by Johnny D
October 14, 2021
This week’s Santa Anita Late Pick 4 sequence could come back a bit ‘chalky.’ Then again, if players can find a way to beat #1 Warren’s Showtime in the seventh race, resulting returns could be acceptable. #9 Candy On Top figures to be a short price to get the job done in the afternoon’s finale so, if the above mentioned pair come home on top, the wager’s not going to pay much. We see the eighth race as a wide-open affair and a bomb there could pad payoffs a bit, so there’s some additional hope.
Don’t forget that Xpressbet and 1/ST players who hit Santa Anita’s Late Pick 4 sequence can earn a split of an extra $2,000 if they register for the promotion. An additional financial kiss is always welcome and, heck, if you’re going to play the wager anyway, why not register and collect a little extra cash if you’re correct?
Below is one man’s humble opinion on how Saturday’s Santa Anita Late Pick 4 might turn out. We offer analysis of each horse in each race to, hopefully, help your handicapping efforts. We also offer up a suggested Pick 4 wager that you’re encouraged to add to or subtract from, depending on your opinions.
Remember, we’re all in this together. Best of luck and don’t forget to register for that daily $2,000 Santa Anita Late Pick 4 Split Bonus.
RACE 6 (6:37PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
#1 Dual Reality (12/1) has no speed and has closed well twice against weaker to just miss. This 4-year-old filly gets in light with 7-pound bug Ellingwood but this filly would be a surprise winner.
#2 Roses R Blue (4/1) makes a first start for a 15% outfit in that role. She has plenty of gate drills in her pocket, including a 1:00 4/5 gate move Oct. 10. She appears to have some speed. Workout reports (not available at posting) may provide more clues, but she seems on edge for a barn that wins with 2-year-olds and is capable with others.
#3 So Very Smart (8/5) has finished second in her last two starts, well beaten though by more than 5 and more than 11 lengths. Which one of these fillies will conquer So Very Smart today or will she finally be a bridesmaid no more? She’s worth strong consideration, but probably not a single.
#4 Nan Elizabeth (6/1) races for a tag for the first time and that’s often something to watch for. She comes out of a common race with #3 So Very Smart and was 4 lengths behind that one. Prefer that one instead of this one.
#5 Platonic (10/1) makes a first start for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale who’s not known for cranking runners up to win first time out. She’s also got a workout gap between Aug. 30 at Del Mar and Sept. 27 at Santa Anita.
#6 Sheila’s Charlie (12/1) drops into a claiming race off a poor first out against Cal Bred allowance foes. She makes a first start for trainer Lisa Bernard and adds blinkers and Lasix. Need to see more.
#7 Tiz My Princess (12/1) hasn’t shown much in two starts and hasn’t attracted much money either. We’ll pass on her.
#8 Supersonic Flyer (3/1) is 0-7 and has failed as favorite in her last 3 starts. The 3-year-old filly’s liable to be favored again because she appears to be the only speed and has drawn a cozy outside box. She’s been second twice and third three times, so she can’t be ignored, but her losing streak is discouraging.
This is a race where something interesting could happen, mostly because the likely favorite is 0-7 with most of those losses coming at this level. Bold players could take a stand against #8 Supersonic Flyer with other less-proven players. Besides, if #8 Supersonic Flyer wins and #1 Warren’s Showtime takes the 8th Race, the Pick 4 payoff will be small.
USE: #2 #3 #4
SOMEWHAT AGAINST: #8
RACE 7 (7:08PM ET) // $75K CALIFORNIA DISTAFF HANDICAP // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DOWNHILL TURF)
#1 Warren’s Showtime (9/5) is a ‘Pro’ and we don’t use that term lightly. She gives what she’s got every time and is most dangerous over Santa Anita turf where she’s scored 5 of 7 lifetime wins. She’s Grade 1 stakes placed against open company and is a multiple Grade 3 winner. No one else in this field can claim that resume. She’s also a capable miler and that’s what works best over the downhill course. She’s the one to beat, for sure.
#2 Cassie Belle (6/1) is a 5-year-old mare with just 3 wins in 21 starts. 7 seconds and 2 thirds preach reliability in hitting the board. All 3 of her career wins have come at Santa Anita over turf, so that’s a plus, but she’s not nearly the caliber of #1 Warren’s Showtime.
