by Jerry Shottenkirk
February 7, 2021
Bezos could be one of the most well-known non-starters that’s come down the pike in quite some time.
On Sunday, his status as non-starter ends, and we’ll see if the popularity lives on.
Bezos in the fifth race (4 p.m. ET), which is the first leg of the late Pick Four.
Bezos has impressed those with the stopwatches as he’s put together a long string of works that began in early December. He worked twice in July but trainer Bob Baffert backed off for a few months. The 3-year-old Empire Maker colt was a $400,000 yearling in 2019 and is expected to be the cream of the Baffert crop. At least that’s what the early money says as Bezos is favored on some Kentucky Derby Future Wager books.
Hall of Famer Mike Smith gets the initial ride on Bezos, who will be short on the board despite having eight opponents. It’s a quality field and he’ll have to be ready, and it looks like he is.
Bezos is a single on the $63 suggested Pick Four ticket, which allows for some spreading out in two races.
Here’s a look at the last three races:
Race 6 (4:30 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)
A G INDY turns back from longer races and can behind from the sprint distance. He fits right in the mix in a race that is a ‘take your pick’ proposition. This is the biggest spread race on the ticket.
I’M THE HERO broke her maiden in her seventh start and that victory arrived in her second race over the turf. Extremely rapid and a legit threat to break loose early.
BYE BYE NICKY makes her first start since April, moves from Florida and gets blinkers. It’s a good sign that Prat gets the mount in this mare’s first Cali attempt.
PRANCE has shown some late energy and could benefit from the rapid pace. Look for a good closing move under Rispoli, who is winning at a 31-percent clip.
TRANSLATE was an easy winner in her first Santa Anita start after three seconds in New York.
BRUJA ESCARLATA is up from a maiden-claiming win in her only start, which was on dirt at Los Al. Was never really challenged in that one and has the pedigree to take her game to the grass.
ACAI lost photo finishes in her last two races and has shown good form on turf.
Race 7 (5 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)
ACTING OUT passed the test in half of her six starts and most recently backed up after setting the pace in the Kalookan Queen Stakes. Can be troublesome on the front end at this level.
HOTITUDE held on for the win in allowance company over this strip last out and can get a good stalking trip.
EDGEWAY held on for third in the G3 Dogwood at Churchill Downs in June and has won half of her four starts. Off since the Dogwood but has very good in the morning hours.
Race 8 (5:30 p.m. ET, allowance)
MASTER RYAN rallied well for fourth last time and looks well suited for the 6.5 furlongs.
SHADY EMPIRE is capable of being strong on the front end and has been in front in stakes races. He does his best vs. California-bred rivals and makes her first turf attempt.
HANDSOME CAT has been in some fast races and might be overlooked on the board. Was fourth going shorter and gets back to grass here.
BRIX just missed at this level and gets more real estate. Has been a consistent closer and could benefit from a strong pace battle in front of him.
EUSTACE was claimed by Blacker last out, takes a step up and loses the blinkers. Has only one turf start to his credit and that resulted in a third-place finish. Could raise a price.
COLT FICTION was second over this turf course last year and has won three of his last four.
Santa Anita’s Late Pick 4 on Sunday:
Race 5) #5 Bezos.
Race 6) #2 A G Indy, #3 I’m the Hero, #4 Bye Bye Nicky, #5 Prance, #6 Translate, #7 Bruja Escarlata, #9 Acai.
Race 7) #1 Acting Out, #3 Hotitude, #4 Edgeway.
Race 8) #2 Master Ryan, #3 Shady Empire, #4 Handsome Cat, #7 Brix, #10 Eustace, #11 Colt Fiction.
Total Ticket Cost) : 5/2,3,4,5,6,7,9/1,3,4/2,3,4,7,10,11 = $63 for $0.50