Santa Anita has put together an intriguing group of fillies for the Senorita Stakes this Saturday. 11 horses are slated to run for $100,000, with the race restricted to 3-year-old fillies going one mile on the turf. This race is the nightcap at Santa Anita and will provide those who have had their hearts broken on the Derby a chance to win their rent money back.
The Senorita Stakes will be run as the 10th and final race of the card with a scheduled post time of 6:10 pm (PT). Although there are a couple of shorter-priced horses on the money line in this race, there are several mid to longshots that could factor into this race. An interesting thing to note is that the top 2 turf jockeys by win percentage at this track will be at the Derby on Saturday. Since this race will be run in Southern California, it is very likely that this beautiful turf course will be listed as firm.
Betting Preview: (11) Sweetest Angel
My top choice selection will be the morning line (12-1) longshot, Sweetest Angel. This horse is coming off a very nice win in an allowance optional claiming race at 6.5 furlongs. This horse has good early speed, and if it is able to clear the field going into the first turn, it may just be able to go gate to wire. Sweetest Angel set the pace and was run down in the China Doll Stakes earlier this year, but the only horse in this field that finished ahead of it is the (4) Closing Remarks, and she had the turf wizard Umberto Rispoli aboard. If she does get run down, I expect her to finish in the frame.
Betting Preview: (1) Madone
The top horse in terms of past performances is the morning line (3-1) horse, Madone. Madone is 3 for 3 running on the turf in Southern California, including two stakes wins. Her only defeat was in last year's Grade 1 Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland. This is completely forgivable because she was beaten by super-horse Aunt Pearl, and nobody in this field comes close to her. Madone loses the services of top jockey Flavien Prat but is in the serviceable hands of JJ Hernandez. With all of the hotshots in Louisville, JJ might be the best jockey there on Saturday. My only concern for Madone is that she hasn't run since early November and long layoffs scare me. That said, she won in her first start, so maybe coming off the bench for her will be no big deal.
Betting Preview: (10) Javanica
The last race for Javanica, morning line (4-1), was the Santa Anita Oaks. They took a shot with her, but it didn't appear that she liked the dirt, so I am comfortable drawing a line through her last start. Before that, she had four straight 2nd place efforts in stakes races of similar caliber. Her only win came in a special maiden race at beautiful Arlington Park back in September of 2020. Kent Desormeaux picks up the mount while Mike Smith and Flavien Prat are away. Kent has been winning at a 13 percent clip this meet and is able to get a lot out of his horses. I wouldn't put the house on this horse to win, but I do think she will be in the mix.
Betting Preview: (4) Closing Remarks
The morning line favorite (5-2) is Closing Remarks. Far be it from me to knock triple crown winner Victor Espinoza but she was previously ridden by Lord of the Lawn Umberto Rispoli. The only stakes win that Umberto was able to get on her was a state-bred stakes race. If you go back to the last time she ran without Rispoli, she did not even factor into the trifecta. Maybe she runs a dynamite race, but I will take my money elsewhere.
Free Betting Pick: (1) Madone, (10) Javanica, (11) Sweetest Angel exacta box
Spooky Express Free Pick: (11) Sweetest Angel
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