By Tom Quigley
$100,000 Santa Ana (G3) at Santa Anita Park
Race 7 (Saturday, March 28, 2020: 6:30 p.m./ET: 3:30 p.m./PT)
Mile and a quarter on turf (fillies and mares, four-years-old and up)
The feature race on Saturday at The Great Race Place, the Santa Ana Stakes (G3), finds nine fillies and mares going long on the lawn. Trainer Richard Baltas has won this race three years in a row and saddles supplemental entrant #1 SUPER PATRIOT and #4 LOSTINTRANZLATION in the 2020 edition. Does Baltas hold a strong enough hand to win the Santa Ana (G3) for a fourth consecutive year? Here’s my take:
#1 SUPER PATRIOT was not originally nominated for this race and supplements to run at a cost of $2K. She failed to be competitive in the Buena Vista (G2) over this course last month but hit the board in three stakes events (the Megahertz Stakes [G3], the Kathryn Crosby Stakes and the Swingtime Stakes) prior to her most recent off the board finish.
#2 STREAK OF LUCK is one of two contenders in the field trained by Matt Chew. Five-year-old mare recently finished off the board in a pair of graded stakes races and will need to improve.
#3 OUT OF BALANCE steps up in class after a first level allowance victory on February 17. Her only career run against graded stakes company came in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) last summer, where she finished twelfth. Another one that would be a surprise if she were to win.
#4 LOSTINTRANZLATION is the likely pacesetter. This ‘need the lead’ type has faded to lose by double digit lengths in her two most recent afternoon appearances, both which came earlier in the winter. Note that two of her three lifetime wins have come over this turf course.
#5 DOGTAG makes her second start off a seven-month vacation for trainer Richard Mandella. In her first start off the layoff, she finished as the runner up at the second level allowance condition. Last year, she ran third behind Grade 2 winner REGAL GLORY at Saratoga and won the Hilltop Stakes on Preakness Day 2019. Not without a chance.
#6 MEAL TICKET is another who makes her second start in the form cycle. Coming off a four-and-a-half-month hiatus last time out, she failed to make an impression when beaten six lengths in the Buena Vista (G2). Before the recent break, she won a second level allowance while defeating Grade 3 winner MIRTH and finished three lengths behind VASILIKA in the John Mabee (G2) at Del Mar. Her best race makes her one to consider at a price.
#7 TINY TINA gets class relief after a three length loss behind multiple stakes winner KEEPEROF THE STARS and South American Group 1 winner JOLIE OLYMPICA in the Buena Vista (G2). She makes her career debut racing at mile-and-a-quarter in this spot but has run well at distances ranging from one mile to one mile-and-a-half in the past.
#8 SIBERIAN IRIS (IRE) freshened up for trainer Richard Mandella after a third-place finish behind #7 TINY TINA in the Astra (G3) over this course in January. She is 0-for-2 when traveling 10 furlongs but won the mile and three-eighths CTTTOC Stakes at Del Mar three starts back. Rafael Bejarano was aboard for the aforementioned stakes victory and is back aboard today.
#9 OPUS WON moves to the barn of Mike Puype after two straight wins against allowance foes. This gal loves the Santa Anita turf course, having won three times and finishing second twice in six starts over the surface.
1. #5 DOGTAG – Will outrun her odds.
2. #9 OPUS WON - Great recent form.
3. #7 TINY TINA - Class drop should help.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #6 MEAL TICKET - Best race makes her a contender.
I’ll play a trifecta box with all four of my selections and with the remaining $2 I have left to play with, I’ll bet it on my longshot value play to win.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$2 Trifecta Box: #5 DOGTAG and #6 MEAL TICKET and #7 TINY TINA and #9 OPUS WON ($48)
$2 Win: #6 MEAL TICKET
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