On Track With Johnny D: Saturday Santa Anita Late Pick 5 Analysis & Selections

Time’s running out for you to hit the Late Pick 4 at Santa Anita and to earn a share of a $2,000 daily bonus from Xpressbet and 1/ST BET. Just three days remain in the meet before action shifts to Del Mar next Wednesday and the Breeders’ Cup there Friday and Saturday. Last week successful registered Santa Anita Late Pick 4 players earned the following:


Friday 51 winners earned $39.22 each.

Saturday 75 winners collected $26.67 each.

Sunday 38 winners banked $52.63 each.


If you’re planning to play the Santa Anita Late Pick 4, you might as well do it with Xpressbet and 1/ST BET. Register to get in on the bonus and the difficult work is done. All you need to do then is to simply hit the wager. Wink, wink.


In an effort to help account holders find the Late Pick 4 winner’s circle, we’ve analyzed the wager horse-by-horse. Hopefully, below you’ll find a smidgen of handicapping info to move your game forward.


It’s great to know which runners fellow players favor but it’s even better to understand why they feel that way. Our goal below is to not only to attempt to provide you with a winning wager, but also to educate and inform players regarding angles and observations we’ve come to appreciate over decades of handicapping.


And don’t discount what your own handicapping unveils. Mixing and matching thoughts is a great way to create a ticket that combines points of view. No one handicapper or bettor dominates this game. It’s way too challenging a past time. Some do it more often and better than others, and you want to join that club.


Race 7

Maiden Claiming $50,000

Fillies Two Years Old

Six Furlongs


#1 Beachgrass drops Maiden Allowance to Maiden $50k, moves from turf to dirt and cuts back from three routes to a sprint. A close second last out with a late kick going one mile on turf at

Golden Gate has connections immediately willing to part ways with this $50k purchase. Desormeaux brothers ride and train. A hot pace and some improvement would help a late run.


#2 Head Start makes a first local appearance for trainer Glatt off a couple of Maiden allowance tries (one good, one bad) at Indiana Downs for Brad Cox. Good news is that the poor effort was on turf and the good one was on dirt. Current trainer has strong numbers with horses starting for the first time in his care at 26%. Note that this filly was favored in both previous starts.


#3 Big Mama Thornton is a Nick Alexander homebred with a limited work tab for 21% first time out trainer Steve Miyadi. Miyadi works ‘em slowly in the AM but we need to see a bit more on the paper before we back her. Since this is the first leg of the Pick 4 a check of the tote board might help evaluate this one.


#4 Awesome Taylor has a few nice five furlong works along with a six furlong move at San Luis Rey—home base for trainer Peter Miller. Issue is that there’s a suspicious 22 day work gap that may or may not be important. We don’t like to see that. Bug Ellingwood rides.


#5 Sangre Azul made one start for Maiden $32k and it was a recent OK third. The step up in class is not one of our favorite moves. She was 13-1 in that race and closed some ground to be third, nearly 4 lengths back.


#6 Kobe in Motion is the most interesting runner in the field. She’s a first-time starter from the Pete Eurton barn with two interesting five-furlong gate drills in 1:00 4/5 and 1:00 1/5. While the trainer’s not known for winning first time out (2%), he appears to have this homebred in the right spot drawn one from the outside.


#7 Talkative Gal is the most experienced in the field and that’s both a positive and negative. She’s raced at levels from Maiden $50k to Maiden Allowance and been short and long. Her two best races came sprinting at Los Alamitos—at this level and in Maiden Allowance company. She’s got an even running style that should have her around at the finish.


Best: #6

Next Most Possible: #2, #7


Race 8

Autumn Miss – G3

Fillies Three Years Old

One Mile (Turf)


#1 Eddie’s New Dream is a red-hot Cal bred with back-to-back wins—one at a mile on dirt and the other going one mile and one-eighth on turf. She’s been improving with each season and has been first or second in 6 of 8 starts. The competition in here is deeper than what she’s faced but she’s in solid form.


