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AVAILABLE FRIDAY: The Wizard's 6 Grade 1 stakes package. Wagering strategies for Jamaica, Frizette and Champagne from Belmont. Breeders' Futurity, First Lady and Shadwell Turf Mile from Keeneland.

COMING THURSDAY: Full Card Selections for the Keeneland meet.

NEW FROM THE WIZARD: Full Card Selections for Hawthorne: Wednesday-Sunday

Race 7 at Santa Anita

Thursday, October 6

PACE SCENARIO

There are several speedsters in this 6 1/2 furlong down the hill grass sprint who will contest the pace right out of the gate. I expect the fractions to be quick.

NOTE: WITH RAIN IN THE FORECAST WEDNESDAY AND POSSIBLY TODAY, THIS RACE COULD BE SWITCHED TO THE MAIN TRACK. OFF THE GRASS SELECTIONS AND WAGERS FOLLOW THE TURF PLAYS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE WRITE UP.

PICK: #5 HOLLADAY ROAD

6 1/2 f grass races over this course usually come up very competitive with big fields and no clear cut favorite. This sprint is no different. With the exception of (3) BELINAS who has a win and a second in 2 starts on the Santa Anita grass course and (8) HOLLADAY ROAD who has a third place finish in his lone outing here, 9 others entered have never raced over it. The down the hill grass course is a tricky proposition as well as the configuration of it, because you go downhill leaving the gate and then when horse and rider approach the stretch, they have to run over dirt before they are back on the grass. Many horses lose their footing and momentum which greatly compromises their chances in winning. There are other factors which I feel give the above mentioned geldings an edge here.

Holladay Road is the horse I am picking to win. I only give him a slight edge over Bolinas because of his sharp and improved form since blinkers were removed 4 starts back. Since then, the 6 year old gelding has reeled off 3 straight wins followed by a fourth place finish, beaten a length last time out despite a tough trip. Holladay Road was victimized by a tardy start, slow pace and racing wide throughout in his first start off the claim for top trainer Julio Canani. That race has produced 3 next out winners. Today he cuts back to a sprint making his third start off more than a 14 month layoff. Canani switches riders to Garrett Gomez who has started off this meet with a bang. Gomez has a solid win record when he hooks up for with Canani. I expect Gomez to hustle Holladay Road into position behind the speed and attack approaching the stretch. Only once has he been defeated when having the lead at the top of the lane, and that was a nose defeat.

WAGERING STRATEGIES

Play (8) HOLLADAY ROAD to WIN. Exacta box with (3) BELINAS. Smaller exacta box with (11) BLUEGRASS REWARD.

NOTE: With no idea which horses will be scratched if switched to the main track and what the pace scenario will look like, I would proceed with caution wagering on this race.

OFF GRASS SELECTIONS: (11) BLUEGRASS REWARD (8) HOLLADY ROAD (9) SURPLUS (3) BELINAS

Play (11) BLUEGRASS REWARD to WIN. Small exacta boxes 3-11, 8-11 and 9-11.

 

 

Wizard's Pick of the Day

Thursday, October 6
Race 9 at Belmont
Post Time: 5:15 ET