I have to admit I hit that place that every handicapper hates but knows is a part of this great profession we play in – I was done, I was mad, I was sick of being so damn close! For the second time in as many days we started the Pick 4 sequence with one of our 3 horses, the long shot, romping home to victory at a huge price only to watch as we had 4 horses in the next leg come up short and negate the handicapping. Another 16-1 winner went to waste! We ended up 3 out of 4 again but you know yesterday my annoyance hit a spot where I was MAD. I had had enough. With 2 legs left I pressed it with our selections and just as well because we nailed the win, the place, the show and the trifecta in race 8! We then moved on to nail the late double when the top choice came home and all of those bets paid big. Not as big as the pick 4 but enough to get the juice flowing again. Lets keep this trend going today!
We start today’s $500k Guaranteed Pick 4 sequence with a maiden special weight sprint on dirt. Leading trainer Eurton sends out a first timer with some nice pedigree for a jockey who is has connected on for a 45% win rate thus far here, the #1 She’s a Warrior. Euton usually does not fire with firsters but he is having his moment right now so we need to use despite the poor post position. Tied for the trainer title Hollendorfer sends out #2 C.C Zip another horse I like to bet on. Two seconds and a third from 4 starts she shortens up after her last race and put in a bullet workout last week. Bejarano is riding #4 Audacious Angel who is 12-1 morning line and cost $100k earlier this year so someone sees something. Bejarano is wining 24% of his races, in the money on half his rides so when you get a 12-1 price in a maiden race and he’s riding in such an open affair as this you take a chance. You have to imagine he had choices in here. Proctor races a horse in here but his main man Steven’s decides to stick with #8 Sudden Fame who he rode last out to a 3rd place finish behind C.C Zip. If you wanted to take a stand and keep your ticket small today I would give the edge to C.C Zip as a possible small ticket single or for the Pick 6.
Bejarano rides the favorite in the second leg, #10 Royal Banker. Dropping in class today after a third place finish last out this is a major jockey upgrade. This is the best of a really weak bunch in this race. The favorite has won this race 4 times from 23 and today’s favorite is a tepid one at best. The Hess/Desormeauz tandem have been cold this meet and send out #3 Silver Torch who usually manages to get a piece and drops today. A drop for the money in hopes he gets claimed? Blinkers get added too for this race but the works leading into this have been unimpressive and he raced two weeks ago and usually runs off a month break so as I write this I have talked myself out of using him and you know I like this trainer/jockey tandem! Trainer Chew legs up the apprentice for a weight break on Northern invader Orchestral #6 who he bumps two classes for this race. The plan here is pretty obvious – gun from the gate and hope to hang on. Front runners have actually been doing that lately so at 12-1 I’ll bite! Our top choice has a closing kicks so with out front running bomb we have the angles covered. As I talked myself of #3 I am using the #7 Dynamite Ride instead. Before his October 2nd 4th place finish he had rattled off four straight seconds. A sharp workout this week adds to the appeal.
Race 8 brings us a rare five furlong sprint on dirt. When I first glimpsed this race I thought easy single until I dug in. The favorite here is #3 Five Palms from Baffert. Interestingly there are no bullet works for a trainer who has even his donkey’s train fast. Off for four months too and his man guy Garcia is not riding although it seems he is not at SA today. Second choice here is #4 Rocket Heat who won 2 of these sprints on turf at Del Mar and a second with Talamo riding. They switch to turf today and Talamo defects to another. He hops on #6 Ankeny Hill who makes his third start off a layoff after running in 7 straight stakes races including Grade 1’s and 2’s. The Baffert horse may romp home to victory but it always seems like the sure things disappoint for I am spreading.
We end the sequence today the way we started, a maiden special weight this time going a mile on turf. #5 Boat Drinks rattled off 3 straight seconds and then a third on the Hillside earlier this year and then switched to miling on the dirt for her last two to no avail. Back to turf today but the distance may still be an issue and the fear is this is a prep race for a move back to the Hill. The other consideration though is she may get brave and use her speed to wire them and front runners have been holding on. This is where things get interesting. Proctor races #6 Margaret Rey the 3-1 morning line favorite. Previously she was ridden by Vann Dyke for two races and by Stevens before. Stevens does not ride but instead hops on #2 Broken Halo who was claimed from Proctor at Belmont in June. A wink, wink from Proctor to his main rider? This is not a big money race but you have to know these guys all talk. Stevens also rode #8 Nashoba’s Candy both starts for Carla Gaines and does not today. I have a feeling this race revolves around one jockey’s choices today!
Today’s Late Pick 4 will cost $54 horses listed in preference
Today’s Best Bet is in race #5 Desert Express as a potential live long shot. Off since November 2014 he ran September 26 at Golden Gate at 6 furlongs and tired late as the favorite. Desert was rattling off bullet works in preparation for that 1st race and can be excused. 2nd start off a break and a nice price and another sharp workout last week indicates live to me! We scored big yesterday with an invader rattling off bullet works as well at a price.
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!