Merry Christmas to all! Below is the late Pick 4 ticket for December 26th, 2016 at Santa Anita Park. The Opening Day pool is guaranteed at $1 million. As always, the ticket is $20 or less.
Drummer (#4, 12-1) offers tremendous value in a wide-open edition of the San Simeon. He made a nice middle move while making his first start in this country going a mile for Neil Drysdale. He now shortens to a sprint and his best races overseas were at 7 furlongs. This seems to be an improving horse who should appreciate the layout of the hill while racing as a gelding for the first time.
Ohio (#5, 6-1) had a nightmare trip in the Eddie D. and may have been best. Both of his wins in this country came at Santa Anita Park and he should sit a perfect trip right off of the speed.
Holy Lute (#12, 9-2) is in the best form of his life and is the class of the field. The old pro likes the hill and appears to get along very well with Jamie Theriot. If he is on his game, the rest of the field may be running for second, but he did enjoy a great trip when winning the Eddie D.
Stormy Liberal (#3, 8-1) is another course specialist. He ran well in his first start for Peter Miller when racing farther than he wants to. He could be very dangerous while returning to the hill for the first time under Miller's care. Arroyo, who is riding at 37% for Miller at Santa Anita this year, takes the call.
Race 7 :
Lightstream (#2, 2-1) is strictly the horse to beat in the La Brea Stakes. This Grade 2 filly has only been defeated once at a sprint and her victory in the Raven Run last out is likely good enough to win this. There should be enough pace in here to set up her late kick.
Finley'sluckycharm (#3, 5-2) gets her first class test in the La Brea, but this filly has the most upside in the field. She has beaten older foes in two straight races and has never been defeated sprinting. She must deal with the 7 furlong distance while taking early heat from Enola Gray, but she could be any kind.
Perfect Pic (#8, 6-1) has never had the opportunity to face strictly three-year-olds. She has failed to live up to the hype of her jaw-dropping debut win, but finally draws an outside post and could be a force if she puts it all together here.
Mind Your Biscuits (#2, 5-2) ran exceptionally well to be 3rd (later placed 2nd) in the Breeders' Cup Sprint against older foes. He now drops back into three-year-old competition, gets an extra furlong to close into and has been working great for this race. He will be very tough in here.
Ten Blessings (#4, 3-1) has been very impressive in both of his starts at Santa Anita Park and looks to be back to his best form. His buyer numbers have improved in each and every start and if he can continue to build on the 106 figure he put up last time, then he will give Mind Your Biscuits all he can handle.
Sharp Azteca (#7, 3-1) is the biggest threat among the many speed horses in this race. It will be tough for him to get a breather early with Jazzy Times and Awesome Banner on his heels, but if he is able to scoot away early, then he could certainly be tough to catch. His top efforts are good enough to win this Grade 1 and his last victory was his best yet.
Conquest Enforcer (#4, 7-2) is the most likely winner in the Pick 4 sequence. His only two loses this year have come against older foes and a fresh face in the weak Southern California turf division is always dangerous. They paid over $700,000 to buy this horse from Conquest Stables and Phil D'Amato feels this speedster could turn into another Obviously for him.
$0.50 Pick 4 Ticket: 3,4,5,12 / 2,3,8 / 2,4,7 / 4 = $18