04/08/2016 12:13PM

Hammersly: Santa Anita pick four play for Saturday, April 9


Handicapping the huge, inscrutable fields in the late pick four on Santa Anita Derby Day Saturday may make your head spi,n but the very nature of such fields also means an opportunity for paydirt. Also, a couple key horses can help you spread in other races, searching for that price.

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Race 9
WHAT A VIEW (#12) has turned into a top-class miler, and he comes here off three straight romping wins. He’s a solid "A," though he got by far the worst of the draw. With his speed, however, he might still be able to clear early and avoid getting hung out to dry. TWENTYTWENTYVISION (#7) has done nothing wrong and showed talent when second in the Grade 1 Eddie Read at Del Mar last summer. He hasn’t run since winning there last Aug. 22 but has worked splendidly for this. FINNEGANS WAKE (#9) is top-class when on his game. He hasn’t run in almost nine months but is another who’s worked strongly for his return. SI SAGE (#3) looked like a new horse with blinkers when he won the Grade 3 Last Tycoon here almost a year ago. He hasn’t been seen since but he, too, has worked smartly for this. TEXAS RED (#8) is top-class on dirt. He makes his first start in over seven months and his first start on turf, but he’s fired fresh before and is bred to relish the grass.

A’s) 12
B’s) 7, 9
C’s) 3, 8

Race 10
TOUGH BUT NICE (#6) continues his sharp form. He just missed going a mile here March 24 and moves to what may be a better game for him, sprinting. DEMONSLAYER (#1) came home smartly to beat maidens at this trip here Dec. 27, and the horse he beat back into second came right back to win. He then tried routing, a stakes and facing winners for the first time and it was too much. He’s been off and returns to sprinting, both of which may get him back on track. XINGONTOTHEBONE (#9) dueled and stayed on gamely to be second to a highly promising Baffert runner routing here Feb. 28. He doesn’t face anyone like that here, plus the return to sprinting may be just what the doctor ordered. He worked well at Los Alamitos April 2. GLORY BOUND (#4) continues his good form and he’s got the speed to be in it from the bell.

A’s) 1, 6
B’s) 4, 9
C’s) None

Race 11
BE A LADY (#5) was no factor in her debut at Los Alamitos Sept. 12, but has been dynamite since, winning four straight. She has speed and versatility and is a perfect 3 for 3 here. PACIFIC HEAT (#4) has shown flashes of brilliance. She comes off a fourth in a turf route stakes and returns to dirt and sprinting, things she’s handled very well before. A sharp work April 3 says she’s doing well.

A’s) 4, 5
B’s) None
C’s) None

Race 12
AMERICAN FREEDOM (#10) cost $500,00o and debuts for Bob Baffert with a load of strong works, looking as though he’s cranked and ready. He’s kin to multiple graded stakes winner Gottcha Gold. GIANT EXPECTATIONS (#4) moved forward nicely in start No. 2 here March 12, finishing second, earning a big Beyer (86), and finishing far clear of today's rival MUCHO CHROME (#11) in third. Mucho Chrome has been knocking on the door and may be ready to break through. BROWN’S BABY BOY (#8) finished with good energy to be second in his debut here March 18. He’s given an encouraging class hike.

A’s) 4, 10
B’s) 11
C’s) 8