Top Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, March 5, 2022

| March 4, 2022 12:11 pm PDT

I’ve handpicked winners in 12 stakes races across three tracks for my horseracing choices for Saturday.

I visited Aqueduct Racetrack, Gulfstream Park, and Santa Anita Park because each of them is hosting one of the qualifying races that make up the Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying races. I also pick some winners for a couple of Kentucky Oaks prep races, as well.

And as always, you can find the full Saturday race-cards for all three tracks at our best online sportsbooks.

Good luck!

My Saturday Picks for Aqueduct Racetrack

Race Nine is the Busher Invitational Stakes is a $250,000 purse, one-mile stakes race on the dirt track for three-year-old fillies. The top four finishers in the Busher Invitational Stakes are awarded leaderboard points (50-20-10-5) to qualify for a post position in the 2022 Kentucky Oaks.

I’m calling this one for the 6/1 underdog, Sterling Silver, with top jockey Trevor McCarthy in the irons.

This filly won both of her career starts, including her initial maiden attempt in November and the Franklin Square Stakes (Black Type) here at Aqueduct in January.

Granted, all six of the fillies in this race have performed well in stakes races, but Sterling Silver’s the only one to post triple-digit speed figures while doing so.

Thomas Albertrani trains Sterling Silver for owner Mark T. Anderson.

Race ten is the Gotham Stakes (Grade III), a $300,000 purse, one-mile race on the dirt track for three-year-olds. The top four finishers in the Gotham Stakes are awarded Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard points (50-20-10-5) to qualify for a post position in the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

My money’s on the third-favored (at 4/1) entry in this ten-horse field: Rockefeller, ridden by Trevor McCarthy.

This three-year-old colt moneyed three of his four career starts, winning two, including his initial maiden at Del Mar as well as the Nashua Stakes (Grade III) at Belmont Park in November. Most recently, he finished second in the Sham Stakes (Grade III) at Santa Anita in January.

Bob Baffert trains Rockefeller for owners SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, and Robert E. Masterson.

Saturday’s Picks for Gulfstream Park

Race six in the Davona Dale Stakes, a $200,000 purse, one-mile race on the dirt track for here-year-old fillies. The top four finishers in the Davona Dale Stakes are awarded leaderboard points (50-20-10-5) to qualify for a post position in the 2022 Kentucky Oaks.

I’m betting my two dollars on the 3/1 morning-line favorite: Girl With a Dream, piloted by Luis Saez.

This filly finished in the money five of her six career starts, winning four, including her most recent three—an allowance race at Churchill Downs in November, the Letellier Memorial Stakes (Black Type) at Fair Grounds in December, and the Forward Gal Stakes (Grade III) here at Gulfstream last month.

Brad H. Cox trains Girl With a Dream for owners Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister.

Race ten is the Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (Grade II), a $200,000 purse, one-mile dirt track race for four-year-olds and upward. I like the 3/1 second-favored entry in this nine-horse field—Fearless, with Luis Saez in the irons.

This six-year-old gelding finished ten of his 12 career starts in the money, winning five, including the Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (Grade II) in February 2021, and the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (Grade III) in December.

Fearless has performed better and more often in stakes races than the otherwise impressive morning-line favorite, Speaker’s Corner.

Todd A. Pletcher trains Fearless for Repole Stable.

Race eleven is the Mac Diarmida Stakes (Grade II), a $200,000 purse, 1-3/8 miles run on the turf course for four-year-olds and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on the 8/5 morning-line favorite, Abaan, ridden by Luis Saez.

This one’s my no-brainer pick of the day. No other entry in this eleven-horse field comes close to this five-year-old gelding’s record: Eight money finishes in ten career starts, with four wins.

Those four wins include an allowance race in November at Aqueduct, the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (Listed) in December, and the W. L. McKnight Stakes (Grade III) at the end of January.

Todd A. Pletcher trains Abaan for owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Alex Daigneault.

Race twelve is the Fountain of Youth Stakes (Grade II), a $400,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles dirt track run for three-year-olds. The top four finishers in the Fountain of Youth Stakes are awarded Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard points (50-20-10-5) to qualify for a post position in the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

I’m betting my two dollars on the fourth-favored (at 8/1) entry in this thirteen-horse field: Rattle N Roll, with Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. in the irons.

As you’d expect, all of the horses in this race are stars, but this colt stands out: Three money finishes in three career starts, two of them wins—including his most recent, the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (Grade I) at Keeneland in December.

