Below is the early Pick 4 ticket for May 26th, 2018 at Santa Anita Park. As always the ticket is $20 or less.
Syntax (#8, 4-1) looks primed for a peak effort. He makes his third start off a layoff and stretches out to a distance that better suits his style after two decent efforts at a mile. He was competitive against Itsinthepost last year and seems to be every bit as good this year.
Itsinthepost (#6, 6-5) is as tough as they come and his consistency must be respected. His winning streak was snapped at Keeneland, but that race came against better than these. He will be awfully tough over a turf course that he owns 7 wins on and the only drawback is his short price.
Baby Gronk (#7, 6-5) failed to seal the deal at short odds last time and will be short odds once more in here. His figures tower over his competition and he is certainly the horse to beat, but he should not be fully trusted as a low price single.
Pig Iron (#4, 8-1) looks sneaky live in this spot. This colt debuts with slow works with the exception of two fast gate works in the middle of his pattern. Gate works are key to zero in on as it is much harder to hide speed in those works. His trainer has not had much success with first-time starters and he could easily be 20-1 on the line. The fact that he is only 8-1 should be viewed as a positive.
Old Indian Trick (#1, 8-1) was beaten by Baby Gronk handily, but that was only this colt's first start. He will be sent from the rail and if he can make the front, he may lead every step of the way with expected improvement second-time out.
Hawksmoor (#7, 5-2) needed her last race when she got run down at short odds at Laurel and would not have shipped across the country for a Grade 1 race if she was not back to her best. She outclasses this field and will sit a great trip. She is a rolling exotic single in all plays.
It's a New Year (#7, 7-2) cuts back in distance and has proven form in a race lacking in that category. Tough to trust anyone in this field, but you can never go wrong playing Peter Miller.
North County Guy (#1, 9-2) takes a slight drop in class and fits this level like a glove. He must work out a trip from the rail and might be best served trying to wire the field.
Derby Factor (#5, 50-1) is worth inclusion at a giant price. He returns to a sprint off a freshening. His sprint debut was not a bad race and he makes his first run as a gelding. If the ultimate equipment change can move this horse up, then he can contend with this weak field. Considering he is 50-1, he gets a more than capable jockey in Tiago Pereira.
Flynn (#10, 4-1) returns to a sprint, adds blinkers and drops in class. He picks up Irad Ortiz Jr. and if he can run at all, he will show it today. His first effort may be good enough to win this, but his last two races have been extremely disappointing.
Imagineiamfastest (#4, 4-1) has run competitively against better, but has only beaten 1 horse in his last two races combined. Shortening up from 7 furlongs to 6 furlongs will increase his chances of hanging on late.
Pioneerofthestorm (#8, 6-1) never picked up his feet on debut, but that was against much tougher. He drops in class and weight and one race does not make a career. I wish there was more time between him being gelded and running, but he offers more upside than anyone else in this field.
$0.50 Pick 4 Ticket: 6,8 – 1,4,7 – 7 – 1,4,5,7,8,10 = $18