Santa Anita Horse Racing Picks for Sunday 5/21/23

Horse Racing Picks from Santa Anita on Sunday, May 21.
Horse Racing Picks from Santa Anita on Sunday, May 21. / Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

The rebranded spring portion of the Santa Anita six-month racing season started on Friday, April 21 with a new moniker – the “Hollywood Meet."

There are 8 races Sunday at "The Great Race Place", and post time is at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. local time.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, and monitor the weather 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 and the former director of the Daily Racing Form, these are some of the best bets to make at FanDuel Racing today.

FanDuel Racing's May 19 picks at Pimlico went 3-for-3 and produced an 11/1 winner on Taxed in theBlack-Eyed Susan Stakes that also paid $190 on a $2 exacta bet. Did you also follow FanDuel Racing picks and cash at Santa Anita and top pick Pequena Tormenta, an 11-length winner? The April 22 card at Santa Anita went 3-for-3 winners including a pair of stakes races, plus two more winners on May 12 including an Exacta score.

Mobile betting on horse racing is easy with the best-in-class experience at FanDuel.

1. Johnny Padres and Leyas Candy, Race 4

FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 5/2
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Race 4 is a Starter Allowance for Cal-breds going 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf. The numberFire data projects a tight finish between Johnny Padres (3/1), Irish Heatwave (6/1) and the favorite Leyas Candy (5/2).

The meets top jockey Juan Hernandez rides Leyas Candy, who had some traffic issues in lone turf try back in March after some solid efforts over the main track. Former Daily Racing Form (DRF) director points out she’s worked well for today’s return off the mini-freshening.

Johnny Podres took a well-deserved break back in October of last year after having won 3 of his last 4 starts before hitting the sidelines for conditioner Steve Miyadi, according to DRF. This 6-year-old gelding has run well off similar breaks and this barn has solid stats with its layoff runners. Irish Heatwave returns for a $40k claiming tag off a nine month layoff for trainer Mike Puype.

2. Refocus and Last Call London, Race 5

FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1 and 5/2
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Race 5 is a Maiden Special Weight for baby Cal-bred 2-year-olds sprinting 4 1/2 furlongs. The numberFire algorithm projects Refocus (5/1) and Shady Appeal (4/1) to challenge for the win. Refocus makes his debut for a Grade 1-winning sire and leading trainer Doug O'Neill.

Last Call London (5/2) is a DRF best bet with top jockey Juan Hernandez riding. He finished an even 3rd on debut exiting the same April 30 Maiden event as Thirsty Gambler (15/1) and Mici’s Express (3/1), but is the most likely to improve even further this afternoon for EPO trainer Peter Miller.

3. Mas Rapido and Conclude, Race

FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1 and 9/5
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Race 6 is the $100,000 Desert Code Stakes for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course. First Peace (8/5) is the projected winner, according to numberFire with Mas Rapido (5/1) and Conclude (9/5) top challengers.

Conclude has Juan Hernandez riding for the meets top trainer, Phil D'Amato (EPO). There are four runners that exit the April 9John Shear Stakes that meet again here with the slight advantage going to recent winner Mas Rapido, who returns to the downhill course this afternoon after a sharp allowance optional claiming win May 6. This gelding projects to get a favorable stalking trip just off the pacesetters and mow them down late in deep stretch.

Conclude was a beaten favorite in last but can improve in this spot for D’Amato making his second start over the tricky course. He earned an eye catching (96) grass Beyer in impressive Maiden score two-back and has plenty of upside making only his fourth career start. First Peace defeated several of these in the after mentionedJohn Shearwhen returning off a 3-month freshening and making his first start over the downhill course.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.