On Saturday, the Grade 2 Santa Maria at Santa Anita headlines an afternoon of terrific stakes action. Then on Sunday, the day’s top stakes race also happens at Santa Anita when three-year-olds and up run a mile and three-quarters over Santa Anita’s turf. Check out more Horse Racing Betting information for the Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano, and three other graded races happening this week.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks for June 18th and 19th
Belmont Park – Saturday, June 18
- Grade 3 Poker – 1 mile turf – 4 year olds & up
Belmont’s top stakes race on Saturday is the Grade 3 Poker. Last year, eight-year-old mare Oleksandra pulled off the upset win over Chad Brown trained Raging Bull. Both Oleksandra and Raging Bull have retired. So don’t expect a rematch. Third-place finisher Front Red Fred remains active, though. Don’t be surprised if the now six-year-old horse shows up in the starter’s gate.
Monmouth Park – Saturday, June 18
- Grade 3 Eatontown – 1 1/16 miles turf – 3 year olds & up
Led by Claude McGaughey trained Vigilante’s Way, the Eatontown Stakes promises to be one of the most competitive on Monmouth’s Saturday card.
In addition to Vigilante’s Way, McGaughey plans on saddling Stolen Holiday. Like McGaughey, Michael Stidham hopes to saddle a couple, Alms and Princess Grace. Cristophe Clement trained Plum Ali, Curly Ruth from the Eddie Kenneally barn, Whimsical Muse, Jezebel’s Kitten, and Por Que No should also run.
- Grade 3 Salvator Mile – 1 mile dirt – 3 year olds & up
Todd Pletcher trained Mind Control, Fulsome from the Brad Cox barn, and Doug O’Neil trained Hot Rod Charlie throw down in what’s sure to be an excellent rendition of the Salvator Mile. Other horses, no doubt, will join the fray. But the top three choices should remain Mind Control, Fulsome, and Hot Rod Charlie.
Which among the three presents likely overlay odds? Mind Control finished fifth in his last, the Grade 1 Carter Handicap, but some serious runners beat him, including Jackie’s Warrior, Reinvestment Risk, and Aloha West. If Pletcher enters Mind Control, we must assume he’s well-meant.
Santa Anita Park – Saturday, June 18
- Grade 2 Santa Maria– 1 1/16 miles dirt – fillies & mares
So far, seven are possible to contest the 1 1/16 mile distance of the Grade 2 Santa Maria. Sean McCarthy, who has taken over some training duties for Bob Baffert, plans on saddling two runners, Varda and Private Mission. Cover Version, from the Reed Saldana barn, Bill Spawr trained Midnight Jamboree, Leonard Powell trained Bye Bye Birdie, and Lady Mystify should also run.
Santa Anita Park – Sunday, June 19
- Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano – 1 ¾ miles turf – 3 year olds & up
A full field is expected for this year’s San Juan Capistrano. Paul D’Amato could end up running three: Gold Phoenix, Red King, and Cash Equity. Top Gulfstream Park trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. invades with Rijeka and Carlos David ships in Octane. Others expected to enter the starting gate are Muhammed Ali trained by Genaro Vallejo, Modus Operandi from the Bill Walsh barn, Steve Asmussen trained Breakpoint, and a couple of local horses, Dean Martini and Kazan.