Picks for Santa Anita Park Stakes Races on May 26

Race 5. Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes, Grade I. For Three-Year-Old and up at 1 1 /4 miles on dirt. Purse $500,000.

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Little Scotty Asa Espinoza Vladimir Cerin 15/1
2 Accelerate Victor Espinoza John Sadler 2/1
3 Prince of Arabia Stewart Elliott James Cassidy 12/1
4 City of Light Drayden Van Dyke Michael McCarthy 9/5
5 Dr. Dorr Joseph Talamo Bob Baffert 5/2
6 Pavel Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 5/1
7 Full of Luck Flavien Prat Jerry Hollendorfer 15/1

Seven horses have been entered in the 1 1 /4 miles Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes race. Three of horses; Accelerate, City of Light, and Dr. Dorr have better chances of winning than the others. It would come as no surprise to see all of them on the board. The winner depends on the trip and pace.

Accelerate, strolled to a 5 1/2 length win in the Santa Anita Handicap (Grade I) at 1 1/4 miles distance over a wet surface in March. He overcame a bad trip in San Pasqual Stakes (Grade II) to win the 9-furlong race. He was beaten just a neck his last race the Oaklawn Handicap (Grade II).

City of Light had previously established himself as a top-notch sprinter, winning the Malibu Stakes (Grade I), Triple Bend Stakes (Grade I) going seven furlongs, but he proved he could also run a distance by winning the Oaklawn Handicap, at 1 1/8 miles distance. Running Time: 1:48:26.

The hidden factor in the race is Dr. Dorr. He’s relatively lightly raced, eleven life time starts, but he has proven in 2018 he can run. In 2018 he has started 3 times and won all three. He won against solid group of Allowance horses in a 6 1/2 furlongs race at Santa Anita on March 2nd. On March 31 at Santa Anita, Dr. Dorr took control of the lead in Santana Mile and won under a hand ride by four lengths.  Dr. Dorr in the 9-furlong Californian Stakes (Grade II) at Santa Anita on April 28 was laying second behind the pace setter, Soi Phet, for the first 1/2 mile and kicked clear at 3/ 4 quarter pole and won by 7 1/4 lengths. His running time was 1:49:84.

Dr. Dorr appears to be the one who is willing to set the pace or directly behind the pace setter.  Accelerate and City of Light figure to be near the leaders turning for home and close enough ground down the lane to be on the board.

Our top three picks are:

Dr. Dorr

City of Light

Accelerate

Race 6. Charles Whittingham Stakes, Grade II. For Three-Year-Old and Up at 1 1/4 miles on turf. Purse $200,000.

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Flamboyant Brice Blanc Patrick Gallagher 4/1
2 Full of Luck Drayden Van Dyke Jerry Hollendorfer 12/1
3 Frank Conversation Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 8/1
4 What a View Stewart Elliott Kenneth Black 6/1
5 Kenjisstrom Flavien Prat Philip D’Amato 8/1
6 Itisinthepost Tyler Baze Jeff Mullins 6/5
7 Ritzy A.P. Gary Stevens Dan Blacker 20/1
8 Syntax Geovanni Franco Philip D’Amato 4/1

Itsinthepost appears well positioned to regain his dominance over the turf division in the Charles Whittingham Stakes. A winner of three Graded II turf stakes races this year, Itsinthepost should add another Grade II stakes race win to his 2018 stats.

What a View won with a gate to wire the Grade III American Stakes April 21 at one mile on the turf. He’ll need to set slow early fractions to have enough left to hold off the closers down the stretch.

Kenjisstorm ran third in his last race, second start in 2018, the Grade III American Stakes on April 21 at one mile on the turf.

Syntax needs an honest pace to have a chance of winning the Charles Whittingham Stakes.

Our top three picks are:

Itsinthepost

Syntax

Kenjisstorm

Race 8. Gamely Stakes, Grade I. For Fillies and Mares, Three-Year-Old and Up at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Purse $300,000.

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Madam Dancealot Corey S. Nakatani Richard Baltas 7/2
2 Midnight Crossing Brice Blanc Richard Baltas 10/1
3 Mopotism Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 10/1
4 Sophie Kent Desormeaux James Cassidy 12/1
5 Beau Recall Flavien Prat Simon Callaghan 4/1
6 Hawksmoor Julien Leparoux Arnaud Delacour 5/2
7 Madame Stripes Rafael Bejarano Neil D. Drysdale 6/1

The 2018 Gamely Stakes changed significantly when trainer Chad Brown said leading contender Uni was scratched from the race because of illness. Uni was listed as Morning Line Odds favorite. Her scratch moves Hawksmoor and Beau Recall as the top contenders in this wide-open fillies and mares race.

Hawksmoor comes off a nose defeat in the Dahila Stakes, ungraded stake race, at one-mile turf stakes at Laurel Park, MD on April 21. The Dahila Stakes was her first outing in 2018. If she regains her 2017 racing ability she should be near the front in this race and be the first to cross the wire.

Beau Recall rallied from last to take the Grade II Royal Heroine Stakes at Santa Anita Park on April 7.  She will need the same stretch kick that she showed in the Royal Heroine Stakes. The extra furlong should give her better chance to win the Gamely Stakes.

Madam Dancealot won Santa Ana Stakes, Grade II at 1 1/8 miles on the turf at Santa Anita on March 31. She should be able to close on the leaders, if honest pace, turning for home and find a place on the board.

Our top three picks are:

Hawksmoor

Beau Recall

Madam Dancealot

 

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