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Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sunday, Apr. 15, 2012)
Sunday’s program begins with a bottom rung claiming sprint for fillies and mares that offers two short-priced contenders among the six starters. #4 Queenie Marini, runner-up in her last pair, gets an extra half furlong to work with today and this late-running sprinter will be doing her best work in the final furlong. #6 Mo Cheese drops to her lowest level ever while shortening up and returning to the main track. She lands the cozy outside post and likely will fold into an ideal pace prompting position.
The second half of the early daily double seems like a logical spot for #2 Blue Samurai to break through with a rare win. She’s one-for-21 lifetime but is re-equipped with blinkers while retaining Rosario and looks capable of wearing down the front runners late.
The third race, an extended sprint for $40,000 claiming 4-year-olds, may boil down to #3 Palio Prince and #4 First Strike. The former, listed at 7/5 on the morning line, is a first-off-the-claim play for Spawr and switches to Rosario after finishing an okay third over a sloppy track he may not have cared for. He should draft into an ideal pace prompting spot in a field with little early speed. First Strike has been overmatched of late but isn’t today. He’s a route-to-sprint play and returns to the main track, over which he has had past success. Flores should have him rolling in the final furlong.
Maiden claimers meet over a distance of ground in the fourth race and a case can be made for at least three of the six entrants. #1 Ricsprentiousgal adds blinkers and should be on or near the lead throughout from her rail post. The O’Neill-trained filly may have been best vs. similar last time out and with clear sailing today could be along in time. #3 Freckles Galore, in the money in her last pair, won’t have to improve much to beat this field and retains Bejarano. #6 Call Me Lucy has been chasing tougher, fits on speed figures, and seems very likely to improve with the switch to bug boy Flores. All three are worth using in rolling exotic play.
The fifth race is a rare maiden claimer on turf down the hillside course and this is another affair that may require a spread. #2 Fast Moka Too drops in for a tag for the first time and is a solid fit in this league on numbers. She switches to Rosario and may be quick enough to make the lead against this group. #5 Valoria is another maiden to maiden claiming dropper and should fit with these after a two month break. The Shirreffs-trained filly figures to do her best running from off the pace. We’ll try to get by using just these two; you may feel the need to go a bit deeper.
#2 Bronze Beauty has been burning up the track in the morning while getting fit for her debut and the daughter of Latent Heat looks ready to win at first asking for Shirreffs in the sixth race. She lands Rosario and catches an unclassified field, so we’ll put her strongly on top while also including in our rolling exotics the second time starter, #6 Magical Band, who also has been sharp in the morning of late and seems sure to benefit from having a useful experience in a fairly tough race last month.
In the seventh race, #4 Obviously was an unlucky loser in a very promising U.S. debut for Mitchell last month and likely will be a short price to make amends today in a similar downhill turf dash for conditioned allowance sprinters. He’s come back to work impressively since that race and seems capable of producing a winning late kick. #6 Luckarack, first off the claim for Ted West, retains Rosario, has looked extra sharp for his new connections in the morning and has consistently posted very strong speed figures lately. He was stakes placed down the hill during the autumn meeting and may be a better type now. These are the two we’ll be including on our rolling exotic tickets.
Trainer Bob Baffert has the eighth race surrounded with a pair of very talented (and uncoupled) fillies. #3 Contested broke her maiden for fun recently and did it with a huge figure; she’ll be double tough right back and surely will be a very short price. #4 Tiz the Tide also looked quite good graduating earlier this meeting – though not as quickly as her barnmate – but the daughter of Tiznow has plenty of upside and should make a run for it.
#2 Dylan Donnelly looks ready to graduate in the finale, a mile turf event for state bred maidens. The son of Tribal Rule was nosed out in a similar affair last month while nearly three clear of the rest and has trained well since for Mitchell. He’ll be a short price and deservedly so.