How To Bet the 2017 Santa Anita Derby Pick 4
by SCOTT SHAPIRO
A late Pick 4 that commences with the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in Race 8 and offers a one million dollar guarantee caps off a strong Saturday afternoon card in Arcadia, California.
The size of the fields and the quality of the racing makes this one of the more playable Pick 4’s of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting. Here are my thoughts on the four races and how I will attack the sequence:
The 80th running of the Grade 1 $1-million Santa Anita Derby offers Southern California racing fans a deep field of Kentucky Derby hopefuls. For FREE Brisnet.com PPs, CLICK HERE.
One of the more wide-open renditions in recent memory includes 7-2-morning line favorite #9 Iliad. The son of Ghostzapper has a win and a runner-up finish against graded stakes competition since being moved to the Doug O’Neill barn by owner Kaleem Shah. I respect his talent, but think he has the look of a one-turn horse that will struggle with the added ground.
#8 Gormley is the 9-2 second choice, but he has gotten worked up quite a bit pre-race in both starts of 2017, including a disappointing fourth place effort last time out in the Grade 2 San Felipe. I will pass on him as well and instead lean on two lightly raced colts exiting a high-level optional claimer on March 9th.
#2 Reach the World is my top choice in Saturday’s feature after just missing in his last. The son of Tapit had a less than ideal voyage last month and should have no issues with the added distance.
I also will include #3 Battle of Midway. The Fox Hill Farms colt bounced back from a poor effort in the Grade 2 San Vicente in February to win in his first try around two turns. He looks poised to take another step forward in the Santa Anita Derby.
For more of my thoughts on the Santa Anita Derby check out my “How to Wager on the Santa Anita Derby” article on this site.
Race 9, The Providencia
The 37th running of the $150,000 Providencia Stakes makes up the second leg of the late Pick 4 and most certainly will contain the shortest price in the sequence.
#1 Sircat Sally has been installed as the 6-5-morning line favorite and with good reason. The California-bred daughter of Surf Cat is a perfect 4 for 4, including two straight at a mile over the Santa Anita lawn. She will be tough to beat, but the added furlong will keep me from singling here on all tickets on Saturday. I will also include two others.
#4 Beau Recall has been impressive since arriving in the States for trainer Simon Callaghan. The Slam Dunk Racing filly has a win and most recently a late running runner-up effort against Sircat Sally in the China Doll Stakes. If the pace is honest she could “turn the tables” on Saturday.
#8 Emphatically is trainer Tom Proctor’s first starter at Santa Anita this year. He ships out this Glen Hill Farm filly after two straight victories at a mile. I have great respect for these connections and the presence of leading rider Flavien Prat makes her worth including at 6-1 on the morning line.
Race 10, The Echo Eddie
The 6th running of the $200,000 Echo Eddie at six and a half furlongs is headlined by #8 California Diamond. The 5-2-morning line favorite has never finished worse than second in 10 lifetime tries. However, he has been defeated at short prices in each of his last 3 starts and it appears his competition has caught up to him. I will play against the Rockingham Ranch colt on Saturday.
My top pick is #4 Mr. Hinx. The son of Ministers Wild Cat has shown a lot of ability over his four lifetime starts, especially at one turn. He will need a pace to run at in this spot, but has the talent to beat this group with the right trip.
I will also include #6 Green with Eddie and #3 Tribal Storm.
Green With Eddie beat California Diamond in the Graduation as a two-year-old and makes the second start of his three-year-old campaign after tiring late on March 19th in an open company optional claiming race at this distance. He should move forward off that try.
Tribal Storm is a perfect 2 for 2 in sprints and cuts back to one turn after two mid-pack finishes against stakes competition at a route of ground. The Ed Moger, Jr. trainee should sit a great trip and be full of run when they turn for home. The presence of Rafael Bejarano for the first time is encouraging.
Race 11, maiden
The finale is a $75K maiden claimer at a mile over the lawn.
My top choice in here is #2 Odyssey Explorer. I have chased this son of Gio Ponti several times since his debut last September 9th and finally get the jock switch I have coveted. Veteran Kent Desormeaux takes over riding duties and should have this one rolling late.
I will also include two runners stretching out of a turf sprint last month #3 Go Ghetto and #6 Fregosi (my second choice) as well as class dropper and recently gelded #5 South Americain for trainer Neil Drysdale.
Here is how I will wager on the late Pick 4:
$1 Pick 4
2+3 with 1+4+8 with 3+4+6 with 2+3+5+6 = $72
$1 Pick 4
2+3 with 1+4+8 with 4 with 2+3+5+6 = $24
$1 Pick 4
2+3 with 1+4+8 with 3+4+6 with 2 = $18
Total Budget: $114