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Jeff Siegel's Analysis for Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010
The first two events on today’s program, both with five horse fields, present little value so we’ll pass and concentrate on the Pick-6, which begins in the third race.
Like yesterday, the Pick-6 scheme starts with a downhill turf raffle and we suggest you use as many as you can afford to. For small ticket players, take a look at #1 Princess Suances and #10 Quid Non and be sure to include them in your rolling exotics. Princess Suances, a route to sprint play, must overcome the poor rail post but she’s a fit on numbers, appears genuine and consistent, and should be able to settle into a second flight position. The one to catch unquestionably is Quid Non, who returns to turf and will take them as far as she can.
The fourth race, a starter’s allowance middle distance main track affair, has #5 Gilligan as the one to beat. In the money in his last three vs. similar, the Mel Stute-trained gelding retains Talamo, has a pair of sharp works since ran, and should be dangerous from off the pace once again. You might also want to toss in Worth a Punt, a facile maiden claiming winner last month in his first start for a tag, albeit in a low-rated affair. Solis rides him back for Zucker and with another forward move today he could be in the battle right back.
Maiden claimers occupy the fifth race and we’ll go three-deep using #2 Teenage Dancer; #3 Atta’ Girl; and #6 Sarabella Mia. Preference goes to the short priced morning line choice (6/5) Teenage Dancer, who drops into a bottom level claimer for the first time for Gaines after disappointing up north. Looks like she’s being given up on, but at this level she’ll be hard to deny with her best race. Still, there’s no value and she might be vulnerable (her best races have been on turf), so let’s also use Atta’ Girl, likely a short horse in her comeback and eligible to move forward considerably today, and Sabella Mia, adding blinkers for Glatt and with back numbers that make her dangerous in a below par field for the level.
We’re going to assume that the also eligible runners won’t draw in to this race (they’re only starting eight because the auxiliary rail is out 30 feet), so that eliminates contenders #9 Nicole H, #10 Smoothe as Candy, and #11 L’Enchanteresse from consideration. That leaves us with #6 Warren’s Jitterbug and #8 Empire Spring as the main factors. Warren’s Jitterbug is an eight-race maiden but she was a very good second in a hundred grander on the main track recently and has run well going long on the lawn in the past as well. She’s solid with these. Empire Spring was third as the choice in a similar maiden two turn turfer New Year’s Day but she’s lightly race and eligible to improve considerably with experience for Clement. Gomez will have her rolling late.
Today’s feature is at a mile and one-quarter on the main track – wish they would write more of these – and we’ll double the affair with #3 Never and #6 Tamborin getting our action in the rolling exotics. Never has improving numbers for Baffert and a style that should be very effective at this trip. With another forward move, he’ll beat this field. Tamborin returns to the main track today after finishing an okay fifth in the Sir Beaufort Stakes last month and this drop to the first allowance level (he has two allowance wins in state bred company in Florida) could get him back on track. Espinoza should have him on or near the lead throughout.
The eighth race, a maiden claimer for three-year-olds, has little in it and should be won by #5 Sonofablur. After two rough trips vs. straight maiden state bred foes, the Lit de Justice colt drops for the money run while switching to Bejarano and if he can leave with his field and avoid trouble along the way, he’ll be along in plenty of time.