July 3, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (July 3, 2012)—The Association, world-renowned for classic 1960s hits “Cherish,” “Windy,” “Never My Love,” and “Along Comes Mary,” will make a highly anticipated appearance in conjunction with the California Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, July 14 at Santa Anita Park, beginning at 8 p.m. in the storied track’s infield area.

Cal Phil’s “Festival on the Green” concert series, at the direction of Maestro Victor Vener, with a guest appearance by noted pop singer Vanessa Carlton, got off to a rollicking start on June 30 and it is expected their second performance on July 14 will generate a huge nighttime crowd as attendees enjoy a host of amenities including fine dining, full cocktail service and reserved seating on the infield lawn.

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The Easter Sunday program offers a nine race program and mandatory payouts in the Pick-5, the Pick-6 and the Super High 5.

The opener is pretty much unplayable; #4 Wine Country Wanda was eight lengths clear of the rest when second in a similar spot last month and is listed at 2/5 on the morning line. Use her as a rolling exotic single if you’d like, or simply pass the race.

Racing resumes after a six day break (seems like longer!) with a strong program offering a number of attractive wagering opportunities.

The Sunday program begins with a $20,000 claiming miler that should be won by either #3 Bluegrass Reward or #4 Prime Issue and both are worth using in rolling exotic play. The former is solid in the speed figure department and likes this track, while the latter is a sharp Bay Area invader with plenty of zip and will take them as far as he can.

A nice Pick-6 carryover of $54,472awaits Saturday players on an excellent nine race program.

In the opener, #2 Divine Way resurfaces for $16,000 on the one-level drop following a Diodoro claim, so her condition is a question and she loses Bejarano. However, even without the healthiest of patterns she is good enough off her best effort to warrant consideration. #4 Time for Angie is a huge class dropper (from $50,000) but retains Bejarano so perhaps she may be a tad more trustworthy. At any rate, this is not a race we’re planning to play with any degree of confidence.

Maiden claimers sprint six furlongs in the Friday opener, a race we don’t plan on getting too heavily involved with. #3 Grand Humor has plenty of zip but so far hasn’t shown any great desire to finish, while #4 Bad Behavior drops into a claimer for the first time for Baffert but his speed figures are dwindling. We suspect the winner might be a closer, and #2 Superboot, an English invader making his U.S. debut, has trained like he has the type of style for Hollendorfer.

A new week begins with an eight-race Thursday program that contains four maiden races. Our work is cut out for us, so let’s see what we can come up with.

In the opener, both #2 Newfound Gold and #4 Road Ready are coming off all-out, taxing wins, so there’s no guarantee either will run as well today. However, in a lackluster bottom-rung claimer, it will be something of a surprise if the winner isn’t either one or the other. Neither offers much in the way of value, so this is a race we’ll probably stay clear of.

The Sunday nine-race program begins with a restricted $12,500 nine furlong claimer. Pace handicappers will notice the quick fractions that #2 Trouble X Two has encountered recently and at this distance the early pace should be much more manageable for the recent Chew claim. We like him on top but will also use #6 Crusher, the beaten choice in the same race ‘Two exits but today going for Hess off the claim and switching to Garcia. He has back numbers that can win.

First post on Santa Anita Derby day is Noon and there’s a spectacular 11 race program that includes five stakes races for horseplayers to attack.