#2 Freedom Flyer is one of trainer Callaghan’s two runners in here. She’s been away since beating three in the Gr. 2 San Clemente in July. She’s just 2 of 11 overall and would need to run her very best to impact this race.


#3 Burgoo Alley has been a steady performer since arriving in this country from Ireland. She broke maiden, was second in an allowance race before winning one next out and finished a troubled close third in the Unzip Me won by #8 Zero Tolerance. She’s been favored in three of her last four starts. A nice :59 4/5 five furlong Santa Anita training track move suggests she’s still doing well.


#4 Javanica, Gr. 3 placed, set some slow route paces in her last two races—one of which she won, and in the other, the Gr. 1 Del Mar Oaks, she faded. She’s not been big on winning with just 2 scores in 10 starts, but she has 4 runner-up finishes. She probably will not be on the early lead in here and will try to close from just off the pace.


#5 Ego Trip is still a maiden but is Gr. 2 placed—third last out in the Gr. 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga. Why ship a maiden across country to run in a stakes race? Because it’s an attractive Gr. 3 event against fellow 3-year-olds and winning a race like this would greatly increase her value. It would be easy to dismiss a maiden in a graded stakes race (we routinely do it) but this one has a hint of talent. In just three starts, she’s shown ability. There could be more in the tank…but we’ll probably still pass on her.


#6 Madone, trainer Callaghan’s other runner in here, returns to California after a ship to Belmont for the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational at Belmont. That race was one mile and three-eighths and she beat just one. This filly began her career by winning four of her first 5 starts—only loss coming in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. She also won the Gr. 2 San Clemente at Del Mar. Her late-running style fits perfectly at the mile distance where she’s 5 for 6! It also should be noted that she runs well off short layoffs, like the one she’s just had. We just wish track announcers would properly pronounce her name. It’s Italian-American slang for ‘Madonna,’ used as an exclamation and often accompanied by an open-hand wave. For example, ‘Your filly just won the Autumn Miss? Madone!’


#7 Spanish Loveaffair ships west for this graded stakes attempt. She’s used to facing that level of company–7 of 10 lifetime races have come against graded stakes foes. She’s a Gr. 3 stakes winner at Gulfstream and just missed in the Gr. 3 Regret at Keeneland. Last out she stalked a slow pace and then kicked away to win a $150k stakes race. She’ll encounter a quicker early pace than she’s used to in the Autumn Days so it’s fair to wonder if she’ll have the same kick.


#8 Zero Tolerance has 2 wins out of 3 starts, improving Beyer figs that fit, a recent good stakes race over the surface and the circuit’s top jock and trainer combinations. She’ll be stretching out to one mile today, but the six and one-half downhill course where she won her most recent race plays like a one-mile distance. The outside post shouldn’t be a problem because she has enough early speed to get to or near the front and save ground. #3 Burgoo Alley appears as the only other real early speed in here.


One to Beat: #8

Chances: #1, #3, #7


Race 9

Maiden Special Weight

California Bred Or California Sired Two Years Old

Six Furlongs


#1 Creative Peak has speed and adds blinkers. He was a well-beaten third last out after showing speed from the rail. Rispoli returns in the saddle and he’s 23% with trainer Cerin.


#2 Tribal Dancing returns off a one-mile turf effort where he showed speed and faded. He also showed speed in a five and one-half furlong dirt sprint at Maiden $50k level, so he should be near the early pace.


#3 Moose Mitchell is another drawn inside with early speed. He and #1 Creative Peak battled early last out and figure to do so again. ‘Moose, who stumbled at the start, got the better of ‘Peak to finish second. Apprentice Herrera rides back with a 7-pound weight break. This colt has improved with each race for trainer Papaprodromou and the colt’s last race Beyer fig is best in the field. He has stakes experience from a fourth in the I’m Smokin at Del Mar.


#4 Mr Bug Z had a poor effort first out at a big price at this level.