Kenneth G. McPeek trains Rattle N Roll for Lucky Seven Stable (Mackin).

Saturday Picks for Santa Anita Park

Race four is the San Carlos Stakes (Grade II), a $200,000 purse, seven-furlong dirt track run for four-year-olds and upward. I agree with the morning line: Buy a winning ticket on the 5/2 favorite, Cezanne, ridden by Flavien Prat.

This five-year-old finished in the money four of his five career starts, winning three, including the Kona Gold Stakes (Grade III) last April. He most recently finished third in the Palos Verdes Stakes (Grade III) in late January.

Bob Baffert—who has two entries in this nine-horse race—trains Cezanne for owners Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith, and St. Elias Stable. His other horse, Eight Rings, is second-favored at 3/1, and might be worth a safety bet.

Race five is the Buena Vista Stakes (Grade II), a $200,000 purse, one-mile turf run for fillies and mares four years old and upward. I’m betting on the 3/1 morning-line favorite, Going to Vegas, with Flavien Prat aboard.

This five-year-old mare finished in the money 17 of her 23 career starts, winning seven, including the John C. Mabee Stakes (Grade II) at Del Mar in September and the Rodeo Drive Stakes (Grade I) at Santa Anita in October.

Going to Vegas whiffed her most recent race, the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (Grade I) at Del Mar in November, finishing 11th out of 12 after leading the pack until the final stretch. The shorter length of the Buena Vista Stakes should make a real difference for her.

Richard Baltas trains Going to Vegas for Abbondanza Racing, LLC, Medallion Racing, and MyRacehorse.

Race six is the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II), a $400,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles dirt track run for three-year-olds. The top four finishers in the San Felipe Stakes are awarded Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard points (50-20-10-5) to qualify for a post position in the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

I like the 8/5 morning-line favorite, Forbidden Kingdom, piloted by Juan J. Hernandez.

This colt finished all four of his career starts in the money, winning two, including his initial maiden attempt last August and the San Vicente Stakes (Grade II) here at Santa Anita in January. He also notably finished second at the Bob Hope Stakes (Grade II) at Del Mar in November.

Richard E. Mandella trains Forbidden Kingdom for owners MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm LLC.

Race nine is the Beholder Mile Stakes (Grade I), a $500,000 purse, one-mile dirt track run for fillies and mares four years old and upward. My money’s on the 4/5 morning-line favorite, As Time Goes By, with Flavien Prat aboard.

This five-year-old mare finished ten of her 13 career starts in the money, winning six, including her two most recent races, the Bayakoa Stakes (Grade III) at Los Alamitos in December and the La Canada Stakes (Grade III) here at Santa Anita in January. In this short field of five (Moonlight d’Oro has been scratched), she’s the standout.

Bob Baffert trains As Time Goes By for owners Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith.

Race ten is the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes, a $500,000 purse, one-mile turf run for four-year-olds and upward. I’m buying a winning ticket on the 8/1 sleeper in this 12-horse field—Beyond Brilliant, ridden by Victor Espinoza.

This four-year-old colt got off to a slow start in his career, but once he broke his maiden and put a handful of allowance races behind him, he started cashing paychecks at some of the horseracing world’s richest races.

For the record, Beyond Brilliant moneyed eight of his ten career starts, winning three, including the Hollywood Derby (Grade I) at Del Mar in November.

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

Race eleven is the Santa Anita Handicap (Grade I), a $650,000 purse, 1-1/4 miles dirt track run for four-year-olds and upward. I think the morning-line favorite is going to see some real competition from the third-favored Warrant, but I’m still betting my two dollars on the 8/5 favorite, Express Train, with Victor Espinoza aboard.

This five-year-old finished ten of his 13 career starts in the money, winning six, including his two most recent, the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) in December and the San Pasqual Stakes (Grade II) last month–both here at Santa Anita.

Incidentally, he won the San Pasqual Stakes last year, as well. Oh, and he’s posted triple-digit speed figures in 13 of his 16 races. Yeah, he’s got this.

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

Want More 2022 Kentucky Derby Insider Info?

If you want the hot skinny on what races will have the greatest effect on who fills the starting gate at the 2022 Kentucky Derby, check out our blog post below.

Key Kentucky Derby Races Bettors Should Track in 2022

The 37 races comprising the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby serve to winnow the wheat from the chaff, leaving us with 18-20 of the best three-year-old thoroughbreds the world has to offer. But are all the races equally important? First of all, let’s...

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J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. 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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