Nakatani may shine today at Santa Anita

Take a look at two horses today at the Great Race Place — the Ron Ellis-trained Fire Wood in the third and Scott’s Poppy in the nightcap. Both horses will be ridden by Corey Nakatani, who’s riding high these days following his first victory in 13 tries in the Santa Anita Derby on April 5.

Fire Wood is not big on winning, having found the winner’s circle just two times in 27 career races with 11 seconds and four thirds. But Nakatani is one of the best turf riders around, and the feeling here is that he’ll help the 6-year-old gelding score today. Scott’s Poppy, 1 for 3 lifetime and trained by Mike Mitchell, is sitting on a big effort. He could go gate-to-wire if the pace is slow or lay second or third and move in the stretch. Either way, he looks tough in the ninth.

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