The public is likely to view the 2013 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) as a two-horse race between Ron the Greek and Game On Dude. They might be right, but I doubt there will be any value in going along with that opinion.
I like a pair of improving four-year-olds Called to Serve (6-1
ML) and Stephanoatsee (8-1 ML) to run big. Called to Serve was Grade 2-placed in the summer of his 3yo campaign,
then improved in the fall when transferred to trainer Nick Canani. I thought
his win in the Discovery Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct was powerful (:35-4 final three
furlongs), followed by a nice hand-ride win in the Broad Brush Stakes at Laurel.
His speed figures are a touch below the top two, but they are within striking range. His closing fractions are excellent going 1 1/8 miles, he has been winning with energy to spare, and his pedigree (by Afleet Alex out of a Kris S. mare) suggests 1 1/4 miles will be within his scope.
I also like Stephanoatsee, more to hit the board than as a win threat. Called to Serve left him in his wake in the Discovery, but I think Stephanoatsee is improving, and most importantly, he should appreciate the added ground. Watch how well he finished going 1 1/8 miles when second to Guilt Trip in the Strub Stakes (G2).