Selections by Ellis Starr for
Santa Anita
Sunday 03/29/15

Mission Statement:
To help you be a better handicapper and bettor with uncommon selections and analysis.

"Friends don't let friends bet chalk."


Guide to using these selections and analysis: The names listed in BOLD are the horses I think have the highest probability to win. Next to each name are my minimum ‘fair odds’, a guide for making win bets. You can consider win bets at ‘fair odds’ or higher, starting with the top choice. If a horse is listed as a contender but below the minimum fair odds it can still be used in the exacta and other wagers. The second best contender to win isn't necessarily the best horse to run second so even though horses are ranked in order that doesn't mean they will (or won't) finish in that order. When I feel an exacta is warranted I specifically say so.


Guide to Ratings:

  1. Predictable race that may not offer opportunity for profit, or unpredictable race with profit opportunity if the odds are high.
  2. Average race in terms of profit opportunity depending on the potential returns and odds on ‘win contenders’.
  3. Exceptional race for profit opportunity. Whether any horse in the race present exceptional profit opportunity depends on the odds and potential payoffs. These races usually have vulnerable favorites, high odds ‘win contenders’, or both.


Get my detailed selections & analysis at, & most betting (ADW) sites

Always Check Program Numbers

Race #1 - Rating = 1

#2 Timeless Indy - Fair odds 5/2

#6 Industry Leader - Fair odds 3/1

#4 Traweek - Fair odds 3/1


Exacta: Box 2,4,6


Timeless Indy earned a strong (for the level) 99 Equibase Speed Figure winning at this level at a mile 8 days ago and comes back quickly cutting back in distance so should have enough energy in the late stages to pass the field and win again. Industry Leader led late and settled for 2nd on 1/3 off a layoff and returns off a layoff here so could be part of the exacta at the least. Traweek rallied for 2nd in two straight at the level before a poorer 5th place effort last out but can improve off the Mulhall claim and be part of the exacta again, maybe win as all 3 of his career wins have come at SA.

Race #2 - Rating = 1

#5 Sudden Rumor - Fair odds 3/1

#3 Dynamo Dixie - Fair odds 3/1

#4 Papa's Paisley - Fair odds 3/1


Exacta: Box 3,4,5


Sudden Rumor drops to the level for the first time and ran well enough in 2 straight versus tougher when 2nd (in December and January) to be strong factor here if repeating those efforts. Dynamo Dixie moves from 4 year olds and upward to 4 year olds only off a pair of really bad efforts BUT gets a Key jockey change to Bejarano and won 3 back over the track so has a chance to move back to top form. Papa's Paisley missed by a head under similar conditions last out after a trio of poor efforts and won at this 7 furlong trip last fall so could be returning to form good enough to win.

Race #3 - Rating = 2

#1 Bentley's Gone - Fair odds 5/2

#7 Larry Birdstone - Fair odds 5/2

#8 Attack - Fair odds 4/1


Exacta: Box 1,7,8


Bentley's Gone finished 2nd to a runaway winner when trying a mile for the first tie last out, wide on both turns as he started from the 8 post. With the ground saving rail today and logical improvement 2nd time at the trip he gets an edge over Larry Birdstone, who led early and missed by a nose on the wire at this distance earlier this month and who also is on an improving pattern, making his 3rd start off a layoff. Attack stretches out off a poor debut but one in which he was off slow then forced to steady in traffic. He takes the most significant drop in racing, into a maiden claimer for the first time, and may be on an easy lead and tough to catch at a price.

Race #4 - Rating = 1

#6 Lucky Views - Fair odds 2/1

#4 Brave Act - Fair odds 2/1


Exactas: 6 over 1,4,5 and (reverse) 1,4,5 over 6 then also 4 over 1,6,5 and (reverse) 1,6,5 over 4

1 is Saint Dermot, 5 is Silent Ruler


Use all 4 on any multi-race bets made like the pick 3.


Lucky Views missed by a nose when moving from turf to dirt last out, also his first try in a non-winners of 2 level race. He's making his 3rd start off a layoff so has improving to do and should be very tough off that 99 Equibase Speed Figure effort. Brave Act missed by a half-length last out at this level and distance but on turf and broke his maiden at this distance on dirt here at SA last year so with a 98 figure last out to repeat or improve upon is the other with the bulk of the probability to win.

