Golden Hour Double Debuts Saturday

27 Feb

A new low takeout Daily Double linking the nightcaps at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields debuts this Saturday with a $50,000 Guaranteed pool. The “Golden Hour Double” features a 15% takeout and a $5 minimum, per combination. Ask your mutuel teller for the “Golden Double” or look for it on any self service betting terminal at Pleasanton OTB, starting Saturday, Feb. 29.

Saturday”s Golden Hour Double will consist of the following races:

Santa Anita 9 – Allowance Optional Claiming, 1 1/8 miles Turf – 4:30pm
Golden Gate 9 – Maiden Special Weight, 5 1/2 furlongs Tapeta – 4:45pm

Don’t miss your chance to get down on the Golden Double every day Santa Anita and Golden Gate are racing live.

Golden Double

$167,951 Stronach 5 Carryover Friday!

27 Feb

There’s a $167,951 Carryover going into Friday’s Stronach 5 – the multi-track, 12% takeout, $1 Pick 5 wager. The industry-low takeout combined with a sizable carryover makes the Stronach 5 a virtual “must play” for serious bettors and we’ve got it covered Friday at Pleasanton OTB.

Friday’s Stronach 5 races are as follows:

LEG A – Laurel Park – Race 8 – 12:49pm Pacific Post Time
LEG B – Gulfstream Park – Race 8
LEG C – Golden Gate – Race 3
LEG D – Santa Anita – Race 3
LEG E – Gulfstream Park – Race 10

Check out the weekly All Star ticket put together by the good folks at Gulfstream, Golden Gate, Laurel and Santa Anita.

STronach Five

Saudi Cup Advance Wagering Friday

27 Feb

The dual in the desert, the newly crowned “World’s Richest Race”, the inaugural $20 million Saudi Cup takes place Saturday at approximately 9:35am, Pacific Time. Pleasanton OTB will not open in time for the Saudi Cup on Saturday morning, but will be offering Advance Wagering on the Saudi Cup throughout the day Friday, up until closing on Friday night.

Patrons seeking to bet the Saudi Cup can do so Friday at Pleasanton OTB, and watch the race on Fox Sports 1. Coverage begins at 9:00am Pacific Time Saturday morning, with the race scheduled for approximately 9:35am.

As one would expect for a massive $20 million purse, the Saudi Cup has attracted a virtual who’s who of American dirt stars, including Maximum Security,  McKinzie, Midnight Bisou, Mucho Gusto, Tacitus and more!

Check out the full field of 14 below:

Saudi Cup

 

Buena Vista Headlines Saturday Action

20 Feb

Saturday’s $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita owns the distinction of being the richest race in North America this weekend, and it has drawn a respectable field of 12, led by 8/5 morning-line favorite Jolie Olympica. With “Money” Mike Smith in the saddle for Hall-of-Fame trainer, Richard Mandella, the four-year-old Brazilian bred filly seeks her second stateside victory following an impressive 1 & 1/2-length score in the Las Cienegas Stakes (G3) over the Santa Anita turf course at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Among the top contenders is Lady Prancelot (5/1), who was last seen winning the American Oaks over this course on Dec. 28, and Caressa (4/1), who earned a hard fought victory over Super Patriot (12/1) and La Sardane (12/1), in the 1-mile Megahertz (G3) here on Jan. 20. Carded as the 5th of 9 races, the Buena Vista is placed smack dab in the middle of Saturday’s card. It will anchor the Early Pick 5 and kick off the Late Pick 5, at approximately 2:29pm.

Since Gulfstream’s Rainbow 6 was hit Monday for a cool $1.2 million, Santa Anita’s West Coast Rainbow Jackpot of $366,954 (heading into Friday’s program) now stands as the biggest single ticket Pick 6 jackpot in the land. The Rainbow Pick 6 will be contested over races 4-9, and goes off at 1:59pm.

First post at Santa Anita is 12:30pm.

Friday Pick 6 Carryover at Meadowlands

20 Feb

P6 photo

There’s a Pick 6 Carryover (No Jackpot) of $14,376 heading into Friday’s Pick 6 at the Meadowlands. With an already low 15% takeout, it makes Friday’s Pick 6 the “can’t miss” bet of the weekend.