#3 Pulpit Rider (7/2) is a bit of a Solana Beach stakes specialist. She’s won that race the last two years—her only wins in 4 starts each season. She’s just 1 for 13 over Santa Anita turf. Clearly, she’s likes Del Mar even more than the rest of us do…and we love it!
#4 Anna Fantastic (8/1) stretched out passed six furlongs for the first time in her career. She won her last start at Del Mar in a six-furlong allowance/$40k optional claiming race. That was against open company but still is below the talent level she faces in #1 Warren’s Showtime. However, there’s appears to be little speed in this race and #4 Anna Fantastic might hang around a while longer than most might be comfortable with. That speed edge gives her a puncher’s chance against a heavy favorite.
#5 Bella Vita (5/2) is a 4-year-old filly coming off a strong win at six and one-half furlongs on Del Mar dirt. A repeat of that effort would make her tough in here. She hasn’t been quite as good on turf as dirt, but she has a win, 2 seconds and 1 third in 4 tries over the Santa Anita lawn. She should be closest to #4 Anna Fantastic early and ought to get first run on the closers. She’s not without a shot if the favorite dawdles.
#6 Sedamar (9/2) is a 5-year-old mare with 1 win in 9 races over Santa Anita turf. She finished a reasonable fourth behind #3 Pulpit Rider last out in the Solana Beach. She’s finished close to the top ones in this lineup on several occasions but seems to be a slight notch below the best.
#1 Warren’s Showtime will get most of the Pick 4 play as a single on most tickets. That respect is well deserved. Her victory would turn this sequence into more of a Pick 3 wager. Those willing to venture outside the box for an upset might hope for lone speed in #4 Anna Fantastic or a repeat blockbuster performance on turf from #5 Bella Vita.
OUT OF THE BOX: #4, #5
RACE 8 (7:40PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
#1 Big Seven (20/1) makes a first start for low-profile but 19% connections in trainer Sergio Morfin. A series of unimpressive Los Al works and a 2-for-20 bug rider guarantee a big price.
#2 Flame McGoon (4/1) is a first-time starter for Mark Glatt (12%). A couple of interesting half-mile gate drills are buoyed by a relatively slow five-eighths move. Probably needs better.
#3 Miss Malia (12/1) is one of 2 Eric Kruljac runners in here. This one makes her third career start and second for Kruljac. She was third at this level recently at Los Al in an improved performance while closing from off the pace after a bit of a slow start.
#4 Artisan Dancer (8/1) was second last out at Los Al in a closing effort at five and one-half furlongs. That was the second start of her career for trainer Luis Mendez and she is one of two runners in this race for the notable (21% winner) 2-year-old trainer. In her first start against maiden $40k company, she had trouble at the start and closed some ground late to finish well behind #8 Sue Ettas Ghost. Note that blinkers were added last out in an improved performance.
#5 Scat Attack (12/1) is the ‘other’ Kruljac who finished behind both #8 Sue Ettas Ghost and #3 Miss Malia last out at Los Al. That was her second start and first for Kruljac. She showed good speed and weakened late. Improvement noted in the drop from Cal Bred Maiden Allowance to State Bred Maiden $50k.
#6 Respect the Ride (8/1) is the ‘other Mendez, a first-time starter with decent works, including a 1:00 3/5 gate move Oct. 10. The trainer is 15% with first time starters and 25% with Maiden Claimers. There is a puzzling workout gap between Aug. 30 at Del Mar and Sept 27 at Santa Anita. This one also gets a weight break with 7-pound apprentice Espinoza aboard.
#7 Unwritten Code (15/1) takes a drop from a very recent Oct. 2 State Bred Maiden Allowance to this Cal Bred Maiden $50k. Blinkers come off, but the ship really would need to turn around in a hurry. She showed some speed first-time out against a hot pace and we love runners coming back quickly… The trainer is good with 2-year-olds (20%) and blinkers off (20%). May get some love from us in a pretty open race.
