Player Quick Pick: Santa Anita for 6/28/2014

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

June 28th, 2014

by Andrew Champagne

In a bit of a head-scratcher, the four consecutive graded stakes races carded for Saturday at Santa Anita are not part of a Pick Four. I had planned on analyzing an all-stakes Pick Four, but with none in the cards for the final Saturday slate this meet at the Great Race Place, I’ll go one step further and attempt to put together a Pick Six ticket that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

The wager starts in the fifth of 10 races, and again, the emphasis is on value. I won’t be buying any races, regardless of how tempting it is to do so, and I may also point out horses to use on larger tickets.

RACE FIVE: The Royal Heroine isn’t an easy race to kick things off with, but I like #10 Parranda a lot. Her last, a third in the Grade 1 Gamely, was much better than it looked due to a less-than-stellar trip, and while the outside post is concerning, the distance and class level should be right up her alley.

I’ll go three-deep in here, also using #5 Moulin de Mougin and #6 Moone’s My Name. I loved Moulin de Mougin’s last race, where she closed into a paceless race and still won. Meanwhile, Moone’s My Name finished a close-up second behind Parranda last out. She won a stakes race two back, and a repeat of either of those efforts makes her a major player.

If you want to go deeper, #9 Kathleen Rose is a known quantity. She loves Santa Anita and loves this distance, but the class jump is significant and her post isn’t great. If I’m going to take a chance on a class-jumper, I’d rather take 12-1 on Moulin de Mougin than 6-1 on Kathleen Rose.

RACE SIX: The Triple Bend didn’t draw an overwhelming field, and two of the three favorites look tough to go against. #4 Sahara Sky loves the 7-furlong route at Santa Anita, while #1 Declassify may be the race’s main speed from the rail.

The horse I’m going against is #6 Cyclometer, who won the least-impressive graded stakes race of this meet when he beat two others in the Los Angeles last month. I hated that race, and his 5/2 price on the morning line is a serious underlay.

RACE SEVEN: If I was going to buy a race, the Senorita would be it. Many of these could win, but I’m going to go the opposite direction and single a horse I really like.

Unlike all but one of her rivals, #8 Clenor is a multiple stakes winner. She needed her last race off a long layoff, and that race wasn’t terrible. If she runs back to either of her stakes wins last year, or even her eighth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, I think she wins by several lengths, and as such, 4-1 is a very good price.

Bluntly, the rest of these horses all look the same: Decent sorts that are in over their heads against top-notch competition. If Clenor doesn’t win, anyone else can, so if you hit the ‘all’ button here, I can’t blame you too much.

RACE EIGHT: Another single in the Gold Cup, but this one should be fairly popular. #1 Game On Dude towers over these horses. He returns to a track he loves, and despite the presence of fellow speedster, #2 Fury Kapcori, the Dude should roll.

RACE NINE: Now things get interesting. Here we have a 13-horse field with a few interesting longshots. I’ll use the lukewarm 4-1 morning line chalk, #9 Snaps, who was extremely impressive in breaking his maiden last out. Mike Smith hops on in a monstrous rider change, and while there’s some speed here, Snaps may be fastest of all early on.

However, I’ll also use a pair of 12-1 shots. #1 Mr Lexis comes in from Peru, where he ran second in a Grade 1 last year. He’s won two in a row and gets first-time Lasix for Peter Miller, who’s hitting at a 19% clip with new acquisitions. Also, #7 My Friend Jimmy is a huge overlay. A repeat of any of his three races from last summer and fall makes him a contender here, and while he’s coming off the layoff, the worktab is solid and Tom Proctor excels with such horses (27% of them win).

RACE TEN: We end the wager with another big field. 10 horses will go six furlongs, and I went four-deep while resisting the urge to use more of them.

My top two are #1 American Pride and #5 Endless Cruise. American Pride ran huge off a long layoff last out, while Endless Cruise has been working swiftly for his first race in nearly two years. I’ll also throw in #6 Parliamentarian, whose last race looks like a major bounce, and #7 Final Step, who ran big at second asking in October but hasn’t been seen since.

Those with bigger bankrolls may want to use #2 Whine for Wine and/or #10 Celebrity Status. Whine for Wine was impressive last out, but that race set up perfectly for his closing kick. Meanwhile, Celebrity Status is a consistent sort, but he hasn’t won in more than a year and the post is a killer.

THE TICKET R5: 5,6,10 R6: 1,4 R7: 8 R8: 1 R9: 1,7,9 R10: 1,5,6,7

Cost: $144 (assuming a $2 wager)