Kimbear is back to sprinting in Laz Barrera

The Grade III, $100,000 Laz Barrera Stakes for three-year-old sprinters is the Saturday feature at Santa Anita. A talented field of six will line up at the gate at approximately 6:00 p.m. EST for the day’s fifth of nine races. The Laz Barrera will be run at seven furlongs on the main oval. Be sure to take a look at FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game in addition to watching and wagering!

#2 KIMBEAR (3-1) will be my top selection as he cuts back off a disappointing Santa Anita Derby try. KIMBEAR was originally campaigned as a turf horse, but he’s really hit his stride on the dirt. He was a troubled second in his dirt debut at Los Alamitos last year before breaking his maiden two starts ago at this course and distance. The speed figure he earned in his maiden win makes him the one to beat in the Laz Barrera. Joe Talamo, currently second in the Santa Anita rider standings, will have the assignment.

#5 SUTTON IMPACT (6-1) steps up off a sharp maiden score for Peter Miller and lures Flavien Prat. SUTTON IMPACT was able to go gate-to-wire with hardly an anxious moment under Rafael Bejarano (who notably lands elsewhere) but will probably have to earn the lead on Saturday owing to the presence of #6 ARISTOCRATIC.

ARISTOCRATIC (5-2) keeps Bejarano and seems like the one to beat off a runaway score in the San Pedro Stakes. However, there is an abundance of early speed signed on in this one, which sets the table nicely for KIMBEAR.

Finally, one horse I will not have on my tickets is morning-line favorite AMERICAN ANTHEM (2-1). He hasn’t lifted a hoof in two starts after a promising second in a muddy renewal of the Sham Stakes on Jan. 6. Bob Baffert is always dangerous and Mike Smith seldom takes mounts just for the sake of riding, but it’s hard to get around just how ugly AMERICAN ANTHEM’s last two races were.

The play: $3 exacta box 2/6, $2 exacta box 2/5 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Flavien Prat has five mounts on Saturday, all of whom are logical contenders. Nap Lajoie (6-1) could kick off Prat’s day with an ITM finish before he climbs aboard SUTTON IMPACT in the Laz Barrera. Later on Prat rides Cheekaboomboom (4-1) in Race 6, favored Informality (7-2) in Race 7, and All That Heat (4-1) in the finale.

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