#8 Sue Ettas Ghost (7/2) has been second in her last two starts. She’s fit, coming off the common Los Al race Sept. 18 and has been second at the level. What’s not as encouraging is that she’s had 5 tries at the brass ring and failed to connect. Also, she has little early speed. She’s fit and she fits but…
#9 Bonita Leona (4/1) cuts back from a mile on turf against State Bred Maidens to six furlongs on dirt. Trainer Hess switches to Desormeaux--his main man. This filly was claimed out of a poor performance at this level and may be improved. Still, the ugly running lines are a bit too much for us to accept.
#10 Spoiled Rotten (4/1), in her fourth career start, drops from State Bred Maiden Allowance to State Bred Maiden Claiming. She has some speed and has drawn a cozy outside box that ought to help her chances. Trainer Doug O’Neil is hot with 7 wins in 34 starts at the meeting. She has shown speed to better and that’s always an encouraging sign with droppers. O’Neill is 21% with Maiden Allowance to Maiden Claiming runners.
This race is where a player might get a Pick 4 price boost. It seems like a wide-open affair where a bomb could explode.
BEST IN A SPREAD RACE: #10
THE OTHER BUTTER: #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9
RACE 9 (8:12PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 1 MILE (TURF)
#1 Infinite Love (6/1) has no speed but did improve last out in a switch to the turf and a stretch-out to one mile. She circled the field from last and ran on well. She wasn’t that close to favorite #9 Candy On Top at the finish and will need to do better in her second try at the distance on the turf.
#2 Vivacious Vanessa (15/1) has a notable work tab for low-profile trainer Gary Mandella. Works spaced every 6-8 days, including a 1:00 2/5 gate move and a six-furlong jog in 1:13 (best of 9). The filly will enjoy a 7-pound weight break with apprentice Ellingwood. Those are all things to like in this first-time starter. It should be noted that it’s difficult for a first-time starter to win going one mile on turf.
#3 Precious Insight (12/1) has speed and has used it in two one-mile turf races. Her issue has been finishing. She faded to next-to-last one back and was fourth-of-nine last out.
#4 Peacehaven (5/1) didn’t run that badly against males last out at this distance and surface. She’s had two tries at one mile on grass and should be ready to show her best—whatever that is—under apprentice Pyfer for trainer D’Amato.
#5 Ball Lass (8/1) showed speed first out and then gave way readily late to finish fifth for trainer Hanson who’s just 8% with second time starters. Victor Espinoza takes over for Rispoli and will attempt to better ration this filly’s speed.
#6 Surely Spectacular (15/1) stretches out and moves to turf for here fifth career start. She has a second at the $50k state-bred level going five and one-half furlongs and then was fractious and troubled last out.
#7 Warren’s Showgirl (6/1) makes her second start for trainer Craig Lewis as she tries turf and a route of ground. Here first start in July wasn’t notable.
#8 Abhita (12/1) adds blinkers and took a bit of money in her first two starts. She’ll need to do better.
#9 Candy On Top (8/5) just missed last out at a very short price and figures best in here on paper. She loses Pratt but Hernandez should be suitable replacement. Trainer Carla Gaines seeks her first win in 7 tries at the young meeting. Expect this filly stalking the early pace.
#10 Keeping Tradition (20/1) about split the field first out at Los Al for maiden $50k. She would need to improve on that race.
#11 Roubaix (50/1) has 3 poor outings and is not for us in this spot.
#12 Workin Ninetofive (20/1) adds blinkers in second start for Hanson. She was well-back in a decent six-furlong sprint where the first two finishers came back to win their next starts. Interestingly, this filly took respectable money at 7-1 in that race. Tough post here and only for bomb-seeking Pick 4 players.
#13 Smilin Evie (6/1) has been working every 7 days and has a few solid works on the tab. If she draws into the race, she will be saddled with a poor post position that will make it difficult for her to win. Trainer Baltas is solid with jockey Franco (22%) so this filly is well-meant. It’s a wide-open race so….maybe?
#14 Ghostem (15/1) has slow works for this and must draw in and then score from a terrible post.
Obviously, #9 Candy On Top deserves prime consideration off a heartbreaking second at Del Mar. Some will single her and hope for the best. Those with contrarian views have several to choose from but the top choice will take some beating.
INTERESTING: #2, #4, #13
LATE PICK 4 TICKET
Race 6: 2, 3, 4, 8
Race 7: 1, 5
Race 8: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Race 9: 9
Cost for $0.50: $32.00