Fran’s Valentine Stakes Analysis and Picks

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Sunday, May 9, 2021

Let's see if we can celebrate Mother's Day with a winning ticket in the Fran's Valentine Stakes for all the mom horseplayers. Six fillies and mares will take it two turns on Santa Anita's grass course for the hardware and their share of $100,000 in prize money.

Meet to date, there have been 96 races at the distance/surface with horses described as early speed heading into the winners' circle 59 times with 21 going wire to wire. Post draw seems to play a part in the outcome as well with winning rates dropping from the inside out. Running along the rail hits at 18% and hit rates slide from there.

Inside speed is the profile of winner for 1 mile, Santa Anita turf races.

LEGGS GALORE (PP: 1 ML 4-1) get to wear the red number 1 and has plenty of early giddy up. She and LOFTY (PP: 3 ML 6-1) have the most past performance 1s and 2s at the first and second calls, along with the top early and mid-pace figures.

This will be the first time LEGGS GALORE tries to run past 6 furlongs and, sometimes, sprinters speed doesn't translate to route race (1 mile or more) speed. LOFTY is an example as she tried to race 1 mile once before and got out of the gates fourth of seven. Since, she was no worse than second by after a quarter and half mile in her last six outings.

It should be a drag race out of the gates between the two as both run similar early times for a quarter and half-mile. We give LEGGS GALORE the slight advantage as she's on the inside and should be able to make it to the turn first.

On dirt, KRISTI'S TIGER usually tries to ride shotgun to the early leader. However, in her pair of grass goes, she's lagged way behind at the jump. In her last race, she was tenth of 10 at the first call and ninth of 10 in her prior turf outings. She did rally hare in her last to her the win at 6 ½ furlongs in her lone trip on Santa Anita's grass course.

BELLA VITA (PP: 4 ML 5-1) has flashed speed in the past when racing on turf, be it in sprints or in her only route run, a third-place finish and 1 mile. She faded in the final stride in the $75,000 China Doll Stakes, losing by a length to. WARREN'S SHOWTIME (PP: 5 ML 6/5).  In the last few races, BELLA VITA has settled in right behind the frontrunners and that's where we expect jockey Juan Hernandez to have his horse today.

Morning line favorite, WARREN'S SHOWTIME and PULPIT RIDER (PP: 6 ML 7/2) are likely to share company at the back of the pack. Both tend to start slow and build momentum throughout the race. WARREN'S SHOWTIME has the better mid and late race statistics and more often than not should be the faster of the two in the later stages of the race.

How do they line up at the wire? Here is how our friends at Guaranteed Tip Sheet see in their Pro Subscribers' Commentary.

"LEGGS GALORE has won three of four at Santa Anita and five of six on turf, all sorts of excuses in lone miss. WARREN'S SHOWTIME has four wins and five thirds in nine Santa Anita races. KRISTI'S TIGER can win from the front or back, dangerously versatile. BELLA VITA has never missed the board in four Santa Anita grass goes."

Happy Mother's Day moms. Hopefully, we've added a winning ticket to your roses, chocolates and cards of appreciation.

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