Friday’s Best Bet: Big Drinker can make progress at Santa Anita


Friday’s eighth race at Santa Anita is a $50,000 maiden claiming event for California-bred 3-year-olds dashing six furlongs on the main track. The scheduled post time is 7:11 p.m. EST.

Click here for Santa Anita entries and results.

No. 12 Big Drinker (4-1) had gate issues in all three starts. He broke slow and rallied for the show in his bow, and was a step slow second time out but recovered quickly to press the pace, and he missed by a half-length that day. Last time, he broke slow, raced wide, and finished up the track as the favorite, and his new trainer Peter Miller is strong first after the claim. He gets in light with apprentice Armando Aguilar and can compete for the win if he runs back to his Jan. 7 effort.

No. 9 Soul of Midnight (3-1) broke sharp, dueled, and missed by a half-length in his debut vs. this kind on Jan. 7, and the winner clicked right back. Dean Pederson shows a profit with this type of layoff runner and with his maiden claiming starters in general. Abel Cedillo rides back.

No. 5 Rhythem On Stage (4-1) landed the place in a pair of state bred special weight dirt sprints after switching from turf. She has a troubled start, and raced wide and eased as the beaten favorite last time. Carla Gaines struggles with this type of maiden dropper and Drayden Van Dyke is still looking for his first local winner at the current stand. I like her more underneath. 

Get Jarrod’s Santa Anita analysis.


No. 12 to win

Exacta 9-12/5-9-12

Trifecta 9-12/ALL/5

Recent Best Bet winners

March 1 – Wupkar/Gigablast/G’s Squeeze trifecta ($43.80)
Last Friday – Outright ($10.20), exacta ($36)
Wednesday – 
James Aloysius ($4.80), trifecta ($88)

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