A cast of eight will travel six panels on the Santa Anita dirt in Saturday’s $200,000 Palos Verdes (G3). The excellent betting contest lacks a confirmed star, and with the likelihood of a fast and contested pace, I will search for an off-the-pace type to take home the top prize inside the final furlong.

The Mark Glatt-trained #1 Pyron (6-1) has run a trio of big races in succession since being claimed in July and gets the nod in the well-matched group. By Candy Ride, the chestnut won two straight when rallying late prior to closing in the lane to be a close third behind a very good top pair in a loaded allowance tilt at Del Mar most recently.

Pyron is lightly raced with room to improve and was a winner two prior in his lone prior try on the Santa Anita strip, as well. The Kentucky-bred 5-year-old is training well in preparation of his second graded stakes encounter, and I envision him saving ground to the top of the lane under Umberto Rispoli.

#5 Shashashakemeup (4-1) makes his second off the claim for Miller and gets a long look while making his West Coast bow. Dark bay son of Shackleford finished a strong runner-up in a Churchill Downs allowance event in his most recent outing, and he shows four nice morning moves in the interim to ready for his California debut. The Kentucky-bred colt will stalk the early pace under Juan Hernandez.

Two-time Grade 3 victor #2 Wildman Jack (6-1) has raced just once in his life on the dirt, but he gave a fine account of himself when a close fourth in the Bing Crosby (G1). Trained by Doug O’Neill, the 5-year-old son of Goldencents was a bit short in the grassy Joe Hernandez (G3) last time out, and I look for him to take a nice step forward in his second start off the break. The speedy sort will be forwardly placed from the start beneath Cedillo.

Palos Verdes Wagers

  • $10 Win and Place: #1 Pyron ($20)
  • $3 Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,5 ($12)
  • $1 Trifecta Box: 1,2,5 ($6)