We whiffed on the first day of the new Santa Anita meet but our Pick 4 bet cost us a mere $12. We could have bet a few hundred on that sequence and still missed which goes back to my basic strategy of keeping the Pick 4 bet at $40 max. Yesterday we had 3 odds on horses race and two of them won, something that has been uncommon during the summer. I was correct in betting against the Bafferts yesterday as his horses turned in another sub-par effort. We may have seen the last of Bayern who is now 0-5 this year.
The Pick 4 begins in race six with the favorite #1 Ashleyluvssugar shorting up a tad to a mile and quarter for today’s race. He ran second at Del Mar and owns two wins over this course and the competition here today is a lot easier than recently. The rail post wins 37%. Trainer Proctor races the second choice in here, #9 Kulik Lodge with Smith on board but you all know my thinking when Steven’s does not ride. Lodge had a horrid trip last out boxed in and surging too late as is common with this jockey. The added distance could help today but this is the furthest he will have ever run. The wildcard here is if Kulik gets left on the lead. We saw yesterday how Songbird, left on the lead with this same jockey who usually waits till too late, just powered home.
The second leg is a $40k optional claimer on dirt going 6 1/2. The betting says this is a one horse race with #4 Skelton Pass at 5/2 and the next closest price at 5-1. Skelton was second in his debut at Del Mar and then won last out there. #9 Look Twice won his maiden and Del Mar and then was thrown to the wolves in the Pirates Bounty. Recall what I said on my Del Mar write-ups – owners like to be seen and like to win at Del Mar so oftentimes what is done there is done for ego. That means we get a decent price here today and Carla Gaines also gives us a sharp workout leading into this. It is also hard to ignore #11 Gangnam Guy who is 2 for 2 since Jerry picked him up. Both the wins were on dirt, the loss on turf. He is rising in class today. The question you have to ask is if you trust the favorite here for a single. Garcia is riding this horse when Baffert has an entry in here, #5 Vegas Strip. 20-1 for a Baffert off a year layoff BUT a series off sharp works and a jockey who is 2 of 3 with Baffert make it an interesting price play if you have some coin to spend and a must use in superfectas.
Race 8 brings us a Grade 2 mile affair on turf. Bejarano rides the favorite #5 Talco. Talco is always in the mix so you have to use but he is not single material despite a sharp workout last week. #7 Avanzare beat Talco last out for the lethal Stevens/Proctor team and should be the favorite in my book. #5 Twentytwentyvision is another horse who is always in the mix too, with 4 wins from 8 starts and no out of the money places. He is moving up today though. The favorite wins this race 45% of the time and is priced 5-1 or less 71% of the time from a large sample.
Today’s Pick 4 ends again with a maiden claimer. Bejarano jumps on second time starter #4 Sugar Buzz who was claimed by O’Neill last out. #7 Palamon stretches out after a couple of sprints for trainer Myadi who wins 20% with positive ROI on this move. If looking for a price in here #2 Keepin It Lucky is another stretching out with a weight break. Bejarano wins this race or it will be a price.
Today’s Late Pick 4 will cost $36 with horses listed in preference
Cheapo “what my dad will do” ticket costs $6
Pick 5 will cost $16
No doubt on yesterday’s best bet as Beholder was out for a jog to the win. Today I am going with #3 in race 1, Hurricane Callie. She has 2 seconds from 2 starts and beat 3 of the other runners in that last race.
When I have three horses selected in a Pick 4 or Pick 5 consider them for Trifecta boxes and for superfecta boxes use the 3 selections with the highest priced horse with good form or top tier jockeys riding, especially if they give a price. Rolling Pick 3 and doubles using selections.
Good Luck today!