They're running the EddieD at Santa Anita this Friday. It's a Grade 3 for grass sprinters on the downhill course and has drawn a nice field that includes a Breeders' Cup winner. The downhill course at Santa Anita presents a unique set of challenges, but that won't stop me from trying to ferret out the winner in this one.
Lets look at the field.
1. Law Abidin Citizen
He's two for his last three on the downhill course and you normally want to be looking for horses who've had success on this layout, but he's a need the lead type breaking from the one hole and that will severely compromise his chances. Because the downhill course has the only right hand turn in North American racing, the outside horses are closest to the rail in the first turn. Inside horses who like the lead have only one chance; speed pop the field and make the front before that turn. He does not appear to be quick enough to do that, so I'm tossing him out.
2. Caribou Club
He's one for one on this course after taking a NW1 allowance last October. These horses are much tougher. He will be coming from the back of the pack as will a few others, including the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner from last year who is immediately to his outside. He's not entirely out of this, but this still seems like an awfully tall order for a horse facing the starter for only the second time since June. No thanks.
3. Stormy Liberal
Last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner at Delmar has a fantastic record on the downhill course with two wins and a second in his last three tries. That BC race was at five furlongs, but his affinity for the downhill course still stamps him as the horse to beat. He will take a world of beating in here as he warms up for another BC try.
The son of Street Hero gives turf a try after sixteen pretty nice dirt races. If they were going to try grass, you'd think they would've done it sooner. He would be a shocker. No thanks.
5. He Will
He's been away since January after running all last year at distances much further than this. I have to think this is a tightener for longer races in the future. By the time he gets rolling in this one, the race should be over. He won't!
He has three seconds in his last three tries over the downhill, so he likes the course. He seems overmatched in here, but could get a nice stalking trip from a nice post on the outside and may even try for the lead. He would be a surprise, but he's working like he means it and could catch a few of these looking ahead to other objectives. I will be using him.
He hasn't raced in a sprint for at least a year and a half, so it's hard to see him keeping up with these. His overall record isn't bad and he does have speed, but I just can't see him in here.
8. Conquest Tsunami
He returns from a brief freshening after an inexplicable poor effort at Delmar in July. He always runs well fresh and will be out there winging from a very favorable post on the downhill course. He has a previous win over the likely favorite in here and I can easily see him front wiring this group. He is my pick to win!
9. Touching Rainbows
He's a really nice horse, but he has never won a grass race. He ran a very credible third to Stormy Liberal in his last on grass and he has an ideal post for the downhill, but this is still a tall order. I will be using him primarily because of the post, but I have a hard time seeing him beating the horse to his inside.
There you have it. This is a very nice field although some may be preparing for future races and not concentrating so much on this one. I'll be keying Conquest Tsunami with Stormy Liberal, Cistron, and Touching Rainbows.
Good luck to all who are playing!