Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., March 23, 2012

The “free Friday” program begins with a $16,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies that could be won by anyone of three. #1 Hannah Me Hannah represents inside speed and is a candidate to shake loose early and never look back, though you may have to hold your breath in the final sixteenth of a mile. #2 Sense Your Luck is a first-off-the-claim for Mitchell (34%, flat-bet profit) so considerable improvement is likely. And #4 Dustin’s Magic is a route-to-sprint, turf-to-dirt class dropper with speed figures that can beat this field. The latter will be our top selection but all three should be considered in rolling exotic play.

The second race will have no show wagering, as the field was reduced to four following the late scratch of the 2/5 morning line favorite, #4 Mamma Kimbo. That makes this event easy pickings for #3 Sister Moon, who graduated at first asking by almost 10 lengths last summer at Del Mar but was subsequently beaten at 1/5 during the Santa Anita autumn meeting. She was given some time off after that and has trained like her old self for her comeback. Obviously, there’s no value here but the daughter of Malibu Moon will be fun to watch.

The Pick-6 begins in the third race, a downhill turf starter’s allowance sprint that has three main contenders. #4 Blue Samurai has the powerful blinkers-off angle and gets ideal conditions; she seems most effective as a late-running turf sprinter. Rosario will have her rolling late. #5 Love My Way earned a solid figure when second in a $32,000 claimer over this course two weeks ago and clearly looks like the controlling speed. If she’s not forced into a :21 flat opening quarter as she was last time, she’ll take this field a very long way under Bejarano. #6 Alala is another with decent prior form down the hill and while she may lack a winning punch, the Patterson-trained filly has finished in the money in nine of 13 starts and probably should be considered somewhere underneath in the exotics.

#5 Holy Candy, listed at 4/5 on the morning line, seems like a logical rolling exotic single in the fourth race, a maiden mile affair for 3-year-olds. Second in all three starts and most recently beaten a neck by Stirred Up (who runs on Sunday in the $800,000 Sunland Park Derby and has a big chance), the Sadler-trained colt remains highly regarded and should win, though a couple of colts in here, #1 Eaton Hall (the controlling speed from the rail) and #4 Stratify (an A. P. Indy colt with plenty of upside) should make it interesting.

After flopping badly at 3/5 against a $50,000 claiming field last month, #2 Matto Mondo tries to get back on track in the fifth race and we’re expecting to see the “good” version today. Drawn well inside and reunited with Maldonado, who won on him two races back, the Asmussen-trained gelding returns to his claim level and should enjoy a cozy ground-saving trip (he was wide throughout without cover last time, partially explaining the poor performance). We’ll also consider #6 Euroglide, a solid second in his recent comeback in the same race that Matto Mondo exits and eligible to move forward over a course he’s been known to like.

Maiden claimers sprint five furlongs in the sixth race; we’ll we go with the best of the known element and the best of the newcomers. #2 Mr. Newton, second in his last pair, has enough zip to get loose early and if no effective late speed materializes he could keep going. #6 J J’s Jaguar is bred to be quick and has shown enough in the morning to warrant a big look in a soft field. Mullins is exceptional with first timers (21% with a strong flat-bet profit) so this son of Tribal Rule probably deserves top billing.

The featured one mile Pasadena Stakes goes as the seventh race and brings out a number of promising 3-year-old turf runners. #4 Chips All In won the Eddie Logan Stakes under these conditions on New Year’s Eve and then flopped on the main track in the Lewis Stakes; he’s back on the lawn where he belongs and clearly his best race makes him a major player. Quinonez knows him well and should have the North Light colt within striking range throughout. #6 Midnight Crooner earned a giant figure breaking his maiden over the all weather surface up north recently and has the pedigree to take another major forward move in his first start on turf. The son of War Chant recently worked evenly with Game on Dude. #7 Vibrato Jazz broke his maiden cleverly from off the pace last month and looks like the best of the closers again today. If he gets enough pace up front, the Sadler-trained colt will make his presence felt again in the final furlong. Midnight Crooner is the most intriguing but all three should be included in rolling exotic play.

The nightcap is another maiden claimer, this one at a mile for $30,000 3-year-old fillies. #1 Whats Up Betty lands the rail while stretching out for the first time and removes blinkers for a barn that does very well with sprint to route plays. The daughter of Songandaprayer could take this field a very long way on the front end. #5 Ricspresentiousgal has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern for O’Neill (also strong with this maneuver) and today she gets a significant weight break with the switch to bug boy Flores. We’ll try to survive using only these two; you may feel the need to go deeper.