Shapiro's suggested wager for Sunday's mandatory Pick 6 payout at Santa Anita
by SCOTT SHAPIRO
Closing Day at Santa Anita Park means a mandatory payout in the Pick 6 pool. The good news for horseplayers is that once again no one was able to connect on 6 of 6 on Saturday, so track officials expect the pool to reach close to $4 million on Sunday.
With a $2 minimum wager, playing a large ticket can get pricey really quick, so ticket structure is extremely important if you plan to take a shot on a small to medium budget. Here are a few thoughts I have over the last six races that hopefully can help you navigate your way through the sequence.
This low-level starter handicap event at five furlongs over the main track is extremely competitive. Singling here will likely allow you to build a contrarian ticket, but I do not have a strong enough opinion to do so. Instead I will use several, including long shots #2 Todos Santos and #3 Prophetinparadise.
Like many, I am going to live and die with 8-5 morning line favorite #6 Vasilika. The four-year-old filly is in razor sharp form having won 3 straight and 4 of her last 5 for Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer. The “Dorf” found a great spot in the condition book to give this daughter of Skipshot one last trip over the Santa Anita lawn this spring.
#2 Chasin Lucas and #6 Coco Kisses will be popular inclusions in the third leg and deservingly so. Of the two, I prefer the lightly raced Chasin Lucas who should move forward in start number two for trainer Mark Glatt. The daughter of Shanghai Bobby showed quite a bit of talent on debut, but tired late and could not hold off the eventual winner on June 2. The fact Glatt is much more successful with second-time starters suggests this Cal-bred is set for a big effort.
I will also use #8 Just Grazed Me. The Nick Alexander homebred is out of a Cuvee mare that won her first two starts and draws well to the far outside. At 8-1 I cannot leave her off my ticket.
The featured Wilshire (G3) conducted at one mile over the Santa Anita sod is extremely challenging. I will take a shot against Gamely (G1) winner #5 Sophie P who is listed as the 3-1-morning line favorite. The British-bred had everything go right in that last try at nine furlongs and may struggle to outkick this group on Sunday.
#1 Beau Recall and #9 Ancient Secret are the likeliest winners, but neither are easy to trust. #2 Sassy Little Lila, #7 Storm the Hill and #8 Bella Luma all have upset chances.
If #2 Best Two Minutes runs back to his runner-up effort on May 19 he will be tough to deny, but based on figures regression is extremely likely. Therefore, I will also include #3 Desert Law for trainer Carla Gaines. The son of Desert Code has done his best running at the six-furlong distance and should sit a favorable trip under jockey Rafael Bejarano.
In the payoff leg and final race of the meeting I will lean on #5 Beach View for trainer Leonard Powell. The son of Giant’s Causeway returns to the races after a nose defeat to Multiplier on May 13. The five-year-old has shown he can get the mile and a quarter distance and much like in 2017 he should be set for his best in the third start of the form cycle.
Hopefully we can get through the first five legs and Stewart Elliott can get this Maryland-bred to the wire first.
Race 6: 2+3+7+8
Race 7: 6
Race 8: 2+8
Race 9: 1+2+7+8+9
Race 10: 2+3
Race 11: 5
Ticket Cost: $160