Sunday’s feature at Santa Anita Park is the Grade 3 $100,000 Desert Stormer Stakes. We take a close look and make horse racing picks for that race. We also make picks for the sixth, a top allowance optional claimer, and the ninth, a $25,000 claiming event at a mile over the turf. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Santa Anita Park for Sunday, May 17th. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Picks
- When: Sunday, May 17 at 3:30 pm ET
- Where: Arcadia, CA
- Weather: Partly Cloud
- Temperature: High 81 – Low 59
Santa Anita Park Picks for Sunday, May 17
Race 6 – 6:000 pm ET – 6 Furlongs Dirt – $62,500 Allowance Optional Claiming
In the Grade 1 American Pharoah, Mark Glatt trained Collusion Illusion was way over his head. Undefeated leading up to that race, Illusion wanted no part of it. He didn’t put forth an effort. It was so bad that jockey Joe Talamo pulled him up and walked him off. This one took the Grade 2 Best Pal last summer. So, he’s got some talent. Let’s give him a mulligan for the American Pharoah disaster.
Carla Gaines has produced great runners for years. She’s got a good one in Tiger Dad. The third place finisher in the Tiznow Stakes cuts back in distance. Dad is good enough to lay off and then run on for first place. Use in a box with the top choice to be safe.
This is one heck of a deep field. We’ll go with Rowayton for third. The Don Chatlos trainee barely missed in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens stakes. He should have no trouble closing in this race. But the H. Allen Jerkens was at 7 furlongs. This is at 6. Rowayton may come up just short.
- Win: Collusion Illusion
- Place: Tiger Dad
- Show: Rowayton
Race 8 – 7:00 pm ET – 6 Furlongs Dirt – $100,000 Grade 3 Desert Stormer Stakes
John Sadler trained Artistic Diva could bounce back with a huge win after a terrible go of it at Oaklawn Park. Diva got scorched after racing on the pace in the Spring Fever stakes in her last. She had no shot after running a 21 first-quarter and 45 half. On Sunday, her top pace rivals are to her inside. Jockey Victor Espinoza should put her right to the outside of Baffert runner Fighting Mad. Victor makes sure she overtakes that one.
Fighting Mad has a big shot to hang on for second. The Baffert speedster won the Grade 3 Torrey Pines going a mile in her last. That was last August. But Bob can get them ready off the bench. She’s the speed of the speed and must only outpace Artistic Diva to get the win. So, consider for the victory if the price is right.
Bellafina will burn up a ton of dollars. She love SoCal, which makes her a contender. But at the expected odds, we can’t use. Instead, we’ll go with Mother Mother. The other Baffert figures to garner a lot of respect. Can she win? Yep, which is why we recommend using in all slots on your trifecta.
- Win: Artistic Diva
- Place: Fighting Mad
- Show: Mother Mother
Race 9 – 7:30 pm ET – 1 Mile Turf – $25,000 Claiming
Social Graces gets the price-tag cut in half. The Paddy Gallagher trained 4-year-old filly sired by Aussie Rules has run fast enough to win at this level. Dropping for $50,000 claimers means we won’t get a price. But, sometimes, you got to go with the chalk to cash.
Trainer Mike Puype trains Establish Justice. The Constitution sired 3-year-old filly has a real chance to get the win on Sunday. Justice takes a drop in class like Social Graces. Also, there’s a ton of upside because this one has only raced 6 times.
Mike McCarthy trained Sutro figures to go off as the chalk. McCarthy wins 32% this year. Not only that but Sutro goes all-weather to turf, a 30% winning move for Mike. The problem? Sutro breaks from post-position 10. It’s hard to win on Santa Anita’s turf from way out there.
- Win: Social Graces
- Place: Establish Justice
- Show: Sutro