It has been a tough job to get out of the first leg over the last month at Santa Anita – if you do all the favorite wins and when you don’t a bomb comes in at a big price. We face the same dilemma with today’s $500k Guaranteed Pick 4. I’m and going 4 deep in the first leg and side with two California horses in the big race.
The tentative favorite in leg one is the #2 Coolington with Bejarano and Pupye teaming up with their 36% win rate. He was far back in his race last month off a three month freshening from the October win at 6 furlong. The drop today and shortening to 5 1/2 may be enough for the win. The favorite only wins this race 28% of the time however and yet again its a race that has its fair share of bombs with horses 5-1 or more winning 40% of the time. There is a lot of speed in this race. For our price horse the #3 Small Town Cop gets the nod. A good workout last week for a horse that has been claimed after each of his three starts. He shortens up for a trainer who wins 22% off the claim. Talamo jumps on #8 Takem By Surprise who finished third at this level in his last race. I am also going to use #1 Sidepocket Champ. I have bet this horse many times for naught but the class and speed here with the big drop in class may finally see a win.
Race #7 brings us the Hillside course and a horse that has simply dominated on this course lately winning by 4+ lengths Jan and again by 1+ in late Jan. That is #1 Forest Chatter. A good workout adds to the appeal BUT she had to work for the win in that last race, is rising in class again and with the inside post I think she may be a vulnerable favorite today. I will use but will add some others. #7 Tosheen won here last month and drops today for a trainer who wins 37% of the time on this strategy. #3 Skylander has raced second in his last 2 starts on the hill, one of those where his jockey Mike Smith lost the whip. Desormeaux takes over and may have this horse positioned differently for this race for a possible win.
In race 8 a Grade 1 #7 Warren’s Veneda is a deserving favorite after two straight wins at the 1 1/16 distance. She posted a sharp workout before the last win and turned in another nice workout last week. There are two evaders from out of state with winning records, the #2 Cassatt and #3 Dame Dorothy. I cannot fault anyone for using both or singling either one but I have a bias towards California runners. The #4 Thegirlinthatsong, who was previously ridden by Bejarano who jumps ship to ride Dame Dorothy, picks up Mike Smith. Say what you want about Mike Smith’s style – when it comes to big money races there is no better right now. Hollendofer and Smith are winning 40% and Jerry also wins 29% of the time when his horse is the beaten favorite (she lost to Warren in the last).
In the last race #10 Zip N Bayou stretches out for Jerry with a jockey upgrade to Nakatani. The last race is won 48% of the time by horses priced 5-1 or more means we also need to go shopping in here for a price. Stevens and Procter hook up on #6 Show Stealer at 8-1 a late running filly who will be gunning down #12 Paulina’s Love who will try to wire the field again today. She got caught on the line at 9 furlongs and shortens up today so I have to use her too. We have a front runner, a price horse closer and a stretch out runner for this race but we have to make it here alive first!
Good luck today!
Today’s Pick 4 bet will cost $36