden winner in his second career start for O’Neill.
The Lewis is one of two Road to the Kentucky Derby points races on Saturday. A field of nine line up at Gulfstream Park in the $200,000 Holy Bull (G3). The Shug McGaughey trained Greatest Honor is the 5-2 morning line favorite.
New players can receive up to a $500 sign up bonus at AmWager.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes all of the stakes action from Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park and Aqueduct.
Let’s head out to Santa Anita for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Santa Anita Race 7 The Robert. B Lewis G3 (3:37 PT)
5 Roman Centurian 8-1
1 Medina Spirit 5-2
8 Spielberg 7-2
4 Hot Rod Charlie 3-1
This colt makes his first start against winners here for the Callaghan barn. The colt was fourth behind Live Is Good in his debut going 6 1/2 furlongs. Four have come out of that race to win next out, Life Is Good winning the Sham (G3) on Jan. 2 here. Second out our top picks stretched out to two turns which he seemed to relish He came with a good late rally and drew clear to win by nearly four lengths at 7-1. He looks as if he still has room for improvement. He was a $550,000 Keeneland purchase, by Empire Maker out of a Bernardini mare that has dropped three other winners. With Baffert having a pair in here this guy figures to get overlooked in the betting.
The Baffert trainee chased the early pace and was unable to get to the loose on the lead Life Is Good in the Sham, beaten 3/43 of a length while 13 clear of the rest of the field. The colt graduated in his debut two back going 5 1/2 furlongs at Los Al. His Beyer shot up from a 76 in his debut to a 99 last out, the top number in the field. The extra ground will suit him, but he seems likely to go off at less than his 5-2 morning line.
This guy is the other half of the Baffert duo. The colt is coming off a victory in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) last out, getting his nose in front at the wire over The Great One, who came back to break his maiden in his next start by 14 lengths. His numbers don’t stack up to his stablemate’s last out number. He was second in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and third in the American Pharoah (G1) while still a maiden. He owns a solid pace profile throughout but seems more likely to land for another minor share.
WIN: Roman Centurian to win at 5-1 or better.
EXACTA: 5 / 1,4,8 and 1,5 / 1,5,8