Santa Anita selections, jockey analysis for 6/24/17

The Affirmed Stakes and Precisionist Stakes highlight the action at Santa Anita this Saturday. Three-year-olds will throw it down in the Affirmed, led by Kentucky Derby third-place finisher BATTLE OF MIDWAY, while older horses will do battle in the Precisionist. Both are Grade III events carrying $100,000 purses, and both go at 1 1/16th-miles on the main track. Estimated post time for the Affirmed is 5:30 p.m. EST, with the Precisionist following one hour later. They are Races 4 and 6 on the program, respectively. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

Flavien Prat is currently serving multiple suspensions but will be allowed to ride #2 BATTLE OF MIDWAY (4-5, morning-line favorite) in the Affirmed. BATTLE OF MIDWAY was a game third in the Kentucky Derby after pressing the early pace outside of runners. He gets a considerable drop in class today and has good form over this course to run back to.

#1 B SQUARED (6-1) is the upset selection for second. He’s raced on turf in his last two but his highest career speed figure came over Santa Anita’s main oval back in April. He’s got decent pedigree for the distance and Mario Gutierrez stays aboard.

#5 ARMS RUNNER (9-5) will take plenty of action but has yet to run on dirt. He’s begun his career with gusto, taking two straight on the downhill turf course while impressing each time. Norberto Arroyo Jr. will have the call on this logical contender.

The play: $4 exacta 2/1,5 ($8)

#4 COLLECTED (4-5, morning-line favorite) bypassed the Santa Anita Gold Cup in favor of this softer spot and will likely be rewarded. The Bob Baffert trainee has dazzled in each of his last two starts, taking the Santana Mile and Grade II Californian with ease. The distance is well within his scope and Martin Garcia sticks with him.

#3 ACCELERATE (5-2) is no stranger to settling for minor awards on this circuit (6-0-2-3) and will likely do so again. His speed figures are in the ballpark with COLLECTED but he probably won’t get the pace he’d need to run him down in the lane. Tyler Baze has the assignment.

#1 DONWORTH (6-1) has shown flashes of talent but has ultimately disappointed. He makes his first start off an extended layoff but may have enough to land third here under Gutierrez.

The play: $8 exacta 4/3, $4 exacta 4/1 ($12)

DFJ analysis: Mario Gutierrez is in for a busy (and hopefully productive) day with six mounts spread over 10 races. A pair of 3-1 shots kick things off in Races 1 and 3 (Ocean Dream and Flower Heart Deer, respectively) before he gets a leg up on B SQUARED and DONWORTH in the aforementioned stakes races on the card. Back-to-back live starters for Doug O’Neill will end Gutierrez’s day (Have Some Pride, Race 7 and Beau Square, Race 9).

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