Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., Oct. 5, 2012)

Today’s opener is a bottom-rung claiming sprint for fillies and mares that might be best left alone, but if you’re playing rolling exotics you should consider going at least three deep. #1 My Diane drops to the bottom – her lowest level ever – and on that angle alone warrants consideration. Her only lifetime win came over this track last January, another positive factor. #3 Memo to Kathy also has a win over the local main track and could fire fresh after being stopped on in July. The barn is very strong with comebackers and this filly has won off similar layoffs in the past. #7 Filly Power, first off the claim for Keen and removing blinkers, has been first or second in half of her 18 career starts so at least we know she’s a trier. We’ll toss in her in with the switch to Talamo.

High priced maiden claiming juvenile fillies sprint in the second race; the popular angle with this type of affair is to locate the first-for-a-tag runners. #2 Secret Memo ran off to a long early lead before wilting against straight maidens at a mile at Del Mar; today she drops in class and shortens to an abbreviated sprint. She could get brave in this league and Pedroza will try to hold her together late. #4 Miss Sweet Afleet, seventh of 10 vs. much tougher foes in her only outing (while earning a fairly decent number in the process) seems sure to improve in this softer spot and gets off the rail today while switching to Maldonado, one of O’Neill’s go-to riders. Let’s give Miss Sweet Afleet a slight nod.

#1 Caribaya Queen, away since June but with plenty of early zip, has a series of fast recent works (typical Headley) and gets Talamo in the third race, a down-the-hill sprint for first level fillies and mares. Her one prior effort over the course wasn’t all that much but she could be a better type this time around and looks capable of clearing this field, rail and all. #6 Graser shortens up and returns to turf following a nice runner-up try in the Adoration Stakes at Del Mar. She won here (at a mile) earlier this year and is a consistent sort. #10 Morocco Moon represents stranger danger for Drysdale. The English import had rising Racing Post numbers last spring (she won an 18-runner straightaway dash at York in May, her only start on turf) and should be the type to fire fresh. Let’s use these three in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Morocco Moon on top.

This race is borderline inscrutable. Most of the contenders have changed hands via the claim box in one of their last two races. For rolling exotic players, there’s a chance for a nice price by spreading. #1 What’s for Dinner earned a figure two races back that is better than par for this level and he’s won over this track in the past. #2 Idontrollonshabbos sat out his jail term and returns for new trainer Hollendorfer in his first start on dirt; he has plenty of zip when he’s feeling good and with Talamo staying aboard he appears well meant. #10 Tribal Dreams is 2-for-3 lifetime over this track and is now in the barn of Miguel Silva, a 24% trainer who usually cleans up in Phoenix. The Tribal Rule gelding will insure a hot pace. #11 Beau Royale can settle and make a run and as such his outside draw might be quite beneficial. He’s lightly raced with rising speed figures. These are the four we’ll include in our rolling exotic play with slight preference to Beau Royale.

The fifth race, a maiden turf affair for older fillies and mares, is another wide open event; we’ll go two-deep and hope that’s sufficient. #2 Eileen’s Dream, our top pick, tries two-turns for the first time and clearly is the controlling speed; it may be just a matter of whether she can relax on the front end. Mike Smith takes over and will do his best to switch her off during the early stages. #9 Bromelia has been a money burner during her brief career but in her second start since arriving from New York the daughter of Unbridled’s Song could make a forward move for Avila. She’ll do her best running from off the pace and will benefit if a legitimate pace materializes.

The sixth race is a starter’s allowance dash for juveniles and should boil down to the two fillies trained by Peter Miller. #5 Snackable was a tad disappointing at Fairplex Park recently but her sharp score two runs back makes her a fit with these, and she switches to Gomez while having the good fortune of drawing just outside the other main speed. Her barnmate, #8 Awe’ Some Kitten, came from far back to finish second in the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar and tackles an infinitely softer group today in a race that really does set up well for her late-running style. We’re expecting Nakatani to give her the patient ride she clearly prefers and thus we’ll put her on top and hope to get close to her morning line odds of 5/2.

Today’s feature race brings back #3 In the Stars and she should completely outclass this entry level allowance field while offering considerable value at 5/2 on the morning line if you can get it. Beaten a neck when arguably moving too soon in her U.S. debut in early August, she retains Nakatani and most likely will be asked to produce the last run today. Multiple Group-1 placed in her native Brazil, she appears to be a high quality sort and looks very logical as a rolling exotic single.

The finale is a weak maiden claiming affair for older fillies and mares. Rolling exotic players should use as many as they can afford to. #4 Offlee Cute wound up a fair third in her comeback at Fairplex Park recently and has a right to move forward for Spawr. #6 Medio Ciego has numbers than can win and should be within striking range throughout. She doesn’t really have much of a style, but nothing else in here does, either. #11 Blessed to Excess flashed early speed against a tougher band in her debut before weakening; she should stick a whole lot better with this group.