Shapiro’s Los Alamitos Saturday Late Pick 4 analysis

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TwinSpires Staff

September 15th, 2017

By Scott Shapiro (@ScottShap34)

We have reached the midway point at the three-week 2017 Los Angeles County Fair meet at Los Alamitos.

The second of three Saturday cards in Orange County offers horseplayers a nine-race slate headlined by the $100,000 Barretts Debutante run at 6 ½ furlongs over the main track.

As always a late Pick 4 is offered over the final four races of the card. The sequence commences in Race 6 with a low-level conditional claimer at 5 ½ furlongs and concludes with a starter allowance event at the same distance.

Here are my thoughts on the four races:

Race 6

A $6,250 claiming event for runners that have not won a race in 2017 kicks off the late Pick 4.

I wish I was more creative in here, but I think the top two choices on odds maker Russ Hudak’s morning line are the ones to beat.

#3 Pat the Bear exits open company claimers for trainer Javier Sierra. The five-year-old gelding has not won since last July at Del Mar, but this is the lowest level he has ever competed against. His speed and quality effort in his one try over the Los Alamitos surface make him the one to beat.

If Pat the Bear gets early pressure and tires late, #4 Prince Charmant is the one I expect to run him down in the lane. High percentage conditioner John Martin claimed him two back and he paid immediate dividends getting the best of a field of six at Santa Rosa.

The six-year-old gelding struggled to win races, instead settling for minor awards through much of his career, but he has two wins over his last four starts and appears to be in the best form of his life.

I think one of these two is extremely likely to hit the wire first.

Race 7

The second leg of the sequence is a competitive optional claimer at six panels.

#5 Avicii is the one to beat on paper given her 8 career victories in 33 starts. The daughter of City Zip has hit the board in all 9 of her races in 2017 and drops a level for trainer Peter Miller.

Miller legs up Kent Desormeaux, which is a positive since the two of them have won at a 32% clip dating back to the start of 2016. Desormeaux will need to avoid an uncomfortable voyage between runners and prove this mare still has the kick necessary to win at three-quarters.

I am not sold that she has to win, so I will use a few others.

#1 Lake Time goes turf-to-dirt for trainer Eric Kruljac. She lacks early speed, but if they go at it early she will be rolling late.

#2 Cash Prize has only been successful against Cal-breds, but she has had success over the racetrack and should improve in her second start of the form cycle for trainer Brian Koriner.

#9 Alpenhorn returns to the optional claiming ranks after facing three-year-old state-bred stakes company at Del Mar. She has a win and a second in two tries at Los Alamitos and gets hot riding Edwin Maldonado.

Race 8

The eighth is the aforementioned $100,000 Barretts Debutante. The stakes race for two-year-old fillies came up rather weak.

I will try to get out singling maiden #3 Exuberance. The $100,000 purchase was shuffled back to last early in her debut, but came with a strong run late and finished third to a nice looking odds-on favorite for trainer John Sadler.

The stretch out to 6 ½ furlongs and the racing experience under her belt both should lead to significant improvement on Saturday.

She will not have to be much to beat this group.

Race 9

The finale is a $12,500 starter allowance event.

I do not have a strong opinion in here, so I will use several including top pick #2 Templar. This gelding should get the jump on his main rivals and has run well over the track.

I will limit my budget in Saturday’s late Pick 4 as I do not think the likely payout supports playing multiple tickets or spreading too deep.

Pick 4 ticket

Here is my suggested $1 Pick 4 ticket (races 6-9):

Race 6: 3,4

Race 7: 1,2,5,9

Race 8: 3

Race 9: 2,4,5,6,7

Ticket Cost: $40

Good luck at the windows!

You can find my full card Daily Selections each and every day for the Southern California circuit here: