Malibu no day at the beach

Handicapping today’s Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Good luck!!! The way I see it, seven of the 13 horses are capable of winning the opening-day stakes. Arson Squad, Brother Derek, Sailors Sunset, Midnight Lute, Northern Soldier, Latent Heat and Spring at Last are all threats.

Take a good look at the Brian Koriner-trained Northern Soldier, who’s won 4 of 8 lifetime and beat one of the favorites, Arson Squad, in the Laz Barrera Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park in May at today’s distance of seven furlongs. He’s 20-1 on the morning line, way too high, and this is a race that has not been won by the favorite since 1995. Latent Heat, trained by Bobby Frankel, was soundly defeated by Midnight Lute at Keeneland in his last effort, but he might appreciate Santa Anita’s firmer racing surface. He’s been on the board in all three career starts at Santa Anita and is 6-1 on the morning line.

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