Santa Anita News
Jeff Siegels Prime Picks for Monday, Jan. 19
We have another Pick-6 carryover to aim for today – there’s $141,431 in the pool – and it won’t be easy because there doesn’t appear to be a slam dunk single in the six race scheme. Another carryover isn’t out of the question, but if you’re thinking about diving in, we hope the following analysis is of some use to you. The 4th race is a bottom rung maiden claimer at seven furlongs and looks wide open. We’ll consider three horses (if you can afford to use more, be my guest) and hope for the best. #3 Upjumpdaboogieman was beaten an eighth of a mile in his only start almost two years ago but returns for clever trainer Peter Miller and seems to be working like he’s got some talent down at San Luis Rey Downs. He gets blinkers and Rosario and seems certain to shown big improvement. How much? Who knows, but we’ll consider him “stranger danger” and toss him in. #10 Six Pack Man came off a six month layoff to run a respectable fifth here opening day in a similar spot and if he moves forward at all, he’ll be right there. A pair of bullet works at Hollywood Park since that race indicates he’s ready for his best. #11 Captain Charisma exits a fairly tough race for the level at Hollywood Park and is another likely to take a step forward today in just his fourth career outing. He switches to Potts, lands a comfortable outside post and should be prominent throughout. We’ll double the 5th race, using the two colts coming out of stakes races. #5 Hype was an okay third in the Generous Stakes and an overmatched eighth in the Cash Call Futurity but returns to reality today in this first level allowance affair and is reunited with Gomez, who won on him three races back in what was a fairly impressive maiden score. A recent :59 2/5 workout should have him right on edge for Pletcher. #7 Miguel’s Mascot was a respectable third in the Logan Stakes late last month and we liked his come-from-behind score at this level at Hollywood Park two runs back and both efforts make him a fit in this league. We’re on the fence regarding #2 Smart Bid, who comes off a facile score at Philadelphia Park and could fire fresh off the plane from Fair Hill training center in Maryland. He gets Bejarano and has every reason to like the turf. Toss him in if you can afford to. We’ll use three sharp runners in the 6th and hope to get by. #2 Masterly has never had any success at this distance but he’s racing in good form for Vienna and a repeat of his nice Hollywood Park score last month makes him a bold threat right back. #3 Scandalous bids for his third straight win, with Mike Smith taking over for the injured Martin Pedroza. He should be on or near the lead throughout. #10 Held Up moves up two notches in class for the normally conservative Ted West, so we’ll assume this veteran gelding is really doing well. He just won at this distance against $20,000 company at Hollywood Park and a similar effort today makes him a strong threat right back. The San Pedro Stakes goes as the 7th race and we’ll double it using #3 Flashmans Papers and #4 Arashi Cat. Although Flashmans Papers would seem to prefer the turf, he continues to train very well over the Pro Ride and obviously trainer Doug O’Neill believes he can handle the surface switch. Arashi Cat has steadily improving speed figures and the proper style for this extended sprint trip. The Mullins-trained colt should be firing late. The 8th race, the San Marcos Handicap, should be renamed the Neil Drysdale Invitational. Three of the main contenders comes from the Drysdale stable, the best of which may very well be #3 Marsh Side, who when last seen was winning the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine in early October. He’s trained like he’s ready to roll and could use this race as a springboard to Dubai. With Javiar Castellano flying out to ride him, Marsh Side looks extremely live and well meant. #6 Artiste Royal had no chance to run in Hong Kong, having been blocked badly when trying to rally in the lane, so his disappointing 11th place finish last month can be excused. This is a quick turnaround but we doubt he’d be starting if he wasn’t doing well. Drysdale’s third starter is #7 Obrigado, who will be seeking his first win in nearly two years. He’s always been a bit too one paced for our liking, so we’re going to try to survive this race without him. The 9th race is a competitive maiden claimer for 3-year-olds and also represents an attractive exacta or trifecta play using #3 Renzo Sean, #6 Rise Above, and #12 Hurley’s Way. Renzo Sean raced in some traffic last month when a close 5th against a slightly tougher field and in this, his third career start, the Ron Ellis-trained gelding should make another forward move. He’s a solid contender at 4-1 on the morning line. #6 Rise Above exits a tougher straight maiden state bred affair and should fit nicely at this level. He’s most effective when held up early and allowed to run late and given that kind of ride today he’ll be dangerous. Hurley’s Way is another class dropper with a big look today, especially from a good outside draw. He’s got the route to sprint angle working for him and a good recent work to indicate he’s set for a big try for Baffert. Finally, our ShowVivor selection today is: Trumpet Player Jay (1st race).