March 2011

Let's focus on the inside three runners in this extended sprint for $40,000 claiming 3-year-old fillies. Emily Pearl returns to dirt, adds blinkers for the first time, switches to Espinoza and fits on speed figures. She likes to settle and make a late run and that style should be very productive at seven furlongs. Brown is Beige, fourth in the same race that favored Bella Palooza exits earlier this month, is lightly-raced and likely a bit better than shown. She switches to Gomez and when - and if - she ever gets out of the gate cleanly she might leave her previous form behind. Her numbers are going in the right direction. Bella Palooza missed when odds-on recently but ran well enough in defeat (highly rated race) to warrant respect again today. She probably doesn't offer too much value at 7/5 or less but you have to use her. We'll include all three in an exacta or trifecta box and each should be used in whatever rolling exotic you might be playing.

Sarasota Sunshine is back sprinting where she belongs and should adore this downhill turf course. Arguably most effective as a late running sprinter, the Mitchell-trained mare adds the hood, retains Talamo, and looks well worth using in your exotics. Her race before last on the main tack makes her a solid fit with these. Linda Lou is making her third start off a layoff and should be primed for her best effort. She was overmatched against Unzip Me in the Clocker's Corner Stakes last time out but isn't today and Garcia should have her in an ideal pace prompting position throughout. Gumption, first off the claim for Craig Lewis, switches to P. Val, tries turf (bred for it), shortens up in trip and boasts a pair of very sharp recent workouts. Look for her to be storming home. We'll use all three in an exacta or trifecta box and all three should be used in your rolling exotics as well.

Sassou primarly has been a turf and synthetic specialist throughout his career but he does show a win on dirt - way back in September of 2007 at Fairplex Park - so this switch from grass to the main track due to the overnight rains shouldn't be an issue. The Ted West-trained gelding makes his first start since being claimed for $50,000 in late January and has trained in sharp style in the interim, so we'll expect another huge run from this genuine and consistent sprinter. Let's make him a rolling exotic single to kick off proceedings in a difficult and challenging Pick-6 scheme.

Espirito Santo takes a significant class drop - from open $25,000 to restricted $12,500 - and looks like the controlling speed in this abbreviated dash. A recent sharp gate work should have him right on edge, and Kerwin John, who has won with him in the past, remains aboard. Let's put this lightly raced colt on top at 6-1 on the morning line, but also use B's Lucky Strike, apparently most effective as a late-running sprinter and exiting a fast heat, and Ribald, comfortably drawn outside and dropping for the money run. All three are worth using in your rolling exotics and in an exacta or trifecta box as well.

Tokubetsu is listed as the 3/5 favorite on the morning line and deservedly so following a sharp runner up effort to Runflatout in a blistering sprint in late January. The 91 Beyer figure earned by the son of Congaree would win nine out of 10 maiden special weight sprints on this circuit, so this Baffert-trained colt will be hard to beat. However, Dominus (5/2 on the morning line) might be something special. Best when beaten after a poor start in his only outing last summer at Belmont Park, the son of Smart Strike returns for Asmussen following a string of highly impressive workouts and looks fit and ready to justify the favorable impression he made as a 2-year-old. Clearly, these two should dominate but based on price we'll place Dominus on top and try him in the straight pools and in our rolling exotics as well.

Honor the Deputy exits the powerful Santana Mile (won by Misremembered with a huge speed figure) and seems ready to tackle this marathon trip while catching a considerably softer field. If he can get the mile and one-half - and we're gambling that he can - the Hollendorfer-trained gelding should be along in time. He's won half of his six career starts and has plenty of room for further improvement. Soul Candy, a closing fourth in the roughly run Big 'Cap, is another trying softer foes today and is strictly the one to beat. He should stay the 12 furlong distance and seems like a logical exacta partner with the preferred Honor the Deputy.

