Santa Anita Horse Racing Picks for Sunday 1/1/23

FairwayJay
Horse Racing Picks from Santa Anita on Sunday, Jan. 1.
Horse Racing Picks from Santa Anita on Sunday, Jan. 1. / Associated Press
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The Santa Anita Classic Meet continues into the New Year, and starting at 3:00 p.m. ET, we have 8 races on Sunday's schedule, including one 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. Kiss My Kat and A Little Bit Crazy, Race 5

FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/1 and 7/2
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Race 5 is a Maiden Special Weight for older Cal-bred fillies & mares sprinting 6 furlongs. A weaker group, and Whimsical Heir (5/2) is the favorite and projected board hitting numberFire's data behind Magic Game (8/1) and A Little Bit Crazy (7/2).

Whimsical Heir finished a decent third in her first career start a month ago, but is now less than half the odds and has no experience or wins. Magic Game has two runner up finishes at SA in seven overall starts.

Kiss My Kat (4/1) gets first time Lasix and had a strong bullet work a week ago after her career debut race finishing third early Dec. A Little Bit Crazy has finished second and third her last two races with improved speed figures and could hold up on the front end.

2. Justique, Race 7

FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/5
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Race 7 is the $200,000 Grade 3 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going 7 furlongs. Justique (4/5) is the heavy favorite and figures to use her passing gear and late kick to win, according to numberFire's projections. Ice Dancing (7/2) is a challenger and controversial trainer Bob Baffert saddles Huntingcoco (8/1), Parody (10/1) and Fast and Shiny (12/1).

Justique has won 2-of-3 starts including a last to first win at 7 furlongs. She finished third in a Grade 2 here in October going longer. Ice Dancing finish just behind Justique in that Grade 2 race and Huntingcoco was eased up much further behind.

3. Thirsty and Yo Time, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 4/1
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Race 8 is a Maiden Special Weight for Cal-bred 3-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs. A competitive field of 8 runners with Rhythem On Stage (5/2) the tepid favorite ahead of Thirsy (3/1), Montana (4/1) and Yo Time (4/1).

Thirsty makes his career debut with solid works and is the top pick of numberFire's data ahead of Rhythem On Stage, who finished runner-up in his third start five weeks ago. Montana is a son of Preakness winner Exaggerator with a second and third place finish in four starts. Yo Time was a close fifth on debut as the favorite and should improve with first time Lasix and boost from EPO trainer Phil D'Amato.

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