​Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Picks for Sunday 4/18/21

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 nine 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.)

Sharapova, Race 2

FanDuel Racing Odds: 8/5 and 9/5

Race 2 is a Maiden Special Weight for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs. There is a pair of top runners in here, and numberFire projects them to decide the race.

Curvette (8/5) is sired by the great Curlin, and she makes her career debut. She is trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by leading jockey Flavien Prat. Horse Racing Radar notes that combo is 5-for-9 with debut runners in the past two years (going back to early 2019). It will be no surprise if Curvette proves special, but she’ll face a strong runner with a race under her saddle.

Sharapova (9/5) finished third in her career debut here a month ago. She held the lead into the stretch at this same distance after dueling inside with fast early fractions before coming up short.

Tizamagician, Race 3

FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/5

Race 3 is the $100K Grade III Tokyo City Cup for older horses going a 1 1/2-mile marathon on the main track.

The top pick for numberFire’s data is the favorite, Tizamagician (4/5). Trainer Richard Mandella is among the very best, and he brings his horses to the races ready. A regular runner at Santa Anita, Tizamgician ran the top last-race speed figure with much-improved fractions despite finishing fifth, per Horse Racing Radar (HRR). HRR also notes that the last six winners of this race were dropping in class -- like Tizamagician is. At age four, Tizamagician is running better and gets top jockey Flavien Prat to ride. Tizamagician won in January and finished runner-up in February after setting the pace and finishing in front of Idol.

Zestful (5/2) will likely be the one running on the lead. He dueled in a strong pace last time out to finish runner-up, and with softer fractions, he could hold off the favorite. Include him in exacta and trifecta wagering.

Cezanne, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and

Race 8 is the $100K Grade III Kona Gold Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs. There are only four runners in here, and only win wagering will be paid. The numberFire algorithm projects favorite Brickyard Ride (3/5) to make it six wins in seven starts at Santa Anita. He’s 2-for-2 this year with a pair of strong, front-end wins with triple-digit speed figures. Brickyard Ride offers the best speed figures and form, but he doesn't have much betting value his odds.

But Cezanne (3/1) has top trainer/jockey combo of Bob Baffert and Flavien Prat, who HRR notes has won six of nine recent races together. Cezanne is a son of the great Curlin, and he’s won 2-of-3 starts but finished fourth in his stakes debut last summer. He’s working sharply for his 2021 debut.

Baffert’s other runner, Ax Man (2/1), has seven wins in 16 starts, including a minor stakes wire-to-wire win here three weeks ago going a mile.