Maiden claiming 3-year-old fillies travel a mile in this modest affair and both Toscanova and Zees Chris look like very live items. We'll use them both in an exacta box and in all of our rolling exotics. Toscanova has improving numbers, a good inside draw, a bullet blowout at San Luis Rey Downs and a very nice pedigree for a maiden claimer. if she continues to move forward with experience, she can act with these. Preference, though, goes to Zees Chris, a stretch-out play with solid back numbers. She should be able to handle the extra ground and figures to enjoy an ideal pace prompting trip.

The nitecap offers a good exacta or trifecta box opportunity using three fairly decent California-bred maidens. Liberal Arts was well meant in his recent comeback but came up short in the final furlong while likely needing the race. The son of Tribal Rule didn't get the best of runs while racing in tight quarters along the rail down the backstretch but retains P. Val, has worked nicely in the interim, and should be fitter and tougher today for a trainer who excels with second-off-layoff runners. What a Rush is a fast-working comebacker in the Avila barn who seems much better than his lone start last summer at Del Mar would give him credit for. A series of impressive recent workouts should have him spot on. Nuclear Missile also has shown flashes of talent in morning drills, and this first timer from the Dominguez barn could easily outrun his morning line (8-1) odds. He's worth tossing in the exotics. Additionally, all three should be included in your Pick-3s, Pick-4 and Pick-6 plays.

This race has been switched to the main track but the change in surface shouldn't bother One Bad Romance. The daughter of Broke Vow has the pedigree to enjoy two turns and gets her first chance over a distance of ground following three sprint tighteners earlier this meeting. She'll enjoy a soft ground-saving trip from the rail and could find herself on the front end in a fieild without much early speed (or late speed, for the matter). Looks like a short priced rolling exotic single for the always effective Mitchell-Garcia team.

ANNIE LOU is the best of the known element and if she can avoid trouble from the rail she should be in the thick of things throughout. However, low profile connections and the two month layoff give major cause for concern, especially in a field with two first timers that look live in a soft spot. Pet Me Pet Me finally makes her debut at age 4 for Cerin, but she's worked well enough to be considered a major player in a bottom rung maiden claimer and with P. Val aboard she's likely to show competitive speed. At 7/2 on the morning line, she's a "must use" in the exotics. Bayona, a $130,000 yearling buy, surfaces in a Maiden $20,000 claimer for her first outing, so who knows what kind of shape she's in. The works, though, indicate she has plenty of ability and it's more than likely that she's strictly the one to beat. Let's use all three in an exacta or trifecta box and we'll use all three in our rolling exotics as well.

This daughter of Bertrando had a rough trip in her debut and seems sure to improve with that effort behind her. She'll likely show more early speed today while stretching out for a trainer whose second time starters often improve. There's not much depth in this state bred maiden affair so let's try a filly who is fast enough on numbers already and likely has more upside than her rivals.

Fine and Rare missed as the favorite recently but switches to Pedroza, shortens up a half furlong and probably deserves another chance. He might appreciate a pace stalking trip similar to the one he had two races back in which earned his best figure. Aqua Fever is fastest on numbers based on his race before last, exits a better race and probably is the one to beat. Depth seems sure to improve following a troubled debut for Sadler and continues to train like he's got enough talent to act at this level. All three should be used in your rolling exotics and in an exacta or trifecta box.

The Asmussen maidens have been firing lights out lately and here's another very nice prospect who appears ready to win. Well-backed (7/2) in a hot Saratoga maiden race in his only outing last summer (in a race won by Stay Thirsty), Brock returns in a middle distance affair following a string of very impressive workouts. Bejarano takes the mount, and the son of Distorted Humor looks very live in a small field at 7/2 on the morning line. Let's take him in the straight pool and as a rolling exotic single.

We'll use these three in an exacta or trifecta box and in rolling exotics such as the Pick-3 and Pick-6. Irrefutable returns to a sprint after failing to stay a mile last time out and should regain his best form in this elongated sprint. The Baffert-trained colt continues to sizzle in the morning and Smith knows him well. His unbeaten stablemate, Capital Account, earned a pair of big figures in two sharp scores last summer and sports a solid foundation of strong workouts for his comeback. He'll be hard to beat if he returns as well as he left. Sanger Silver ran very well over the all weather surface at Golden Gate recently and should fit nicely down here. He's a late running sprinter in a field with plenty of zip, so at 12-1 on the morning line he's a "must use" in the exotics.

