Below is the late Pick 4 ticket at Santa Anita Park on January 6th, 2018. As always the ticket is $20 or less.
Whatyouciswhatuget (#6, 6-1) showed nice improvement in her second start and drops in for a tag for the first time. The freshening should help this newly turned three-year-old, as should the extra half furlongs she gets today. If she breaks, she will be tough to beat.
Karmic Affinity (#11, 6-1) brings a sizzling work pattern into a weak race. She is drawn well on the outside and could lead every step of the way in here. Her sire, 2 for 46 with first-time starters, and her trainer, 0 for his last 8 with first-time starters, are concerns, but in a race where no one seems to want to pass anyone, the speed of the speed may be the way to go.
Isotherm (#6, 7-2) was very competitive against tough East Coast turf competition before winning the San Marcos here last February. I understand why his connections opted to try the dirt again in the Santa Anita Handicap, as this horse works so well over any surface. He brings consistency and a touch a class to a wide-open race. He must overcome a long layoff, but new trainer Phil D'Amato stated in an interview with XBTV that he has his horse, "as tight as he can have him" for his comeback.
Itsinthepost (#8, 3-1) is a hard-knocking stakes veteran who loves the distance. He has been running in marathons lately, but has 3 wins and a second in five lifetime starts at a mile and an eighth. He fits this race like a glove and should be right there on the wire.
Free Rose (#9 10-1) comes off a freshening for Richard Baltas and should sit a nice trip in a race without much speed. He has worked steadily for his return and faced some awfully tough competition last year in the Hollywood Derby and Shoemaker Mile.
Editore (#2, 15-1) could be the ‘now’ horse and offers tremendous value at 15-1. The gelding had a string of bad luck earlier in the year before winning two in a row to close out 2017. He faces a class test in here, but if the lightbulb has gone on, then he could spring the upset.
Sea Myrtle (#2, 6-1) shortens up and returns to dirt while making her first start for trainer Jeff Bonde. Her new trainer is 30% with horses going from a route to a sprint. Her last sprint produced the highest figure of her career and her last dirt start resulted in a nose defeat. She is a late running dirt sprinter and finally gets that chance with Flavien Prat aboard.
Scathing (#4, 8-1) is 3 for 4 in dirt sprints without blinkers. This mare is far too sharp to ignore on the class hike and she should relish stretching out to 7 furlongs in this spot.
Pica (#8, 7-2) is a logical contender in this race after running competitive at the $20,000 level. She takes a small class drop and returns to her favorite surface at Santa Anita Park. Evin Roman takes off, but she picks up the services of Bejarano.
Devil's Beauty (#9, 5-2) will receive a nice weight break as Roman lands here after taking off of Pica. She has won 5 of her last 7 races and proved she could handle dirt first off the claim for Steve Miyadi. She is drawn well and the only negative could be a short price in a wide-open race.
Velvet Jones (#3, 9-2) was all but eliminated after breaking through the gate before the start of her last race. She makes her third start off a layoff and only her second dirt start in the Peter Miller barn. She will need to improve while facing older, but it is hard too throw anything out from this barn.
Phantom Proton (#7, 15-1) is a strong single at 15-1 to end the day. Neil Drysdale does not crank his horses up first-time out, but this filly ran remarkably well to be second, beating It Tiz Well, from the rail on debut. She returned off a lengthy layoff to break slow in a race worth tossing. Blinkers were added for her following three starts, which were nothing more than average. Drysdale removed the blinkers again last time out and this filly responded with a smooth closing 4th going 5 furlongs without being asked too much. I love the stretch out to 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf without blinkers. I love the switch to top turf rider Corey Nakatani and I love the bullet workout over the training track for a conservative trainer.
$0.50 Pick 4 Ticket: 6,11 - 2,6,8,9 – 2,3,4,8,9 – 7 = $20