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Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Wednesday, April 1 at Santa Anita
Today’s opener is a two-furlong baby dash and reportedly the quickest of the quick are #13 Swiss Love; #14 County Madam, and #12 Kitty in the Bag. The first two are on the also-eligible list and if they don’t draw in, ‘Bag will be forced to leave from the extreme outside post, certainly not a ideal spot for a first time starter. Proceed with caution.
The 2nd race should boil down to #2 Wood Art and #6 Welken. The former handled a softer field in convincing fashion last month and looks tough right back despite the one level raise. The latter is moving down in claiming value following a good runner-up try in a productive heat and certainly figures tough if she’s healthy. The fear is that the class drops could indicate potential problems and that Robbins is trying to lose her.
Trainer Jeff Mullins seems to have the 3rd race surrounded with #3 Sweetpea and #6 Lavender Touch, but both have placed in straight maiden company this meeting, so a drop into the claiming ranks might be viewed with a bit of suspicion. There’s no value with either one no matter what the case.
The favorites should prevail in the 4th race, a downhill turf dash for older maiden fillies and mares. #1a Stash flashed big speed in her debut before weakening; she should be fitter and tougher today for a barn whose second time starters usually improve a bunch. She’s coupled with #1 Supermodel (a second time starter) and both figures well today. #5 Patricia’s Gem has been away since October of 2007 but the works say ready and she showed she could run some as a 2-year-old. #7 Joyance closed with courage to be second in her recent comeback (her first on turf) and any kind of forward move today makes her very dangerous once again.
The 5th race doesn’t offer much value – the main contenders are pretty obviously – and you may have to go 3-deep in your rolling exotics to be assured of advancing in your late Pick-4. #5 North Fork shows up for $12,500 following a series of decent efforts vs. first level state bred allowance runners. Not exactly a healthy pattern, but he certainly can win. #6 Dadsalittleunusual just won at this level and isn’t being raised, not exactly a sign of confidence from Mitchell. But the veteran gelding is very strong in the speed figure department and you have to use him. #7 Parko comes off a win at the level (not much of a number, though) and hails from the Canani barn, so he, too, probably is worth using again.
The 6th race, a maiden claiming extended sprint, appears to have contention drawn outside, with both #7 Judge Kent and #8 Big Wave Rider looking like live items. Judge Kent has the closing style for this trip and switches to Bejarano, while Big Wave Rider flashed ability in his only start and gets an extra furlong to play with today for a trainer who is superb with second time starters.
The featured 7th race, a downhill turf sprint, marks the return of #6 Prussian, who makes his first start for Mitchell and his first since last summer at Saratoga. He’s been working very sharply and has shown the ability to fire fresh. He’s never sprinted in his career but we’ve got a feeling he’s going to love the course. #9 Quick Enough and #10 Railroad are the major threats and both have proven winning form down the hill.
The 8th race looks made to order for #10 Bettyboomboom and #11 Wild Apart and both are worth using in an exacta box and in all of your rolling exotics. Bettyboomboom shortens up and should be on or near the lead throughout. Wild Apart returns to the main track and a repeat of her race before last from a comfortable outside post makes her the one to fear most.