Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Monday, Feb. 16

We’ll have no turf racing today with Southern California being drenched by heavy rains. Still, we have a good card for President’s Day with most of my better plays coming later in the program. The 4th race, which kicks off the Pick-6 (no carryover today), boils down to #1 Singita, #3 Malibu Artiste, and #8 Flash Dance. Singita represents inside speed and should be effective on the class drop while showing improving Beyer figures for Hendricks. She was almost four clear of the rest when runner up last time out and if she can establish a comfortable pace, she should stick around a long time. Malibu Artiste, with two sprints behind her, seems ready to stretch out for Aguirre and is dropping to a realistic level. She has the pedigree to improve going long and Sorenson knows her well. Flash Dance is another stretch-out play and removes blinkers, always one of my favorite angles. Becerra is excellent with the sprint-to-route maneuver and this daughter of Popular has the bloodlines to improve going long. The 5th race is an off-the-turfer and we’ll zero in on #5 Cat Brulay and #9 Temple City. Cat Brulay is another one of those blinkers-off plays and is stretching out for Vienna, who excels with runners trying a route of ground for the first time. Temple City, so impressive in his debut but a much troubled 4th at this level last time (he clipped heels and almost fell into the clubhouse turn), figures very tough with a clean journey today and probably is the one to beat. If you’d like to go a bit deeper, you may consider another horse stretching out, #2 Trumpet Player Jay, who earned a giant figure breaking his maiden sprinting recently, but did so against suspect company. High priced maiden claimers meet in the 6th race and we’ll use a pair, the debuting #6 Bradytomoss and #8 Dubai Rainbow. Bradytomoss is bred to be quick, has trained well enough to indicate he should be competitive in this league and hails from a barn that does very well with first time starters. On paper, he looks like the best of the newcomers, but he may have to beat Dubai Rainbow, who ran well to be second in a similar event in late December and has looked good in the morning since for Ellis. The San Vicente Stakes is an important 3-year-old prep race for Derby-aged colts and trainer Jeff Mullins is well represented with a pair of logical contenders, #3 Gato Go Win and #10 Leedstheway, both of whom are coming off fast, highly-rated wins in first level allowance affairs. The latter lands the comfortable outside post and showed the ability to stalk and win last time, so he’ll have every chance to continue his improving pattern today. Trip handicappers will love #9 Ventana, who encountered a brutal trip in the San Pedro Stakes and would have won for fun with any kind of racing luck. He seems ideal suited as a late-running sprinter and should have enough pace to set things up for his closing kick The off-the-turf Buena Vista ‘Cap goes as the 8th race, and the inside two mares, #1 Foxysox and #2 Jibboom would appear to hold a distinct class edge. Both are effective on any surface and both should fire their best shots today. They’re hard to separate so we’ll use them both. The nightcap is a bottom rung maiden claimer and we’ll use #2 Drama Cat, #5 Joint Agreement and #6 Classic Demand is all of our exotics. Drama Cat is a route to sprint play with improving numbers for Gallagher and retains Gomez. Joint Agreement just missed at the level last month and figures tough with another forward move. Classic Demand returned off a long layoff to finish a second vs. similar for the hot Eurton barn and should be within range throughout.