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Replays - Jan. 27 through Jan. 31, 2010
Here’s this week’s list of key performances covering the most recent five days of racing at Santa Anita:
GOOD MEASURE (Jan. 31) - Second time starter in Carla Gaines’ barn was knocked down to 50 cents on the dollar in a two-turn maiden affair but fell victim to an ill-advised ride by jockey Rafael Bejarano and faded when it counted to wind up second, beaten two lengths by Land of the Giants. The son of Maria’s Mon was sent into a suicidal early speed duel with 13-1 Wells Furgo (who would eventually wind up last) through torrid splits of :22 2/5 and :45 1/5, and over a track that had been playing anti-speed the gelding understandably ran out of steam when it counted. Next time, against a similar field and with a patient ride, he should have no difficulty making amends.
JERANIMO (Jan. 30) - Was asked a tough question in the Sunshine Millions Classic but continued his improving pattern and wound up a troubled fourth, beaten only a bit more than a length for all the money in what likely was the best race of his life. After winning a first level allowance sprint earlier this season, the lightly-raced colt stepped up in distance and class but took it in stride and might have pulled off an upset had he not been blocked and forced to alter course sharply while seeking room in midstretch. He did manage to finish as well as anything in the race once clear, so this Michael Pender-trained colt should be very live next time, assuming he’s not pitched too high.
TIZ ARGENT (Jan. 29) First time starter in the John Sadler barn had trained like he had some talent (although not really displaying sprinter’s speed) and flashed some real promise in his debut vs. state bred 3-year-olds. Was outrun early as expected, found his best stride wide into the lane and closed with courage to wind up third, beaten just over two lengths. There’s every expectation that he will benefit greatly from the outing and next time, perhaps with a bit more ground to work with, the son of Tizbud will be tough to deny in a similar straight maiden California-bred affair.
MAEVE (Jan. 28) - Modest claiming distaffer made her first start since joining the Jeff Mullins stable and improved notably when rallying late to finish a respectable fourth, beaten two lengths, in a $12,500 restricted affair. Clearly most effective as a late-running sprinter, the daughter of Valid Wager needs some help up front to be most effective, so next time if she catches a field with a decent degree of speed she could very well produce the last run at a square price.
SETSUKO (Jan. 27 - Long-striding sophomore was gobbling up the ground late when time ran out in a good first level allowance event on turf for 3-year-olds. Blinkers seem to have helped this Richard Mandella-trained colt, who gives every indication that once the light switch goes on he’ll be a very important member of the local Derby division. Clearly, he’s best suited by a test of stamina, and in a race with an abundance of speed, his closing kick will be most effective. Still has all of his allowance conditions but he shouldn’t be out of his element even if matched with the best 3-year-olds prospects on the grounds. The son of Pleasantly Perfect should be taken seriously no matter where he shows up next time.