Santa Anita Horse Racing Picks for Monday 12/26/22

FairwayJay
Horse Racing Picks from Santa Anita on Monday, Dec. 26.
Horse Racing Picks from Santa Anita on Monday, Dec. 26. / Santa Anita Publicity
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Starting at 2:00 p.m. ET, we have 11 races on Monday's Opening Day of the Classic Meet at Santa Anita, including six 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. Midnight Memories and Fun to Dream, Race 8


FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/2 and 5/1
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Race 8 is the $300,000 Grade 1 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs. Controversial trainer Bob Baffert saddles half the field of eight, including lead contenders Midnight Memories (5/2), Under the Stars (7/2), Ganadora (4/1) and Fun to Dream (5/1).

Midnight Memories is the top pick by numberFire's data. She is genuine and versatile. She and Fun to Dream -- a daughter of the great Arrogate -- have both won four of five starts.

2. Taiba and Apprehend, Race 10


FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/5 and 8/1
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Race 10 is the $300,000 Grade 1 RUNHAPPY Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at 7 furlongs. The heavy favorite is numberFire's projected winner Taiba (6/5), who finished third in last month's Breeders' Cup Classic, is a son of the great Gun Runner and is ridden by Mike Smith for trainer Bob Baffert. Taiba's speed figures and his affinity for the local main track make him the clear horse to beat.

Forbidden Kingdom (3/1) is projected to hit the board and returns looking to regain last spring's form with jockey Flavien Prat riding for Richard Mandella. Apprehend (8/1) is a solid choice underneath at a price.

3. Bellstreet Bridie and Sparkle Blue, Race 11


FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/1 and 8/1
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Race 11 is the $300,000 Grade 1 American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/4 miles on the downhill turf. A competitive full field of 11 with Salimah (IRE) the tepid favorite at 7/2 for trainer Chad Brown. The numberFire algorithm picks Mise En Scene (GB) to win followed by Sparkle Blue (8/1). Bellstreet Bridie (GB) has won four of 10 races this year, including her US debut at Del Mar last month with a strong 4-length win going longer.

Rhea Moon (IRE) is 8/1 and offering value from the rail. She's improved her speed figures in each of her last four races while winning three. Leading jockey Juan Hernandez rides for trainer Phil D'Amato. Sparkle Blue has rising speed figures and improved form offering a price.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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