Two turn turf miles at Santa Anita can be vexing, especially one with top horses, connections–and turns. Trips always matter on grass and more so here because it’s hard to know how fast the early pace will be. And that impacts big-time on the major players.
Taking the easy way out, the safest play probably is to box the Chads, sprinkle in a pointed classics winner, War of Will, who attracts white hot Flavien Prat and lock it up. Then what fun would that be; no guts no glory, yeah?
Brown’s Without Parole (4-1) and Raging Bull (7-2) clearly have been pointed, and Brown wins more than his share shipping west. The former is a little more tactical and Raging Bull comes from far back with a huge kick. He owns consistently fastest Thoro-Graph figures and looms the most probable winner.
War of Will has proven class but it’s hard to take a colt to break his turf maiden in a Grade 1. But a mile is perfect, Mark Casse is dangerous when aggressive, has talked about getting a G1 on turf for this horse who’s strongly and gets the hottest rider this side of Irad Ortiz.
Along with the exacta box, I’d be willing to take Raging Bull to win at 5-2 or greater, but I’D also want at least a saver straight on price-shot Next Shares (12-1).
Next Shares has good spacing, been well prepared at San Luis Ray training center and was a tough trip third in the G1 Kilroe Mile. Drawn toward the inside, the switch to Johnny V. makes sense if Baltas is looking to trip-out in this spot, a decent possibility. We would need, at the very least, 6-1 to get involved.