Astute handicapping needed in Santa Anita closing day Late Pick 4

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TwinSpires Staff

July 3rd, 2017


Not only is Tuesday the celebration of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but also it is closing day of the spring/summer meeting at Santa Anita.
A challenging 10-race slate should present some lucrative payouts to those horseplayers fortunate enough to connect the dots throughout the Fourth of July card.
The final Pick 4 of the meeting is about as challenging as it gets with four full field wide-open events over the last four races of the meet. There does not appear to be any "free squares" throughout the sequence, so putting together the last four winners will certainly requiring astute handicapping.
We have had luck overall in these analyses, but have cooled off of late whiffing on each of the last two Saturday late Pick 4 write-ups. Hopefully we can close out the meet strong with a nice payday to pad the bankroll for what should be a fun summer in Southern California.
Without any "locks" in the sequence I will use a somewhat aggressive single on two separate tickets and hope I can connect on at least one and catch a price or two in the other legs. I will spend a little more than usual in the Pick 4 because of the field sizes and the upside of two tickets singled to horses listed at 9-2 and 6-1 on the line respectively.
Here are some thoughts on each of the four races:
Race 7
The sequence commences with a Cal-bred two-year-old maiden special weight event run at five furlongs over the main track.
There are a number of ways to go in here so I will include several, but I like the chances of #5 Oh Jerry. This son of Oh Tanner took a ton of money at the windows in his debut for a barn that has had little success with first-time starters. He broke a bit slowly back on June 18, made a middle move, but tired badly and finished fourth. I expect a much stronger effort with the racing experience under his belt.
I will also include first-time starter #1 Shackalov, #3 Rocky Rogue, #9 Time for Cioppino and #10 Powerful Thirst.
Race 8
The eighth is a full field optional claimer for three year olds and up and marks the last race of the meet run down the hillside turf course.
I am going to exclude 7-2 morning line favorite #3 Fritz Johnasen. This five-year-old gelding is a very nice horse, but he has been off over three months and has done his best running around two turns. I think this is a prep to get him ready for a few races down at Del Mar.
I give second choice #11 David's Memory a much better chance, but am a bit concerned that he may have to work too hard early to hold off this group late. He has had an arduous campaign for trainer Hector Palma and may get caught in the final furlong. For that reason I will use several on both tickets.
Race 9
The third leg is another $40,000 optional claimer for open company, but this one is at six panels over the main track.
#7 G Q Covergirl is the 8-5-morning line favorite. I assume most horseplayers will single her and spread in the other three legs that lack a clear-cut top choice. However, I think she is vulnerable on the class hike.
I prefer #9 Dis Smart Cat. The Square Eddie filly draws outside her rivals, is cutting back in distance after a near miss at one mile in late May and has had serious success at this distance and over this racetrack. I think she has the ability to stalk the early pacesetters and get to the wire first.
I will use her as a contrarian single on one ticket and spread on the one I am singling on in Race 10.
Race 10
The final race of the spring meeting is a $100,000 maiden claiming event run at one mile over the Santa Anita lawn.
My top choice in here is #10 I'm Living Proof. This three-year-old posted two mid-pack finishes under the care of trainer Paddy Gallagher this spring, but is now in the hands of Richard Baltas, who has had a very strong meeting and he has every right to move this runner forward on Tuesday. The son of Arch showed tactical speed for the first time in his last start and has been gelded since then. If Rafael Bejarano can avoid a wide trip he has a big shot at 6-1 on the line.
I will single I'm Living Proof on one ticket and then will spread to several on the one to singled to Dis Smart Cat in the 9th.
Here are my 50-cent tickets for the last Pick 4 of the Santa Anita meeting:
Ticket 1 -- 1+3+5+9+10 with 6+7+8++9+10+11+12 with 9 with 5+6+8+9+12 = $87.50
Ticket 2 -- 1+3+5+9+10 with 6+7+8+9+10+11+12 with 1+3+7+8+9 with 10 = $87.50
Total Budget = $175
Good luck!
You can find my full card Daily Selections each and everyday for the Southern California circuit here.

(Eclipse Sportswire Photo)