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Santa Anita Betting Online – Ho, Ho, Ho and Good Luck in 2012

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 12/21/2011 4:26:21 PM
horse race betting online

There is nothing like another day of Christmas and that’s what it feels like every season when Santa Anita is the last online betting present opened on December 26.

Four sport betting stakes will kick off the stand and the traditional opening day 3-year-old stakes, the Malibu, will highlight the quartet.

Over the decades, some monsters have won the Malibu. In 1980 Spectacular Bid beat Flying Paster under Bill Shoemaker and when Bid looked Paster in the eye, the inferior runner just backed down and wanted no part of the fight. Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand  and Shoemaker teamed again 6 years later when Ferdinand nailed Snow Chief on the wire in a thrilling win.

The Malibu is run at the demanding distance of 7 furlongs. Last year Twirling Candy cut back from a mile and an 8th Grade 1 stakes to stalk and pounce when it counted to get up by a nose with a 108 Beyer.

This season Sway Away, who is proven fresh, could be a handful in the Malibu as will The Factor, who will be back at this best game, sprinting. Rothko may get tested for class while Hoorayforhollywood will be trying to snap seconditis as he won his debut but lost his next 3 starts, all by a nose.

Overall last year, the track played fast and hard. The track itself has fine silica sand and it tightens up with water. Speed is good as usual, but with enough pace, you will probably be able to come from left field and still win.

For decades, speed was never more evident at this track and look for more wire-to-wire runners this season.

Horses that were stopping after setting moderate splits at the other SoCal venues could find it much easier to carry their zip in Arcadia.

All the usual suspects will be back for more action.

Rafael Bejarano and Joel Rosario battled for leading rider at the fall Hollywood Park meet both popping at juicy percentages with the latter finally riding 4 more winners. And they will again likely dominate the sportsbooks riding ranks.

With third finisher in the standings Pat Valenzuela retired, somebody will move into that slot. Young riders to watch in the cheaper races are Daniel Vergara, Hector Berrios and Eswan Flores. One of those three may emerge to be the surprise of the meet.

Value riders Martin Pedroza and Alonso Quinonez paid dividends at the windows.

Joe Talamo rode the grass as well as anybody in the room

As far as trainers are concerned, the normal stalwarts will be there. We are talking, Doug O’Neill, Bob Baffert, Jerry Hollendorfer and John Sadler.

As far as the stables are concerned, don’t be shocked if Bruce Headley has a great meet. The venerable conditioner has been around forever and only saddled a few runners last year but greeted many back in the charmed circle.

He likes to train his horses fast and this track should suit him just to a T.

Art Sherman and Kathy Walsh also did great work with limited starters as they won 10 races combined with only a total of 37 starters.

Online players have to give post positions consideration. The rail has always been tough at Anita and it popped sprinting last season at only 8%.

Take it easy early in the meeting; let the form play out its hand, then pounce at the windows when the prime opportunity arises.

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