Shapiro's Late Pick 4 analysis for Santa Anita Sprint Championship Day

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TwinSpires Staff

October 6th, 2017

by Scott Shapiro

While, the majority of graded stakes action with Breeders’ Cup implications is taking place in New York and at Keeneland this Saturday, Santa Anita Park has a strong 10-race card of its own.

The Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) is the headliner, but that is not included in the late Pick 4. Instead, the sequence is comprised of three full field events as well as the $70,000 Swingtime Stakes, which features the third- and fourth-place finishers from last month’s John C. Mabee Stakes (G2).

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Here are some quick thoughts on Races 7 through 10 on the Saturday afternoon card:

Race 7

The four-race sequence commences with a challenging $50,000 state-bred maiden claiming event at six panels over the main track.

There are several ways to go in this one, but I made my top choice Run Jeanne Run (#3) off of a fourth-place effort against open company at Los Alamitos last month. In that start the Jeff Bonde trainee drew the rail, was off last, but made a strong late run from the back. He attracts veteran Rafael Bejarano for start number two.

I also give strong consideration to Respect the Shot (#2) making his first start for trainer Val Brinkerhoff. The son of Tribal Rule took a ton of support at the windows in his first two starts, but struggled to get out of the gate in clean order. With a better break he can contend.

Royal Trump (#7) has shown some ability and moves to the Vladimir Cerin barn. He fits, as does Royal Bar (#8). The son of Rocky Bar would benefit from a contentious early pace and should improve with the start under his belt. Finally, Butte City (#9) takes the big drop out of open company maiden special weight competition at Del Mar and draws favorably to the outside for trainer Carla Gaines.

Race 8

The 8TH race is the aforementioned Swingtime Stakes run at one mile over the Santa Anita lawn.

I really like the chances of Insta Erma (#6).

The four-year-old filly got a poor ride from Gary Stevens in her first start for trainer Richard Baltas in the John C. Mabee. Stevens was shuffled back twice during the middle stages of the race, losing significant ground before finally getting her into the clear. She ended up finishing full of run to earn a tough-luck fourth.

Insta Erma should appreciate the turn back to a mile, and the rider change to Corey Nakatani is a huge upgrade.

I will single her on two of my three tickets and include 5-2-morning-line favorite Madame Stripes (#1) on the other. She finished third in the John C. Mabee and has done little wrong in 2017 for Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale.

Race 9

The third leg is a wide-open $25,000 claimer run at 1 1/16 miles over the main track. There are several in here dropping in class that deserve a big look, but are difficult to trust. I will spread deep and hope to find a price.

Race 10

The Saturday finale is a $50,000 starter allowance event run at a mile on the lawn.

Midnight Swinger (#5) is not a great price, but appears the most likely winner going second off the layoff for trainer Mark Glatt. She got tired late after controlling the pace in a similar spot at Del Mar in late August, but that was not surprising given her nearly eight months on the sidelines.

It is encouraging that Flavian Prat returns to ride. He should have her in a perfect stalking spot early and be able to hold off those behind him in the final furlong. I will single her on two of my three tickets.

On my larger ticket singled to Insta Erma I will include a few others that likely will provide better payouts if I am fortunate enough to get through the first three legs.

Here is how I will play the late Pick 4:

Ticket 1: ($.50 Pick 4)

Race 7: 2+3+7+8+9
Race 8: 6
Race 9: 1+3+4+5+8+11+12
Race 10: 4+5+9+11

Ticket Cost: $70

Ticket 2: ($.50 Pick 4)

Race 7: 2+3+7+8+9
Race 8: 1+6
Race 9: 1+3+4+5+8+11+12
Race 10: 5

Ticket Cost: $35

Ticket 3 ($1 Pick 4)

Race 7: 2+3+7+8+9
Race 8: 6
Race 9: 1+8+11
Race 10: 5

Ticket Cost: $15


Good luck at the windows!