Santa Anita Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 12/31/22

Santa Anita Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 12/31/22


The Santa Anita Classic Meet continues, and starting at 3:00 p.m. ET, we have 9 races on Saturday's schedule, including three graded stakes.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, monitor the weather and keep an eye on the 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 after adjusting for track, distances, and conditions).

Santa Anita Betting

According to numberFire horse racing projections, these are the best bets to make at FanDuel Racing today.

1. Smooth Like Strait and Super Ocho, Race 1

FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/1 and 6/1
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Race 1 is the $250,000 Grade 2 Joe Hernandez Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course. Rain is in the forecast, so confirm this race stays on the turf.

This is the deepest turf-sprint field in California this year. Smooth Like Strait (4/1) has not win in a year and half, but he's a premier miler stretching out who last won a Grade 1 here and has three other Grade 1 runner-up finishes since. Smorth Like Strait is the projected winner by numberFire's data, followed by Super Ocho (6/1), who exits the Breeders' Cup Sprint and should set the pace.

Hit the Road (6/1) is a Grade 1 winner returning from a long layoff and also projected to hit the board. Whatmakessammyrun (7/2) won a hillside Grade 2 in fall; Gregorian Chant (5/1 ) is a graded winner and Lane Way (6/1) is graded-placed adding to the solid opportunities and payouts for exacta and trifecta betting.

2. Avenue de France and Queen Goddess, Race 3

FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/1 and 5/2
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Race 3 is the $100,000 Grade 3 Robert J. Frankel Stakes for fillies & mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Avenue de France (6/1) was strong this summer and first or second in five straight starts before missing the board in her last two races. She's the numberFire top pick with top Euro jockey Frankie Dettori riding. Queen Goddess (5/2) is the favorite, and she's a projected board hitter and Grade 1 winner running off a 7-month layoff.

Three other graded stakes winners are in a field along with five other stakes winners. England's Rose (7/2) enters is strong form off back-to-back runner-up finishes and a career-best speed figure (107).

3. Lady T and Samurai Charm, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2 and 5/2
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Race 8 is the $100,000 Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes for fillies & mares sprinting 6 furlongs. Samurai Charm (5/2) is the one to beat and she's off back-to-back minor stakes wins and graded stakes placed this summer at "The Great Race Place".

Lady T (7/2) is battle tested and runner-up last out and also finished second this summer in a Grade 2 at Santa Anita. She's the numberFire top pick in front of Samurai Charm.