Top Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, April 30, 2022

| April 29, 2022 2:03 pm PDT

We assess ten stakes races split between two tracks—Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park—for your Saturday horse racing wagering pleasure.

Those ten include a Grade III turf run at Golden Gate, as well as a single Grade III run followed by three Grade II races at Santa Anita. As the philosophers point out so eloquently, “Booyah!”

Be sure to check out the latest odds—as well as the full race-cards of both tracks—with a visit to one of our vetted horse racing online betting sites.

Good luck!

My Saturday Picks for Golden Gate Fields

Race six — the California Derby

This is a $100,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles all-weather track run for three-year-olds. I have to agree with the morning line: Bet on the 9/5 favorite Cabo Spirit, ridden by top jockey Joe Bravo.

In a six-horse field, this ridgling is in real standout in this six-horse field, finishing in the money six times in his ten career starts, two of those wins, including the Eddie Logan Stakes (Listed) in January.

Cabo Spirit also notably finished third out of ten in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (Grade III) last November at Del Mar, and second in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Grade III) in February here at Santa Anita.

Twenty-year horse racing veteran George Papaprodromou trains Cabo Spirit for Kretz Racing LLC.

Race seven — the Golden Poppy Stakes

This is a $75,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles turf run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’ll call this one for morning-line favorite, Avenue de France, with Assael Espinoza in the irons.

This five-year-old French import moneyed ten of her 17 career starts, winning five, including the Luther Burbank Stakes (Black Type) last August and the Miss America Stakes (Black Type) in December.

Avenue de France also finished third out of seven in the Megahertz Stakes (Grade III) at Santa Anita in January.  

Leonard Powell trains Avenue de France for the Benowitz Family Trust, Convergence Stables LLC, Madaket Stables LLC, Wonder Stables, and Mathilde Powell.

Race eight — the California Oaks

This is a $75,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles all-weather track run for three-year-old fillies. I’m betting my two dollars on the morning-line’s second-favorite, Anthonys Cleopatra, with veteran jockey Frank T. Alvarado aboard.

This filly moneyed all three of her career starts, winning two. She also posted solid speed figures for all three runs.

Longtime horse racing veteran Tim McCanna trains Anthonys Cleopatra for owner-breeder Cacchiotti Ranch. McCanna has put Alvarado in the irons for all three of Anthonys Cleopatra’s races.

Race nine — the San Francisco Mile Stakes (Grade III)

This is a $250,000 purse, one-mile turf race for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 10/1 sleeper, Indian Peak, piloted by veteran jockey Irving Orozco.

While this 14-horse field has no dearth of horses with good “back in the day” stories to tell, this five-year-old gelding is still on the street, collecting paychecks. For the record, Indian Peak finished in the money 13 of his 26 career starts, winning six.

While that might not be impressive, I should note that the morning-line favorite, Vanzzy, hasn’t won anything tougher than an allowance race since July of 2020.

Indian Peak, on the other hand, finished third of seven in the Seabiscuit Handicap (Grade II) at Del Mar last November, and second (in a field of eight) in the San Simeon Stakes (Grade III) at Santa Anita just two months ago.

Oh, and he won the California Flag Handicap (Black Type) at Santa Anita last October.

Ruben D. Alvarado trains Indian Peak for owners Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber.

Race ten — the Lost in the Fog Stakes

This is a $75,000 purse, six-furlong all-weather track run for three year-olds and upward. I don’t see any reason to disagree with the morning line here: Buy a win ticket on the 3/1 favorite, Bettor Trip Nick, ridden by Evin A. Roman.

This five-year-old bay gelding finished int eh money 12 of his 17 career starts, winning seven. That includes his most recent run—the El Dorado Shooter Stakes (Black Type) here at Golden Gate in late February.

Rising star Jonathan Wong trains Bettor Trip Nick for owners Gary Oetman and Ray Pagano.

Race eleven — Camilla Urso Stakes

This is a $75,000 purse, five-furlong turf run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m calling this one for another Jonathan Wong horse—the third-favored (at 5/1) Dynasty of Her Own, with Evin A. Roman in the irons.

This five-year-old dark bay mare moneyed 15 of her 21 career starts, winning eleven. While her two stakes wins were in 2020, in this otherwise unremarkable field of 12 she has the best 2022 success stories to tell.

Wong trains Dynasty of Her Own for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC.

Saturday Picks for Santa Anita Park

Race four — the Kona Gold Stakes (Grade III)

This is a $100,000 purse, 6-1/2 furlong dirt track race for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the second-favored (at 8/5) Miles Ahead, with veteran jockey Victor Espinoza in the irons.

This five-year-old dark bay gelding finished int eh money 15 of his 21 career starts, winning eleven, including his two most recent. Notably, he also won the Smile Sprint Invitational Stakes (Grade III) at Gulfstream Park last July. His speed figures give him a very slight edge on the favorite.

Thirty-year horse racing veteran Brian J. Koriner trains Miles Ahead for Jay Em Ess Stable.

Race six — Californian Stakes (Grade II)

This is a $200,000 purse, 1-1/8 miles dirt track race for four-year-olds and upward. There are some very fine horses in this short field of five, but I’m sticking with the 4/5 morning line favorite: Express Train, ridden by Victor Espinoza.

This five-year-old bay gelding finished in the money 14 of his 17 career starts, winning seven. Those victories include his four most recent runs: the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) in December, the San Pasqual Stakes (Grade II) in February, and the Santa Anita Handicap (Grade I) in March.

Horse racing veteran John A. Shirreffs trains Express Train for C R K Stable LLC.

Race ten — the Santa Margarita Stakes (Grade II)

This is a $200,000 purse, 1-1/8 miles dirt track run for fillies and mares four years old and upward. While I believe the 6/1 sleeper Blue Stripe is worth a value show ticket and could very well provide us with an upset, I’m backing the 5/2 favorite, Miss Bigly, with Ramon A. Vazquez in the irons.

This six-year-old bay mare finished in the money 21 of her 27 career starts, winning eight. Those victories include the Bayakoa Stakes (Grade III) at Oaklawn Park in February.

Philip D’Amato trains Miss Bigly for owners Agave Racing Stable, Living The Dream Stables, LLC, and Rockin Robin Racing Stables.

Incidentally, the Argentinian import Blue Stripe aced two graded stakes races—the Arturo R. y Arturo Bullrich (Grade II) in March of 2021, and the Criadores (Grade I) in May of 2021—both at the Hipodromo Argentino De Palermo. The only reason he isn’t my sleeper pick for the win is his mid-pack seventh-place finish in his US debut race, the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Grade I) in November.

Race eleven —  Charles Whittingham Stakes (Grade II)

This is a $225,000 purse, 1-1/4 miles turf run for three-year-olds and upward. Looks like the morning line is right again: Bet on the 9/5 favorite, Beyond Brilliant, with Victor Espinoza aboard.

This four-year-old bay colt moneyed eight of his eleven career starts, winning three, including the Hollywood Derby (Grade I) at Del Mar last November. In fact, he’s moneyed three of his last four races, with that Grade I win wedged in between a third in the Twilight Derby (Grade II) in October and a second in the Santa Anita Mathis Mile Stakes (Grade II) in December.

This is a talented and experienced field of seven, but Beyond Brilliant has proven that he knows how the lawn gets mowed.

Incidentally, he hasn’t posted less than a triple-digit speed figure since last August.

John A. Shirreffs trains Beyond Brilliant for C R K Stable LLC.

Be sure to catch up on the latest odds and predictions for the 2022 Kentucky Derby:

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J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

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