Shapiro’s Late Pick 4 analysis for Las Cienegas Day at Santa Anita
Bendable captures the Desert Stormer Stakes (G3) under jockey Mike Smith (Benoit Photos)
by Scott Shapiro
It is has been a tough couple of weeks after a strong start to the 2018 Santa Anita winter meeting. Hopefully I can rebound in a big way and connect on my first suggested Saturday late Pick 4 ticket of the year.
Handicapping races down the hillside turf course will be key in Saturday’s four-race sequence as the featured Las Cienegas (G3) makes up the second leg, while a competitive high-level optional claiming event down the unique one-turn configuration closes things out.
I will build one ticket around the third choice on odds-maker John White’s morning line in the first leg and then another around a 9-2 shot in the finale. Let’s hope we can get one of those home and connect on what should be a solid payday if I am correct.
Here are my thoughts on Races 6 through 9 on the Saturday afternoon card:
An optional claimer at one mile over the main track gets things started in the Saturday late Pick 4.
I really like the chances of Winsinfashion (#7) in this spot.
The daughter of Albertus Maximus tried the turf unsuccessfully last out in her first try against winners for trainer Bob Hess Jr. The experiment on the lawn did not work, but I expect the $75,000 Barretts March 2017 purchase to run much better on Saturday.
Not only does she come in off a two-month freshening, but she draws favorably to the outside, which should allow jockey Joe Talamo to stalk the early pace and get the jump on her main rivals much like she did in her maiden breaking score on October 13. Anything near that effort should be good enough to get her back to the winner’s circle.
If Winsinfashion fails to fire it is likely that either Sauce On Side (#5) or Tinabud (#6) come from the back and get the job done at a relatively short price.
The 44th running of the $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes (G3) appears relatively wide-open.
Bendable (#2) is the 5-2-morning-line favorite, but she has struggled to put back-to-back races together in her career and has never raced over the lawn. Sure, she has the pedigree to be successful on the sod, but one must wonder what took Hall of Famer Richard Mandella this long to try the grass. I prefer those that will provide a bit more value.
Coniah (#1) is my top choice for hot training William Morey, but she is coming off a seven-month layoff and will have to avoid traffic issues from the rail.
Beau Recall (#9) is the class of the field, but has no early speed so she may have too much to do late.
Angel Allie (#3), Princess Princess (#4), Miss Southern Miss (#5), Anita Partner (#6) and Proper Discretion (#7) all appear to have outside chances to spring the upset and provide some separation in the Pick 4.
The third leg is a non-winners of two $12,500 claimer at 5 1/2 furlongs over the Santa Anita main track.
Gosofar (#2) is the clear one to beat on the class drop for trainer Adam Kitchingman. He has struggled to find the wire first versus better, but in his lone effort against claiming competition he handled a field of state-bred maiden claimers relatively easily.
I will use Gosofar, but will also include likely pacesetter Rocky’s Show (#4) and Oopper Wallah (#7) making his second start of the form cycle after a solid late rally in his first try off the bench on December 30.
The Saturday card concludes with an optional claiming event down the hill.
Harbour Master (#4) was eased in the Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) on opening day when the saddle slipped, but prior to that effort the four-year-old colt was in the best form of his career for trainer James Cassidy. I love that he reunites with Kent Desormeaux and expect him to run down the pacesetters if Kent can keep him within shouting distance in the early going.
If Harbour Master does not perform well down the hill, I expect either Anatolian Heat (#1) or Tribal Fighter (#5) to use their tactical speed to get the best of this group or for European import Ronald R (#8) to win his first start for trainer Simon Callaghan.
Here is how I will play the Saturday afternoon Pick 4:
Ticket 1: ($.50 Pick 4)
Race 6: 7
Race 7: 1+3+4+5+6+7+9
Race 8: 2+4+7
Race 9: 1+4+5+8
Ticket Cost: $42
Ticket 2: ($.50 Pick 4)
Race 6: 5+6+7
Race 7: 1+3+4+5+6+7+9
Race 8: 2+4+7
Race 9: 4
Ticket Cost: $31.50
TOTAL BUDGET: $73.50
Good luck at the windows!