The Sunshine Turf Classic 2024

California breds will go a mile and an eighth on the grass to close out the Saturday card at Santa Anita. Kings River Knight will be a solid favorite in the wagering, but we’ll take a shot against him.


Aligato goes for the hot Mark Glatt barn and gets a jockey switch to Prat. The 7-year-old gelding doesn’t win much, or even race much for that matter with only 14 lifetime starts, but he does come out of some tough open company races, and he did win this race back in 2022. He likes this distance and should be closing in the stretch, never a bad thing on the grass. There is not a ton of speed in here to help his set up but there is some and the distance seems perfect for him. He should go off close to the 6-1 morning line and that seems fair to me.


Earlier on the card in the 4th race they will run the Cal Cup Derby. I thought Mici’s Express was sitting on a big race in the King Glorious last time out at Los Alamitos but he did not get any pace to run at and was pretty much one paced all the way around. He gets an extra sixteenth of a mile to work with here and I think that along with some more pace can help a lot. I look for the race I expected at Los Alamitos last time to be produced here and I see Mici’s Express running a big one.


Back on the East Coast they’ll run The Busanda for newly turned three-year-old fillies. On paper it looks like there is plenty of speed. I’ll land on the filly on the rail, Gin Gin who looks like one of the few who can run from off the pace. She could get a nice set up in here and the distance should be no problem at all. I look for Trevor McCarthy to have her in a good spot with a nice tracking trip.


In The Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs Banded Rocket looks interesting. He loses Antonio Gallardo but this colt was good enough to win at six and a half furlongs first out over the quirky and deep Tampa strip and he showed good early speed in doing so. If he clears again, I won’t be surprised at all if he forgets to stop.


Of the spots that caught my eye I think Mici’s Express is where I’ll lean most. I like the distance and set up and the price should be fair.


Enjoy the races and win the photos. Watch for our Pegasus by The Thorograph Numbers and Patterns show. For now learn a bit more about HIWU right from the source:


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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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