​Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 12/26/20

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

Starting at 2:00 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..

A total of six stakes races Saturday kicks off the Santa Anita Winter-Spring Meet. There are 96 stakes races including 60 graded stakes at Santa Anita through closing day June 20.

Biddy Duke and Himiko, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 12/1 and 8/1

Race 8 is the $300K Grade 1 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going 7 furlongs. Horse Racing Radar notes that five of the last seven winners of the La Brea paid $20 or more. Biddy Duke (12/1) defeated older fillies and mares last out in a Grade III turf sprint. She’s run well on dirt, has tactical speed and is worth including.

Daily Horse Picks likes a pair of longshots to hit the board -- both trained by Bob Baffert -- in Golden Principal (12/1) ridden by Mike Smith and Provocation (12/1) with strong stretch rider Joel Rosario. Golden Principal finished third in her only graded stakes try here in January and finished a distant second here in October behind Baffert’s third runner in this race Merneith (4/1).

Himiko (8/1) is the fourth Baffert-trained runner in this race, and leading jockey Flavien Prat rides. She’s an improved filly this fall and running up to her billing off a big win last race. The daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah posted a career-best 101 speed figure when winning by more than 6 lengths in early November at Del Mar.

Secret Keeper (6/1) proved her class two races back when she set a blazing pace and finished second. Finite (7/2) is the projected winner based on numberFire's data, and she should be making a late run for trainer Steve Asmussen as one of the favorites. Guaranteed Tip Sheet notes she has four wins and three runner-up finishes in eight starts on a fast track and should hit the board.

Sharing and Capital Structure, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 4/1

Race 9 is the $300K Grade 1 American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/4 miles on the downhill turf course. The top pick by numberFire’s data is Sharing (3/1), who has won 5-of-8 starts and is top class in the field of 10. Sharing is fresh off the fastest race of her career last month at Del Mar, and the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner over this course will be tough to beat.

But Chad Brown-trained Duopoly (4/1) can dictate pace, according to Guaranteed Tip Sheet, but the speed and pace scenario still favors Sharing. Capital Structure (4/1) is EPO trainer Brown’s other runner, and she has two wins in three starts and a recent bullet work off her win in October. She should be ready for the added distanced with continued improvement and strong jockey Flavien Prat in the irons.

Horse Racing Radar notes Luck Money (7/2) has never missed the board in 10 starts, and she ships in from the East coast off back-to-back wins and a career-best 103 speed figure for EPO trainer Arnaud Delacour.

Charlatan and Independence Hall, Race 10

FanDuel Racing Odds: 9/5 and 4/1

Race 10 is the $300K Grade I Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at 7 furlongs. We have a compact field of six, and the two favorites, Nashville (6/5) and Charlatan (9/5), are both 3-for-3 and tough to separate. Each is sired by Speightstown, and numberFire has them finishing first and second, respectively, in a exacta box.

Charlatan has been off since May following ankle surgery after winning the Arkansas Derby but was disqualified for medication violation. Trainer Bob Baffert has him working sharply over this track for his return. Trainer Steve Asmussen saw Nashville romp in three highly rated sprints. Baffert’s high-priced Preakness Stakes runner, Thousand Words (8/1), is also a threat at this distance.

Independence Hall (4/1) was the fastest juvenile in the U.S. in 2019, according to Horse Racing Radar. He missed the money in the 2020 Florida Derby, but in his first race back last month, he won an Allowance race with a 108 speed figure and has since posted a pair of sharp bullet workouts in the morning.