Ransom The Moon returns as likely winner of the Kona Gold

Santa Anita plays host to the Grade II, $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes this Saturday. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint over the main course features a compact but quality field of five. Post time for the Kona Gold, Race 5 on an 11-race card, is 5:00 p.m. EST. In addition to watching and wagering, don’t forget to play FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#5 RANSOM THE MOON (9-5, morning-line favorite), one of California’s top sprinters, should get his chance to shine again without the presence of division champ Roy H. He missed the board in his final two starts of 2017 but put together a solid summer campaign that culminated with a score in the Grade I Bing Crosby. RANSOM THE MOON is the defending champ of the Kona Gold and will once again have Flavien Prat aboard. He drew well for this, as he should be able to watch the action unfold in front of him. Look for Prat to let RANSOM THE MOON roll past the frontrunners turning for home.

#3 TEN BLESSINGS (3-1) probably has the most upside of anyone in the Kona Gold. He ended his 2016 campaign with a third in the Grade I Malibu before hitting the shelf for over a year. He returned last month, taking second in a high-level allowance/optional claiming over a wet going behind a next-out stakes winner before winning with a perfect stalking trip under Drayden Van Dyke, who maintains the assignment for Bob Baffert. TEN BLESSINGS drilled a bullet in anticipation of his third start of the season.

#2 BOBBY ABU DHABI (2-1) won nicely in an allowance/optional claiming on New Year’s Eve before taking second in the Triple Bend last time out. That effort was flattered when Triple Bend winner City of Light stretched out and took the Oaklawn Handicap last Saturday. BOBBY ABU DHABI will probably not be pressed to run as fast early as he did last time out, so watch for him to be battling on late. Victor Espinoza has the call.

The play: $4 exacta 5/2,3, $2 exacta 3/5 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Flavien Prat has eight mounts on Santa Anita’s Saturday card, all of which are listed at 6-1 or less on the morning-line. Prat has a chance to sweep both stakes on the program with RANSOM THE MOON in the Kona Gold and Kenjisstorm in the American Stakes.

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