This is a great weekend for Kentucky Derby hopefuls, as there are three races and plenty of points for the Run for the Roses on the line. Earlier in the week we previewed contenders and issued picks based on futures odds for the San Felipe Stakes and the Tampa Bay Derby, which leaves us with the 2014 Santa Anita Handicap.
A March 7, 2014 Daily News report states that the San Felipe will be race No.5, while the Santa Anita Handicap will be race 11 on the slate in Arcadia, California’s Santa Anita Park. This race gets underway at 7 p.m. Eastern Time live on Fox Sports 1.
As far as horse racing odds are concerned, eight thoroughbreds will be competing for the 50 Derby points on Santa Anita’s 1¼-mile (10 furlongs) left-handed dirt track. The highlight of this race is a rematch of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic between Mucho Macho Man (-125) and Will Take Charge (+160).
According to expert oddsmakers, last year’s Kentucky Derby favorite, Game On Dude (+180) will also have a decent shot at capturing this year’s 2014 Santa Anita Handicap this evening. From there, the boron falls out from the list of betting favorites, as Blingo is next at +800 odds.
Keeping our attention focused on the top three, let’s take a look at what each one has done since they last took center stage. In the case of Mucho Macho Man, the son of Macho Uno has raced only once since his win at the Breeders’. Katherine Ritvo’s 6-year-old horse kept his win streak alive by taking January’s Sunshine Millions Classic.
In the case of Will Take Charge, D. Wayne Lukas’ 4-year-old colt has competed in two Grade I races since his runner-up effort at the Breeders’. Following his loss to Mucho Macho Man, Will Take Charge captured the Clark Handicap before finishing second in last month’s Donn Handicap.
And finally, Bob Baffert’s Game On Dude hasn’t been able to bounce back since the Breeders’, losing once again to Will Take Charge at the Clark Handicap and finishin 5th in Feb. 8’s San Antonio Handicap. Nevertheless, the 7-year-old gelding is among the best and most popular free horse racing picks.
- 2014 Santa Anita Handicap Picks: Game On Dude (+180)
2014 Santa Anita Handicap Post Positions
- Will Take Charge
- Mucho Macho Man
- Rousing Sermon
- American Blend
- Game On Dude
- Hear The Ghost
2014 Santa Anita Handicap Futures Contenders
- Mucho Macho Man -125
- Will Take Charge +160
- Game On Dude +180
- Blingo +800
- Imperative +900
- Rousing Sermon +1000
- American Blend +1200
- Hear the Ghost +1200