Santa Anita Sprint Championship 2018 Picks
Pure speed will be on display Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita Race Track with the running of the (G1) Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes. A flat-out six furlong dash for the cash on the Santa Anita dirt, the race offers a total purse of $300,000 and a spot for the winner in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs on November 3.
Despite drawing a compact field of five, the SA Sprint Championship lineup includes a superstar in the form of Roy H, who is not only the defending race champion, but also the defending champion of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Listed as a slight 6-5 morning line favorite, Roy H picked up right where he left off after winning the 2017 BC Sprint title, opening his 2018 campaign with an easy win in the (G2) Palos Verde Stakes at Santa Anita last February.
His connections then decided to try for big prize money by shipping him over to run in a Grade 1 stakes race in Dubai where he was a disappointing third. He was off for a full four months after that, coming back in July to run second in the (G1) Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar.
He hasn’t raced since, so it will be interesting to see whether he’s back in top form and ready to defend his Breeders’ Cup title.
- 01Ransom The Moon Goes For Second Win
- 02The Battle Is Likely For Fourth
- 03Betting the Breeders' Cup Prep Races
Ransom The Moon Goes For Second Win
Uncertainty over whether Roy H is primed for his best effort after the layoff opens the door a bit for others in the race, and one of those looking to take advantage is Ransom The Moon, second choice in the ML odds at 7-5.
He’s the very horse that beat Roy H last out in the Bing Crosby, despite the fact he had to come from way back in the pack and then had his jockey drop the whip as they charged toward the wire. That was his second Bing Crosby win in a row, and he was fourth in this race last year.
Given that Ransom The Moon seems to have trouble putting together consecutive wins, the betting here is that Roy H will turn the tables on Saturday.
After the top two you don’t find a lot of graded-stakes success among the rest of the field, leaving Edwards Going Left (9-2 ML odds) as the logical choice to get up and grab the third-place spot.
He was sixth in this race last year and fourth in the Bing Crosby, but he does have a stakes win on the Santa Anita dirt in 2018, and has been in the money in 11 of 14 races overall.
The Battle Is Likely For Fourth
That leaves two to battle it out for the fourth spot, and with both listed at 8-1 in the morning line odds, the nod goes to Horse Greedy who has been racing for most of his career at the allowance level, but who did manage a third-place finish two starts back in the (G2) San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita.
The Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes goes Saturday, October 6 as race #5 of 11. Post time is 2:38 PM Pacific.
SA Sprint Championship Picks
- 1) #2 – Roy H (6-5)
- 2) #5 – Ransom The Moon (7-5)
- 3) #4 – Edwards Going Left (9-2)
- 4) #1 – Horse Greedy (8-1)
Betting the Breeders' Cup Prep Races
Following the outcome of races like the SA Sprint Championship is important to handicappers as we draw closer to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
You can track the progess of top horses and work on your handicapping skills by betting Breeders’ Cup prep races in one of these recommended online racebooks.