​Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 1/9/21

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

Starting at 3:00 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.)

Gregdar and Rip City, Race 1

FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 5/2

Saturday begins at ‘The Great Race Place’ with an Allowance race for older horses going 1 mile on the turf. The projected winner by numberFire's algorithm is Lane Way (3/1), with Rip City (5/2) placing. Daily Horse Picks' (DHP) top pick is Rip City in front of Gregdar (3/1) with top turf rider Umberto Rispoli on board for EPO trainer Phil D’Amato. DHP gives the top speed ratings to Rip City on the rail and Liberal (10/1) on the outside No. 8 post with leading jockey Flavien Prat riding.

Lane Way drops from a tougher Grade I race but finished second at this level three back and third two races ago versus three-year-olds in a minor stakes race.

Rip City has won four straight races for trainer Richard Mandella, and in his last race, he came home in a blistering 22.25 seconds over the final quarter mile in Allowance company. He’s posted three triple-digit speed figures across his last four races, and the galloping gray son of Zip City faces a stronger group today.

Gregdar may have a pace advantage after stretching out to two turns last race and scoring a solid press-pacing win with fast fractions. If he gets loose on the lead against this better group, he may hold up.

Fighting Mad, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 9/5

Race 8 is the $200K Grade III La Canada Stakes for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles. It's a formful race of seven runners, and according to the projections at numberfire and Guaranteed Tip Sheet, we'll see the two favorites battle it out.

Hard Not to Love (2/1) has hit the board in 9-of-9 starts, according to Horse Racing Radar. DHP has her speed rating tops in the field, and she’s more of a sprinter. Still, she finished in front of Fighting Mad in a route in the fall.

Fighting Mad (9/5) launches her comeback after a disappointing third-place finish as the favorite in September knocked her out of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The Bob Baffert-trained mare is ridden by strong gate jockey Abel Cedillo. She has top speed figures at route distances and is the class of the field in two-turn races. That gives her the top pace rating, per DHP.

Miss Stormy (8/1) is the top choice of DHP and is expected to move forward in her second start of a layoff, with Mike Smith riding for trainer Carla Gaines.

Jolie Olimpica, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 8/5

Race 9 is the $100K Grade III Las Cienegas for older fillies and mares, and it's sprinting 6 furlongs on the turf. The top pick according to numberFire’s projections is co-favorite Oleksandra (9/5) with strong stretch rider Joel Rosario in the irons. She’s won 7-of-16 starts and finished in the money 13 times, including two of her three graded stakes outings in 2020. She missed the board in her last race, the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, but she’s won three times in four starts at this distance, according to Horse Racing Radar.

Jolie Olimpica (8/5) is the very slight morning line favorite, and she has five wins and two seconds in seven starts. She has the highest speed figures in the race, touching 116 in two of her last three graded stakes starts. Mike Smith rides for trainer Richard Mandella.

Lighthouse (5/1) is the other potential challenger with top turf rider Umberto Rispoli in the saddle. She steps up with just one Grade III race to her credit but had a strong upward pattern last year.