Dan's Double: Saturday Standouts at Santa Anita

Gambling
Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Dan Tordjman, America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent, is one of the brightest young minds in the game.

Each Week, Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Tordjman will keep track of his return on investment (ROI) throughout the year and, as a bonus, he will also provide picks for a selection of the key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup. Dan was able to manage a positive ROI for his plays in 2016. Come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.


Saturday, May 27

Santa Anita Park, Race 7, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes, 7 p.m. ET

#4 Illuminant: Races on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita are the perfect time to utilize one of the features of STATS Race Lens. The program generates “True Odds” based on calculations on a number of factors, and the biggest success-determining factor in a race like this is how well a horse has run over the downhill turf before. When you adjust for success over the course, STATS indicates that Illuminant has a really big shot in Saturday’s Monrovia – the filly finished just a length behind in this race last year and gets some class relief while cutting back from the 1 1/16-mile Jenny Wiley Stakes last out.

While she’s a standout on paper, Illuminant might be a short price in this spot. Would look to pair her with one of two interesting long shots to round out your exotics: #3 Watch This Cat and #9 Anita Partner. Like Illuminant, both horses have had success over the downhill turf course. #1 Swift Lady is one who figures to improve in her second race off of a long layoff.

$10 Budget

$4 to win on #4 Illuminant ($4)

$1 exacta 3,4 over 1,3,4,9 ($6)

$25 Budget

$1 exacta box 1,3,4,9 ($12)

$1 trifecta key 4 over 1,3,9 ($6)

$1 trifecta 1,3,9 over 4 over 1,3,9 ($6)

$50 Budget

$1 exacta box 1,3,4,9 ($12)

$4 exacta 4 over 1,3,9 ($12)

$1 exacta box 1,3,9 ($6)

$1 trifecta key 4 box with 1,3,9 ($18)

Saturday, May 27

Santa Anita Park, Race 8, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes, 7:30 p.m. ET

#1 American Freedom: I’ve never been especially hot on this one (despite the impressive resume he’s built over the past year) but I think this just might be his coming-out party. I’m willing to forgive what, for him, was a subpar effort in his first race back off of a really long layoff last out. He also caught a sloppy track, and while I don’t think he moves down significantly over a wet surface – he’s looked better visually over a fast track in both the Travers Stakes last year and his Iowa Derby win.

Would expect him to get out nicely – it’ll be interesting to see how hard Midnight Storm presses early. In any event, I can envision a situation in which the two of them go around up front for a pretty long way. I think American Freedom pulls it out in the end. Interesting statistic via STATS Race Lens for trainer Bob Baffert: over the past five years when he puts blinkers back on a horse for a graded stakes race, his horses have won 7 of 17 races and finished in the money in 14 of those races!

$10 Budget

$2 win and place on #1 American Freedom ($4)

$1 exacta box 1,5,7 ($6)

$25 Budget

$4 win and place on #1 American Freedom ($8)

$1 exacta box 1,5,7 ($6)

$1 exacta key box 1 over 2,5,7,8 ($8)

$1 trifecta 1 over 7 over 2,5,8 ($3)

$50 Budget

$8 win and place on #1 American Freedom ($16)

$2 exacta box 1,5,7 ($12)

$1 exacta key box 1 over 2,5,7,8 ($8)

$1 trifecta 1,7 over 1,7,8 over 1,,2,5,7,8 ($12)

Top Picks: 4/37

ROI: - $914.30

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