Action Sports Picks


By: Jeff Hochman     Date: Oct 1, 2021
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Jeff's Horse Racing Spot Plays for Saturday, October 2nd, 2021


SANTA ANITA PARK


Race 8 (Grade 2 Santa Anita Sprint)


#2 Vertical Threat (6/1) win, place, and show


Vertical Threat has won four of seven career starts, including a 3 1/2 length victory in Russell Road Stakes at odds of 3.5 to 1 on August 27th. Owned by Slam Dunk Racing and MyRacehorse, this 4-year colt by Tapiture is the lone speed. According to Stats Race Lens, VT has the fastest early and second fastest middle pace figures in the race. He makes his third start off extended layoff, often a horses best effort. Other horses will attract plenty of attention in this race. VT has the highest career Beyer speed figure (102) of this group.

Two very efficient works over this Santa Anita dirt track is nice to see. With a clean start, Vertical Threat will be on the lead and it's catch me if you can. When Vertical Threat broke his Maiden by 6 lengths in 2020, track announcer Michael Wrona said "VT looks to be a horse of high promise". This will be the race that proves Wrona right. Hopefully 6/1 or better than straight to the BC Sprint next month at Del Mar.


SANTA ANITA PARK


Race 10 (Grade 1 Awesome Again)


#1 Tizamagician (4/1) win & place


The 4-year colt by Tiznow earned a career-high 102 Beyer Speed figure when finishing second behind Tripoli in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic last month. Interesting that Tripoli's Beyer speed rating came back 103, just one point higher. Since Flavien Prat has taken over pilot duties, Tizamagician has two wins and two seconds, all graded stakes. Tizamagician has finished first or second in eight of his past nine races. He loves Santa Anita and loves the No. 1 post with two wins and two seconds. With a clean start, I would expect Tiz to be on or near the lead. We've been on Tiz for quite some time.

Call me a homer, but I truly believe Tizamagician is the right choice. Don't forget, most Tiznow progeny get better with age. Richard Mandella/Flavien Prat win at 37% and finish in-the-money- 76%. I think the value is starting to fade a tad, but anything close to his ML would be a top play for me. Medina Spirit will attract a lot of attention at the window which might help Tiz's odds. Good Luck and stay safe!


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