Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.. One of racing’s great traditions today as Santa Anita kicks off the Winter Season. On paper, it appears like the favorites are likely to prove out, but still some shots worth taking with the 14 horse Malibu figuring to be thrilling no matter who prevails..

4th: Lady of Shamrock, 3yo-F, 1m-T (P3, DD, Hi-5)

Ms Bad Behavior not only looks free to dictate terms up front, but she also gets services of Rosario who is as good as anybody under that scenario. Drysdale involved with mystery filly Love and Peace who didn’t reach Group company during her France-based 10 start career..

Most Likely: #3 Ms Bad Behavior 5-2 2nd
Next Best: #1 Amandine 2-1 WON ($5.60)
Best Value: #5 West Palm Beach 12-1 7th
Exotics Use: #8 Love and Peace 5-1 4th

5th: MSW, 2yo, 6.5f (Jackpot P6, P3, DD, Hi-5))

Tricky read on group of 2yo’s led by firsters from Baffert (Scalper), Miller (Jumpin Thru Hoops) and Baltas (ridgling One Bad Boy, a half to Ms Bad Behavior!). 2nd timers Ka’nah (Hansen) and Mo Mississippi (Eurton), both 6-1, look eligible. Shirreffs/Moss Pioneerof the Nile colt Nolde (30-1) also makes 2nd start and figures to improve..

Best Value: #1 One Bad Boy 6-1 3rd
Next Best: #9 Scalper 7-2 6th
Exotics Use: #6 Mo Mississippi 6-1 7th
Super Add: #4 Nolde 30-1 11th

6th: La Brea (G1), 3yo-F, 7f (P5, P3, DD, Hi-5)

Plenty of reasons to try and beat Dream Tree (8-5) who will likely be even money or less, but anything in line with Prioress romp beats these..

Most Likely: #5 Dream Tree 8-5 8th
Best Value: #9 Spiced Perfection 5-1 WON ($12.80)
Next Best: #1 Happy Like a Fool 4-1 4th
Exotics Use: #6 Heavenhasmynikki 15-1 5th

7th: Mathis Bros. Mile (G2), 3yo, 1m-T (P4, P3, DD, Hi-5)

River Boyne is supposed to win. Interesting player may be Shivermetimbers whose dam Sealaunch won a pair on the lawn. Sealaunch is also a half to Woodbine-based MSW Let It Ride Mom (Into Mischief)..

Most Likely: #5 River Boyne 8-5 WON ($2.80)
Next Best: #10 Shivermetimbers 8-1 6th
Best Value: #7 Desert Stone 12-1 2nd
Exotics Use: #4 Hardboot 30-1 7th

8th: San Antonio (G2), 3+, 8.5f (P3, DD, Hi-5)

Battle of Midway & Dabster put on a great show in the Native Diver and figure best again right back. But note that Air Strike is a late developing 3yo and Gift Box lures Rosario for his Hronis/Sadler debut..

Most Likely: #2 Battle of Midway 9-5 2nd
Next Best: #3 Dabster 5-2 3rd
Best Value: #8 Air Strike 12-1 6th
Exotics Use: #7 Gift Box 4-1 WON ($15.00)

9th: Malibu (G1), 3yo, 7f (DD, Hi-5)

Top pair from the PA Derby are the most accomplished players here and both start ’19 campaigns turning back to 7/8th’s off BC Classic disappointments. Addition of Johnny V assures forward placement for Axelrod who is right price key (10-1) as McCarthy looks to win this event for a 2nd year in a row using City of Light as a blueprint. Baffert empties the barn for this final G1 opp and though 5-1 is too low, Ax Man looks like the returnee (Nero, Solomini) with most upside having been gelded since summer stakes placements and appearing on edge in morning. Dorf’s multiple graded stakes winning Kanthaka is also priced a tad low (6-1), but he’s perfect in 3 tries at the trip, all over the deep SA strip (4/3-0-1 overall). Perfectly drawn for outside stalk and go trip with Prat..

Best Value: #6 Axelrod 10-1 5th
Next Best: #13 McKinzie 7-2 WON ($4.40)
Exotics Use: #9 Ax Man 5-1 11th
Super Add: #12 Kanthaka 6-1 8th

10th: ALW/N1X, 3+, 9f-T (Hi-5)

In an otherwise highly competitive group, Acker has already cleared condition having run for the claiming price last time..

Most Likely: #4 Acker 5-2 WON ($5.40)
Best Value: #1 Cupid’s Claws 10-1 6th
Next Best: #12 Avalanche 6-1 4th
Exotics Use: #7 Erotic 12-1 10th
Hi-5 Play: #3 Shaky Alibi 5-1 3rd

P5 Grid:

6: 5 (A), – (B), 9 (C)
7: 5-10 (A), – (B), 7 (C)
8: 2-3 (A), – (B), 6-7-8 (C)
9: 6-9-13 (A), – (B), 4-8-12 (C)
10: 1-4-12 (A), – (B), 3-5-7-8 (C)

Simple (A+B): 1x2x2x3x3 = $36 ($18 for .50)
All A’s: 1x1x2x3x3 = $18 ($9 for .50)

P4 Grid:

7: 5-10 (A), – (B), 7 (C)
8: 2-3 (A), 6-7-8 (B), 9 (C)
9: 6-9-13 (A), – (B), 4-8-12 (C)
10: 1-4-12 (A), 3-7 (B), 5-8 (C)

Simple (A+B): 2x5x3x5 = 150 x .50 = $75
All A’s: 2x2x3x3 = 36 x .50 = $18

$0.50 Pick-4 (1,5/7/13,15,16/4) Paid $60.75