Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Wednesday, Jan. 14

Nothing of value in the 1st race, with #4 Uncle Jeep listed at 4/5 on the morning line. He should win – he has nothing to beat, really – but the Mike Mitchell-trained gelding already has failed as the choice in three straight races, so do you trust him? In the 2nd race, #2 Major Rock Star exits a fast, highly-rated sprint (won by Trainspotting) and if he can project his sprint form around two turns, he’ll be tough to beat. I like him better than the proven router #4 Race Caller Luke, who is listed as the morning line 8/5 choice. It’s possible that Major Rock Star, sharp as he is, might be just a late-running sprinter, but the pedigree suggests he’ll stay and that’s the position we’re taking. Both #2 Everlasting Beauty and #6 Precious Union are coming off strong turf sprint efforts and both should continue their improving patterns in the 3rd race. The former was worn down late when second in a similar downhill grass dash last week and is being wheeled back quickly by Mitchell. I prefer the better rested Precious Union, who was convincing in victory across town in early December and has worked steadily since. She’ll be blasting home in the final furlong. In the 4th race, #6 Timias seeks his third straight win and his recent speed figures indicate he should be a short price to keep his streak going. The caution is he’s not being raised in class and hasn’t been out since late November, but trainer John Sadler sends them fit and the Barber brothers run them where they can win. I liked #6 My Maloof Rocker’s win late last month and she should be tough again despite the slight raise in class. She’s coming back a tad quickly (16 days) but she has a history of stringing good ones back to back. #7 Paloma’s Flight doesn’t usually get there but seems like a logical exacta partner with the Carava filly. #4 Secret Potion ran a bit better than the line will show in her debut up north and looks like a very live shipper in the 6th race, a modest bottom rung maiden claimer for older fillies and mares. Third time starter #8 Natpolean seems like the best of the locals but the Bay Area filly would appear have more upside. In the 7th race, #2 Moonshine Alice had a right to need her California debut when she was worn down late at Hollywood Park in a similar turf sprint. She’ll be fitter and tougher today for Frankel and should have the lead to herself. #7 Royal Taat didn’t get a clear trip in the Monrovia yet wasn’t beaten badly. With clear sailing today, she’ll be hard to contain in the final furlong. The 8th race doesn’t appear to offer much value. Both #1 J B Wine and #3 Mickey Rocks have a solid race over the track opening day and both figure in the fray throughout. #10 One Vote continues to disappoint but he trains like he’s got some talent and maybe he’s just been waiting to run long. Finally, he gets his chance.