09/12/2014 9:03AM

Bernier: Los Alamitos pick four play for Sunday, Sept. 14


Race 6
No. 4 He’s a Bling continues to make improvements on the Beyer Speed Figure scale with each start, and another forward move here for this Tom Proctor trainee and the rest of the runners are likely running for second honors.

No. 10 Day of Fury has gone off favored in each of his two career starts, both of which were going two turns at Santa Anita. On Sunday, he’ll sprint for the first time for trainer Bob Baffert, and the outside post should work to his advantage.

No. 5 Shaniel’s past two efforts have been poor, but I’m banking on the fact that he’s getting back to doing what he really wants to do – sprint on dirt.

No. 9  Mr. Itkins has made significant progress in all four of his starts as far as Beyer Speed Figures are concerned, and another large step forward makes him a serious player in this maiden special weight contest.

A: 4, 10
B: 5, 9

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Race 7
No. 4 Sacred Ovation figures to be on the lead throughout, and there’s no concern about this gelding’s ability to handle the surface at Los Alamitos. His last race was a smashing victory at this very same distance, making him a logical player and the horse to beat.

No. 3 Ore Pass will make his first start under the tutelage of trainer Phil D’Amato and if he can harken back to some of his prior form that he showed at Laurel Park, he’ll be tough to hold off down the lane.

A: 3, 4
B: None
C: 7

Race 8
No. 1 Wake Up Nick hasn’t done anything wrong in his brief career thus far – he’s 4 for 4 lifetime and has three stakes victories to his name. Distance could ultimately be a concern for this son of Cindago, so while I’m using him as an “A” I can’t have him be the only one in that category.

No. 2 Rowdy Dylan gives off the exact opposite impression that Wake Up Nick does – it would seem this son of Sky Mesa will relish the added distance he’ll get Sunday, and his smashing maiden score here July 12 leads one to believe he’s sitting on a big effort here.

No. 5 Zendai ran a very solid second in his debut at Del Mar on Aug. 3 and a move forward from that effort will make him a tough customer to deal with late in the running.

A: 1, 2
B: 5
C: 4

Race 9
It’s not as if I love No. 10 Mapping in the finale – it’s just that the majority of this field has been exposed as career maidens and I want a relatively fresh face here. Mapping fits the bill switching from turf to dirt and adding blinkers for his second career start.

The rest of the field is truly motley, but I’ll be using No. 4 Cotton Valley, No. 7 Awesome Rebound, and No. 9 Berlusconi in some fashion using DRF TicketMaker. Again, a rather difficult way to end any multi-race sequence.

A: 10
B: 4, 9
C: 7