2014 Santa Anita Handicap

Santa Anita Handicap

Will Take Charge & Mucho Mach ManIt’s time to preview the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap for four year olds and upward going 11/4 miles for a purse of $750,000. This indeed will be a great race with great thoroughbreds going at each other. The morning line favorite is Katherine Ritvo’s six year old charge Mucho Macho Man. The Macho Man has won three in a row including the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Classic in November where he held off a furious charge by my choice in that race , Will Take Charge, who was just a nose short of the victory. Mucho Macho Man likes to lay just off the pace and come running hard down the stretch. He will have the services of  Gary Stevens again today. Second in the ML is D. Wayne Lukas’ Will Take Charge who matured and came on late in his three year-old campaign. He made his 4 year old debut in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulstream Park where he again finished a game second to the older horse Lea. Will was the favorite in that race but was completely ignored by the “experts” covering the race on television. He likes to come from off the pace and that makes me really nervous when my money is on him. He will be ridden again by Luis Saez.

Game On DudeThird choice is Bob Baffert’s 7 year old Game On Dude. The Dude disappointed big time in his last , the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes here on February 8. Sent off at less than even money, he finished fifth beaten by six and a half lengths by todays competitor Blingo. The Dude likes to try and win races on the lead and he will have the lead here today. While I was handicapping this race I was presented with a problem and that was trying not to show bias to the horse I loved as a three year old. There is one rule all handicappers must keep if they are to be successful and that is not to fall in love with any particular horse. You must look at every race with an objective eye and that is what I had to do here. I believe that the weights have shifted somewhat and favors a certain horse in this one and that horse is Game On Dude. With an absence of any other speed in this race I believe he will be able to dictate the pace and have plenty left for the stretch run. I think Will Take Charge will come running and finish second yet again and Mucho Macho Man will be third and Blingo will be fourth. So there you have your Superfecta—with a grain of salt. Good luck guys and gals!




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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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