We would have been better off spending Easter Sunday with family and friends than playing the ponies; the only winner was race No. 4 at Santa Anita when we hit the exacta that paid $38 for two bucks.
Going one mile on the grass, Barry Abrams sends out one of his Unusual Heat’s with No. 2, Guts, who last ran in the Cal Cup Juvenile but is now back on the grass after a five-month layoff. Nakatani gets back on and he just missed with him by less then two lengths on this course last October going a mile. The other contender in here is No. 8, Rate of Exchange, a second time turfer, who, if able to move forward off his last, could find the winner’s circle. Selections: 2-8
I made this a three-horse race with No. 4, Urbina, who is dropping in class and moving back to the dirt and getting the red-hot Gomez up for O’Neill. No. 6, One Only, is dropped back to an action spot and should rebound. No. 7, Warrens Flyin High, ran behind the No. 6 one race back. Selections: 4-6-7
First time starter No. 1, Essence of Charm, looks live and his trainer has won with 31 percent of his first timers. No. 5, Coquihalla, is on the improve and has a ton of speed; if she’s able to get loose she could be gone. No. 7, Silent Kitten, was last seen in November at Churchill Downs and Mike Smith rides for Sadler. Selections: 1-5-7
I will take a shot with just two in this race for the pick six and the early pick four. No. 6, Gulchic, appears to be sitting on a big race and the switch to Gomez could be the answer. No. 8, Lake Marina, is the other Abrams in here and the hot Sutherland is in the irons and has won with this mare on Feb 28. She will set all the fractions and if left alone on the front end, this race could be over before they know what happened. Selections: 6-8
This is the start of the late Pick 4, which I will be playing since I have a single in race 8. In here, I like five horses and will box all five in a dime super but will only use two in the Pick 4. The dime superfecta will include Nos. 1-3-4-8-10. In the Pick 4, I will use No. 8, Byrnes, who seems to be on a good pattern in this, his third race off the layoff – usually a horses best. No. 10, Heavens Snow Chief, will get a perfect trip from Rosario out of the this post, probably sitting off the early speed. Selections 8-10 in the Pick 4 (and 1-3-4-8-10 in the dime super).
I actually needed a dart board for this race but will use No. 3, Specalist Morgan J, who gets his claiming price shaved in half by trainer Mike Mitchell, who is not afraid to drop and win. No. 9, Forest Danz, is another dropper but retains Gomez and drops into an action spot and will get a great trip from this post. Selections: 3-9
I like five horses in this race so we will play another dime super and use three in the Pick 4. There are three horses out of the same highly rated race and they may turn the tables on each other today. No. 3, Devils Afleet, who ran third, No. 4, Belafonte, who finished second and No. 7, D Double You, who won but did run in the Baldwin since and finished third in that one. I find it interesting that he is in for an $80k tag today. The danger will be No. 9, Enactment, a Carla Gaines import and No. 10, Professor’s Turf, a first-time turfer out of the Pletcher barn. Tyler Baze rode the No. 3 last time but has opted for the No. 9 today. We’ll use 3-4-7-9-10 in a dime super box ($12) and Nos. 9-10 in the Pick 4 as, those two horses are 12-1 and 6-1 in the morning line and could set off a big Pick 4.
It’s singling time as No. 5, Bettin and Sweatin, appears to be perfectly placed in this starter allowance. One interesting horse is the No. 3, Whistled, who was sold as yearling for $1 million, but showed up in his first start as a 4 yo running for a $30k claiming price at Turf Paradise on the grass and won at even money. Let’s single No. 5 in this spot.
The card looks very chalky once again, but if you get bored here are some candidates for doubles and picks.
Race 2: 2-3
Race 3: Single No. 6
Race 4: 2-6
Race 5: Use 1-3-4 and single No. 4, Sportsbookjunkee, who is moving way up in class off his $12,500 maiden breaker – top trainer Miyadi must have liked what he saw.
Race 6: Use the quintet of 1-3-4-8-9 in the pick bets, as well as a dime super box. Also, make a small win bet on No. 3, Sacred Senor (20-1), who is being stretched out by the dangerous Delia as jockey Beato will try and take him wire to wire.
Race 7: We have a quartet this time, 1-3-5-8, to use in another dime super box; you can also use the group in the pick bets.
Race 8: Single No. 5, Halle B, in this spot; she is a beautiful girl and will win on the drop off the layoff, or she’ll be nowhere to be found (that’s the way with beautiful girls).
Remember, always check for late scratches and changes.