FILLY AND MARE SPRINT
1. Dance to Bristol 2. Teddy's Promise 3. Starship Truffles
Dance to Bristol is 7 of 9 with two seconds this year. She appears to have the perfect close-to-the-pace style. Defending champ Groupie Doll is about 6 lengths off her brilliant 2012 form.
1. Reneesgotzip 2. Mizdirection 3. Unbridled's Note
Better go deep in this race that starts the Pick 6. So many possibilities but not much early speed, which is why I fell on the incredibly fast filly Reneesgotzip. Defending champ Mizdirection has never lost on Santa Anita's unique downhill grass course with all its twists and turns. Unbridled's Note clearly has been trained for this race all year. Expect his very best.
1. Havana 2. Tap It Rich 3. Mexicoma
Havana reminds me a bit of Uncle Mo, who dominated this race in 2010. And he may have a huge tactical edge as there is little other early speed. Tap It Rich's only race was visually off the charts. Mexicoma ran out of the TV set when breaking his maiden at Delaware Park and was promptly bought by the same people who gave us 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
1. Little Mike 2. The Fugue 3. Magician
Defending champ Little Mike does one thing really well - win. It took all year for him to recapture his 2012 form, but he has found it just in time. That there is very little other speed definitely helps, but this is some field. The Fugue has won two consecutive Group I races in England and Ireland and is trained by the brilliant John Gosden. The filly will be very difficult to beat.
1. Gentlemen's Bet 2. Justin Phillip 3. Private Zone
There is so much early speed that you really have to look for a closer. Gentlemen's Bet is normally a speed horse, but it will help his chances when he gets outrun early. Video study shows he is a fighter in the stretch. He will be a very attractive price. Justin Phillip has the perfect style for this race, but the 1 post is very tricky for a closer.
Private Zone is probably the best horse, but may have the wrong style as a front-runner in a race with all this speed.
1. Wise Dan 2. Za Approval 3. Olympic Glory
I love Wise Dan. Let me repeat. I love Wise Dan. Yes, his winning streak finally ended, but he still ran great on the polytrack. He is 9-for-10 at this distance on this surface. I think he will be sitting third or fourth right off a hot, contested pace and win this race again. This is my single.
1. Game On Dude. 2. Flat Out. 3. Will Take Charge
I have come 180 degrees on Game On Dude. I was thinking there would be too much early heat, but there really is not. He is not a stand-alone, but he is the most likely winner despite that disaster in this spot last year, his only loss in eight tries at Santa Anita. He has never lost with Mike Smith. If Game On Dude wins, he is Horse of the Year and a lock for the Hall of Fame. If he loses, it will be easy to say he has run fast beating a bunch of second-rate horses. Defending champ Fort Larned can win if he clears the field. Most of the rest look similar to me, really good horses that are certainly capable. Great race and a perfect ending on NBC in prime time (8:35 p.m.).