​Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Picks for Friday 2/19/21

There are nine races on Friday at Santa Anita. Which horses should you bet on at FanDuel Racing?

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

Starting at 3:30 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.)

Du Jour, Race 1

FanDuel Racing Odds: 9/5

The day begins at “The Great Race Place” with a Maiden Special Weight for 3-year-olds racing 1-mile on the Turf. These maiden turf races are becoming more essential and popular in Southern California, and four such races are on today’s card. There are a number of short favorites with limited or no value, as well, including this race with favorite Du Jour (9/5) for trainer Bob Baffert, the meet's leading trainer.

Du Jour will be strongly backed and is the top pick of numberFire with leading jockey Flavien Prat riding. Prat is the meet's hottest jockey after winning 11-of-28 races last week and tops the jockey standings. Du Jour has four solid workouts since finishing third here early last month. He had a big effort as a favorite with a wide trip and now returns the turf where he finished second in November, going this distance at Del Mar.

Airman (4/1) could use more speed in this race, but his speed figure (87) was good when rallying from the back to finish fifth last month.

Little Rachel, Race 4

FanDuel Racing Odds: 8/5

Race 4 is a Maiden Claiming race for older horses sprinting 6 furlongs. Another favorite who will take money and the top pick according to numberFire’s data is Little Rachel (8/5), who has finished runner-up twice in four starts. Jockey Juan Hernandez rides, and his 29 wins are just one behind Prat at the meet. Little Rachel is a filly facing colts, but she looks fine and drops from a third-place finish in a highly-rated Maiden Special Weight race.

Little Rachel will have to chase down front-running challenger, McWherter (9/5), who posted fast fractions in two recent turf starts, including three weeks ago. Jockey Jessica Pyfer keeps the mount and could run out ahead on dirt, but Pyfer has just 8 wins in 100 starts at the meet.

Talking and Liar Liar, Race 7

FanDuel Racing Odds: 8/1 and 5/2

Race 7 is a Starter Optional Claimer for older horses racing 1-mile on the Turf. Flavien Prat rides the favorite I’m Leaving You (9/5) from the outside No. 9 post. He finished runner-up last race as the favorite under similar conditions.

But numberFire’s algorithm likes Talking (8/1) to take this featured race. Talking has some solid works in place for his 2021 debut, and the son of Union Rags has run some stronger speed figures in the 90’s when finishing third and fourth last year including in a Grade III race. He makes his second straight start at Santa Anita after finishing last at lower odds to close the year.

Liar Liar (5/2) drops in for the $50,000 claiming price, and it's the first time he’s been up for sale. He’s faced better and fits fine in this group for EPO trainer Richard Baltas.