Pleasanton OTB is taking races 3-13 on Friday night’s Meadowlands program. The Pick 6 will be held over races 4-9, starting at approximately 5:18pm. Get FREE program pages for the Pick 6 and Early Pick 4 by clicking the link below:

FREE Pick 6 Program

Japan Racing Returns Saturday Night

20 Feb

Racing from Japan returns Saturday night, highlighted by the running of the $2-million February Stakes (G1). The 12-race card from Tokyo Racecourse gets underway at 5:05pm and joins a stacked Saturday night lineup that includes full cards from Los Alamitos, Cal Expo, Woodbine-Mohawk, five Australian tracks, and partial cards from Meadowlands (4-13), Northfield (12-16), and Hawthorne (9-13).

Night admission is just $4, starting at approximately 4:30pm.

Blue Devils Bingo is also here every Saturday night. Games start at 6:30pm and Bingo Doors open at 4:30pm. The buy in is $40, and payouts are as much at $1,000 per game.

It’s North vs. South in El Camino Derby

14 Feb

By Joe Hollister

The 2019 version of the El Camino Real Derby saw Anothertwistafate go wire-to-wire in a dominating performance, winning by 7-lengths, as the local hero held off eleven other rivals including the Bob Baffert trained colt, Kingly. Anothertwistafate continued on the Derby trail with the support of Bay Area horseplayers, recording second place finishes in both the Sunland Derby and Lexington Stakes, before ultimately deferring to the Preakness, in which he finished a well-beaten 10th.

Saturday’s main event headlines a 9-race card at Golden Gate Fields, which also features a So-Cal shipper trained by the Hall-of-Fame Baffert barn. That’s 2/1 morning line favorite, Azul Coast, who arrives with legendary jockey Rafael Bejarano in the saddle. This closer may have to pass a majority of this large field, on a new surface to earn the automatic berth into the Preakness Stakes.

Azul Coast will be joined in the starting gate by another So-Cal shipper Czechmight, the Street Sense colt, off since his 2nd out maiden score at Keeneland in October. He is coming into his 3-year-old debut off a sharp bullet drill, 1st of 122 on February 8th at Santa Anita. The Steve Specht trained Sacred Rider is back after a 2nd place finish in the Cal Cup Derby while outrunning his odds of 36-1. The most seasoned of this group, Sacred Rider will be making his tenth career start. Also coming out of that race is Indian Peak, who has drawn the rail for the 2020 El Camino. He was steadied late and the 8th place finish was not indicative of this one’s talent. Indian Peak owns this group’s highest speed figure over the tapeta and with a clean trip from the rail, may be the best.

Race replay handicappers will want to watch the race from the January 19th (GGF 8th) affair where five of these runners matched up. The Stiff headed Wine and Whisky for the win, after both rallied from mid-pack to get up late over Mysterious Stones (3rd) and Ajourneytofreedom (4th), a half-brother to last year’s winner, with Final Final finishing 5th. These were the top 5 finishers from that first level allowance race, and they are all stepping up in class here.

In that race, Ajourneytofreedom loomed large at the top of the stretch, but lacked the needed finishing punch. Mysterious Stones was near the lead the entire race and continued to fight on along the rail, looking good in defeat. These five horses finished within 3 lengths and are difficult to separate here, with a slight nod going to Mysterious Stones and his ability to be up near the pace early on.

American Farmer has faced several of these in the maiden ranks and will be entering deeper waters in his first start against winners after breaking his maiden on January 26th. Praise Loudly rounds out the field and is the only entrant who broke his maiden for a tag (20k).

FINAL VERDICT

Of the newcomers to Golden Gate, Czechmight, a recent private purchase, gets the nod in this preview. The 11 post and his natural early speed may be enough to take this group wire-to-wire. Czechmight could be poised for a Triple Crown run if this one earns the 10 Kentucky Derby points awarded to the winner. Indian Peak will certainly find his place on the betting tickets with Mysterious Stones offering potential longshot value. Azul Coast, the favorite, deserves a long look and may be the foil but the money goes elsewhere.

It’s the reason we handicap; the excitement of betting (and beating the favorite).  

Joe Hollister is a local school teacher, avid handicapper and horseplayer.