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Jeff Siegel's Analysis for Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010
A strong and challenging 11 race program on Sunshine Millions Day begins with a $25,000 restricted claiming dash for fillies and mares, and both #3 Yodelady O and #7 Joint Agreement have credentials to win, but neither appear trustworthy. The former hasn't won since 2008 while the latter, comfortably placed outside and exiting a productive heat, is just 1-for-18 overall and simply doesn’t appear to have a winning punch. Let’s pass.
The second race finds #5 Tamarack Smarty listed at 2-1 on the morning line, and he could go lower. On pure form he’s a standout and a logical rolling exotic single, but there probably will be little value in the straight pool.
The Bruce Headley-trained #8 Fiery Trippi looks like the one to beat in the third race, a $16,000 middle distance claimer. Fiery Trippi beat a slightly softer field in pretty good fashion last month, has worked well since, and should drop over into an easy pace stalking position from his outside post. Mike Smith knows him like the back of his hand.
We’ll double the fourth race in our rolling exotics using #2 Canonize and #6 Position A. Canonize makes his first start since May but has been working a like he’s fit and ready for Ellis (superb with layoff runners) and this gelding showed a liking for the Pro Ride when graduating at first asking last year. Position A returns to the main track and has plenty of back numbers that could win.
The fifth race, a downhill turf dash for maidens, is fairly wide open and you might want to go a bit deeper than the three horses we’re going to use. #4 Kuro removes blinkers after finishing an okay fourth with a bit of trouble vs. similar earlier this month. His best effort puts him in the frame so we’ll use him at 6-1 on the morning line. #9 Crazy as a Fox ran better than the line will show in his debut vs. softer and if improves as expected (he’s another blinkers-off play) the Lisa Lewis-trained colt has a chance to spring an upset. He’s bred to like the turf, too. #12 Mister Do It, in the money in his last three with improving numbers, might be most effective if held up and allowed to run late. Given that kind of trip, the Hendricks-trained colt could be the most dangerous of the closers.
The sixth race kicks off the carryover Pick-6 with a difficult and contentious Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint. The speed of the speed is #3 Miss McCall, who gets her stiffest test yet after reeling off three straight wins against out classed rivals in very impression style. The Mitchell-trained filly earned a giant number when winning a small stakes in Phoenix recently and was never asked for run at any stage. We’ll put her on top and hope that she can shake loose early and keep on going. If not, price chance (12-1) #5 Rate of Exchange, who can turn it on late and arrives in fine form for high percentage Florida-based trainer Marty Wolfson, and New Orleans invader #10 Dubai Majesty, freshened and also dangerous from off the pace, look capable of providing an upset. All three should be used in all of your rolling exotics.
Trainer Tom Proctor has the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf pretty much surrounded with #1 Closeout and #2 Tight Precision appearing quite capable of running one-two. We’ll use them both while giving preference to Tight Precision, a very impressive winner of her last pair and likely with further improvement in her. She’s drawn beautifully inside and has the tactical speed that should have her within striking range and free of trouble throughout.
The $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic goes as the eighth race and the two logical contenders are #7 The Usual Q. T. and #8 Compari and those are the two we’ll use. The Usual Q. T. clearly has established himself as a high class turf runner and today we’ll find out if he can be just as effective over the Pro Ride. He ran decently over this surface as a 2-year-old, so that’s a plus and obviously he’s much better now. Compari couldn’t have looked sharper than he has winning his two recent comeback races and his showed last year he could stay nine furlongs if given a relatively soft trip up front. He’s clearly the controlling speed and will take them a long way, maybe even all the way.
The very promising #2 Red Sun is strictly the one to beat in the ninth race, a first level open allowance turf sprint and the only one to fear is #8 Atticus Jack, who beat state breds sprinting on turf at Hollywood Park. Both should separate themselves from the pack in what figures to be a chalky exacta. We’ll give Red Sun top billing but use them both in our rolling exotics.
The tenth race also boils down to just two, #1 Proud Hillbilly and #2 Bullfighter. Proud Hillbilly was beaten as the choice in his last pair but returns off a bit of a layoff and retains Pedroza. We’ll give him a chance to make amends, but the one to beat is Bullfighter, who might not have had much behind him when graduating for M25,000 last month but could not have done it easier. He’s worked sharply since for Baffert and another forward move is likely.
Bottom rung maiden claimers occupy the eleventh race and the known element is largely unappealing, so let’s go with a new shooter, #8 Stake a Claim. His New Zealand form isn’t inspiring but he’s working like he’s got more than enough talent to beat a field like this for Sadler and he’s a nice 5-1 on the morning line. He’s a single by default.