#5 Grazen in the Park is one of two in here for trainer D’Amato. He was off ‘very slow’ first time out at nearly 10-1. D’Amato is 21% second time out and is 29% with jockey Gonzalez, so this one has some stats in his favor. Blinkers go on and D’Amato is a solid 17% with the move. All considered, this one should improve markedly.


#6 Star Entry is one of two for low-profile trainer Periban. This first-time starter has a steady work pattern, every six or seven days with several five-furlong moves. The trainer is 11% first time out.


#7 Straight Up Lov is the other Periban first-time starter in here and he seems to be the better of the two. He has a similar six to seven-day work pattern with five and six furlong moves. Jockey Baze is up here and he’s a respectable 17% with the trainer.


#8 Jack Sixpack is the other D’Amato in here, a first-time starter with a series of Los Alamitos works and one important five-furlong gate move at Santa Anita. The trainer is most effective with second-time starters but this Nick Alexander home bred might be OK in a lackluster field. He may have speed and the outside draw is helpful.


Best So Far: #3

Should Improve: #5, #8


Race 10

Maiden Claiming $50,000

Fillies Two Years Old

One Mile (Turf)


#1 I’m a Giraffe is one of two Peter Miller runners in here. She’s trying turf and two turns for the first time off a quartet of previous starts—three for a claiming tag. She loses the services of top jock Prat but has speed and the rail—both pluses. Joe Bravo is up. She failed as favorite in her last two starts.


#2 Blossoming drops from Maiden Allowance to this $50k test. Her only start wasn’t special as she beat just one home. Interesting jock switch here to Rispoli–a high-percentage jock for trainer Gallagher. Took no money in first start and trainer is 11% with second-time starters. Other than the jock switch and class drop there’s not a lot to endorse.


#3 Travel Smart is Peter Miller’s second starter and she attracts Prat from Miller’s other one. She beat just one in July in a 6-horse field first out sprinting on the main. It was an even effort behind the talented Grace Adler and the stretch out and surface switch make sense. A pair of six-furlong San Luis Rey works suggest this one will run better than before.


#4 Charlotte Harbor hasn’t fared well in four Maiden Allowance starts and takes a drop into the Maiden Claiming ranks. Desormeaux brothers call the shots. She was favored going five and one-half furlongs on synthetic at Golden Gate.


#5 French Franc was second sprinting first out on turf at Gulfstream Park and a well-beaten third sprinting on turf at Del Mar. Last out she had a troubled trip going one mile on turf at Santa Anita. Her races have all been at the Maiden Allowance level. She’s taken fair money in each start and was favored in the Del Mar effort. She should be near the early pace.


#6 Abhita has been well beaten in three previous starts against fellow Cal bred Maiden Allowance runners. Blinkers added last out were removed. She’s had issues with breaking slowly.


#7 Malibuena stretches out and moves to turf for trainer Bob Hess off a recent poor effort. She also moves from Maiden $40k to $50k. On the positive side, jockey Maldonado has a good winning percentage with Hess at 21%.


#8 K P Krypton returns off a poor effort against Maiden Allowance foes. Trainer Mullins switches to high percentage combo jock Tyler Baze. They win at 22%. No money behind this one first time out and she’d really need to turn things around second time out.


#9 Macrelletta is another dropping from Maiden Allowance to Maiden $50k and she’s been well-beaten in three starts.


#10 Set the Tone was claimed for $30k from a close runner-up finish at Los Alamitos. That followed a troubled, poor effort first out going one mile on turf.


This race is a real scramble with several runners dropping from poor Maiden Allowance efforts to Maiden Claiming tries. There are distance and surface switches galore. A ‘spread’ approach seems most appropriate in here.


Open Players: #1, #3, #5

Reach: #2, #10


The Ticket:

$.50 Late Pick 4 ($22.50)

Race 7: #2, #6, #7

Race 8: #8

Race 9: #3, #5, #8

Race 10: #1, #2, #3, #5, #10


Race On!

On Track With Johnny D: Saturday Santa Anita Late Pick 5 Analysis & Selections

On Track with Johnny D |