Saturday Free Horse Racing Picks: Late Pick Four at Santa Anita
With much of the midwest shaping up to be a muddy mess Saturday, we’ll head to Santa Anita and analyze their late Pick Four. The sequence begins in the sixth of nine races, and I’ll attack it with a $13.50 ticket that takes a stand in the third leg. Here’s how I’ve constructed my play.
We’ll kick things off with a maiden claiming event for Cal-breds. This race has attracted a field of eight, and while I’m not getting too crazy, my top pick is a sneaky first-time starter.
#2 ROSES R BLUE has been working very quickly ahead of her unveiling, and there are a number of flashy drills on her tab. Trainer Luis Mendez has enjoyed a very strong year to date, and he knows how to win with first-time starters. Add in that this one may not have to be much to best this group, and I think she’s a must-use.
#3 SO VERY SMART and #8 SUPERSONIC FLYER figure to take most of the betting money, and I’m using them both. The former comes in off of back-to-back runner-up finishes at Del Mar, while the latter sure looks like the main speed in here and could take them gate to wire if she gets comfortable early.
This is the California Distaff Handicap, and it’ll be run at my favorite distance at Santa Anita: About 6 1/2 furlongs, down the hill. I think this is a fantastic betting race, largely because #1 WARREN’S SHOWTIME hits me as a significant underlay at her 9/5 morning line price. She’s a tremendously fun filly to root for, to be sure, but this’ll be her first time down the hill, she’s won just once in her last eight outings, and the rail draw can be a problem for horses at this route.
I’ll try to beat her by going three-deep, and my top pick is #2 CASSIE BELLE. I simply think she hates Del Mar. Draw lines through her races at that oval over the past two years, and her form looks considerably better. She’s out of an Unusual Heat mare, so the pedigree says she’ll love the hill, and I think she has the tactical speed to work out a great trip beneath jockey Tyler Baze.
#4 ANNA FANTASTIC and #5 BELLA VITA are also on my ticket. The former figures to go early and exits a swift last-out win going five furlongs, while the latter returns to the turf but has shown ability on the lawn in the past.
I think many handicappers will spread in this maiden claiming race for 2-year-old fillies. As such, I’ll “zig” where others “zag,” and I’ll single a horse that I think has a big chance to improve on a drop in class.
#10 SPOILED ROTTEN has shown plenty of zip in three starts against maiden special weight goes. Her debut effort, where she ran third behind a next-out winner, was actually quite good, and while her last two outings have been disappointing, this is a significant class drop and a field without much other early zip. I’m seeing this as a “now or never” spot for Spoiled Rotten, and if she doesn’t win, I lose.
We’ll finish with a two-turn race for maidens on the lawn. I’ll be at least two-deep, but if one also-eligible draws in, that one becomes my top selection.
#13 SMILIN EVIE is bred up and down to be a solid turf horse. She’s by Grade 1 winner Tom’s Tribute, and her dam has thrown three winners from as many foals to race. That includes a full sibling named Ecologist, a four-time winner. The post won’t be easy if she gets to run, but I think she has every chance to be good enough.
#1 INFINITE LOVE and #9 CANDY ON TOP, meanwhile, ran second and third in the same race on September 2nd at Del Mar. Candy On Top sat a dream trip that day, while Infinite Love missed the break yet came roaring late to finish third. I think either of them can win, and I’ll have both of those runners on my ticket as well.