Classy American Anthem should prevail in San Carlos

The seven-furlong San Carlos Stakes is the closing Saturday feature at Santa Anita. The Grade II, $250,000 event drew a field of eight older sprinters. Post time for the San Carlos, Race 11 of 12 on the program, is 8:28 p.m. EST. Be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#4 AMERICAN ANTHEM (9-5, morning-line favorite) steps back up after a comeback allowance at Churchill Downs earlier this month. The son of Bodemeister was well-regarded at three, competing in Derby preps but falling short of expectations around two turns. Turned back to sprints in the latter half of 2017, AMERICAN ANTHEM took consecutive graded stakes and claimed third in a pair of Grade Is. This Bob Baffert trainee has drilled well leading up to the San Carlos and gets reunited with Mike Smith. AMERICAN ANTHEM’s significant class edge makes him the one to beat.

#6 TOUCHING RAINBOWS (5-2) only narrowly prevailed in his latest outing but owns a four-race win streak. He also boasts a 6-4-1-1 record at Santa Anita and a 3-2-1-0 record going seven furlongs. However, the former $25k claimer has never competed in a stakes race of any kind. TOUCHING RAINBOWS, the main danger to the top pick, will have Flavien Prat aboard.

#7 STONE HANDS (4-1) has hit the exacta in five straight and has won his last two by open lengths. He’ll take another step up the class ladder today but holds a solid record at Santa Anita (9-3-3-2). Mario Gutierrez maintains the assignment for Doug O’Neill.

#8 DABSTER (4-1), AMERICAN ANTHEM’s stablemate, is 2-for-3 going seven furlongs, but that lone defeat was also his only career stakes try, and it was a dismal seventh in the Grade I Malibu. He’s made just one start since then, which resulted in a win going one mile, but it occurred in February. Martin Garcia takes over with Prat opting for TOUCHING RAINBOWS.

The play: $4 trifecta 4/6/7,8, $1 trifecta 6/4/7,8 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Flavien Prat, looking to secure another leading rider title at Santa Anita, holds a strong hand on Saturday.  He rides in eight of the day’s 12 races, and all but two of those mounts are 5-1 or less. That includes 5-2 TOUCHING RAINBOWS in the San Carlos Stakes.

Mario Gutierrez, who rides in six races (one AE), is an intriguing value play. Five of those mounts are at single-digit odds on the morning-line. STONE HANDS (4-1) is his San Carlos assignment.

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