Dan’s Double: Eyeing an East Coast Invader at Santa Anita

Dan’s Double of the week, featuring handicapping analysis from America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – is one of the brightest young minds in the game.

Each Week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Tordjman will keep track of his return on investment (ROI) throughout the year and, as a bonus, he will also provide picks for a selection of the key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup. Dan was able to manage a positive ROI for his plays in 2016 but was in the red for 2017. How will he do in 2018? To find out and to play along, come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Saturday, Dec. 29

Santa Anita Park, Race 5, 5 p.m. ET

#4 Papa Turf: This feisty gelding has been pretty good to me and although his best days are behind him, he’s back at a level and distance that should suit him just fine. Papa Turf also shows better recent form at Santa Anita, where he ran a similar group off its feet back in October. Clearly, he went too fast last out and faded when stretching out to a mile. On the cutback here with minimal speed outside of him (he does draw outside of a few who could potentially go early), he should be able to bounce back — hopefully at a square price.

$10 Budget

$2 win, place, and show on #4 Papa Turf ($6)

$2 exacta 4 with 1,5 ($4)

$25 Budget

$6 to win, $4 place and show on #4 Papa Turf ($14)

$2 exacta key box 4 with 1,5 ($8)

$3 exacta 4 with 1 ($3)

$50 Budget

$10 to win, $5 place and show on #4 Papa Turf ($20)

$2 exacta key box 4 with 1,5,6 ($12)

$5 exacta 4 with 1 ($5)

$1 trifecta key 4 with 1,3,5,6 ($12)

Santa Anita Park, Race 8, $300,000 American Oaks, 6;30 p.m. ET

#8 CompetitionofideasIn a field full of graded stakes runners looking to land a big Grade 1 score, I’m going to go with one of the least accomplished horses in the field because I think she’s got the most upside. You can put a line through the last race for Competitionofideas since it was washed off the turf at Aqueduct. Prior to that, she posted two consecutive numbers that were eye-opening at their respective levels, especially her 90 Beyer Speed Figure in the maiden victory on Sept. 7. The class of this field is #6 Paved, who posted a race-best 115 Equibase Speed Figure when she missed by just half a length in her last race at Santa Anita, the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes. Note that jockey Joel Rosario hops off Paved to ride Competitionofideas. That’s a pretty important switch when it would appear on paper that the class gap between Paved and Competitionofideas is pretty great — perhaps not.

$10 Budget

$2 win, place, and show on #8 Competitionofideas ($6)

$2 exacta box 6,8 ($4)

$25 Budget

$4 win, place, and show on #8 Competitionofideas ($12)

$2 exacta box 6,8 ($4)

$1 trifecta 6,8 with 4,6,8 with 4,6,8,9 ($8)

$50 Budget

$6 win, place, and show on #8 Competitionofideas ($18)

$4 exacta box 6,8 ($8)

$1 trifecta 6,8 with 4,6,8 with 4,6,8,9 ($8)

$4 exacta 8 with 4,6,9 ($12)

$2 exacta 4,9 with 8 ($4)

Last Week: +$134.75

YTD Bankroll: -$1,020.35