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Santa Anita Handicap Betting – Will Take Charge Takes Charge At Santa Anita Park

Posted by on 3/5/2014 8:53:08 PM

The Grade-1 Santa Anita Handicap, or “The Big ‘Cap” as it is known in racing circles, is a big deal for older horses. This race is for those which are four years of age or more, run over 1 ¼ miles on dirt at Santa Anita Park and it will features some of the top older horses in the United States. Look for Will Take Charge to top the field and add another stellar win to his record.

What: Horse Betting
When: Saturday, March 8th, post time TBA
Where: Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA
Pick: Will Take Charge

(All statuses are as of Wednesday, March 5th)

Blingo (probable) is coming off the biggest win of his career in the Grade-2 San Antonio Handicap last month, but this may be the best field he has ever faced. That win was the first time in six graded-stakes races that he finished better than fourth, so Blingo may need the run of his five-year-old life to pull off the upset here.

On the other hand, Blueskiesnrainbows (possible) had been reliable over the last few months until a sixth in the San Antonio Handicap. Prior to that, this five-year-old had three wins and a second in his last four starts, three of which were graded-stakes events and the runner-up was in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon. A bounce-back could be in order for Blueskiesnrainbows.

Clubhouse Ride (probable) finished second in this race last year, then he won the Grade-2 Californian two races later. However, he hasn’t finished better than fourth in his last five starts and a top-three finish may be out of reach for this six-year-old. 

Fury Kapcori (possible) came in fifth in the Grade-2 Pennsylvania Derby last September, then proceeded to rattle off four straight top-three finishes, including a pair of wins. The problem is, all four starts were allowance races, and this is obviously a big step up in competition for this four-year-old, which has never run longer than 1 1/8 miles.

There have to be concerns over Game On Dude (probable), the winner of two of the last three editions of this race. After winning six in a row, Game On Dude finished ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, second in the Grade-1 Clark Handicap and then fifth in the San Antonio Handicap. He is seven years old; is Game On Dude running out of time at the top level in high-stakes racing? Saturday will be huge for him.

Hear The Ghost (possible) has made seven starts and claimed the win in the Grade-2 San Felipe last year. He has never finished out of the top three, but this four-year-old may need a little more seasoning before taking on a field like this. Still, his potential makes Hear The Ghost an intriguing option.

Imperative (probable) is probably the longshot in this field as he has made 12 starts, but only two have come in graded-stakes races. He finished 10th in the Grade-1 FrontRunner in September 2012, but he surprised everyone by finishing second to Blingo in the San Antonio Handicap. He may be out of his element on Saturday, however.

Mucho Macho Man (probable) will be one of the favorites as he rolls into Santa Anita Park with three wins in a row, two of which were Grade-1 races and one was the all-important Breeders’ Cup Classic, one year after finishing second to Fort Larned. He is coming off a victory in the non-graded Sunshine Millions Classic, but this six-year-old’s resume speaks for itself. He finished third, sixth and seventh in the Triple Crown races as a three-year-old, and since then, he has finished outside of the top three just once in 13 starts, winning seven times.

Rousing Sermon (possible) has 25 races under his saddle, nine of which have been graded-stakes races, and he has never won once. At five years old, he should still have some speed left in his legs, but Rousing Sermon can’t seem to get over the hump against top-tier competition. He may need a few breaks to fall his way to end up in the winner’s circle.

Will Take Charge (goal) won the 2013 Eclipse Award as the best three-year-old in the country and has finished either first or second in each of his last six starts, all of which have been Grade-1 or Grade-2 races. He came in second to Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, then beat Game On Dude in the Grade-1 Clark Handicap, followed by a second in his first 2014 run, the Grade-1 Donn Handicap. This could be a massive year for Will Take Charge.

How It Will Play Out

The cream will rise to the top at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, but Will Take Charge will avenge his Classic loss to Mucho Macho Man and pick up the win this weekend.

Santa Anita Handicap Betting Pick: Will Take Charge

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