Pick 4 play at Santa Anita for Jan. 9
A pair of Grade 3 tilts will highlight a strong 10-race card at “The Great Race Place” on Saturday. I will take a crack at the late Pick 4 sequence, which has the co-features in the middle of the wager.
Race 7 -- Maiden Special Weight
A competitive special weight tilt on the lawn for 3-year-olds gets things started. I am not overly impressed with any contender in the cast and will use the ‘all’ button in the first leg.
First-time starter #2 Achilleus (15-1) is of interest to me at a price for Sadler. I will play the Super Saver colt to win at something close to his morning-line number.
Race 8 -- La Canada (G3)
A deep field of distaffers will vie in the 1 1/16-mile affair. Grade 1 heroines #2 Hard Not to Love (2-1) and #3 Fighting Mad (9-5) get top billing, and I have confidence that I will advance to the next leg going two deep with the talented duo.
Race 9 -- Las Cienegas (G3)
Fillies and mares will travel 6 panels on the turf in a high-quality field. The two major class horses, #6 Oleksandra (9-5) and #7 Jolie Olimpica (8-5), appear to be awfully tough in the dash. The former is a Grade 1 winner against males at the distance, while the latter is brilliant and likely headed for a big campaign in 2021. I don’t envision an upset occurring in the event.
Race 10 -- Claiming
The finale attracted 10 for a 6-furlong dash on the dirt, and I will go two deep once again to close out the Pick 4 play. Sadler’s #5 Astrologer (3-1) drops in class and cuts back in distance off the layoff. The first-time gelding shows a strong worktab and will have Joel Rosario in the irons.
I will also include #7 Squalotoro (12-1) for Mike Puype. The late runner has shown steady improvement since transferring to the dirt three back, and he also broke his maiden on the course two prior. Jose Valdivia will be in the silks.
- 50-cent Pick 4: All with 2,3 with 6,7 with 5,7 ($40)