By Ciaran Thornton
It’s Boxing day, the day after Christmas and that means only one thing – the Winter meeting at Santa Anita begins! Let’s see if we can score a nice win today.
One of the best bets today in horseracing is the daily Pick4. With the right selections a handicapper can turn a small bet into a big win. My philosophy is to spend $40.50 on my Pick 4 bets. My standard practice is three horses in each race. Ideally I like to select at least one favorite and then an outsider that appears live and swing for the fences on a big payout!
The $500k Pick 4 begins in the 6th Race today. I am going to go four deep in here. We could be in for a very fast race with the number of horses that want the lead. At this 7 furlong distance that should mean the right late closer will set up nicely to steal it. I will use the morning line favorite #1 Taris. I think this favorite is vulnerable which is why I’m going 4-deep. I am also going to the Baffert/Garcia #10 Jojo Warrior. I usually don’t like betting on this trainer/jockey combo but I won with Jojo at Del Mar in a nice effort and the horse also has my Uncles name! For a nice price I am using the #6 More Complexity. Moving up in class this is a horse that likes to win and is going for her third win in a row. #4 Awesome baby has not run since March and I tend to want to “wait and see” after layoffs but Awesome did win after its previous 4 month layoff. (#4 scratched so we are adding the number 12 in the 7th race, a nice price and late closer)
In the 8th race the number 8 Shared Belief is a probable single for many handicappers. Shared Belief’s only lose came in the Breeders Cup where he was taken out at the start of the race. I usually don’t like to single, even with a horse of this caliber, so I will also use #2 Chitu. Chitu will be the frontrunner and today’s shorter 7 furlong distance makes him a legit candidate for gate to wire, especially if Shared does not fire.
I like #2 Red Outlaw in the 7th. Red had won 6 in a row before losing last month at Del Mar. Red is unbeaten at Santa Anita and at the morning line price of 6-1 is a “must use” in my box. Red is a front runner as is the favorite #7 Heart to Heart who is seeking his 4th win in a row. This out of state runner though is in California today – prove yourself! With all this speed up front a closer is a must in this sequence so I will use #9 Home Run Kitten. Kitten has won 3 of the last four here at Santa Anita.
In the final leg we have an Irish Horse, the #7 Foolish Way who disappointed in the US debut last time at Santa Anita. Bejarano hops on board for this race and Foolish Ways is also dropping in class. I always bet the Irish horses with class like this. Kent rides number 5 Scattagirl and he was on board our big wins at Del Mar this summer! #8 Paulina’s Girl is also moving down in class today and has done well at this level previously.
Today’s Pick 4 bet will cost $36, four by three by two by three.
Good luck today!