Santa Anita 01-01-2016



This is one hard sequence today! We start with a starter optional claiming going 6 1/2 on dirt and immediately after we get our first downhill race! Mamma Mia!



The problem we face today is there are no singles I can see in the sequence and just getting out of this first leg requires a spread. I do not want to make a car payment on the ticket today so we are just going to have to make a stand somewhere. Bejarano rides #6 Be a Lady who is looking for her third straight win. The favorite is #8 Noble Edition who won her debut going 5 1/2 on December 11th and did put in a sharp workout last week. This jockey/trainer tandem is 2 of 3. Today’s distance may be best for #4 Red Stitch who lost to #7 Star of Munster last out going shorter.  Tough, tough start to the Pick 4




We get our 1st downhill course race of the season and if any of the legs had a sure thing in them we could swing in this race. There aren’t and we can’t so we are going to have to go off experience. #9 Pearl de Vere from the Gutierrez/Eurton tandem won at Del Mar at this distance and has ran second here twice in the early summer. She’s moving up in class though, something that usually does not bode well on the hillside but she has the highest speed at this distance and could blast from the gate and go all the way in a race full of closers but with the rails at 30 feet. #7 Q’Viva has a case of seconditis on the hillside course with 5 seconds and a win, always charging late but usually just missing. The only other early speed in this race is #11 L.A Magic who led early in her last race going a mile on turf before weakening. Off for two months since she has regular workouts on her tab and she did run 3rd on the hill in June after leading from the gate. A big price but this is the hillside course.


#2 Where Y’at Joe Joe gave us a huge score when he won here in October and is rising in class but you always get a great effort from this horse with 3 wins and two seconds from 8 starts at the distance. If you don’t want to take a flyer on a 20-1 horse at least strongly consider in exotics. He can’t be claimed today so is this a prep for another race or a sneaky move to get a big price?  #10 Pay the Fine from the Guterriez/O’Neill/Reddam tandem is giving 6-1 looking for her third straight win. Moving up in class, switching to dirt and adding distance from the 5 furlong win last out she did win going 6 1/2 on the turf prior. #12 Kafister is always around the line with a second and two thirds and a win from the last 4 races and loves this track.


To end this difficult card we are met with a $10k claimer race going a mile but at least its not $8k claimers! The favorite here is #1 Bench Ruling at a tepid 3-1 for a trainer having a very good year and this jockey and trainer are 2 for 3. #3 Flyin for a Livin won easy last out 3 weeks ago under a hand ride at this distance at Los Al for $8k. Not much difference at this level!  #2 Bar Car looks really interesting here as a potential bomber. She ran 3rd last out going 6 1/2 closing from off the pace and this added distance today based on that move last time and the race prior could be the difference maker. If you look at all her races the best races she runs are where they keep her back early and then surge in the end. A sharp workout last week adds to the appeal along with the 8-1 price we get. I am not using #5 Tell Her Yes because she ran on December 11 and that may be a mistake. 3 wins 2 seconds and a third from 7 races at this distance she is always there. She was claimed from red hot Wong, the trainer of #1, for $20k last out and is racing 1st off the claim for $10k.


For my free best bets and Pick 5’s head on over to my website.


Today’s Late Pick 4 will cost $40.50 with horses listed in preference.




1,2,3 (consider 5 for added coverage)



Pick 5









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.


Happy Handicapping!


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