It’s Boxing Day and that means another meet begins at the Great Race Place. After my family moved from Ireland to the States it was a family tradition to head out to Santa Anita on this day yearly! Today’s Pick 4 is also guaranteed for $1 million! The weather is going to be key – will the rain be gone? There are two damn strong singles in the sequence today in Om and Runhappy but I am including a couple of others for price reasons. We also welcome back Prat today, what a fast recovery!
The Pick 4 today begins in race 6, a Grade 2 miler on turf. The favorite here is #10 Om who lost in a G1 at Del Mar in November ending a 2 race win streak. Both of those races were G2’s like today. The cutback today for this front runner can only help. There are a couple of others with Graded stakes wins but this really should be Om’s race to lose. The next closest horse in pricing is #6 Mister Brightside with Smith riding who finished 9th behind Om last out. #11 Ocho Ocho Ocho has not raced in 7 months and Smith rides another. A price horse to consider in here is #7 Acceptance who will be right there on the lead fighting Om. He ran second in Del Mar off a 9 month break and then came back and died in the stretch running a mile and eight a month later in a Grade 1. 3rd start of the break, shortening up at 12-1 if Om is off he could steal it and at this price oh boy!
Race 7 is a Grade 1 going 7 furlongs on the dirt. #2 Hot City Girl is seeking her 4th straight win and has 2 wins and a second from 4 starts at this distance. Two sharp works in a row she looks ready. The favorite is #3 Cavorting who is 1 for 2 at this distance and ran 4th last out in a G1. #6 Ben’s Duchess always gives you a run for your money so I will include too. We want no carnage in this race as we are playing the top three.
Race 8 the Grade 1 Malibu at 7 furlongs brings another possible single in the sequence, #4 Runhappy. A lot of controversy surrounds this horse who’s trainer was canned after winning last out with a lot of family controversy. Could this impact Run who is stretching out today? #2 Marking is undefeated in two starts and has been rattling off bullets and this distance looks perfect but this is a big jump in class. This race has been won by the favorite 22% of the time but a price over 5-1 has hit in 61% of the races! #5 El Kabeir has won 2 of 3 at this distance. I am however going to go with #7 Lord Nelson. He meets the price criteria and has been firing off bullets and in his last race, after a HORRID trip, he closed like a freight train. Clean ride and this guy is VERY dangerous and you know when I say that about a Baffert horse its a good thing!
The last leg today is a mile and eight on turf, if the weather holds. #2 China Girl Lover gives you your bets worth every time he runs. He won both his starts at the mile this year and has a sharp workout. #7 Street Fashion won on an offtrack in June so keep in mind if the race is pulled off. #10 Unusually Green has a case of seconditis and has finished second 6 times with one win from the last seven races surging into the wire each time to miss but from those race stats we must use! And Green is a closing fighter who has heart and will get this photo, maybe today. #11 What a View has a different issue as he leads from the gate and gets collared in the stretch 4 of his last 6 but we will include. I also have a ticket that singles both favorites and on that ticket we would be looking for carnage in the last leg..
Today’s Late Pick 4 will cost $27 with horses listed in preference.
An alternative ticket singling the big favs and price hunting the last leg costs $18
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.