Race #5 - Rating = 1

#8 Birthday Song - Fair odds 7/2

#6 Q' Viva - Fair odds 4/1


Exactas: 8 over 2,3,6 and (reverse) 2,3,6 over 8 then also 6 over 2,3,8 and (reverse) 2,3,8 over 6

2 is Kantina Kowgirl, 3 is Sidepocket Run


Birthday Song shipped down from Golden Gate last month and moved to the Cassidy barn off a maiden win in January on the all-weather Tapeta surface. The win came with a big late move and with that being the right style for this course and with the filly getting the good outside for the trip, as well as being a perfect fit at this non-winners of 2 lifetime level off a win, gets top billing, likely to go to post at a decent price as well. Q'Viva is 1 for 12 in her career but with 4 second place finishes, 3 at this trip including a neck defeat when last seen on 1/3, Bejarano up then as now and with the horse she beat for 2nd having improved to win her next start. She may not actually want to win but in this field she may be capable of doing just that.

Race #6 - Rating = 1

#7 Powerful Girl - Fair odds 3/1


One of two from the Palma stable (the other Sparkling Peg), Powerful Girl gets a big set up for her late kick as FOUR of the FIVE horses inside her are need-the-lead types and should go very fast trying to get to the front from the start. Powerful Girl rallied from 6th to lead late three back over the track before coming up a half-length short and even though her two starts since haven't shown that kick she did have trouble in both so with a clean trip could be up in time here.

Race #7 - Rating = 2

#8 Thewandofu - Fair odds 5/2

#1 Fresh Feline - Fair odds 5/2

#7 Circling - Fair odds 5/2


Exactas: Box 1,3,7,8 (3 is Nickels Wild)

Exactas: Box 1,7,8,11 (11 is Mangita)


Thewandofu may have just been in for the experience in her U.S. debut on 2/7, her first start following 15 months off. Ranging up from 6th of 12 early to within a length of the lead at the 8th pole, she tired to 8th but with Desormeaux getting on and no drop in class, this gal who was 1st or 2nd in 5 of 7 in the UK and who is bred nicely and owned by Michael Tabor can run very well at high odds. Fresh Feline and Circling were separated by a nose when 2nd and 3rd, respectively, at 9 furlongs on turf at the level 3 weeks ago. Fresh Feline got the 11 post that day and gets the rail here so gets the slightest of preference to turn the tables on Circling, with both fillies very talented and likely to be in the thick of the action on the wire today.

Race #8 - Rating = 1

#9 Rousing Sermon - Fair odds 9/5


Rousing Sermon is also entered to run on Saturday, so in the event his connections choose to run there the two horses I would use on pick 3 and 4 tickets (but not make win bets on) are #1 Secretsatmidnight and #3 Blue Tone, both having shown the slightest interest in sitting off the pace in a race likely to be run very fast early.


Ankeny Hill stretches out from sprints in which he's been up close through sub-44 half miles and he's going to be going very fast on the lead at this longer trip. He's unproven around two turns and with Rousing Sermon coming off a game nose win over the track at a mile off a sprint off a layoff he's definitely the one to beat, that last race 108 Figure a graded stakes quality figure for this non-graded stakes.  

Race #9 - Rating = 3


#7 Top Floor - Fair odds 7/2

#4 Foreverly - Fair odds 7/2

#2 Tizzing - Fair odds 7/2

#10 Young and Hungry - Fair odds 7/2

#8 Best Two Minutes - Fair odds 4/1


$0.10 superfecta box: 2,4,7,8,10

Exacta: Box 2,4,7,8,10


These five come out of the same race, at this downhill trip, run on 3/6, and the public betting will gravitate towards the runner-up finisher Young and Hungry, who can win but doesn't have to. Glen Hill Farm owns the favorite and Tom Proctor trains, but they also have Top Floor here, making his 2nd career start off what appears to be a non-threatening 8th place debut finish down the hillside turf course. BUT, he experienced trouble in that race that was hard to see unless you watched the video a couple of times, and with improvement off the experience of a race and likely to go to post at much higher odds than his stablemate he's very playable here. Foreverly finished 6th in that race, perhaps in for the experience, and with Desormeaux riding back and improvement likely he's another potential win bet at decent odds. Tizzing missed third by a nose, in his debut, and with Prat riding back for Mandella he's another logical contender. Young and Hungry was sent to post as the even money favorite and ran okay but not great as he could not pass the leader over the entire stretch run. Stevens rides back and he should be there at the wire. Best Two Minutes finished 3rd, his turf debut and 2nd career start. He's bred to adore the sod and in his 2nd start over it has a shot to move up significantly enough to win.

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