Sunday Free Horse Racing Picks: Santa Anita Late Pick Four

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Sunday Free Horse Racing Picks: Santa Anita Late Pick Four

Matt Bernier's Racing Picks

Matt Bernier's Racing Picks

January 10, 2021

Free Horse Racing Picks at Santa Anita - Sunday January 10

Andrew Champagne previews the late pick four at Santa Anita on Sunday.

Sunday’s action takes me to Santa Anita, and the late Pick Four sequence is headlined by the Kalookan Queen Stakes for older fillies and mares. It starts in the sixth of nine races on the Sunday program, and I’ll be attacking it with a $28 ticket. Here’s how I see the sequence!

RACE #6: Handicapping this race gave me a headache. It’s a claiming event for older sprinters that drew a seven-horse field, and while #5 CAPTAIN SCOTTY hit me as a logical favorite, it’s not like he’s a cinch. He had a picture-perfect trip in his last start over this surface against a weaker group, but was reeled in after spurting clear in the stretch.

If Captain Scotty doesn’t win, I don’t know who does. Because I’m pretty thin in the next few legs, I’m hitting the “ALL” button here. It doesn’t cripple me to do this given the not-humongous field size, and if Captain Scotty gets reeled in, a lot of tickets will go up in smoke.

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RACE #7: My biggest stance of the sequence comes in the second leg. We’ll head to the turf for this one, and nine older distaffers will go a mile.

It sure seems like there’s a ton of early speed signed on, and with that in mind, I’m going to rely on #9 LAKERBALL to come rolling late. She hasn’t won in a while, and usually that’s a red flag for me, but she’s spent most of her career running against far tougher opposition than what she’ll face here. She was up against it last time out when rating well behind a slow pace, and between the trainer change to Peter Miller, the jockey change to Joel Rosario, and the addition of blinkers, I think she’s got every reason to move forward.

The faster they go early, the better Lakerball’s chances figure to be. I think they’ll fly early, and if they do that, that plays right into her hands. This 4-1 shot is a single for me, and given that she almost certainly won’t be favored, I think she provides a significant source of value at her likely price.

RACE #8: The Kalookan Queen may be short on quantity, with just a six-horse field, but it drew several talented horses. I’m going two-deep, and my selections were last seen running 2-3 in a Grade 3 race several months ago.

#3 QAHIRA and #1 AMUSE will probably take most of the money, and for good reason. The former is a Bob Baffert trainee that’s shown plenty of talent and versatility in four victories, while the latter placed in three graded stakes races a season ago and has been working very well ahead of her return to the races.

RACE #9: We finish with a handicapping puzzle, as 11 3-year-old fillies will go six furlongs on the turf in the Sunday finale. The likely favorite ships in from New York, and she makes sense, but she hits me as far from a cinch.

#11 MISS DRACARYS rallied from sixth to break her maiden at first asking last month. This is notable because trainer Neil Drysdale’s first-time starters often need a race or two to get going. She earned a strong 83 Beyer Speed figure that day, and while I’m unsure what she beat in that race, a big step forward seems far from inconceivable.

#2 MISS COSTA RICA, #4 MAGICAL THOUGHT, and #6 PLUM SEXY are on my ticket as well. I’m most intrigued by Plum Sexy, who was very impressive winning her debut sprinting on turf in October and showed speed before fading in the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante at Del Mar. That was probably too far for her, and cutting back to one turn should help her.



R7: 9

R8: 1,3

R9: 2,4,6,11

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