​Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Picks for Sunday 10/18/20

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

Starting at 4:00 p.m. EST, we have 10 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.)

Illumination, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 2/1

Race 8 is the $75K Anoakia Stakes for 2-year-old fillies sprinting 6 furlongs. The race was postponed a week ago for insufficient runners and now just five fillies are entered. The winner by numberFire’s projections is Forest Caraway (5/2) in front of the favorite Queengol (9/5) with top jockey Flavien Prat.

However, Daily Horse Picks likes the two Bob Baffert-trained fillies to finish first and second with Illumination (3/1) on top of Kalypso (3/1).

Queengol pressed the pace in a race six weeks ago and wore down Kalypso, the favorite, to win by a half-length. Forest Caraway beat Illumination and Kalypso in a race two months ago, and then Forest Caraway finished a distant second in a Grade II race while Illumination finished third.

Margot’s Boy and Smooth Like Strait, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/1 and 5/2

Race 9 is the $200K Grade II Twilight Derby for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the Turf. Daily Horse Picks, numberFire and Guaranteed Tip Sheet project Smooth Like Strait (5/2) to win. He has four wins in eight starts on grass, including going 2-for-4 this year in addition to a runner-up finish in a Grade III race in which he recorded a 105 speed figure.

Multiple stakes winner Field Pass (3/1) breaks from the outside No. 9 post for EPO trainer Mike Maker and strong jockey Drayden Van Dyke. Horse Racing Radar notes than Margot’s Boy (6/1) has won three times in four starts at Santa Anita and finished runner up by a neck at Del Mar in the Grade II Del Mar Derby at this distance five weeks ago with a career-best 112 speed figure. Longshot Dominant Soul (15/1) finished third in the Del Mar Derby. Scarto (8/1) won his two recent races from off the pace going one mile and now stretches out.

Private Mission and Frosteria, Race 10

FanDuel Racing Odds: 9/5 and 5/2

Race 10 concludes the weekend of racing at Santa Anita with a Maiden Special Weight for 2-year-old fillies sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs. This will be much-anticipated debut for Bob Baffert-trained Private Mission (9/5), who is the top pick of numberFire. Also, Horse Racing Radar notes she was sired by Into Mischief and has been working consistent and strong for her career debut.

Bob Baffert also trains Frosteria (5/2), who has some excellent morning works on her work tab preparing for her debut. She’ll likely pop the gate and get to the lead with Abel Cedillo riding. Baffert is 15-for-31 the past five years with 2-year-olds that start as the favorite and are making their debut (like Private Mission).

Longshot Shvere Arbeter (15/1) finished last in her debut two months ago behind three top finishers from today’s Race 8. Meet at Dudley’s (15/1) is another longshot making her debut, and numberFire projects her to hit the board.