​Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Picks for Sunday 6/21/20

With most of the sports world on pause, it's a great time to dive into horse racing, and TVG gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 3:30 p.m. EST, we have 12 races at Santa Anita Park. Using our numberFire projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.

As always, keep an eye out for program scratches and changes.

(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions.)

Ward ‘n Jerry, Race 6

FD Odds: 6/5

It is closing day at The Great Race Place, and Race 6 is the $100k San Juan Capistrano (G3) with eight runners going an extended route of 1 3/4 miles. It is a rare race distance, and Ward ‘n Jerry (6/5) is the top choice at Daily Horse Picks with FanDuel Racing implied win odds of 45%. He missed the board in a 1-mile race just two weeks ago but won a Grade III, 1 1/2-mile route race in March, showing the only legit recent graded stakes form against open company.

Siberian Iris (5/1) is a mare running against the boys and the second choice of numberFire. Of course EPO trainer Phil D’Amato has a pair in here at the longer distance with Red King (4/1) the most determined long runner ahead of Kershaw (6/1). Red King finished third in this race last year and has since run in Allowance company with five in-the-money finishes in six starts, including a deep, hard-closing nose win last month going 1-mile.

Big Sweep, Race 7

FD Odds: 5/2

Race 7 is the start of the Pick Six Jackpot Pool, and likely $5 million is up for grabs. Bettors will be adding in multiple horses and combinations into their pick packs to conclude the final six races. This minor stakes races is for 3-year-old Cal-bred fillies and is running 1 1/16 miles.

The likely pacesetter Big Sweep (6/5) is the top choice at Daily Horse Picks followed by late-running Smiling Shirlee (9/5) and the turf-preference runner Warren’s Showtime (2/1). Favorites have won seven of the last nine editions of this race, and one of these three figures to cash in.

Big Sweep is 2-for-2 to start her career with both wins over this track, including last month as the favorite hitting a 99 speed figure in the Echo Eddie Stakes. She now stretches out to try two turns with Flavien Prat guiding her around the far turn.

Smiling Shirlee has won 3-of-8 starts, including her last two in recent months, hitting 95 speed figures in each. She’ll be smiling as she comes from off the pace with Mike Smith riding her home.

Border Town and Bolo, Race 10

FD Odds: 4/1 and 8/1

Race 10 is a good one, the $100k American Stakes (G3) with an evenly matched group of main contenders in the field of 10 going 1-mile. We have a tight group of four contenders with FanDuel Racing giving all four implied odds of 18% to 22% to win.

Cleopatra’s Strike (7/2) is the slight favorite with Sharp Samurai, Border Town and Bowles Hero all checking in at 4/1 odds.

Bowies Hero (4/1) is a million dollar earner and won the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last fall before finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). He makes his 2020 debut for EPO trainer Phil D’Amato. He is the top pick of numberFire.

D’Amato also saddles Cleopatra’s Strike with Mike Smith riding. I am not interested against these competitors, but he did finish runner-up in a pair of Grace II races to start the year, yet is better running and closing at longer distances.

Sharp Samurai also makes his 2020 debut after competing in a slew of graded stakes events with his last 10 months ago. Tactical speed but wondering about best fitness against a solid group.

Border Town makes a class jump but showed sizzling speed down the stretch in recent Allowance win last month. Lightly-raced, improving and un-tapped potential. Jockey Flavien Prat chose Border Town over Bowies Hero for trainer Richard Mandella.

Bolo (8/1) and jockey Draden Van Dyke could steal this from the far outside post and should be included as the likely front runner or pace presser in a field of runners not showing a desire to lead. Bolo makes his 2020 debut and won the Shoemaker Mile (G1) last year wire-to-wire at long odds while hitting a 114 speed figure. Bolo has won a graded stakes race before off a long layoff with an even stronger speed figure.

Irish-bred True Valour (6/1) has more current form with four graded stakes races this year but a troubled Shoemaker Mile (G1) last month. He should bounce back and perform better.