Logical Single appears to offer real value at her 15-1 morning line odds. She's a Bay Area shipper with competitive speed figures over the Golden Gate Tapeta surface and her only grass race up north was good. She has a nice stalking style for this downhill layout and has been first or second in nine of 10 career starts. Saaneen is a vastly improved ex-claimer who genuinely loves the local lawn. She seeks her third straight score and figures to benefit from an ideal second flight trip once again. La Nez might be considered the class of the field and should enjoy this turn back in trip. A stakes winner sprinting on turf at Hollywood Park last fall, the Kruljac-trained filly catches a favorable pace scenario from her good outside post, continues to look sharp in the morning, and might be the one to beat at 9/2 on the morning line. We'll make her out top selection but we'll use all three in an exacta or trifecta box and all three in our rolling exotics.

Maclean's Music is another highly touted smoker from the Steve Asmussen barn and appears set to graduate at first asking. The son of Distorted Humor has done everything right in the morning and looks the part of a potential stakes type. The barn's had a good meeting so far, and this colt trains like he might be the best of the lot. We'd like to get close to his 5/2 morning line odds, but we're not holding our breath.

SEVENTH RACE - #2 TEN DEVILS x #4 DRINK AT BUSTER'S x #8 AKKADIAN Ten Devils returns to turf after failing to act on the main track in the Lewis Stakes, and if repeats the quality of his sharp runner up try in a similar first level allowance race two runs back the Mandella-trained colt should at least hit the board today. Talamo knows him well and should have the son of Rock Hard Ten rolling late. Drink At Buster's stretches out and tries turf for the first time and if his improvement continues the Jones-trained colt could prove an elusive target. He's a solid fit on speed figures and with Kris S. on the bottom side of the pedigree he should be able to handle the lawn. The one to beat, tough, is the Canani-trained Akkadian, who was visually very impressive breaking his maiden recently and has come back to train in sharp style since that race. He's backing up a furlong in trip today and will have to improve a bit in the speed figure department but we think he'll be up to the task. Let's plut Akkadian on top but use all three in our rolling exotics and all three in an exacta or trifecta box as well. EIGHTH RACE - #6 ANSWER TO ABBY x #8 ISTHMUS x #10 TRASTEVERE This is a fairly competitive maiden claiming race and we'll go three deep in our rolling exotics and use these three in exacta or trifecta boxes. Answer to Abby has an improving pattern and the right style for this extended sprint trip. The barn doesn't win many but the addition of blinkers should help and Talamo stays aboard. Isthmus is another adding the hood for the first time while returning from Golden Gate Fields and seems certain to improve in his first start for a tag. The presence of Bejarano is another plus. Trastevere is an intriguing first time starter with good enough works to be effective in this league. He's drawn well outside and should have every chance to make a late run.
This is a modest maiden claiming sprint for California-breds and we'll use the best of the known element and the best of the new faces. Magic Spirit is improving with racing for good trainer Kathy Walsh, makes a favorable rider switch to Marty Garcia and should be doing his best work in the final furlong. Stranger danger comes in the form of Caffeine High, a debut runner from the Bruce Headley barn. He's trained fast (they all do from this stable) but has received favorable reviews from the private clockers and really won't have to be a world beater to beat this crew. As a four-year-old maiden with a history of problems, the son of Purge looks realistically spotted for a top effort first crack out of the box. Let's use them both in an exacta box and both in all of our rolling exotics.

Chocolate Caliente has trained like she's fit and ready for a stable that wins with a very high percentage of debut runners and this daughter of Marino Marini catches a rather modest group of maiden claiming 3-year-old fillies for her initial outing. With Rosario taking the mount she looks like the right one at anything close to her 7/2 morning line odds. Black Wildcat is another first timer - she's from the Canani stable - and this homebred daughter of Forest Wildcat has flashed enough speed in her a.m. drills to indicate she can be dangerous as well. Both should be used in your rolling exotics and an exacta box as well.