Santa Anita Park Picks – Friday, January 8, 2021

| January 7, 2021 1:25 pm PDT

Santa Anita starts the racing weekend early on Friday with nine regular maiden, allowance, and claiming races on both dirt and turf tracks.

While I only found a couple of long-odds entries worth a show bet, I discovered solid underdogs in all three of the races I reviewed.

Read on for my Santa Anita Park picks and betting tips for Friday, January 8, 2021.

Pick for Santa Anita Park Race 4

This is a maiden special weight race for three-year-old fillies running a distance of one mile for a purse of $61,000.

I’m buying a win ticket on the fourth-favored (5/1) entry in this race — Moraz, with veteran jockey Umberto Rispoli in the irons. This filly finished third in her single career start, and her speed figures are good in comparison to her competition.

There are no longer-odds entries in this race that look capable of finishing in the money, so I have no value show wager recommendation to make, except for maybe don’t.

  •  Win: Moraz 5/1 

Picks for Santa Anita Park Race 5

This is an allowance optional claiming race for three-year-olds running a distance of six furlongs on turf for a purse of $63,000.

I’m going with one of the second-favored entries (there are two at 3/1) in this race — Exhalting, with Juan J. Hernandez aboard. This three-year-old ridgling moneyed five of his seven career starts, winning three.

At 12/1, Mac Daddy Too, ridden by Umberto Rispoli, looks good for a value show bet. This three-year-old colt moneyed two of his four career starts, winning one.

  •  Win: Exhalting 3/1
  •  Show: Mac Daddy Too 12/1

Picks for Santa Anita Park Race 7

This is an allowance optional claiming race for four-year-olds and upward running a distance of one mile on turf for a purse of $65,000.

I’m betting on one of the second-favored entries (there are three at 4/1) in this race — Murad Khan, with Abel Cedillo in the irons. This eight-year-old gelding finished in the money for 16 of his 30 career starts, winning eight of them.

There are plenty of long-odds entries in this race, but the longest I would go for a value show wager is the 12/1 Our Silver Oak, with Mike E. Smith aboard. This five-year-old gelding moneyed 11 of his 15 career starts, winning three.

  •  Win: Murad Khan 4/1
  •  Show: Our Silver Oak 12/1 

More Racing Predictions for Friday

There are plenty more wager recommendations for the other two tracks I reviewed for Friday:

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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