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HomeHorse RacingLouie's Look Ahead - Santa Anita Jan 1 2024

Louie’s Look Ahead – Santa Anita Jan 1 2024

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Louie’s Look Ahead
New Year’s Day at Santa Anita Park

Alright, another Holiday Edition of the Look Ahead – and we head back to Santa Anita for this one.

Last time we tried this – on Opening Day out west – we hit all three of our bets. You can check those bets out here: Louie’s Look Ahead: Santa Anita Opening Day 2023 | 1st Gen Sports

So let’s try again, shall we? We’ll look at two bets today: the all turf pick 3, and the $1 late pick 3. We’ll look at 4 races: 5, 7, 8, and 9. Race 8 is the G3 Las Flores.

ALL TURF PICK 3: RACES 5, 7, & 9

Race 5 $25k claimer, for 4+up. 1 mile, turf. $37,000 purse.

This is a tough one, and a real chance for us to either press chalk or to use some price horses – I’m leaning towards using the prices.

I understand the shorter prices on horses like 5 MARGOT’S BOY and 6 TAISHAN, both of whom have run in tougher fields than this. They have combined, however, for -zero- wins the last two years. For that reason, I’ll go against.

Let’s use the inside horses: 1 HEIR and 2 MASTERMIND both have cases to be made, and they’ll anchor the early part of our turf pick 3.

1 HEIR is an interesting entry, as his speed figures would tell you he’s a play against in this group. All of his best runs have been on turf, and despite getting lesser-mounts in Southern California, jockey Armando Ayuso still managed to win at 16% last year, largely built on these types of races. He nearly picked off a claiming races of this level last out at Del Mar, and appears to be in good form.

2 MASTERMIND comes in at 10/1 on the morning line, and is coming out of a ‘meh’ performance on the dirt at Los Al, but returns to his best surface for this one. I think that was simply to get him a race, and keep him fresh for a spot like this. Won last time on turf under jockey Kyle Frey, who’s booked for this one. Mastermind is an every-other type, and guess what – this is the other. Look for him as a serious upset candidate.


Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming, 6F, turf. $69,000 purse, $80k claim price.

7 GREGORIAN CHANT is in for the tag here, and is the class if he runs his race. We have no indication, other than time off, that he won’t run a big one here. He ran really well in October off a 10~ month layoff, and should be primed and ready here. Include.

6 LOVESICK BLUES also ran well last out, and needed another furlong to win – which he’ll get here. We also get turf specialist Umberto Rispoli aboard, adding to the value. Include.

Finally 1 MAS RAPIDO will be our third include in this one, running well last out and getting nipped at the wire. He ran well in the G2 Eddie D last time at Santa Anita, and I expect a similarly good performance here.


Race 8 Grade 3 Las Flores 6F, dirt. F&M 4+up. $100k.

A handicapper has two angles for this race: use the class, both of which are coming off layoffs, or use the runners that have been in races recently.

2 HOT PEPPERS and 3 SWEET AZTECA are the class in this one, but both are coming off layoffs: Hot Peppers hasn’t run since September of ‘22, and Sweet Azteca last ran at Churchill Downs during KY Derby week. Trainer Phil D’Amato is excellent off long layoffs, and the booking of top jockey Juan Hernandez makes Hot Peppers the favorite for me; I’ll also use Sweet Azteca, as I think she’s got the most potential in this group.


Race 9 MSW. 6F, turf. $65k. 3YOF.

If you’ve read this before, you know I love a second-timer. Give me 5 ALLURING on top, great debut and good connections for this one. She’ll get lasix here, and I think she’s very well situated to win.

2 NOT A SINNER is another must-include, several near-misses in maiden races, and the addition of Frankie Dettori. Should be part of the equation at the end.


Here are our tickets for today:

Races 5-7-9 

1,2 / 1,6,7 / 2,5     $3 base = $36

Races 7-8-9

1,6,7 / 2,3 / 2,5     $1 base = $12.

Good luck today!

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