Super Santa Anita Saturday – RECAP – Super Screener
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Super Santa Anita Saturday – RECAP

Photo By: Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire

Awesome Again (G1)

It was an ice cold Exacta hit for the Super Screener thanks to the strong conviction around #2 Improbable as the top pick. He was well behaved at the gate and when the field took off to generate a highly pressured pace, Improbable was tucked in on the rail and was wisely taken back off the energy-zapping pace. As they were finishing the final turn, Improbable loomed boldly to the outside and swept past the field with a rush to go on to a decisive win.

#2 Improbable (8-5) — The last time this colt faced Maximum Security was in the 2019 Kentucky Derby when he finished 5th just 3 lengths behind that foe as the Ky Derby favorite. After two dull, subsequent starts, Baffert backed off this colt for 5 months before returning him to run a solid 2nd at Oaklawn. It was his last two starts, however, that showed he is now coming around to his best at the right time winning the two G1 affairs via perfect trips. That 117 BRIS Late Pace figure earned in the G1 Whitney was huge and the fact that he easily defeated a very good By My Standards tells you he is at the top of his game. He is a “win and you’re in” beneficiary and this is the final prep before the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He is prone to get worked up at the gate so watch carefully and back away if he is misbehaving.

Give Maximum Security a lot of credit as he did all the work pressing into that white hot pace but then fought his way to a game 2nd place. 

Check out the running line for Maximum Security coming of out this race:

It is extremely rare to see a 120+ 2nd call number in any race at any distance. Given that, one could ague that he ran just as good a race as Improbable given he used up so much energy early yet fought on gallantly for 2nd. However, Improbable wasn’t that far off the pace and yet he was able to post big early pace figures yet had enough in the tank to knock out a BRIS Late Pace figure of 93.

Speakeasy Stakes

The Super Screener called the ice cold Exacta of Wesley Ward-trained Amanzi Yimpilo over Peter Miller-trained Wyfire. Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about this pair prior to the race:

#5 Amanzi Yimpilo  — Trainer Wesley Ward ships this filly in from Saratoga where she finished a decent 3rd against strong competitors. Blinkers come off and the Super Screener projects a significant move forward 2nd off the layoff as she faces easier here despite going up against the boys. She’ll press the pace here reserving energy and will have to hold off the late-charging #7 Wyfire to close the deal on this field.

#7 Wyfire — Peter Miller is loaded on this SA card and this colt looks to parlay that better-than-it looks-win on the dirt as this closer was up close thanks to the dawdling pace which got even slower in the middle of the race but then he poured it on late showing a great turn of foot in the process. Prat will take this one back off the pace and come with one big run late. He poses the biggest threat to #5 Amanzi Yimpilo.

The tight suggested Exacta paid a generous $330.

Unzip Me Stakes

Saturday was all about Santa Anita featuring a boat load of stakes action and it all kicked off with the Unzip Me Stakes. With Merneith scratched, that left just 2 “A” horses in the race including Peter Miller-trained, Bulletproof On, who shook loose early, opened up on the field and never looked back. It was the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick AquaSeaformShane that finished 2nd though not quite the price we were looking for but a win is a win and the suggested winning Exacta paid about $100.

Chandelier (G2)

It was all Baffert as his rock star Princess Noor demolished this field and did so very professionally as she sat off the pace before opening up as they turned for home. She’ll be your favorite now going into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly.  Her stablemate, Varda, the Super Screener top “A” horse, ran one heck of a race as well finishing almost 10 lengths ahead of 3rd place finisher Miss Costa Rica. She deserves to go to Kentucky, too.

John Henry Turf Championship (G2)

Flavien Prat was not going to be fooled again and he took advantage of the fact that there was no other speed in this race so he grabbed the lead loafed through easy fractions and won easily over the other logical contender, Originaire. Proud Pedro was our top value pick and he completed the Superfecta at 11-1. 

This is essentially a rematch of the G2 Del Mar Handicap in which Flavien Prat got out smarted by Umberto Rispoli who sensed the slow pace and made an early move with Red King and that strategy paid off with a head win over #3 United. Look for #3 United to take the lead here in a race devoid of any pace or presser types.
#3 United (6-5) — Fool me once…Flavien Prat seeks to amend that tough loss in the G2 Del Mar Handicap. He’s on the best horse in the race and he owns a pace advantage. This gelding is proven at this distance and he returns to his favorite turf course where he has never missed the Superfecta in 8 starts. The Super Screener prefers this horse going 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 miles. He just doesn’t have the same punch when he goes longer. Very strong win contender.

Vosburgh (G2)

We depart from SA for just a minute and head to Belmont Park where our Top Win pick Stan the Man was scratched and that moved our 2nd pick, Firenze Fire to be the top selection. With Funny Guy being a 7-furlong specialist, we faded that one for the win as the odds-on favorite. Firenze Fire just loves a super fast Belmont Park track and the 6-furlongs distance and proved it again here. Off he goes for another shot in the Breeder’s Cup Sprint.

Brace yourself as next weekend features not only the Preakness Stakes but it is also the super-est of Super Saturdays. Do you realize that there are nearly 30 graded stakes being run next weekend? The Keeneland fall meet opens this weekend and will account for many of those graded stakes races.  But, the Preakness undercard features a ton of graded stakes and, not to be out done, Belmont Park and Santa Anita will be stakes-filled as well. Wow, I can’t recall a time when there were that many graded stakes in one weekend. I better get to work!

Until this weekend, Go Fast and Win!

Mike