Five stakes races for California-bred runners highlight a nine-race California Cup card at Santa Anita Saturday. My top play of the day comes in one of the headliners, and I have mapped out an affordable Pick 3 wager keying the selection.
Race 5 — Sprint
A field of seven speedsters will travel six furlongs in leg one of my ticket. #6 Lieutenant Dan (7-2) has been a daylight winner the last two times he has sprinted with stakes foes on the dirt. Steve Miyadi charge dons a 4-2-1-0 local mark, and he is training in fine fashion in advance of his 2020 debut.
A son of Grazen, Lieutenant Dan will have Drayden Van Dyke in the silks, and the pilot will have all of the options early with the pace of the field drawn to his inside. Value as a single to kick off the wager.
Race 6 — Turf Classic
Richard Baltas’ #4 The Hunted (9-5) is obviously a major contender in the turf test which attracted eight contenders. But he is no cinch today, and I will use others in the middle leg as well.
Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) third #1 Ward ‘n Jerry (5-2), multiple graded stakes winner #8 Ashleyluvssugar (7-2), and the lightly raced #6 Desmond Doss (8-1) will be included as viable win threats.
Race 7 — Derby
Nine talented sophomores will vie in the 1 1/16-miles endeavor. Synthetic standout #1 Bettor Trip Nick (5-2) is one length shy of being unbeaten in five career races and must be respected. William Delia trainee has speed and the rail beneath Catalino Martinez.
King Glorious star #5 Club Aspen (3-1), Gold Rush fourth #7 Indian Peak (10-1), sharp debut winner #8 Fast Enough (6-1), and #9 Big Returns (5-1) who makes his first appearance since arriving in the Doug O’Neill barn, also will be on my ticket to conclude the play.
Pick 3 Wager
- $1 Pick 3: 6 with 1,4,6,8 with 1,5,7,8,9 ($20)