​Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 9/26/20

It's a great time to dive into horse racing, and FanDuel Racing gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 3:30 p.m. EST, we have 11 races at Santa Anita Park. Using numberFire’s projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, and check the weather and track conditions.

(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.)

Mucho Unusual and Maxim Rate, Race 7

FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1 and 4/1

Race 7 is the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive for fillies and mares going 1 1/4 miles on the downhill turf course. The top pick according to the data at Daily Horse Picks (DHP) is Bodhicitta (5/2) followed by slight morning line favorite Lady Prancelot (2/1), who is a closer from off the pace. Both those horses race for EPO trainer Richard Baltas.

However, numberFire has those two hitting the board behind projected upset winner Mucho Unusual (5/1).

Guaranteed Tip Sheet (GTS) notes that Mucho Unusual has hit the board in all six of her Santa Anita starts, including in May, when she finished in front of Lady Prancelot in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes. She rates as top class and speed, according to DHP. In her last three starts at Santa Anita, including two this year, Mucho Unusual has posted speed figures from 109 to 115.

Bodhicitta went from Allowance races to a Grade 1 in the Gamely Stakes with the assistance of EPO and now stretches out to the longest distance of her career. She then won a Grade 2 race at Del Mar by a nose, and Lady Prancelot finished 2 lengths behind in a race that went 1 1/16 miles.

Guaranteed Tip Sheet notes Maxim Rate (4/1) is a head away from winning three in a row, and the 4-year-old mare ran well in Graded Stakes last year at Santa Anita with a win and runner-up finish. She’ll likely press the pace and is running at the top of her game.

Spielberg and Touchdown Brown, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 5/1

Race 8 is the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles. In a competitive field of eight juveniles, seven have odds of 8/1 or less. The projections of numberFire are Spielberg (3/1) to win and Weston (6/1) and Touchdown Brown (5/1) to finish in-the-money.

Spielberg finished runner-up in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity earlier this month, coming in more than three lengths in front of Weston. GTS notes Spielberg trainer Bob Baffert has won this race nine times and has success with young runners going from a sprint to route race. A pair of strong follow-up morning workouts on Spielberg's work tab suggests he’s rapidly improving and ready to run well again.

Touchdown Brown (5/1) won his debut at Santa Anita in June and has posted mid-90s speed figures in two of his three starts. GTS likes his chances along with Spielberg. Notable Exception (7/2) ships in having won his debut at Arlington Park but has slower speed figures.

United, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/5

Race 9 is another Breeder’s Cup Challenge Series qualifying race for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland. The Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship drew eight runners going 1 1/4 miles on the downhill turf course.

Both numberfire and GTS project favorite United (6/5) to win with Originaire (7/2) to hit the board. United has won three Grade 2 races this year while posting exceptional speed figures from 118 to 120. Two of those races were at Santa Anita, including in May when he finished a half-length in front of Originaire. Leading rider Flavien Prat rides United for top trainer Richard Mandella.

Salvator Mundi (6/1) has top jockey Umberto Rispoli riding for EPO trainer Phil D’Amato, and he rates a chance. He’s vastly improved, which is no surprise with his EPO regimen designed to assist going longer distances. His last race in Allowance company produced a career-best 112 speed figure. He may not be one to root for, but when you’re wagering, all edges must be considered, including the use of EPO.

Next Shares (9/2) and Oscar Dominguez (8/1) are also EPO enhanced for trainer Richard Baltas. Next Shares is a deep closer who is winless in five starts this year with a pair of in-the-money finishes at Santa Anita racing at a shorter one mile distance.