Santa Anita’s first Saturday of their elongated winter and spring meet takes place on Dec. 31. The Great Race Place runs plenty of intriguing graded stakes on Saturday and a couple of graded events on Sunday. Also on Saturday, Gulfstream Park runs the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday. Check out more info for six of this weekend’s top graded thoroughbred races. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, December 31st to Sunday, January 1st. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds, Picks, and Betting Analysis | December 26th Edition
Gulfstream Park | Saturday, Dec. 31
- Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 3 year olds & up
The Harlan’s Holiday won’t be a full 14-horse field, but it should show plenty of quality. Todd Pletcher has yet to decide if he’s running Charge It in the Harlan’s Holiday or the Mr. Prospector.
Todd may want to go for the top stakes races with Charge It, which means he will run him in the longer Harlan’s Holiday. Likely to join Charge It in the starting gate is Skippylongstocking, Brooklyn Strong, Simplification, and possible chalk Art Collector.
Santa Anita Park | Saturday, Dec. 31
- Grade 3 Robert J Frankel – 1 1/8 miles turf – 3 year olds & up
We should expect close to a full field to lineup for the Grade 3 Bobby Frankel Stakes. Horseplayers figure to make either Island of Love or England’s Rose the chalk.
Avenue de France, Bipartisanship, Burgoo Alley, Closing Remarks, and Gold for Kitten will also attract action. Another that will garner betting dollars is second-place Red Smith finisher Quattroelle.
- Grade 2 Joe Hernandez – 6 ½ furlongs turf – 3 year olds & up
Like the Bobby J Frankel, a full field projects to break form the gate in the Grade 2 Joe Hernandez. Richard Mandella trained Lane’s way will attract plenty of action but Smooth Like Strait will go off the favorite. Other runners include Irideo, Motorious, and Gregorian Chant.
- Grade 3 Las Flores – 6 furlongs dirt – 3 & 4 year old fillies
Lady T could end up the chalk in the Grade 3 Las Flores. The John Shirreff’s trained runner has some talent and it’s only a matter of time before Shirreff gets her to run her best race.
Jonathan Wong invades with Lexington Humor. Violent Runner, who beat Lady T in the last, will get some play. So will Peter Miller trained Samurai Charm.
Santa Anita Park | Sunday, Jan. 1
- Grade 2 Santa Ynez – 7 furlongs dirt – 3 year old fillies
Both Bob Baffert trained runners, Huntingcoco and Wudi, will garner action. Ice Dancing and Justique should also get plenty of action.
Connections for Lady Poo, Naughty Lottie, and Parody also plan on running. Doug O’Neil is likely to saddle Satin Doll.
- Grade 3 Las Cienegas – 6 ½ furlongs turf – 4 year old fillies & mares
Kentucky based trainer Eddie Kenneally plans on shipping Brooke Maire to run in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas. Cristophe Clement may ship in with Lady Edith.
Both could garner favorite’s action. Alice Marble, Countess Rosina, Amy C, and Neil Drysdale trained Royal Address may also run. Leonard Powell could saddle a contender in Freedom Flyer.