Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas. ‘Boxing Day’ once again brings forth one of racing’s most anticipated openings, as Santa Anita kicks off the 2017 Winter Meet..

If you haven’t already, send your sleeping pet photo or betting story to Hammer at [email protected]. Today is the last ‘post mark’ opportunity..



1st: OC/S-ALW, 2yo-F, 6.5f (P5, P3, DD)

Many here have toiled under this condition making Rcatcanscat a seemingly worthy favorite after being DQ’d in second start and then keeping diploma when raised in class by Hendricks. A number of turnbacks signed on, 5 of the 9 in fact, so pace may be quicker than it looks at first glance..

Most Likely: #3 Rcatcanscat 7-2 5th
Next Best: #8 Rally Back 7-2 3rd
Best Value: #6 Cioppino Pasadino 6-1 WON ($11.60)
Exotics Use: #4 Perfect Cocktail 5-2 4th

2nd: Cal-MCLM/$50k, 2yo, 6f (P4, P3, DD)

Tricky group featuring first time starters, droppers from MSW company, turf/dirt and cutback movers..

Most Likely: #2 Sawbuck 3-1 2nd
Best Value: #4 He’s All That 8-1 3rd
Next Best: #6 Classic Ruler 3-1 WON ($11.00)
Exotics Use: #7 Burnt Cognac 5-2 4th

3rd: MSW, 2yo, 7f (P3, DD)

As discussed on ATR, first important MDN group of the meet with Baffert seemingly bringing howitzers to a gun fight. First Degree Burn already got run at this trip downstate and looks to be moving forward out of it. Third that day behind stablemate Beach Bum and next out winner Royal Mo, $170k LaPenta purchase draws well for stalk and go journey. $1,000,000 Dabster and $600k Bronze Age the other Baffert options, while O’Neill’s So Conflated (5-1) and Drysdale’s Awesome Heights (20-1) are 2nd timers that provide upside/value..

Most Likely: #10 First Degree Burn 4-1 9th
Next Best: #2 So Conflated 5-1 WON ($14.80)-Up Via DQ
Best Value: #11 Eleuthros 8-1 5th
Exotics Use: #9 Dabster 7-2 4th-DQ’d from WIN

4th: OC/N1X, 3+, 9f-T (P6, P3, DD)

Prime Attraction SCR’D broke maiden on stretchout to 1m and now adds another panel while going first turf. Family drips with class with dam a half to Vindication/full to Scipion, while offering no shortage of lawn charms; lightly-raced soph a prime key play v. neutral-stuck nondescript group..

Most Likely: #2 Champagne Charley 9-2 5th
Best Value: #10 Dynamic Scoring 12-1 6th
Next Best: #3 Buster Douglas 5-1 9th
Exotics Use: #1 Rye Patch 5-1 4th

5th: MSW, 2yo-F, 5.5f (P3, DD)

Baby girls this time and hard to arguer with obvious run-early offerings from Baffert, Sadler/SCR’D, Miller & Dorf..

Most Likely: #5 Beautiful Princess 7-2 8th
Best Value: #9 Ruby Trust 6-1 WON ($15.80)
Next Best: #8 Princess Julia 5-1 2nd
Exotics Use: #10 Moon Kitty 4-1 3rd

P5 Grid:

1: 3-8 (A), – (B), 4-6 (C)
2: 2-4-6 (A), 1-7 (B), – (C)
3: 10 (A), – (B), 2-6-9-11 (C)
4: 2-10 (A), 1-3 (B), – (C)
5: 5-9 (A), 8-10 (B), – (C)

Simple (A+B): 2x5x1x4x4 = 160 x .50 = $80
All A’s: 2x3x1x2x2 = 24 x .50 = $12

P4 Grid:

2: 2-4-6 (A), 1-7 (B), – (C)
3: 10 (A), – (B), 2-6-9-11 (C)
4: 1-2-3-10 (A), – (B), – (C)
5: 5-9 (A), 8-10 (B), – (C)

Simple (A+B): 5x1x4x4 = 80 x .50 = $40
All A’s: 3x1x4x2 = $24 ($12 for .50)

6th: 50th San Simeon (G3), 3+, 6.5f-T (P4, P3, DD)

Typically terrific downhill event with some specialists lined up including Eurton returnee Betty’s Bambino, 6/5-0-1 this course including this race when Daytona on Opening Day ’14..

Best Value: #11 Betty’s Bambino 6-1 WON ($15.80)
Next Best: #12 Holy Lute 9-2 11th
Exotics Use: #9 He Will 6-1 8th
Super Add: #5 Ohio 6-1 7th

7th: 44th La Brea (G1), 3yo-F, 7f (P3, DD)

As with the Malibu, this edition a bit of a curiosity with group featuring but 1 graded stake win (Lightstream’s Raven Run). Lynch miss certainly the class of the field and owns positive style for set that looks speed-laden. That said, Finley’sluckycharm comes in hot for Calhoun while Constellation may be coming around for Roth’s LNJ Foxwoods in barn of Hollendorfer. Perfect Pic will float up from 6-1 ML and has upside stalking from outside for Cassidy..

Most Likely: #2 Lightstream 2-1 5th
Best Value: #4 Constellation 6-1 WON ($27.00)
Next Best: #3 Finley’sluckycharm 5-1 2nd
Exotics Use: #8 Perfect Pic 6-1 6th

8th: 65th Malibu (G1), 3yo, 7f (DD)

SCR of Navy Hymm a huge issue for those looking to close (Mind Your Biscuits, Mor Spirit) in to the pace, as Sharp Azteca could get away easy early. Ten Blessings looks like the Baffert who has the best chance to run down the Navarro colt from just in behind, especially if stablemate Jazzy Times engages the leader..

Most Likely: #4 Ten Blessings 3-1 3rd
Next Best: #2 Mind Your Biscuits 5-2 WON ($9.40)
Best Value: #8 Mor Spirit 6-1 4th
Exotics Use: #7 Sharp Azteca 3-1 2nd

9th: 17th Mathis Bros. Mile (G2), 3yo, 1m-T (Hi-5)

Sure looks like there are enough pace-interested parties involved here to guarantee an opportunity for all styles to get in a run. Wet weather led up to opening day, so turf should be absolutely perfect and late run from Blackout under course-familiar Leparoux can pass them all at bonus tote..

Best Value: #9 Blackout 12-1 7th
Next Best: #4 Conquest Enforcer 7-2 WON ($5.60)
Exotics Use: #6 Isotherm 6-1 4th
Super Add: #8 Frank Conversation 4-1 6th
Hi-5 Play: #2 Blackjackcat 4-1 5th

All Stakes P4 Grid:

6: 11-12 (A), 5-9 (B), 6-7 (C)
7: 2-3-4 (A), – (B), 7-8 (C)
8: 2-4 (A), 7-8 (B), 5-6-9 (C)
9: 4-9 (A), 6 (B), 1-2-3-8 (C)

Simple (A+B): 4x3x4x3 = 144 x .50 = $72
All A’s: 2x3x2x2 = $24 ($12 for .50)

$1 Pick-4 (11/4/2/4,5) Paid $1,513.20 ($756.60 for .50)