Saturday’s Gold Rush Day at Santa Anita features five stakes races for state bred or sired runners, headlined by Tamarando, who will go off as the betting favorite for the $250,000 Snow Chief.
This will be the first Gold Rush Day held at Santa Anita. The event was previously run at Hollywood Park, which is now closed. Santa Anita is running a spring meeting for the first time, which opened on Friday.
Tamarando failed to fire in the Spiral (G3) at Turfway Park, derailing his bid to run in the Kentucky Derby. The winner of the Del Mar Futurity (G1) last year on dirt, the Snow Chief will be his first trip on turf.
Tamarando is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who will send out plenty of live rumens on the 11-race card.
The stakes action starts with the $100,000 Fran’s Valentine, which drew a field of seven that will go one mile on the turf. The Hollendorfer trained Halo Dolly is the 2-1 morning line favorite.
Hollendorfer has the morning line favorite for the $125,00 Tiznow in Rousing Sermon, who was not a threat in a sixth place finish in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) in his last outing.
The six furlong $125,000 Spring Fever drew a wide open field of eight. The Craig Lewis trained Warren’s Veneda looks to rebound off a third place finish in the Bayakoa (G2) in her last outing.
The $250,000 Melair drew a field of eight three-year-old fillies that will go 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Rovenna is the 2-1 morning line favorite off a gate to wire win in the state bred Evening Jewel in her last start on April 5.
With the recent takeout hike at Churchill Downs (WPS from 16% to 17.5% and exotics form 19% to 22%) I am going to concentrate on tracks that are more horseplayer friendly. I will not be playing Churchill Downs except for Oaks and Derby Day.
Santa Anita offers WPS wagering with a 15.43% takeout, and has rolling doubles at 18% and a Pick 5 with a reduced takeout of 14%.
Let’s head out to Santa Anita for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Santa Anita Race 10 The $250,000 Snow Chief Post time 5:30 PT
6 Tamarando 2-1
3 Aotearoa 6-1
4 Awesome Return 4-1
2 Alert Bay 3-1
Tamarando tries turf for the first time in his career as he tries to bounce back off a dull effort last out on polytrack in the Spiral (G3) at Turfway Park. In that outing he was off a beat slow, was outrun in the early going, came with a wide run and was not a threat in the stretch as the beaten favorite.
Two back this guy won the El Camino Real Derby (G3) and looked headed to Louisville on the first Saturday of May. The runner up in that race was Dance With Fate, who came back to win the Toyota Blue Grass (G1). The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee is a Grade 1 winner on dirt, taking the Del mar Futurity last year and a Grade 3 winner on Tapeta. So can he handle grass? He is by Bertrando out of a stakes placed Dehere mare that has dropped three turf winners including stakes winner Luckarack ($534,635). He will appreciate the class drop here and looks imposing as the short priced favorite.
Aotearoa was eased last out in the state bred California Cup Derby which was won by California Chrome. His jockey Gary Stevens indicated he did not like the surface. He is back on turf here and in his last go over the weeds he ran a good second in the Generous (G3) at Hollywood Park last November. The blinkers go on and he has been working as if he is going to bounce back here with a much better effort.
Awesome Return was beaten just a nose last out in a game effort again state bred Alw-1 optional claimers. All three of his trips on turf are decent including a fast closing win in his maiden score last December. The colt looks as if he is going to be able to handle the extra ground and may end up getting overlooked o the tote in this spot.
WIN: Tamarando to win at 8-5 or better.
EXACTA: 3,6 / 2,3,4,6
TRIFECTA: 3,6 / 2,3,4,6 / 2,3,4,5,6
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