​Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 4/3/21

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 eight 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.)

Dream Shake and Defunded, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2 and 8/1

Race 8 is the $750K Grade I RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby. The 1 1/8-mile race for three-year-olds awards Kentucky Derby qualifying points (100-40-20-10) to the top-four finishers. Two other major Derby preps Saturday include the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

The top pick in the Santa Anita Derby, according to numberFire’s data, is Dream Shake (7/2) to edge favorite Medina Spirit (5/2). There was plenty of buzz prior to last month's San Felipe Stakes for Dream Shake, who finished a distant third in his second start behind winner Life is Good and runner-up Medina Spirit. Dream Shake looks primed to move forward and improve with leading jockey Flavien Prat likely keeping him off the pace before running on late. Horse Racing Radar notes the huge bullet workout for Dream Shake on March 20, which was best of 75 runners at 5 furlongs that day.

Guaranteed Tip Sheet adds that Medina Spirit has two wins and two runner-up finishes in four starts, and he had a bullet-best workout on March 22. Medina Spirit should press the pace and be tough to beat with Johnny Velazquez riding for top trainer Bob Baffert.

Law Professor (12/1) is a longshot with a pace advantage who can improve with the added ground and distance. The Great One (8/1) is not quite like his namesake Wayne Gretzky, but the son of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist had posted a pair of triple-digit speed figures prior to finishing fifth in last months San Felipe.

Bob Baffert’s other runner, Defunded (8/1), should not be overlooked and has a solid shot in his stakes debut, according to Top Race Reports. He is working sharply off his blistering closing run and 6-furlong win a month ago in just his second start. Stretching out should be fine. Rock Your World (4/1) is a talented runner on the turf and interesting placement in this Kentucky Derby prep on the dirt.

Charmaine’s Mia, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 8/5

Race 9 is the $200K Grade II Royal Heroine at 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf. A total of eight older fillies and mares are lined up, and the top pick for numberFire’s algorithm is favorite Charmaine’s Mia (8/5) for EPO trainer Phil D’Amato. Charmaine’s Mia has won two in a row, and she’s the class of the field who is able to run up front and finish strongly. Rideforthecause (6/1), Reymundos Secret (4/1) and Warren’s Showtime (8/1) and are running for second.

Letsgetlucky and The Chose Vron, Race 12

FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1 and 8/5

Race 12 concludes the day and is the sixth stakes race, which also includes the Santa Anita Oaks in Race 6 -- a major Kentucky Oaks prep. Race 12 is the $150K Echo Eddie for state bred 3-year-olds going 6 1/2 furlongs. The top pick for numberFire is favorite The Chosen Vron (8/5) with Mike Smith riding. The projected runner-up is None Above the Law (5/1) with Flavien Prat in the irons for EPO trainer Peter Miller.

Letsgetlucky (5/1), per Horse Racing Radar, was sharp when winning his debut five weeks ago with a solid 91 speed figure. Top Race Reports had him at 7/1 that day and suggests riding him again with leading jockey Umberto Rispoli on board. The Chosen Vron should be sitting right off his flank and is the one to beat after posting a 100 speed figure when finishing third in the Grade II San Vicente in February behind top Kentucky Derby hopeful Concert Tour.